Written on: 5. 8. 2011 in the category: news

Fingleton for President

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As one bearded baldy bloke bows out from the presidential race, is it not time for us to rescue another BBB from the wastelands of retirement to which he was so hastily and unjustly dispatched? Michael Fingleton is surely the embodiment of all that is good about the Celtic Tiger. He has throughout been quite fearless in defence of his own self-interest. He rather resembles the captain of the ship, after he has steered it into an iceberg, and who next commandeers a place in the only lifeboat. Once there, with a nice tartan rug over his lap, and a flask of hot soup in his hand, he issues orders: “Right! Four crewmen to man the oars, if you please. Excellent! Stand back, women and children, or I open fire. Right then – lower away!”


Consider the Fingletonian achievements heretofore. He’d managed to build up a pension-pot of some €29.4 million in Irish Nationwide by 2007, meanwhile raising his salary by some 10%, year after year. He then managed to talk the board of Irish Nationwide into transferring €27.6 million into a company owned by him. However, most of this vanished in the property collapse. Not to be outdone, his newly-boosted pay, bonuses, fees and benefits for 2008 alone totalled €2.417 million. And even after the government had bailed out Irish Nationwide by some €5.4 BILLION, he still collared another million for his pension-pot. But the best bit was that on his retirement, he got a €11,500 gold watch, with Irish Nationwide – in other words, you and me, gentle reader – also paying the €9,650 benefit-in-kind tax.


Michael Fingleton’s great quality is that he clearly thinks “shame” means “shimilar”, only more so. Like Haughey, he is rather uncertain about the profound philosophical differences between [itals] meum [unitals] and [itals] tuum.[unitals] Whenever he looks at any object, no matter whether it is animal, vegetable or mineral, he always sees gold, coal, copper, salt or tin: in other words, he can faithfully declare – “mine”.




Now a man with this many sterling financial qualities could be a real asset to the Park: he can set up his own NAMA – The National Aras Management Agency – to rent out the house to film companies and to www.partying.com, and so on. He could also introduce an entirely new concept in Presidential funding: whenever he opens a new school for the disabled or a hospital for the elderly, he could charge an appearance-fee, which will go towards maintaining the little home in the Park. Since we are losing one Aras bandit from the race, might it not make sense now to have another kind?



(“Sir: I am used to puerile attempts at humour from your columnist, but this surely has to be the lowest and most vulgar yet. Are you entirely without any editorial standards in your newspaper… ?”)


Actually, I don’t want to bang about the presidency too much. But as I’ve said before, we’ve probably had enough empathy there. We don’t need a womb with a view or an ovary office any more. So, for the duration of the next presidency, the park should be turned into a sort of Hibernian Botany Bay: a penile colony, with no servants, save perhaps for the wrinkled old retainer, Scrotum.


Yes, what we need is a bit of tough unremitting maleness. My own humble suggestion for Ciaran Fitzgerald fell on stony ground, alas. It might seem odd to you, but I do not find that the Labour candidate Michael D. Higgins really quite corners the market in muscular masculinity. Moreover, one always has the terrified apprehension that, at the merest drop of a hat, he will erupt into verse. I recollect – albeit, brokenly- the opening of some arts festival, where he unleashed upon his hapless audience one of his own little poetical concoctions, and in Irish, naturally: yes, all 243 stanzas of it. These he orated with the strangled sonorousness of Count John McCormack on his deathbed. Moreover, he was, if memory serves, dressed in the garb of a Highland chieftain, though patriotically sporting the traditional urine-coloured Irish kilt which – so as not to distress the ladies – usually attracts the slightly more exotic adjective “saffron”. That was sufficient to last a very long time, thank you.


So I now want an invisible President who is resoundingly male, who will make no speeches or recite no poetry, but who will instead silently sign government bills. Otherwise he will glare sullenly across the Park, rather appropriately, like a Phoenix in a downpour, vainly waiting for someone to light a fire. I have read the requirements for president carefully: at no stage do they insist on the person concerned actually being alive. And who is the most famous Irish-based person in history, and whose name is in every single language in the world? He is the answer to all our prayers: a head of state that we can all safely ignore for seven years; and, if we are lucky, he will similarly ignore us. Arise, President Charles Boycott!












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