Diary of a Taoismuck: The Final Muck

3/3Sunday.Daylight breaks through the canopy of trees, sprinkling the grass with patches of yellow. The air is crisp, the breeze sharp, cutting through me like a knife, worming its way through my jacket, seeping into every crevice. Here I stand, the last bastion of peace and tranquillity against the encroaching turmoil that seeks to rip the very fabric of our being apart. An armoured sentinel, standing guard upon the hilltop, protector of all, to be buried in his armour....At least that’s how President Higgins described it meeting him today. I should really ask him to stop making me his poetry muse. It’s starting to get weird.But even so, it’s still an enjoyable afternoon. The sun is shining, birds are singing, Fine Gael are probably off winning a landslide majority never seen before in our time, all that good stuff. The avalanche of voicemails I’ve ignored today are probably either Labour TDs abandoning the HMS Coalition to join the winning team or Micheál Martin sobbing down the line while he congratulates me on another term as Taoiseach/soon to be Emperor-For-Life. For now, it’s just nice to be alone with my thoughts, safe in the knowledge that my run as the greatest leader in Irish history continues not only unimpeded, but can only get better.All is well. Then I get the call from Fionnuala. We no longer have enough seats for a majority with Labour.Feck.
At least that’s how President Higgins described it meeting him today. I should really ask him to stop making me his poetry muse. It’s starting to get weird.
5/3I’m not panicking. I’m NOT panicking. So what if Fianna Fáil have nearly as many seats as us. So what if Labour lost 26? It’s like telling me Mick Wallace was re-elected and now has a stranglehold on the pink shirt market in Dublin. It’s like telling me the CPI have resurrected Marx and taken over Limerick again, or that the Social Democrats have all shown up in the garden wearing robes and masks of Bernie Sanders. Sure it’s a little uncomfortable to hear, but I have absolutely no reason to be worried whatsoever. At all.Maybe a little.I just wish I hadn’t checked my answering machine. All it is is Micheál laughing maniacally then hanging up. It’s been going on all day. Joan keeps messaging me asking me what to do and all I can think of is telling her to put some “hard Labour” into things then slamming the phone down in panic.I haven’t eaten much these past few days either. Coveney came by with a drop of caviar and I could barely finish a plate. That HAS to be a bad sign, right? I shouldn’t be worried about Dáil next week (I mean, let’s be honest here, it’s me, I’m going to kill it as usual), but after five years as the big wig I can’t just hand the reigns to someone else. What if they give it to another Cowen? Barry was just elected back into Offaly. God knows Brian is probably in a cave sharpening a spear somewhere in Birr and plotting revenge against us all.And what if I just stop being effective, and have to step down as Fine Gael leader? What do I do, go back to being Minister for Tourism and Trade? Do I spend the rest of my days giving bus tours of Game of Thrones sets to tourists?  I don’t know if I can hack it in the real world. Being a fantastic politician is all I know. 9/3It’s become pretty clear now what’s going to happen. Dáil is going to reconvene tomorrow. Whatever we had going before isn’t going to last, and we’ll have to vote on a new Taoiseach, which may or may not happen straight away. Either way, it won’t be me. They’ll expect my resignation in the morning when I step in, no question about that. Maybe they might go easy on me, throw me a party, maybe serve some Lobster Thermidor and an apology note for all the times they interrupted me when I was talking.I keep going back to all the things I’d miss. Days when it was sunny and the Ceann Comhairle would let us out early. Going two’s on a cheeky fag with Ruari Quinn while Noonan split the bill on a bottle of Chardonnay at the bar. Footie with Gerry. I don’t want to go back to Mayo. There’s feck all going on in Mayo. What am I going to do, go back to kicking cans outside of St. Patrick’s again? Maybe cut rude words into the fields to get Corrib Oil to move their drills from the coast?But it’s more than that. I’d miss Dublin. Mayo is fair… quiet, compared to the city. I used to love the calm, but now the noise of everything is what helps me sleep at night. It sounds like something President Higgins (or if rumours of his new pastime are to be believed, Notorious H.I.G) would write, but it’s true. It’s more than just the place I would go to work every day for five years. It was home.I don’t want to have to leave my home.
