Enda’s not singing from same hymn sheet as us

HAS it come to this Enda — channelling your inner Bob Geldof to win back public favour?

Enda’s not singing from same hymn sheet as us

The cheese-tastic Christmas video the Taoiseach has stuck on the taxpayer-funded Government news site, complete with fake snow and emotionally-charged piano music, even appears to rip off Band Aid lyrics — and it should be remembered Mr Kenny has form, after he infamously nicked a speech from US President Barack Obama and attempted to pass it off as his own work, and in front of Obama himself.

The Taoiseach’s Christmas hope, for emigrants to come home, soars with a line about the approach of the longest night of the year: “When that’s over, the darkness recedes and new light comes into the world....”

This appears spookily close to Band Aid’s “At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade.....”

But the whole mawkish production is a very misjudged affair, after a year in which the Government has lurched from utter arrogance to self-inflicted mistake, to chaos and back again, in the graceless manner of a bear on roller skates crossing an ice rink.

Indeed, given the pain inflicted by the USC, water charges and everything else they have dumped on us, the only Geldofian comment the public are likely to associate with Mr Kenny is when Sir Bob was (wrongly) quoted as shouting “Give us your f**king money!” at viewers during ‘Live Aid’.

But what would the Christmas messages of other leading politicians be?

Tánaiste Joan Burton seems slightly better at reading the public mood than Mr Kenny does, so she would probably pipe up: “Say nothing, Enda — they already hate us enough.”

Given Gerry “Army Council? What Army Council?” Adams’ propensity to deny he was ever in the IRA, and, more recently, his ‘humorous’ assertion that he had never been a member of ISIS, the Sinn Féin leader’s Christmas message would, no doubt, be: “I am not, nor have I ever been, one of Santa’s little helpers — but I do support the aims of the wider Santa movement.”

To this, his ever-nodding deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, would add: “If Gerry says he was never one of Santa’s little helpers, then I fully believe him — as does every other Sinn Féin TD, as we only do group think in this party, not that it’s a cult of personality or anything. Isn’t that right Gerry?”

The lefties would take a more ideologically-tinged approach to the festive season, with Richard Boyd Barret and Paul “megaphone” Murphy shouting: ‘No To Christmas!’ as they seem to shout “No!” to everything else this Government supports.

Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin’s Christmas message would be just the same as his messages on health, the economy, and justice — indistinguishable from the Taoiseach’s.

While hapless Heather Humphreys, the minister responsible for Irish language who does not speak Irish, and the arts minister who, judging by her woeful role in the squalid cronygate affair, does not know her arts from her elbow, is likely to say: “Oh, is it Christmas? No-one told me!”

While the arrogant, mocking chant to voters from the lads at Nama and Irish Water would be: “Do They Know It’s Bonus Time At All?”

That would mirror the patronisation endemic in Mr Kenny’s insistence that he is allowing ‘generation emigration’ to come home.

This would be the same Taoiseach who slashed the dole for people under the age of 25 who were not in training or education, despite the fact there were not enough places in training or education for them.

In that one, cynically cruel act, Mr Kenny and his ministers were essentially telling the young victims of the country’s woeful mismanagement by the previous Government that: “Here’s just enough for your bus fare to the airport and a cheap Ryanair flight — now get out! We need to get the live register figures down any way we can.”

Like so much of this Government’s communication attempts, the emotive rhetoric on emigration is a confused message, which is not supported by an over-arching political narrative and, as such, just looks hollow.

It was a similar story this week, with Leo Varadkar’s comments on the need to repeal the eighth amendment of the Constitution, which gives equal status to the life of the mother and the foetus, and which the Health Minister said had a “chilling” effect on doctors.

While bringing attention to this situation was laudable, and long overdue among a political elite who lag well behind public opinion on the issue, Mr Varadkar’s remarks could be distilled as: “I’m Pro life. I’m Liberal. I’m concerned. I’m going to do nothing about it.”

And there’s a similar disconnect in Enda’s attempted video-nicey, which starts with the rather clumsy phrase: “As your Taoiseach, I’m delighted to send you this Christmas message...” which sounds uncomfortably close to: “As your server for this evening, I’m delighted to show you the specials menu....”

Despite this being a taxpayer-funded site, Mr Kenny then goes on to assure us, in a highly partisan way, that: “I want you to know that we are working day and night to strengthen our country’s recovery....”

Hmmm, day and night during the month-long Christmas holidays the Government gave TDs, then? That’s nice of you.

Well, it would have been a month if the Coalition’s endemic incompetence had not set-in and they were not forced to get the Oireachtas to sit for two extra days next week in order to ram through the water-charging regime, which awaits us at Easter.

The tinkly piano bit at the start of Mr Kenny’s video actually sounds a tad like the first few bars of the Pogues’ ‘Fairytale Of New York’, which is extremely fitting, as polls show that the message from the vast majority of voters to this Government is: “Merry Christmas, my arse, I pray God it’s your last.”

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