Monday, May 07, 2007

Poster boys

I have made it back. I could go on but "death, rosaries, tea" covers it. I am lucky to be back at all. The general election is on in Ireland. I know that because I nearly joined my aunt in the grave on the drive back to Dublin airport. I was trying to read the election posters that hang off every other lamp-post and telegraph pole. Somebody, somewhere, has told Irish politicians that the best way to bring out the vote is to become a major road hazard. YouTube and video blogs are very over. It is a retro-chic thing. Tony Blair should, perhaps, have written a letter.


Every Irish candidate has a large photograph with his name in BIG letters. Names like Reilly, Geraghty, Brady to match the unmistakably Irish face above it. (I would not want to criticise another country's political culture but some of those faces could do with eating fewer full Irish breakfasts.) In the corner of the poster, the political party is mentioned in much smaller letters. "Bit of an after thought; just so as you know, I would be Labour," it says. The best ones, the ones that nearly killed me, have a little message you decide you have to read even if you are ripping along at 60 miles per hour. Something along the lines of: "Everybody matters." That is a sentiment well worth dying in a head-on collision for. Even the Green party is at it. You would think they would know better than to waste all that paper. Bertie Ahern is trying to look like he could be trusted. Which would be a good trick if he could manage it. There are rumours that the Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, has either had his photograph airbrushed or spent time in a spray tan booth. Odd. Does not cover it. His posters come with strangely petulant messages. They virtually "tut" as you drive by them. Under the photo, it promises: "Health services that work" OK. Alright. But it goes on: "for a change." Then there is: "Safer streets...for a change." How he can talk about safer streets with all those hypnotic posters, beats me.

19 comments:

Norman said...

Only in Ireland..... to be sure, to be sure. :-)

debio said...

What about their hair?
Much was written and said about hair and hair styles during the recent French election. Perhaps that not important to the Irish. Or perhaps there are just no women standing for election?

Drunk Mummy said...

Your comment about the photos on the political posters shows that the vanity of politicians really does know no bounds. They obviously believe that their ugly mugs are an asset to their campaigns, rather than something that would clearly frighten the horses (and the motorists).

Sophie King said...

On my first visit to Ireland I nearly crashed the car because I was laughing so much. A van shot across our bows bearing the legend, "Today's bread today". God, I love that country.

Anonymous said...

I have a photo taken a few years ago in the west of Ireland. It reads, 'Bureau de Chance.'
Says it all, really.

Isobel said...

"Bureau de Chance" - perhaps a reference to the luck of the Irish!

Eden said...

The petulance of Enda Kenny posters sound like they are inviting moustache and goatee drawing vandalism. Can never think about Irish politics without hearing the angry roar of Ian Paisley. I was at university with his daughter very briefly. Nice person, scary dad.

Nick said...

The most amazing thing about the election is that the more questions Bertie is asked about mysterious sums of money given to him for unknown purposes, the more his popularity rating goes up. He has some quality that seems to inspire instant forgiveness, like a naughty but angel-faced child.

james higham said...

Perhaps they should put up warning road signs: Politics Kills!

Vlad Maluf said...

Hello,

My name is Vladimir Maluf, I am a brazilian journalist and I work for the Brazilian version of Marie Claire (www.revistamarieclaire.globo.com). I’ve been doing a research for an article about Blooks. I’ve heard that your blog become a blook, so I would like very much to ask you three simple questions about this subject.
Unfortunately my deadline is very short, this text must be done until tomorrow night.
Would please answer the following questions to my personal e-mail: vladmaluf@terra.com.br?

The questions are:
- How did your blog become a blook?
- Have you ever thought that your internet project would become a book?
- Has your life been changed after this?

Mike said...

Best of all is one of Dr. Somebody or Other, holding a teddy bear, on a poster that reads "Vote for the children"! It's great fun if we weren't paying for it!

Mrs Bridger said...

I wonder if there are any lonks between photos and voter turnout?

Does it increase your share of the vote if you have a nice healthy photo?

There are also lots of websites about voting in Ireland
http://www.electionsireland.org/
http://www.vote.ie/ Just in case any of the posters were missed.

lady macleod said...

"death, rosaries, tea" - been there. The description of the election prep was quite entertaining. We should have sent you over to France a few weeks back eh? The Americans could use some humor in their elections, perhaps you could suggest a strategy?

Anonymous said...

"are very over" - you appear to have missed a word out here.

'over-rated' possibly ?

'over-hyped' ?

'over-exposed' ?

We can't simply guess what you mean..

Anonymous said...

vlad the impaler - nice try, but we are a bit more wise to internet scams from the home of people who put polonium in your sea food than you might imagine. begone !

mutleythedog said...

Oddly - Germans do this as well. I only mention it as I know you are learning German and your PC speaks it. I am glad you didn't crash - the Irish health service is entirely staffed by leprechauns - and it is a shock to see ambulancemen in stripey socks and little green shorts. No - this is true...

mutleythedog said...

The questions are:
- How did your blog become a blook?
- Have you ever thought that your internet project would become a book?
- Has your life been changed after this?


I shall be emailing Vlad my answers - as I trust will you all...it is best to help Brazilians or they get angry and go nuts

***collapses in fit of giggles***

irishyanksf said...

As an Irishman from Dublin, living in San Francisco, reading the blog of a London woman blogging from her home in Northumberland about the election in Ireland. I love technology.... You had me laughing out loud at my desk. Keep it up...

@themill said...

At least they all sound a bit more exciting than our district council elections.