Junior Minister Conor Lenihan being interviewed on BBC TV, Dublin, 20-01-11

To paraphrase or perhaps abuse the words of dear old Sam I can’t go on, I’ll go on and on and on and on …. What a week. A week where our leader attempted to play the politics of old not realizing or caring that there is a genuine desire to distance ourselves from the grubbiness that has passed for political service over the last thirty years. He misread it because somewhat like the institutional church here a public subservience and connivance has nurtured an inward looking, self-serving oligarchy. Thursday was an incredible day where certain ladies and gentlemen of our dearly beloved government who can’t do one job properly ended up with two as a result of a botched ‘stroke’ reshuffle.

Possessing as I do, a curious mind, I sauntered down to the Dail to see would Joe Public finally appear to nudge the lemmings off the cliff. I genuinely thought Yes - now people will slowly gather and circle the Dail – ‘asha, asha we all fall down.’ Sadly, as ever, there were more press photographers than protesters although I had apparently just missed a lunchtime protest about a rural hospital cut back complete with donkeys and Irish dancers – where is Martin Parr when you need him? – however I might have censored myself from yet more Father Ted representations of ourselves – things are bad enough but sometimes I do feel that maybe for a longtime now we have been a nation of Dougals.

As I was about to post this our dear leader, who yesterday said he would be leading the soldiers of destiny into the election he set on Thursday for March 11th, called a press conference to announce that he would step down as leader of the party but stay on as our dear leader. Does one laugh or cry? Probably both simultaneously and at the same time.