You don’t need to be in Ireland for long to know there is an election on, and that politicians aren’t exactly flavour of the month.
The Irish are into their politics at the best of times and with these, post IMF bailout, feeling for many like the worst of times, the anger is clear.
It was clear yesterday when, in advance of going on The Late Late Show, I asked for a few thoughts and observations re the election. Cue an outpouring, mainly but not exclusively against Fianna Fail.
I was saddened to see how Bertie Ahern, such a key architect of the peace process, was being described. But the economic problems have been real, so is the anger, and politicians are bound to cop that.
What I find odd, compared with the UK scene, is how little focus their seems to be on the bankers and the broader business community, in terms of sharing out the blame and the anger.
As it turned out, interviewer Ryan Turbity didn’t raise the election, and we talked about key moments in the period covered by my latest volume of diaries, a bit of fun, and a fair bit on depression.
I was sure I would be asked about Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny’s boycott of one of the TV leaders’ debates because the host, Vincent Browne, had said in the past Kenny should lock himself away in a room with a bottle of Scotch and a revolver.
Browne has apologised. I have to say I have heard a lot worse from a lot of British journalists, and politicians have still gone out and engaged with them. If Kenny becomes Ireland’s new PM, as many of the polls suggest he will, he will have to deal with far worse people than Browne.
Also, part of the purpose of an election is to see leaders being tested in circumstances they don’t want to be in. So I think the election as a whole would benefit from him turning up to debate with his Fianna Fail and Labour counterparts.
If he sticks to his guns he is more than welcome to come to the Leviathan event I am doing with David McWilliams at the Button Factory at the same time on Tuesday evening.
Off now to prepare for the fulfilment of another ambition I had as a teenager – I am co-presenting a sports show on News Talk this afternoon.