June 15, 2009
By the time many of you have got your filthy mitts on this pristine issue of [crude], the likelihood is that this year’s election merry-go-round has come to an end, but you, dear reader, probably didn’t notice as you were on a Buckfast blitz for the last three weeks which culminated with you falling asleep on the bus and waking up with a copy of this mag stuck to your face….or something like that.
Now, my friends, I’d hate you to think that I’m some patronising knob because of my acclaimed ace roving reporter skills and obvious intellectual superiority to all that reside within a fifty-four mile radius of my country hideaway. However, I do realise that most of you know squat about politics.
With that in mind, and considering the current political turmoil that grips the nation like Stallone grabbing a rope in Cliffhanger, I felt it was my national duty to establish my own Cranky Party – a political gang with two fingers firmly on the pulse. So, three months ago I started to assemble a team; I felt it was time to take the Cranky-man out of the bog, and not just go National with the Cranky Party, but take this mother-trucker to goddamn Europe.
I decided I needed a campaign manager with considerable panache who could convince several Z-Lister celebs to endorse my bid for European election – think of a mix of the shrewdness and toughness of CJ’s old right-hand man PJ Mara or one of the dudes from The West Wing, with the smoothness and sweet-talking of a Clooney-alike. Unfortunately, all my team of noble crusaders could muster up was Brendan O’Connor.
Nonetheless, I persevered and felt I could give the tubby Cork hack a shot, and as he has frequented the telly, I presumed he’d undoubtedly have a filofax chock-a-block with numbers of cool celebs. Wrong. O’Connor came back with a motley crew that seemed to entirely encompass the top ten most annoying people in Ireland; included was the irritating Lucy Kennedy, the self-righteous and smug little man that is Ray Darcy, big bosomed twit Amanda Brunker, Biddy from Glenroe, and Jack O’Connor (not the Kerry Football Manager, but the loud-mouthed bigwig from SIPTU). I’m still surprised that Chris De Burgh’s daughter’s ex-boyfriend or John Waters weren’t added for extra provocation from the voters.
In fairness, regular readers of this very column may be surprised to hear that despite the fact that I can’t step out on the town without a couple of local stunners on each arm, I’m very much a parochial man: in essence, I love nothing more than pints of porter, dancing a few sets, and getting in a hurling match after Sunday Mass.
While the constant flashing of cameras charts my every move as I turn up at numerous social galas, I tend not to pay a huge amount of attention to the other “celebs” on show; afterall, I’m usually bamboozling my digestive system with whatever free nosh and sauce is on offer. With the exception of a couple of local wannabes I’ve wrote about in previous issues, and the time I drank poitín and ate a full tin of USA biscuits with one of D’Unbelievables, my knowledge of the country’s infamous is somewhat limited, and I stupidly trusted O’Connor’s guidance.
Within weeks, it was clear that the honeymoon was over, despite the fact catchy slogans were bandied about like “The Party Ain’t Over Bitchz”, “Cranking Up For Europe”, and “There Ain’t No Party Like A Cranky Party”. With two months to election D-Day, I went my separate ways, leaving a “Dear John” note for O’Connor, and a book of Abrakebabra vouchers to soften the blow.
It was also an apt opportunity to give the two fingers to Europe, and focus on more local affairs. Thus, the Cranky Party re-launched itself in League Of Gentlemen-style as a “local party for local people”, running candidates just in the local elections, and solely in Munster; absolutely no jackeens from the Pale were gonna infiltrate the Cranky Party, and anybody who listed “former Student’s Union representative” in their credentials was immediately disqualified on account of being a tosser. Likewise, saying you admired Joan Burton’s media presence was an immediate sackable offence.
A heady bunch was assembled to run as candidates, including former farmer leaders, sportsmen, a batch of local models and radio “shock jocks”, as well as a fella who claimed to be the third cousin of Willie O’Dea – our simplistic plan was get some known faces in, and then worry about the policies later. Afterall, isn’t that what all political parties seem to do these days?
With Brendan O’Connor out of the picture, and the fridge feeling a wee bit fuller, it was time to haul in a new campaign manager – I didn’t have to look far to find the right man for the job. [Crude] columnist The Zeitghost, a man equipped with a silver tongue and renowned for his witty prose, was chosen. As a man who revels in going buck-ape at a barndance in the wilds of Clare, but who could still wear his trousers low enough to be labelled a hipster, The Zeitghost was a catch-all kind of bloke, who could appeal to the mammies who wanted to fill him up with bacon n’cabbage, as well as the ability for writing up mega speeches that would help me charm culchies, nurses and raconteurs alike. Pity we didn’t just run him as a candidate.
May saw me go on a campaign whirlwind, where babies were kissed, hands were shook, and dodgy promises were made. High profile appearances were made, such as judging the “Lovely Mary Of Ballygonowhere” “beauty” pageant, calling out the bingo numbers at several community centres, and pulling the starting trigger for the sack-race at a local sports day.
In fact, it was all going remarkably swimmingly. Flashy graphic designers were brought on, and our PR department was in full flow. Meanwhile, I was trading body-blows with several leading politicians, with mudslinging literally taking place when I took a chunk of dirt into my hands and fired in the direction of an unnamed Fianna Fail candidate at a ploughing championship.
When it came to policies, we just bullshitted, and told everyone we’d look after them, which in all fairness, is the same as every other political party. I did offend the women’s lib movement however, with remarks about homemaking and baby-making bizarrely souring a few potential votes. Nonetheless, all was on track for the Cranky Party to sweep the polls.
However, there was one fatal flaw in our entire plan. Somewhat similar to the time Bart ran for class president in The Simpsons, and was too busy out partying to bother vote, our gang of vagabonds went down a similar reckless path. Just a few days before this issue went to print, and with the election just about to happen, somebody informed Cranky HQ that our erstwhile secretary had completely forgotten to file our registration papers because she was too busy getting souped up on the ever expanding campaign liquor cabinet.
Alas, the Cranky Party was over, almost as quick as it began. However, my friends, now that I’ve dipped my toes in the political waters, you can sure as hell expect a return. Lock your babies up and start getting used to pretending you can’t hear the door bell ringing again, ‘cos we’re coming to your doorstep for the next General Election.
Yours in crankyness,