THE incendiary account of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s first 6 months in charge was leaked to the press earlier this morning and paints a picture of a government in chaos, with an obsession over social media how the leader is perceived by the public.
The book, ‘Socks & Selfies: Inside the Varadkar Leinster House’ is the result of 6 month’s work inside the corridors of power by experienced Irish political journalist Micheál Wolfhound, and gathers close to 200 first hand accounts of a tumultuous time in Irish politics with Varadkar’s reign teetering on the edge throughout.
WWN can detail the book’s most shocking revelations below:
“If I have to explain to this idiot Varadkar that homelessness is real one more time!”
Staff with the Department of Taoiseach are said to have run out of patience with Varadkar, who begins each morning by checking if he’s trending on Twitter and how many likes his latest Facebook post has received.
In one passage of the book, Varadkar is sat down for the third time in one day so homelessness can be explained to him after he made remarks about how homelessness isn’t as bad as everyone is saying.
“It was worse than that ‘those cows are far away’ scene in Father Ted” – lamented one staff member.
Obsession with his popularity amongst the public
Varadkar is painted as someone whose ego is left fragile by the fact that 26% of the electorate voted for his predecessor, and that he wasn’t even elected by the public to his position.
“I won the Dáil vote!” Varadkar is often heard declaring.
Leo’s Fake News problem
Fake news accusations have dogged the Taoiseach since his days as Minister for Social Welfare and Wolfhound’s book lays bare the frustration felt by Varadkar’s handlers as he continually trots out completely made up figures, and refuses to stick to the script provided to him.
“We issue reports and explain them to him how grave some situations are, but then, once he’s put in front of a camera, he goes off on one. First it’s ‘there’s no homeless problem’, then it’s ‘we’re building loads of houses, the HSE has enough money, we’re at full employment’.”
The socks, the selfies
In the most worrying passage of ‘Socks & Selfies’ the Taoiseach spends more time picking out the best tank top and socks combo for anticipated press photographs and selfies ahead of an emergency cabinet meeting on the Irish border issue with Britain.
More socks, more selfies
One afternoon in Kildare was spent trying to get a selfie with a llama in the background just so the leader could pretend he was ‘photo bombed’ by a llama.
“Yeah, that took 4 hours and 17 members of staff to put together,” an exasperated aide explained, “and then he wanted to order 12 crates of commemorative llama socks, to mark the occasion”.
An ego in constant need of massaging
Wolfhound gained access to the Taoiseach’s so-called Spin Unit who’s sole purpose seems to be writing press releases that detail how amazing the Fine Gael leader is, while taking swipes at anyone who speaks out against him.
“After the resignations of Tanaiste Fitzgerald and Commissioner O’Sullivan, our main job was to talk about how the Taoiseach never knew them, how they weren’t important to him and they basically had no role in his successes which at this point literally only include getting elected” one Spin Unit insider confessed.