Friday, September 24, 2010

How You Get to Taiwanese Style Approval Ratings ...and How You Recover

You'll remember that in an earlier post I discussed our Glorious Leader, Brian Cowen, putting the economic crisis on hold for a little while and travelling to Mayo in order to open a vitally important GP clinic. You will also remember that I was totally in favour of this, as the Taoiseach is required by law to support small businesses (which is what a GP clinic is, after all) that are subsidised by taxpayer-backed payment schemes (hellooo medical cards!), even if it is to the detriment of minor things like the 435,000 unemployed or the continuing collapse of our economy.

Thankfully, while Brian was in Mayo it wasn't all work, as he did have time to relax in the exclusive Mount Falcon resort (under the consitution, the Taoiseach and Ministers can only stay in accommodation to which the word "exclusive" is attached) and while there, according to
He started drinking at 4.30pm in Keane’s with Dara Calleary, Fianna Fail junior minister, and went on to a private room in the hotel with some “cronies”. Before retiring at 5am ... Two members of staff had to “link him with both arms to lift him up the stairs to his room”.
Clearly, the Mighty Biff's plan to manfully challenge the recession to a drinking contest is working, as Ireland is now on the frontpage of the Wall Street Journal, the poster child of good economic management...

Eh, sorry, no, that's actually a negative story, isn't it?

Unsurprisingly, yesterday's poll by Millward Browne Lansdowne for TV3 showed that, despite Brian's heroic carousing, the public are distinctly unimpressed with his record, with only 11% of respondents satisfied with the government, and only 18% approving of the Taoiseach.

However, Brian need not despair. Such poll ratings are, for me, reminiscent of the sort of approval that former Taiwanese President Chen Shui Bian received in both his first and second term in office. The lesson from another small island nation is clear, Mr. Cowen. All you need to do to rebound from this position of weakness, and for Fianna Fail to win the next election is to...

Be the target of a staged attempted assasination (althought I must point out that the allegation that attack was a mock-up was never proven).

And all you need to do is douse yourself in ketchup for the afternoon, while someone (who witnesses can claim looks a lot like Morgan Kelly) fires blank cartridges at you from a toy gun. Such a bold move, Mr. Cowen, such a tough decision, as to stage a pretend attempt on your own life will see you rise in the polls, crusining to victory, safe in the knowledge that you can piss everyone off again in your second term in office.

Plus, as a bonus, our Dail debates might start to look more like this:

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