It could be last orders for the Beer Leader

THE secretive ruling party which has dominated the state since its creation is nervously considering replacing its ailing leader as the economy lies in ruins and escape abroad is the only hope for its crushed people.

But there the similarities between the North Korean Workers Party and Fianna Fáil end – because the NKWP is actually doing something about changing the failed old guard.

Of course, the new “Dear Leader” will be just as disastrous as the last, but it will buy the regime a few more precious months in power and make it look like it’s doing something.

Kim Jong-il may be on his way out, but his habit of giving exciting names to the same old slop – donkey meat is known as “heavenly cow” – seems to have caught on with Fianna Fáil as the party yesterday pushed its “job creation strategy” which turned out to be just the same old donkey doo-dah of talk, talk, talk.

The masses were softened-up as the airwaves filled with early morning propaganda that a new urgency would be injected into solving the unemployment crisis. But the suddenly announced “summit” of semi-state agencies left the impression this meeting was more about deflecting attention from Brian Cowen’s image as the “Beer Leader” than actually finally facing up to a two-year-old economic and social catastrophe which has seen dole queues top 466,000 while 65,000 others have fled the country in desperation in just four months.

As with Fianna Fáil, the NKWP has three main contenders for the top job. And just like in Irish politics, nepotism is rife in Pyongyang – indeed it just so happens those in the running to take over the world’s only hereditary communist dictatorship are all the Dear Leader’s sons.

Apparently, it is the newest to emerge, Kim’s third son Kim Jong-un, who will be anointed at the imminent meeting of the Workers Party assembly. He is known as the Young General and came from nowhere to overtake his two better established rivals – just like Brian Lenihan.

It seems previous contender Kim Jong-chul was considered “too girlish” to take over by his father – surely a charge that could never be levelled at our own mega-macho Justice Minister-cum-would be Taoiseach Dermot Ahern.

Although that surprise confession Ahern chases his organic chicken Lady GaGa around the garden with a tea towel when she escapes the coop has raised a few eyebrows.

The third possible heir, Kim Jong-nam remains in disgrace after being caught trying to enter Japan on a false passport in 2001 because he was desperate to visit Disneyland in Tokyo – but while Micheál Martin has had his own problems with false passports, mainly due to the Israeli secret service, the only desperation he has so far shown is to appear to be loyal to Mr Cowen to his face while signalling like mad from behind his back that he is ready to take on the mantle of responsibility.

Happily, we still have not adopted North Korea’s policy of re-education. Here the Government was trying to fast-track fee-education with a big push to lure lucrative foreign students.

There they sat at the launch, Mr Cowen, Mr Ahern and Mary Coughlan – the man clinging onto being Taoiseach, the man who wants to be Taoiseach and the woman who never will be Taoiseach.

The Beer Leader remains in charge for now – but he knows last orders will be called very soon.


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