FOR MANY outside the Fine Gael voting bubble, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appears aloof, urbane and completely out of touch with a rural Ireland that has been left behind years after being left behind for the first ten times.
As farmers enter yet another week of protesting against policies pursued by the government and the EU which sees beef prices drop and imported meat flooding Europe in the years ahead, it’s time for the Taoiseach’s to exhibit a leadership that suggests his party are not just for those living it up in Dublin.
Convincing beef farmers Fine Gael have their best interests at heart would seem a near-impossible task, especially when you consider Fine Gael do not have farmers’ best interests at heart. However, suggesting they support farmers while ignoring them is the real mark of a great Taoiseach.
Could simply posing in a selfie in a pair of wellies with a pair of socks with sheep on them clearly visible solve all moany Irish farmers’ quibbles, and get them on the side of Team Leo? We decided to give it a trial run as societal harmony was at stake.
In order to make a convincing go of acting like the Taoiseach, we had to think like the Taoiseach. So, straight out the gate we spent all of our budget on hiring a marketing and PR agency.
Now completely broke, we had to settle on hiring the 15th best (and cheapest) Leo Varadkar impersonator in the greater Munster area.
But would the farmers fall for our Leo (a fairly lonely lad called Barry) and his wellie selfie?
Our PR firm told us it was all about ‘optics’, they then said they were owed another €10,000 because they used the word optics seven times.
Optics means we had to get our Leo (Barry, who was sound enough once you got to know him, but wouldn’t shut up about his two kids he never gets to see) next to a farmer for the selfie. If the farmer could smile, we were golden – we could solve this intractable issue. Leo could win over the farmers.
We had our wellies, the socks, our Leo (Barry kept asking ‘do you think this’ll convince the Ex to let me see them?’ Jesus, we’re never hiring a cheap impersonator again) and we were headed to a nearby farmers protest which was probably mild-mannered enough.
It happened so fast. Too fast.
Once they saw Barry with the phone and the socks, they were convinced it was Leo, and why not, it does seem like a completely misguided thing only a Taoiseach obsessed with image would do.
They tore him limb from limb, mounted him to a stake and made him into a makeshift scarecrow.
Barry tried to signal to us with his last breath as the hay bale fire the farmers started engulfed him, in his muffled speech, interrupted by screams of agony, he said “tell my kids I glove them”. Glove them? Barry was a weird one in fairness, but we kept our promise to him but his kids didn’t know what he was on about either.
We later regretted doing Barry that favour as it turned out as he was burning alive he rushed uploading the selfie online with the words ‘my willies selfie with the farmers’. €50,000 on a PR firm for this?