In March of 1997, intrepid foreign correspondent Robert Fisk set out to meet with a tall, charismatic Gulf Arab Warrior of some renown. The son of a Saudi businessman billionaire, Osama Bin Laden was the leader that inspired followers from all over the Muslim world to take up arms in Jihad. He was the military leader who, with his mujaheddin, had fought and defeated the Russian Army. The very same man who plotted, conducted and encouraged some of the worst examples of mans inhumanity to man. A monster no doubt; a monster born of the parents of conflict and ideology. But you don’t want me to go into all that, another day…
Lets get back on the dirt tracks from Jalalabad to the Kabul Gorge and on upwards into the mountains. Now, as our brave reporter explains much better I, this was a white knuckle ride of tight twisting trails and dangerous ravines, all to be traversed in the purple inked Afghan night. So he held on as “the road grew worse…the jeep skidding backwards towards sheer cliffs, the headlights playing across the chasm on either side”.
Then in a failed expression of reassurance, the driver, in what must be the greatest corporate advertisement tagline never used, declared; “Toyota is good for Jihad!”
Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Transporting Propaganda, is on my radio, telling me that “Polls don’t matter” and that Fine Gael’s latest stagnation in the IPSO MRBI, Red C and or Millward Brown does not concern him one bit. “The only Poll that matters…
..oh, give me a break! If Polls don’t matter, then why are his party burning thousands of euro(€1.4m at least) on conducting extensive Private Polling and Market Research. They are wasting our money to ascertain what lie we want them to tell us. How many Teachers can you hire for €1.4m?
As I look out my window, some Right Wing Drone tells me to “Keep the Recovery Going”. Reptilian eyes and shiny teeth hide what I imagine to be a forked tongue. On the corner, above my old Telecom Eireann box, someone else tells me he’s “Tackling Crime and Burglary”. While walking the dog, I’m sporadically assaulted by “Securing the Future” Fraudsters and hit in the face by thugs who are “Standing up for families” by slowly killing public services. You couldn’t make it up.
Darting out to collect the kids from swimming, I’m confronted by a handsome suited T-1000 claiming to “Reward Work & Rebuild Trust”. The machines dead eyes evaluating me as less than grist for the mill. I run inside, shuddering in fear with the rise of Artificial Intelligence in Irish Politics.
At the supermarket, the Purple People Eaters are loitering with intent to cause “Change in Irish Society”, while I’m rummaging for €1 for a trolley, sweating in case they try changing me. On the way home, I pass a gang of builders, they don’t seem appropriately dressed for the building site, but builders they are. They’re jovially telling anyone who’ll listen that they’re “Building a new Republic”. I’m not well up on the retail sector, but if this Republic has a bar licence it could be okay?
I venture out with the dog again. Largest earphones known to man stapled to my head, the message clear, Do Not Disturb. I can still feel the eyes on me; glaring at me from every lamppost, traffic light and even the occasional front garden. The dog pulls in his stomach to signal the imminent arrival of canine excreta. A quick tail raise with a balletic half pirouette and we’re in business. As I scoop the dog shit into the nappy sack, eyes fervently imploring a bin to appear from the propaganda littered wasteland, I remember a work email I’d forgotten to action!
“A Lot Done, More To Do”… indeed.
Tony Groves Jan 2016