Between the Guillotine and a Hard Place, a political parody and satire


By Eithne Hogan

Breaking News: All TDs Recalled to Dáil


After the failure of Senator Gerard Craughwell’s request to have the Seanad recalled to debate the Irish Water controversy following the decision of Eurostat, the government have deciphered the unacceptable nature of and ugly animosity demonstrated toward their overfed and bloated baby quango Irish Water Jnr. As we know, Eurostat has recently announced that Irish Water has to remain on the State’s books for an indefinite period of time to prove further growth and sustainability. It has been duly noted that the jubilant protesters are eagerly and energetically protesting too much at this earth-shattering unexpected decision stemming from our European partners.

Mr Craughwell said it was a matter of national importance that needed a full public debate but the government stubbornly resisted the call. However, in the wakening of the Eurostat decision and the news of more protests, with an un-relinquishing and on-going mass boycott and yet another publicised national march afoot; all members of the current Dáil have been secretly recalled to pursue the enactment of a longed for awaited new bill. This bill has been purported as the final nail in the coffin of Irish Protest. Apparently, Irish Water Jnr, now only in its infantile teething stages needs overwhelming support and solidarity among its loyal and trusting brothers in arms [and of course its sisters] if it is to be successfully weaned away from the suckling breast. And now is the optimum time for the governmental fist of justice. All of this has been effectively, prime timed before the baby has its first state-owned but transformative incisor.

At the request of the Taoiseach, The Ceann Comhairle has recalled the Dáil for one day out of its summer recess. Our insider and Chief Whistle-blower in the Irish parliament successfully leaked a section of the legally fine-tuned call out to sitting Dáil members amongst other classified information:

“Due to the on-going persistence and prevalence of brutish thuggery of the Irish opposition and general populace UNRELENTINGLY demonstrated to the company Irish Water and issues pertaining COMBINED with RESISTANCE against other austerity measures rapidly encroaching; the government has decided to push a new bill through the Dáil this [REDACTED] afternoon. As a matter of national importance, we urge you to take your seat. Refreshments will be provided at a reduced subsidised cost in recognition of your sacrifice at this time. You are reminded to retain your receipts since full recompense of any monies spent will be returned at complete unreduced cost alongside any tweaked or timely travel expenses incurred from your appearance of with therein wherefore.”


The new bill has been aptly named by Joan Burton: “Protest: The Malicious Intent to Undermine Democratic Freedom, 2015.” The bill will begin the stage one part of the process after the Dáil members reconvene from their lunch break post preliminary morning chit-chat and catch-up. Enda Kenny has guaranteed that its passing will not affect the natural digestive process of any of the TDs and onlookers present. Furthermore, he is adamant that the digestive juices will have only initiated due process in the digestive tracts of the attendees when the bill reaches stage five and is effectively finalised. Any delay in that pre-empted procedure will be met with hostility and a quick execution whereby the guillotine of all mother [REDACTED] guillotines will be unsparingly imposed.


Consequences of this bill are severe. “The criminal act of protest and free speech of the majority will no longer be dealt with softly or with mild or relaxed punitive measures”, Joan asserted.  In order for this bill to pass, Kenny cautioned, mikes will be switched off, oppositional voices will be squashed or strangled right out of existence and even a hesitant sigh or a dubiously raised eyebrow will be met with due punishment while the bill is being discussed and hastily evaporated.  Any time taken beyond the time to hiccup will be seen as an act of non-compliance and names and addresses of the offending TDs deemed to be stalling or treacherously delaying the bill’s passing will be noted for inclusion in the future list of criminals who inevitably will go on to break the new act. This is not a warning. This is a given.

As a first preparatory step in advance of the enactment of the bill and in order to manage the expected numbers of protesters to be incarcerated, the Minister for Social Protection the same Mrs B will develop a contingency fund for acquisition of a building or location large enough to hold the entire criminal class of Ireland. Alan Kelly, advised by Michael Noonan and other EU oligarchs understanding that this number will be of massive scale, has made the intelligent and erstwhile decision to purchase the infamous Alcatraz, an island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles offshore from San Francisco, California, United States otherwise known as ‘the rock’. The suitability of this prison is unquestionable.


“the jail held some of the most notorious criminals in American history, such as Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Bumpy Johnson, Rafael Cancel Miranda (a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party who attacked the United States Capitol building in 1954), Mickey Cohen, Arthur R. “Doc” Barker, James “Whitey” Bulger, and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis (who served more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate). It also provided housing for the Bureau of Prisons staff and their families.” [Compliments of Wikipedia]

Maintaining its reputation for holding the outright reprehensible, it will now embrace the fanatic fervour of the notorious flag-flying not paying for water charges dissidents and fascists, the mealy-mouthed members of the sinister fringe AgainstMcCorporatocracy clan [with their unique and lowdown war cry against the austerity impacts] and any further suspect person looking budget-cut imbalanced, pipe-dream dashed/destroyed alongside any hereby judged and juried member or known conceivable party of the overtly poor or majority struck impoverished. The remaining 10% will remain unaffected.

