POOR old Eamon Gilmore had a torrid time in his conference hotel last night as he first checked into the Master Suite, then transferred hastily to the Wriggle Room before finally being seen dancing wildly in the Backtrack Ballroom.
It all started to go wrong when Eamon decided to do a spot of hoovering – hoovering-up the few remaining Fianna Fáil voters with a nifty bit of political footwork, that is.
After ruling out a deal with the now retreating and bedraggled looking soldiers of destiny just two months ago, Mr Gilmore appeared to be suing for post-election peace with the old enemy by turning ever so slightly, and deliberately, vague on the possibility of a future hook-up.
With Enda Kenny going all alpha male and declaring he’s “working his ass off” for an overall Blueshirt majority, Mr Gilmore decided to out fantasy him by floating the hope he will be Taoiseach after the next poll. To achieve that Mr Gilmore would need the backing of a beaten but still power hungry FF, and so held off slamming the door on them.
It is always a dangerous game for Labour leaders to play and one which did Pat Rabbitte much harm when he stonewalled on the matter with the persistent skill of a Connemara farmhand in the run-up to the last election.
After hiding in the “Wriggle Room” for three hours, Mr Gilmore was flushed out and forced to clarify his earlier unclear clarification and return to his previous F-off FF stance – but he then briefly snuck into the Delusional Dining Room by denying the only option now open was a deal between Gaming Eamon and Enda the Contender.
But then it’s amazing what goes on in hotel bedrooms at a Labour conference. Take the shenanigans in room 141 – which must have been crammed full of more people than any rented boudoir this side of a swingers’ convention in Las Vegas. But unfortunately for scandal-mongers, said people were just the ladies and gentlemen of the press who were somewhat surprised to find their “media centre” was a small bedroom.
At least Labour had bothered to take the bed out to make more space. And, thankfully, even the rather more rough-housing radio types refrained from actually using the en-suite in the cramped quarters as the fourth estate beavered away like illegal immigrants in a dimly-lit news producing sweatshop hoping a health and safety hit squad would raid the hotel and free us from our huddled captivity.
Last seen running breathlessly down Clarification Corridor, Mr Gilmore appeared to have his head as firmly in the clouds as Mr Kenny with talk of each commanding a majority next time out. The two would be better deciding how to iron out their glaring policy differences over NAMA and the public sector – otherwise they may look back on their “think-in” trips as wasted stays at Heartbreak Hotel.
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