This is a bit of a personal piece; a topic very close to my heart. It is something I’m deeply familiar with. A condition I’ve had for as long as I can remember. This is an issue that I’ve not ever spoken about before, not even with my family. Here it goes, be gentle with me…
I am unpopular.
There, I’ve said it. I am really unpopular and this online persona I put out is just me trolling you. You see, I’ve a tendency to think I’m smarter than I am. I definitely think I’m smarter than you lot. I like to believe, no matter what your beliefs or convictions, I can convince you that not only am I right, but I am always right, even when I’m wrong.
Hours are spent working out which particular psychological buttons to press in others, in order to undermine them, just for a laugh. I can go entire weeks pretending to listen to the opinions of others, wasting their time and in the end doing what I bloody well want. To hell with everyone else!
Sometimes, when I’m feeling a little mischievous, I even feign interest in such topics as human rights, politics and water charges. Only to get a rise out of the Lefty Loonies and Shinnerbots, you understand. I’m telling you this because it’s time to step out from behind the facade. It’s time to embrace my unpopularity.
You see, these days the worst thing you can be is Popular. The only way to get on in this great country of ours is to be deeply unpopular. I mean, look at Fine Gael. They’re deeply unpopular. Poll after poll puts them as representatives of less than one quarter of the population. The party that represents less than one in four of us is about to represent us all in Government. If that doesn’t tell you Populism isn’t popular, then I can’t help you.
If you can’t see there’s so much to admire in the deeply unpopular lame duck Taoiseach enda kenny, then you need to get your eyes tested. Here’s a man who wears his unpopularity like a badge of honour. He speaks so wonderfully condescendingly to the country. He’s called us whingers, made up stories and portrayed himself as the hero of the nation. He has a drive to be re-elected as Taoiseach at any cost to our Democracy that, whatever your politics, you have to respect.
Dear Leader enda is a creator. He has created the Irish Chumocracy: a form of government where the wealthy limit democracy to the benefit of themselves and their Chums. Not only did he help create this deeply unpopular form of administration, he also gave us the age of the Quangocracy. He birthed the Super-Quango.
A deeply unpopular Super-Quango, Irish Water, with its manipulated compliance figures, is to continue devouring money behind the veil of “suspended charges”. Its existence testament to Dear Leader. Who needs a value for money functioning water utility when you can have a Super-Quango? The success of this Quangocracy has only emboldened me to become even more unpopular.
I think I might join the ranks of Climate Change Deniers. I hear there are many in the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) and the Department of the Environment, looking for a thick skinned spokesman. A man able to say things like “We in the IFA take the challenge of Climate Change very seriously”, while ensuring members aren’t restricted by pesky International Climate Deals. My fork tongue can spew lies and obfuscations. I’m the reptile for the job.
If they won’t have me, I’ll call the Iona Crusader Institute. They’d be thrilled to have a man as unpopular as me on their staff. As well as morally bankrupt, I’m also an Atheist. Imagine the mileage David and Breda could get from brandishing me as a symbol of their diversity. I could issue a statement saying that “The Iona Crusaders have given me the freedom to explore my Atheism in a safe environment. All you need to do is give up control over your life. And I call on all men and (especially) women to give up (body) autonomy to these great people. They really do know best”. And you’d have to do it. You can’t go against my minority Atheist beliefs!
If all else fails, I could send out feelers to the many Anti-Refugee groups springing up in this fantastic little Island. I saw one recently, the “Soldiers of Odin”, pledging to rid us of the scourge of “sub human species” and “rapefugees”. While their grammar is awful and I abhor bad spelling, their goals are inline with my quest for further unpopularity. They need a foot-soldier like me. I could write their literature, softening the message and legitimising their goals by drawing comparisons between them and the inhuman treatment currently received in direct provision centres.
I’d need to change the name of course; Soldiers of Odin is too militaristic. Something friendly like the “Saviours of Fluffy Bunnies”, who doesn’t want to save fluffy bunnies?
Finally, if this doesn’t help me reach peak unpopularity, I’ll run for elected office. I can’t be any more unpopular than the future/current/old crowd, can I?
Tony Groves April 2016
This populist piece is satirical. Which used to be popular.