Thursday, April 7, 2011

Political Allsorts!

Staff working around Leinster House now know exactly how a teacher feels on the first day back at school with a new class, desperately trying to figure out who all the new faces are.

A handy photo guide to the new TDs, issued by the Houses of the Oireachtas, is a must-have accessory in Leinster House at the moment if you are to distinguish between students and some of the younger TDs.

Following the massive blood-letting in the election, the new administration is only a few weeks old and it seems even some of the TDs are still getting to grips with their new digs.

Common sights around the House are lost TDs trying to figure out where the Bills Office is or the Debates Office (they figured out where the bar and the restaurant were on day one!)

But it seems it will take them a bit of time to get used to the rules and traditions of the great house.

Young TDs can be seen blatantly chewing gum in the Dail chamber (a big no no) while over on ‘Independent Avenue’, the dress code is causing some raised eyebrows among many.

Wexford Independent Mick Wallace never fails to disappoint. We have seen every colour of the rainbow on him since he first took his seat.

In some quarters, they are even taking bets as to when he will wear a football shirt into the hallowed chamber!

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan - while being as neat as he can possibly be with a head of long hair and a glorious goatee - also looks a bit out of place surrounded by the suits and ties.

South Kerry’s Michael Healy-Rae is almost unidentifiable without his trademark hat and as for People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd-Barrett,he has turned up almost every day wearing black jeans.

Even Socialist TD Joe Higgins raised a few eyebrows on Tuesday. The normally dapper politician turned up in the Dail chamber wearing a casual beige jacket as opposed to the normal sports jacket that he normally wears.

As one stalwart of Leinster House told this column, ‘you’d think that they would at least dress up, this is the national parliament after all. But then again, aren’t they rebels who think they have a cause?”!

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