The Republic of Ireland’s new taoiseach (Irish prime minister) says he will represent those “who get up early in the morning”
On Friday Leo Varadkar was elected leader of Ireland’s Fine Gael party, which means that this week he will be confirmed by the Dáil (parliament) as taoiseach (prime minister). Varadkar’s election has been presented in much of the world’s media as the coming to power of a “progressive centrist”, in Ireland he is being referred to as a “Tory” and seems to relish the label. Most people in Ireland appear to hoping for a Labour victory in Thursday’s UK general election; however we can pretty sure this alleged “progressive centrist” takes a different view and will be waving a little blue flag for Theresa May, Boris Johnson et al as the results come in. While Varadakar is a little to the left of Fine Gael’s first leader, Eoin O’Duffy at least on social issues – Varadkar is openly gay – his leadership campaign was largely based on demonising the unemployed, in favour of those who “get up early in the morning”. Varadkar is also a strong supporter of Ireland’s low (and often no) corporate tax regime which has seen the country become a tax haven for companies such as Apple while the country’s public services have been slashed to the marrow since the banking crash of 2008.
Reading From Book of Dark Blue
after Leo Varadkar, W.B. Yeats, & Enda Kenny
We are for the Ireland that rolls
laughing out of its bed every morning, those
whose national anthem is the alarm
clock exploding on the bedside locker and it still dark;
who, even August bank holidays, are
in the shed before five a.m.
fashioning origami former Garda
commissioners, or writing violin concertos in praise
of the Little Sisters of the Bon Viveur,
Blessed K.T. Whittaker and anyone else
who got up ridiculously early
to make this country what it
We represent those who know should they fall
up a ladder, or for some other reason –
be it insanity or baldness –
be unable to properly function,
we in government will do nothing
except, if they’re lucky, repeatedly
knee them in the nasty bits.
We whose ancestors have eaten
the still throbbing heart of General O’Duffy
(or at least what we thought was his heart)
now see leaflets tumbling through respectable letter boxes
in which cretin and comedian crow their gutless song,
their arguments a bladder bloated with animal blood.
We say, down the disposal pipe
with all these and their cries
of avarice and failure,
those who engage in wilful wastage of water
by sitting there all day – the jets
fizzing up their crevices –
in Jacuzzis given them
by the tax payer.
Drown them in the tank
and bill them for their own extinction,
for they are weasels who’d drink
of your chickens until they’re dry.
We are for people who look both ways twice
when crossing the road
and remember where they left their keys.
Featured Photo: Eoin O'Duffy, the first leader of Fine Gael
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