People who hate politics, please look away now! People who live in Ireland find Irish politics confusing, so I fully understand if people who live abroad, particularly in the UK turn on the TV and watch the World Cup.
Right, so just the two of us left? Good.
When the wheel was first invented, the middle aged inventor returned home to his cave and showed his invention to his wife who was preparing raw rabbit salad (some women were lazy even then). He was a bit deflated when she said in that tone we all fear and we find so familiar - 'sure that's obvious - anyone could invent that'. What he retorted has been lost in the mists of time but it was probably along the lines of 'if it's that bloody obvious, how come no one else came up with it before this?' And so began the long catalogue of events where really independent thinkers were mis understood or possibly were understood only too well.
Well this is my Eureka moment. Why don't Fine Gael and Fine Fail merge to become one centre centre party. We can leave out the Fine Fine because we can assume they are just that. We could cleverly merge Fail and Gael for it to become FINGAL. Brilliant! Isn't it?
As I write Fine Gael have two leaders or perhaps none and might well insist on appearing first in the new named party and might insist on GAYFAIL but something worries me about the alternative name.
Some people, obviously dull people, might conclude that this would a very difficult thing. They might say 'Think of all the new policies, and new personalities'. Quite the opposite! There is no difference in the policy areas of economics or finance, in trade or industry, in agriculture or tourism, in health or arts. All we need is the equivalent of a really good mail merge and apply it to policies. And Voila!! We have the strongest democratic party in all of Europe, if not the whole world, if we exclude Afghanistan.
We could reorganise the Dail and give the TD's new leather reclining seats with access to Internet, Nintendo and Facebook. That way we could be sure of enjoying a full house (I feel sorry for the politicians late at night who get all lathered up in oratory as they declaim to endless rows of empty benches with just the security men and the Latvian cleaning ladies present).
The FINGAL parties might want to retain a shred of tradition so to accomodate tribal customs their leaders could become Taoiseach on alternate days to include their birthdays, or they might just toss a coin for it.
If this idea is so obvious why don't more people agree with it? Many reasons. Mainly to do with the Celtic Tiger forcing many to leave school after kindergarden to work in the nearest branch of Spar. (Just to buy an aprtment somewhere on the side of the Dublin Mountains).Even my innate humility does not blind me to the possibility that this modest article could become the equivalent of Das Kapital in the Irish edition of politics for dummies. All I can say is that if I cannot remember you now, I will certainly have forgotten you then.