Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Next Handcart Leaving At...

There are occasions living here when I feel as if Father Ted was actually a fly-on-the-wall documentary. They're thankfully rare, but when they come along they are well worth the wait. The last 24 hours has produced two of them, and they are belters.

Conor Lenihan is the Minister for State with special responsibility for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources. The Science Minister for short. Ol' Sciencey Trousers, if you like. Actually, he's probably not known as Ol' Sciencey Trousers, but you get what I mean.

Either way you can imagine the disbelief in Ireland last night when it emerged that he'd agreed to launch a self-published anti-evolution polemic by a man who says his book is "unceremoniously unashamedly and unmistakably going to expose the fiction of evolution".

So, that's the Irish Minister for Science launching an anti-evolution book. A little bit like the health minister appearing at the launch of The Booze, Fags and Kebabs Diet,or the Sports Minister turning up to endorse Sit On Your Arse All Day And Night, It's Great!

Now, since the story broke to widespread incredulity Mr Lenihan has pulled out of the launch (saying that he'd agreed to go because the author was a personal friend and constituent). Rumours that he will be launching If The Earth's Round How Come Australians Don't Fall Off? and If We're Descended From Monkeys, How Come There Are Still Monkeys? over the next couple of weeks are as yet unconfirmed.

Then this morning the Taoiseach Brian Cowen appeared on RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland, roughly the Irish equivalent of the Today programme. You can hear the interview here but it's not what he says that has had the nation talking this morning, rather how he says it. At first I just thought it was a case of 'morning voice', but he definitely sounds a little...refreshed.

His party Fianna Fáil are in Galway this week for an annual pow-wow called a 'think-in', where many think that the Taoiseach may have taken the time away from Dublin as a chance to, ah, enjoy himself well into the night. He's since claimed that he was suffering from congestion, leading one leading member of the Irish Twitterati to posit this morning that she's "going out to get absolutely congested tonight".

So, a science minister cavorting with anti-evolutionists and a new euphemism for a night on the sauce. It's been an eventful 24 hours in Hibernia.

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