Most important to the needs of incarceration of these protesters and public nuisances to tourism and Saturday shoppers and ESPECIALLY for the needs of the more criminally minded and undemocratic, fascist water protesters, the location suits perfectly since during its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped – that is, aside from its stories of mythological escapees such as the infamous Clint ‘the paper mâché’ Eastwood.

Money is not an object in the purchase of this island. In fact, no costing need ever be done at this early stage of the process, Kelly insists. No costing approaches are a given proven method in Irish government practice. This reliable and tested practice has never been an issue or a preventive obstacle to the government before in its decision-making strategies. The government is known to spend with a cute astuteness our hard-earned taxes and rigorous contributions to the state. These much-needed monies are then given with diligent acquiescence to the accompaniment of the waxing lyrical notes of the ‘Come Trust Us Coalition Choir’ with Minister Burton as residential baritone and Mr Kenny as vocal and squeaky-clean Soprano.  This acclaimed musical society has earned top place as the EU poster-boy and has occasionally swan-songed to the pinnacle elite and apex of the Troika, Purveyors of the European Blues. [And Blacks] The choir’s current hits include: In the Shadows of Austerity, Another One Bites The Dust and The European Myth of Reform and Recovery.


The primary problem remains in Alcatraz’s geographical positioning off the coast of California, where even the most expensively rated Leap Card will not suffice to transport you to it or it to you in any time comfortably soon. Neither the dart nor the polar express are feasible or reliable options. Aer Lingus can no longer assist here in this inexorable and arduous trek. Moreover, Thomas the Tank Engine is seeking more than the minimum wage and has become disaffected and overtly treasonous and dissident. [His name is therefore on the list for incarceration twice] So Fr. Taoiseach Kenny has made the ground-breaking decision to move the entire Island to us. “If you can’t go to the Island”, Kenny self-appraisingly shrilled, “well then just bring the Island to us”.  He hopes to have it here for Christmas 2015. It will not affect the proposed 2016 budget.

The strategies and management of this future action are yet to be disclosed and are being discussed in secrecy in an unknown and private venue but word has it that the Troika, the TTIP and the TPP will be utilised as is necessary to manifest this herculean task and bring it to fruition. California courts are no match to the legal arm and force of TTIP and TPP with its process of Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) to bank on.  We may conclude that the deal is already done.

The same decision groups will also propose the coastline on which the Island will be placed off Ireland based on monetary value and existing laws affecting corporations.

A more worrying problem lies in the living arrangements, when the island is eventually moved. Early discussion in this quarter has led to perplexity and confusion. Concessions and U-turn manoeuvring will need to be added on as required to match the indefinite nature and timescale of the plan. Pertinent questions are now being asked: How do you sort out the can’t pays from the won’t pays? What if a won’t pay won’t pay because they can’t pay? How do you determine culpability? Will we allow a case of diminished responsibility and still take legal cost? These questions were followed by the even bigger question: How many people have ACTUALLY paid from the latest calculation – remind me? Do you think that figure is dubious? If so, where is the speech and what is the spin?

Other relevant questions include: On what basis will this decision to place these offenders be made? When in situ, will they be divided by gender, age, sexual inclination or other statistical qualifiers? Most importantly, do we need to create a new department [or quango] to figure sophisticated and complex criteria out? And if so, what will we name this new department or quango? Will the department have an Irish as well as an English title – i.e. a title named as gaeilge? Who will oversee this corporation’s operations? Is there anyone left willing who is totally ineffective or ready to retire that suits this most prestigious role the best, excluding the leaders of our coalition parties? How much will we pay the benefactor in this new ministerial/CEO position? Who is going to tell them this?

And on and on they Go E O

Round the corporate pole of Teneo

With their rhyming tune of Hi Ho E O

And their desperate hope it’ll grow E O

Cause the mess that they bless in duress you know

Will create a new supercool quango E O


And so our whistle blower asserts the preliminary questions and dancing goes dizzyingly on.

Finally, with the impending announcement of the introduction of a referendum before Christmas 2015, you too can give this department or quango a name. Then YOU will have had full and complete participation in your own democracy [or demise, depending on which side of the table you are sitting]. While in the words of Mr A: “And there is to be no more of that skulduggery from ye”: our whistle blower cautions Mr K and Mr A will simply not tolerate any more ridiculous attempts at real or worthwhile participation in governance – whether you like this decision or not!

Should the referendum be required and it WILL, you will be presented with two options and do as you are told. The text implies you are to ‘please ensure to select the correct response the first time as the government may get you yet once more to make your decision all over again’. Answers will NOT be taken on the back of a postcard. This is after all an inclusive done-deal democracy and all sundry will select one of the two limited options and be happy to be canvassed and be counted. A cubicle, a page and a pencil will all be supplied on the day of the referendum. You are reminded to please return the pencil afterwards since the government are mindful of all related costs in the running of our voting and electoral system. We are after all an inclusive done-deal democracy.

The debate on the Island about the island continues.