It’s like telling me Mick Wallace was re-elected and now has a stranglehold on the pink shirt market in Dublin
10/3Judgement day, at last.We made our new Ceann Comhairle another Seán. I suppose we felt quite comfortable with the last Seán and thought changing things too much might cause distress and give people a pain in the ceann. It’s one less thing to worry about at least.After that, my turn, and it was exactly as expected. No conclusions could be made, so until they can find a suitable candidate, we have no go real government, no real Dáil… no real Taoiseach.For the first time in a long while though, I’ve had this huge weight lift off my shoulders. I thought leaving the room would be harder, like there were rocks in my shoes. But I’m oddly calm about it all. Maybe this could be the start of something else. Maybe this is the world telling me I have a higher calling than this. A chance to make something else of myself, perhaps as a writer, or even as a poet, alongside the greats: Joyce, Yeats… Higgins 17/3Happy Patty’s Day!Now, before you go forgetting yourselves and giving me an hour long spiel on why it’s Paddy and not Patty, and how Patrick didn’t drive the snakes out of Ireland and that leprechauns aren’t real, I’m well aware. But every year the Taoiseach will go to the States for a few days, and since I’m still Taoiseach for now, I still get to go! I may have gotten a little engrossed though, I’ve started picking up all sorts of strange mannerisms. I’ll call the boot of a car the trunk, I’ll call taxis cabs, and for some reason I call the male reproductive organ Trump Tower. It’s the strangest thing, American slang. And yes, before you mention it, I am feeling better. It’s liberating, being Taoiseach in name only. I mean, I know I actually am still Taoiseach and have things I should be doing, but a little holiday never hurt anyone.Course, because of all these talks I’ve had down the number of days I’m here to one, including one awkward meeting with the President where I gave him a proud symbol of Irish culture: a shamrock plant. I can’t help but feel it’s a little stereotypical, like David Cameron giving him a mug of tea or Putin annexing part of his country. It’s just a little patronising. By the end of everything I didn’t even get to shake his hand. He was too busy getting as much photography in before his own term was up. I don’t blame him. With the way the elections are turning out over there, everyone and their mother will need a picture of him to cling to once Donald builds his giant wall.Still, it's a pity I've to go back to Ireland to face what I have to face. The news hasn’t the foggiest clue what will happen, which is lucky considering we have no idea either. We’ve suggested a minority lead government with Micheál, a new coalition government and whatever it is the independents are mumbling about. At any rate, we need to come up with something quick. We reconvene on the 29th, and if we don’t have something, we may end up creating ourselves a monster. 22/3Brussels Airport was attacked today.The papers are saying four men killed 31 people with nail bombs. It’s heart-breaking, to say the least. I can’t imagine what it must be like in Brussels. Here we are, celebrating 100 years on from violence, and now we sit here watching a twisted version of events unfold on our TVs: ignorant people using fear and violence as a weapon to suppress those who would speak out against their cruelty. I hope we can rise above it, as we have before all those years ago.It makes all of this seem petty, looking back on these diary entries. There are people running for their lives across Europe from men blowing up airports and shooting up concerts in Paris, and I’m sitting here wondering if my budget after I resign as Taoiseach will allow room for regular caviar portions. I feel I could be doing something, but instead I’m sitting here as a caretaker, watching this squabble in the Dáil as a bystander waiting for them to come sort of compromise on who is going to lead us past events like this next. Now it all just looks like a group of aging muppets trying too hard to look like they’re better than each other.Perhaps something needs to change. 100 years on from the Rising, and we still seem to have such an old fashioned touch to things in politics. We’ve become lazy. But change, real change, has to come from everyone. Maybe I do want to change my ways, maybe I’ve had a “Christmas Carol” moment and want to buy the biggest turkey in the store for Tiny Tim, but I can’t do it alone. If this is the last thing I get to write as Taoiseach, then please, be the difference you want to see in the world.
I don’t know if I can hack it in the real world. Being a fantastic politician is all I know.
24/3I suppose this is my last entry for a while. By the time I get a chance to write another we’ll probably have found another Taoiseach and I’ll have to hand this journal off to him. Micheál maybe? Gerry? Could Joan be the Darth Vader to my Palpatine? Should we submit to his tyranny and let Mick and his pink burlap sack of a shirt run this show? But then again, in the face of events such as the ones spreading fear across the world, maybe what I want matters very little to the world now. It’s what we need now that’s important. To find what this country not only needs, but after 100 years of hardship, fighting, and separation, what it deserves.Anyways, whoever they are, compared to me, they’ll probably be muck.Yours,Enda