It was a California State Senate candidate, Dick Tuck, who ‘acknowledged’ the outcome of an election by saying: “The people have spoken…the b**tards!”
The problem presented by democracy just now is that the ruling classes can no longer rely on the people to ‘do the right thing.’
Opposed by a reckless non-politician whose campaign strategy was to offend millions of people, establishment poster girl Hillary Clinton perished.
Advocating for Europe but anxious to be seen to be democratic, David Cameron meticulously prepared for a Referendum but made one mistake; he trusted the British people to do the right thing.
Riding high in the opinion polls and with Labour in disarray under their derided leader Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May confidently called a snap election, played her Brexit joker and waited for the public to shout snap! But they couldn’t be trusted to do the right thing either.
Democracy isn’t what it used to be, or certainly not what it was until recently. The voters are revolting, in every sense of the word.
Can no electorate be trusted any more? Is anyone safe? Is it even safe for ‘Queen Miriam’ to go before the Irish people in the next Presidential election?
That sound you hear in the background is Leo shoving the election posters as far into the attic as they will go.
It’s one of the great, simple tributes to the GAA – and maybe they should make a ruthless television advertisement based on the phenomenon.
I’m talking about that moment when the television viewer switches over from watching a GAA match to catch up with soccer on another channel.
I’m a soccer enthusiast, but I have no problem admitting that this particular channel switch is usually accompanied, initially at least, by a drop in adrenaline!
It happened again on Sunday. The Galway/Mayo game climaxed in great excitement and tension. It was a thoroughly entertaining match. When it ended, thirty amateur heroes experienced contrasting emotions as their drained bodies finally rested. The Galway men savoured the enormity of their achievement, last year’s surprise mugging of Mayo now followed up by a declaration of real intent, and arguably a credible claim on top status in the province. The Mayo players were no less heroic; as ever, they had emptied themselves physically and mentally to the last whistle, until they were like soldiers who had to be dragged from the battlefield and told that their territory had fallen.
Switching from Salthill to The Aviva Stadium was like leaving a lively party and wandering into a Chess Convention. We frowned at the scoreline – Ireland 0 Austria 1 – and adapted our senses to allow for the more pedestrian fare and the apparent lessening in intensity.
It’s probably not a fair judgement – after all, they are completely different sports – but that initial switch from gaelic football (even the massed defences’ version) or hurling to soccer seldom enough shows the latter in the better light!
I struggled with the soccer the previous evening too, when I abandoned Scotland v England with twenty minutes to go. It was 0-0 and quite boring, so I switched channels. When I switched back later, it was 2-2, so that served me right I suppose.
I presume this sort of thing happens to other people too. It’s the classic ‘I’ll put the kettle on and miss a goal’ manoeuvre. Sometimes you can try and turn it to your advantage and vary the technique as a means of trying to will a goal in. An example: I had to abandon the television midway through the second half in the Ireland/Austria game to drive into Roscommon Town. I listened to the commentary on Newstalk, but the waiting (for an Irish goal) was torture. So I turned the radio off for five minutes, then turned it back on, and sure enough, Ireland had equalised, had a goal disallowed, and co-commentator Kevin Kilbane was screaming for a penalty.
Considering that we were 1-0 down with five minutes to go, I was delighted that Ireland salvaged a point, through a combination of Jon Walters’ persistence and my turning the radio off.
A little while later, back at the telly, for once I found Eamon Dunphy more tiresome than insightful or entertaining. Wes Hoolahan is a really talented playmaker, but hardly deserving of the mythical status which RTE pundits have afforded him. To my knowledge, none of the very top teams in the Premier League ever came calling for Wes. Listening to Dunphy in full know-all mode, you’d be forgiven for thinking that punditry’s gain has been football management’s grevious loss.
Anyways, I’ll always keep faith in the soccer, even if it can sometimes compare poorly to the GAA. As for the GAA itself, despite its faults, it remains a wonderful part of our lives. Last Sunday, Galway and Mayo both did enough to suggest they can have long summers. This Sunday, Roscommon enter the fray against Leitrim, and already the adrenaline is rising in both counties. As Eamon Dunphy might say, “It’s Championship, baby!”