As the blustering, bumbling blond bombshell Boris Johnson measures up the windows for curtains and the floors for carpets at 10 Downing Street, I have to wonder if, like the US, ego-led politics has also become the order of the day in the UK. I only ask because it appears that Britain, having been led, (kinda) by what appears to have been a steady and desperate-to-please Theresa May, is now worryingly on course to elect the man who was once dumped from his job as a journalist with The Times newspaper for allegedly ‘fabricating quotes’. Now, given his colourful domestic life, (and bearing in mind he represents a party that continuously toots its family values horn), I’ve no doubt Boris will provide us columnists with plenty of attention-grabbing headlines. Meaning, while his tenure won’t be dull, it may certainly prove dangerous for those of us living on this side of the water. Then again, the philanderer-in-chief could unexpectedly prove to be our new BFF!
Estranged from wifey number two, the man with more bounce than Zebedee (for younger readers, he’s the Jack in the box from The Magic Roundabout), has, as we know, recently become embroiled in a public domestic with his girlfriend. This incident has rendered the face of Brexit’s ‘leave’ campaign to become the subject of headlines after nosey curtain twitchers, sorry, concerned neighbours, upon hearing raised voices, had the presence of mind to record the row through their adjoining wall. They then dialled 999! For the record, nothing was found to be amiss. However, since the incident, the loved-up pair have spent every waking moment publicly pledging their love and devotion to each other. Pass the puke bucket please.
So, due to all of the above, Ireland, indeed, the rest of Europe, has now become preoccupied with Boris and his domestic situation; much in the same way we’ve all been caught up with Trump and his dalliances. Indeed, there’s not a day goes by that some social commentator is not moaning about self-serving opportunist Boris, his messy private life, and his unsuitability for the big job in the big house. And yet, despite all of the kerfuffle and the, let’s say, impropriety, with old BJ being alleged to have fathered a child, (possibly more), outside of marriage, with him both writing and saying some gravely offensive things about minorities, the man continues to remain strangely popular. In fact, only last week, even as it was reported that the Foreign Office managed to persuade the BBC to edit out a comment from a documentary where BJ, (come on, it’s short for Boris Johnson…keep up), allegedly dubbed the French as being “turds,” – très embarrassant – fans, who seem to eat up his tasteless tirades, were still supporting this tactless old Etonian toff. I must say that when pressed over his alleged vulgar remark, the PM-in-waiting did say he had “no recollection” of the comment. Comme c’est pratique! Then again, I’ll bet he won’t remember that, upon leaving his alma mater, when asked to document their aspirations in life, as some of Boris’ fellow students quoted poetry, the over-excited enfant terrible allegedly wrote that his dream was…wait for it…‘To secure more notches on my phallocratic phallus’.
Mind you, word is that car maker Vauxhall, who has a French owner, and who gives employment to approximately one thousand Brits, are delaying a decision on building the new Astra until they see how Brexit is going. Clearly they’re not fans of blustering Boris. Now, as the situation is looking extremely serious with a no-deal scenario seeming likely, if I were BJ’s PR guru girlfriend, (in his dreams), and wanted to grace the halls of Downing Street, instead of smashing the crockery, (allegedly), I’d be advising him to stop sounding like he’s reading from a Father Ted script. I’d warn him to stop being a tabloid sensation, and urge him to get something for what could prove be a highly fatal case of foot-in-mouth disease.
Vive la rainbow revolution…but let’s not ignore our most vulnerable and our voiceless!
Our country played host to its biggest and most colourful Pride parade last Saturday, the theme of which was Rainbow Revolution. I was delighted to see members of An Garda Síochàna, Macra na Feirme and the GAA, as well as many senior politicians, making their debut appearances, as they stood loud, proud and in solidarity with their friends and families.
The entire event instilled me with a wonderful noble and pure, live-and-let-live vibe; showcasing the bright and the beautiful side of our country.
However, on the other side of the city, indeed, across the entire country, peaceful protests, attended by passionate and humane animal welfare advocates, were taking place in order to highlight the darker side of our society. I’m talking about the scandal that is our unscrupulous and cruel greyhound racing and coursing industry.
Look, I’m not going to use my column as a soapbox to preach; regular readers know how much I adore and advocate for all animals and their welfare. However, I will say that, following RTE’s ground-breaking and heartbreaking documentary ‘Running for their Lives’ I’ve been approached by a great number of you caring Rossies, (including those admitting to enjoying the ‘odd flutter on the dogs’) expressing their utter outrage and horror, telling me they were totally ignorant to the plight of some of our greyhounds.
Now, scandalous and eye-opening though this expose was, sadly its content was not news to me. But this week, I have to do something I don’t often do, and that is congratulate RTE on a difficult but balanced job well done. In making this documentary, RTE has exposed the extensive and systemic brutality inflicted on these gentle creatures on a daily, often hourly basis. Indeed folks, the torture begins for these puppies the very second they’re born, with an astonishing 6,000 greyhounds inhumanely slaughtered annually for committing the simple crime of being too slow, with certain Irish, let’s call them, ‘enterprises,’ despicably terminating their lives for just €10 a dog.
So, while The Good Country Index has ranked Ireland as being ‘among the most humane countries in the world,’ I’d have to wonder if they looked at the barbaric way in which we treat our vulnerable and our voiceless animals. When it comes to Irish greyhounds, it appears that despite the fact that the Greyhound Racing Act 2019, (signed into law last month) gives the Irish Greyhound Board, (IGB) greater powers to make regulations for the traceability of greyhounds, I fear that Ireland’s concept on animal welfare will forever remain pathetically poor. Putting in place any animal welfare act and not enforcing it and then acting shocked and outraged in public when cruelty is exposed, yet still supporting it and providing it with €16.8 million in taxpayers’ money, (this year alone), doesn’t showcase concern, rather it smacks of hypocrisy and culpability.