have spent considerable time this week trying to write
something positive surrounding last weekends
visit by An Taoiseach to the weekend retreat of the
British Prime Minister. After pondering the various
calculations of how our political process was to be
revitalised, I came to the weary conclusion that the
best I could muster was an imaginary scenario on how
Bertie and Tony might spend the evening after the
unenviable pressures of the day were at an end.
am eager to convince you that this is the best I could
do, not because of a lack of insight nor a lack of
ability in speculating about the topics open for debate.
We are all too familiar with what or what was not
open for discussion. Its just that it is more
entertaining to think about the nocturnal activities
of this couple than dredge through the innumerable
ermutations of Saturdays meeting.
So as twilight draped itself across the gentle plains
of Hampshire and the servants opened the bottles of
Powers and Glenfiddich, was
there an enthralling game of chess at Chequers? I
would imagine Bertie lost the chess because his full
forward line, like his beloved Atha Cliath, were particularly
static and the marble chessmen were not as easy to
flick as his specially commissioned GAA Subutteo players.
He would however have found them easier to move than
the Minister for Foreign affairs Brain Cowen, but
then again Popeye on spinach suppositories couldnt
move him if he tried.
Next it was to the games room. Having had the benefit
of many diplomatic briefings on Irish history, Tony
decided to avoid the darts board. After gauging the
(Irish) whiskey fuelled look of reticent patriotism
in Berties eyes after his chess defeat, Tony
thought better of turning his back on a Dub wielding
a sharp and pointed object.
Bertie also refused to play Pool as he was sick and
tired of being caught behind the 8-ball.
Billiards was also rejected on the grounds that the
press would make too much innuendo of his already
over scrutinised love-life if he was seen to be playing
a game that involves three balls!
So after another dram, the Snooker started. Bertie
sniffed victory as Tony seemed to be colour blind.
Well, if he wasnt colour blind he seemed to
have great difficulty telling the difference between
the reds and the blue. Predictably, however it all
went south for Bertie when he kept insisting
on sinking the green at every turn.
began to get heated during the poker game as each
of them were convinced that the other had several
more aces up his sleeve than should have been there,
and Snap was a no-go because Bertie thought that this
was another British ploy to claim more of his
property. The pinball was going well until the flashing
lights began to confuse the Taoiseach and he thought
he was back in Templebar after another long
late night session in the debating chamber.
Then, Bertie flipped when he heard someone mention
Space Invaders and he began to scream
at the security men for letting Sinn Fein into the
Enough was enough, the games were over.
then suggested that it was time to retire to the lounge.
Perched in the corner was a beautiful guitar. As Tony
began to render a version of David Bowies Rebel
Rebel, just to show how trendy he was, he caught
a glimpse of Robin Cook and Clare Short in an old
Cabinet photograph and he promptly broke the fret
board. Drawing muffled guffaws from Bertie, Celia
and Cherie, Tony vowed he would return for more after
changing his snapped G-string.
It was just as well, really as Bertie had been silently
preparing himself for a bravado version of A
Nation Once Again, but he was buggered if he
could remember the words. Then, Bertie offered a compromise.
He just happened to have an autographed copy of Westlifes
greatest hits on him. In a round of improvised karaoke,
Tony sang Fool Again and Bertie dedicated
If I Let You Go, to all the Bhoys
in Portlaoise. Bertie was definitely drunk!
The session ended on high-octane duet of I have
A Dream. A request by the lads for Celia and
Cherie to sing Uptown Girl in their nighties
was swiftly rejected by their spouses.
4am, nervous and tired security made notes that things
were definitely getting out of hand as Bertie and
Tony lumbered towards the playing pavillions, bottles
of Bud in hand. After a millenium of slaughter and
sacrifice Irelands glory was to be won back
on an English tennis court! The game was abandoned
before it began because Bertie would not accept Tonys
demands that he should have the umpires powers
as well as playing on the grounds that was his court
they were using after all. Bertie also flatly refused
to settle it with a penalty shoot out since there
was no way he was going to flout the foreign games
rule, especially on British soil.
breakfast next morning amidst the sheepish looks and
almost tangible sense of hungover despondency, Tony
cringed at the diplomatic faux pas when the butler
offered Bertie a choice of Orange juice
and cereal or an Ulster fry. An international
diplomatic disaster was averted however, when Tony
remembered Bertie was after all a member of Fianna
Fail as well as Irish Premier. Bertie had already
consumed the juice and cereal and slipped the fry
into his pocket for later on.
As Taoiseach 1 roared skywards towards the Irish sea,
Bertie quietly congratulated himself on a job well
done. He was indeed proud of his role as the leader
of Nationalist Ireland, a title he had bestowed
upon himself some years earlier.
Meanwhile, back at Chequers MI5 agents tried to decipher
the transcripts of the bugged data removed from An
Taoiseachs car some hours earlier. Who were
the cats? Where was Croker? And why the hell did the
Prime Minister of the Irish Republic want to place
five hundred spondoolicks on them?
On the hotline at Thames House, the Director General
of MI5 was informed that the Irish were planning to
croak Blair, with high explosives placed inside a
kitten sent as a present from Dublin, exploded remotely
by the newest Russian detonator, the spondoolick.
in the bowels of the Oval office the big red phone
began to ring. As the receiver was lifted, a distinctly
shaky English voice dryly whispered, George?
Is that you George?
Those bloody Irish are at
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