Monday, 23 February 2009


I didn’t think it were possible... I used to be a “hot potato”, a risky topic of conversation that most people didn’t opt to enter into unless they had a death wish or were agreeable to a cranial meltdown after the fact. What happens? The unimaginable! I’m not a conversation stopper anymore. Being a single parent from a suburb in Dublin’s north side is suddenly not “controversial” or “current” as I have been replaced as a choice prime radio programme topic by wait for it….CEO’s, Chairmen and Directors of large financial institutions! When did this happen? Suddenly the bastard isn’t the baby in the buggy, it’s the overweight middle-aged oaf driving a limited edition Jaguar out of the head office of Irish Life and Permanent!

When did everything shift from people ranting on the radio about Jacinta eating her second batter burger in the protective custody of a bus shelter after spending her entire children’s allowance on “1-euro beer Thursday” down her local whilst pushing a trolley full of meat from the meat factory with her other hand. When you conjure up your worst, your most awful image of a derogatory caricature, now it depicts a Finance Minister racing back to his desk to read “the rest of the report”; it envisions a selective group of business men legging it up to the Dublin mountains to bury their stash before it’s found (that is, if it isn’t off-shore somewhere getting a tan unlike the rest of us).

Garry Glitter is now a “good guy” compared to the revelation of a financial regulator without a conscience and/ or brain stem and a bank official that likes to say Oh!YES PLEASE, Don’t mind if I do! Single parents are saints, northsiders are eloquent stately people of panache, bags of chips in your hand bag can be tolerated whilst snogging in the street, we are all children of God. Brian Cowen has become the most hated man in Ireland, lacking the moral conviction and backbone to take some very bad boys to task and ask them to put the sweets back in the jar that they stole whilst daddy was off running an errand..

The residual headache of the current climate will become a jarring migraine, to coin the words of Emily Dickinson (nearly): “I felt a funeral in my purse”(This pension levy is an ungodly curse). The big boys, the movers and shakers, top-table best view for oh! so many years! are now relegated to the squat table in the corner overlooking the blocked cistern with a waft of offensive drain for good measure! Will we now be let sit back and feast on the remains, the carcass of the festive turkey (“Celtic Tiger” is so 2006) that has been left untouched by the portly lads that have now vacated the restaurant in a hurry. It seems not. Left to clean up the remnants of their decade-long meal, we now also have to pay the bill, wash the dishes and pay the waiters tip, not to mention sing for the customers and polish the cutlery!

Self-help book sales may increase in the coming months as people become more and more apathetic and disillusioned: obviously ‘the carrot diet’ and ‘think yourself rich’ will become popular best sellers. (I wrote both these books and can strongly recommend them). In addition to self-help books I will take on the biggest challenge of my career, Personal Trainer of Messrs. Cowen and Lenihan who both are great advertisements for the high life whilst the like of Yours truly, a mere waif, has been advised to ‘cut my cloth to suit my measure’. FYI: Yours truly would rather cut my cloth to suit former Chief Executive of Anglo Irish Bank. “David Drumm’s measure” - that seems far more appealing daahling - luxurious silks, fine yarns and expensive fabrics would be the order of the day ... slink in and out of work in a Maserati and moan about my pencils not being sharp enough and can’t you get any decent help anymore? It would appear not. From silk cravat and designer suit to Guiney’s €12.99 corduroy and flannel slacks on special offer, guaranteed to chafe and itch in places that make you weep thank you. I wish to create an emperor’s new suit fit for a king or a minister or TD even... All bling with no class but worth millions that I can live off when the rainy days come. Looks like wellies and umbrella won’t save me this time either. I’ve been holding my breath for the past decade and had just hoped in recent months I could finally exhale…looks like that too will have to wait.

But what of the “real” casualties of war, the most badly hit in this recession? No not the bus men! Not the nurses! No no no! I mean the poor, poor men who once commanded legions in the board room (or bored room) ...what of them? Will they go back to what they once knew? Cruises and villas and spending of cash (not necessarily their own)? Or more interestingly will they have to readapt like everyone else? Will Seanie FitzPatrick, former CEO of Anglo Irish bank, now hop on the 27 bus into the local scratcher just before it closes for lunch followed by a pint or two of cider in Fibber McGee’s pub before legging it back to the health centre for a gay and jubilant update with the local community welfare officer about today’s efforts to locate a job and a bedsit off the North Circular Road? David or Drummo as he is now called hopes to participate on a CE Scheme in Clondalkin. David or Drummo is very positive that he will secure a place on the scheme and can keep the wolf from the door (not to mention keeping the receivers from his six garages housing arrays of sports cars) and his vast wine celllar. “Eh! Good luck Drummo rite, ye will need it!!!”