Zut Alors, Cries Jean-Claude Trichet. the Irish Will Blow the Bailout on Hairspray and Silly Jackets

Daily Mail (London), February 15, 2011 | Go to article overview

Zut Alors, Cries Jean-Claude Trichet. the Irish Will Blow the Bailout on Hairspray and Silly Jackets


Byline: Brenda Power

Let's just take a moment to picture the scene. Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude trichet, Christine Lagarde and Ajai Chopra sit down together to watch the eurovision.

the song contest has become an annual tradition for the fab four - they find it an excellent barometer of the eU member states' fiscal health and political integrity, not to mention a great chance to get bladdered and sing Waterloo at the tops of their voices (Angela always gets to be the Blonde One).

so there they are, making notes about the acts and assessing talent, presentation and confidence as indices of economic growth prospects, sovereign creditworthiness and national consumer sentiment, when up pop Jedward.

they scrabble for the tV guide to double check - is this really Ireland's entry? Not a woman in a long velvet dress wailing about the Famine? Not an earnest chap on a high stool with a guitar singing a winsome ballad about his days with the Christian Brothers? Instead, could they really have sent two scarlet-clad popinjays with peaked peroxide quiffs leaping around the stage like gaffed salmon and, worse still, looking downright pleased with themselves? Where was the penitence, where was the guilt, where was the shame which ought to define the Irish demeanour for generations? What do this lot have to be so chirpy about, the fab four shriek in alarm? either they are truly a talentless, deluded, half-witted nation and these two are their brightest and best, or else they're planning to default. It's one or the other. so let's hike up their interest rates and expel them from the union.

this is the scenario you're going to hear offered, with a perfectly straight face, by Jedward's legion of critics between now and May. Only yesterday, in this very paper, my colleague Ronan O'Reilly asked: 'What will it say to Jean-Claude trichet about our decline when he sees the best we can now manage is a prepubescent Action Man and his twin brother?' I'll go along, for the moment, with the assumption Jean-Claude wouldn't miss the eurovision for his weight in German government bonds. And let us also assume that the scales will fall from his eyes, when he sees Jedward cavorting around the eurovision stage, and he will leap to his feet and exclaim: 'Zut Alors! What is this folie? And there was me thinking that the Irish were all cultured, gifted, beautiful and eloquent, and all called Brian and Mary!

'I see now that they were simply toying with us, and that those marvellous specimens of humanity sent as envoys were by no means typical of the Irish race. What fools we've been!

they'll spend all that money on hairspray and silly jackets!' You see, if these senior european figures are still stuck for an explanation for our woes, after years of dealing with the sharpest of our political brains, I seriously doubt Jedward are going to offer a eureka moment. they really don't need to wait for our eurovison entry for clues to know how we blew the boom. …

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