Harris Anointed Senator
Originally posted at Associate Notes
The Seanad is an undemocratic, archaic, useless institution. It’s been that way since its inception but the Irish people have ignored it, mostly because it’s the most boring institution we’ve got. That is about to change.
Eoghan Harris has just become a senator.
No, you’re not dreaming. Your eyesight has not failed you. Your Taoiseach has. If there were ever any doubt, this proves that cronyism is alive and well in the Irish Republic. This move ensures that going forward, the Seanad will be as irritating as it has been boring in years gone by.
Some have suggested that Bertie’s decision to anoint Harris is a reward for Sir Tony O’Reilly’s support during the recent election. I’m not quite so convinced. While Harris’ conversion to Bertieism was sudden enough to raise eyebrows, the man is noted for his bandwagon-jumping. I’m not sure that Aengus Fanning or Sir Tony could order Harris to change his mind. We are talking about a man who has been involved with Offical Sinn Fein, the Worker’s Party, Labour, Fine Gael and the Progressive Democrats. I would hardly be inconsistent for Harris to change his mind.
Perhaps Harris is just easily manipulated. I imagine that all one would have to do to convince Harris that Hugo Chavez is the Messiah would be to point out that somebody at The Irish Times had written something nasty about him. Harris never so much supports a cause as he attacks its opponents.
There was a time when I thought that Harris was an idiot and/or a cynical hack writing whatever he thought would gain him the most attention. I still think that this might be the case, but the man’s diva-like performances on the Late Late and on The Last Word lead me to believe that his writings are best explained by mental instability. Harris is the Michael Jackson of Irish journalism. One thing is for certain, we can be confident that it won’t be long before he changes his mind and attacks Fianna Fail again. I suspect the U-turn will happen soon after Brian Cowen becomes leader of the party.
For those of you who never had to witness Harris fawning over Bertie, I present the following example (nicked from Shane Hegarty’s Irish Times blog on the story.)
Bertie Ahern is such a person. It takes someone from outside our society to see him clearly and cherish his skills. As Alastair Campbell did in his diaries when he put Ahern on the same pedestal as Bill Clinton.
Actually he is selling Ahern short. Clinton’s charm conceals a poor record in American domestic and foreign policy. Ahern has charm too, but it is only one of the many political skills he deployed to deliver an epic economy and peace in Northern Ireland. Not that this matters to a middle class media obsessed by the Mahon Tribunal. None so blind as those who think higher education took the wool from their eyes. Actually it only put another set of blinkers in place.
Makes you want to puke doesn’t it?
It seems that Harris is inspiring certain Irish Bloggers to begin their own campaign for the senate. Simon of The Dossing Times has launched the I Love Brian Cowen campaign. Personally, I think that his campaign may be a waste of time. Harris will probably disgrace himself, the Senate and the nation to the point where reform of the Seanad will finally take place.
I can dream can’t I?
And before I forget, Ivor Callely was one of the other X-Factor style wildcards to get a seat. The difference between Callely and Harris is that one man is getting a pay-off for being a loud-mouth, the other gets his reward for shutting up. If only Fintan had known the potential rewards of shutting up, he might have Eoghan’s seat now!
Irish Democracy ladies and gentlemen. Isn’t it beautiful?