10 reasons why running for public office in Ireland is a waste of time.

1. You will find that it is the fastest way of making complete strangers hate you for no logical reason.

2. You will work hours similar to a junior doctor, but without the respect, spending hours reading bills that the media never report. They will report that you got a “executive” taxi in London once, putting the words “executive” and “luxury” in front of things to make them sound expensive. 

3. You will be able to hold the government to account no more or less effectively than a well-organised journalist. Ministers will not fear you. If you are a govt backbencher, you will fear them.

4. You will not be able to help individuals any more than a well-organised NGO can.

5. You will see far less of your family and friends than you will like.

6. You will spend a lot of time saying things that make your skin crawl, defending things that you don’t believe in, and attacking perfectly reasonable things.

7. You will become paranoid about what strangers in your local area say about you, and start pandering to morons. You will nod patiently at idiots. Sadly, this is a universal trait of global politics.

8. Even when you become a minister, you will realise that your colleagues will never let you do anything truly remarkable (See Noel Dempsey, 1997-2010)

9. One day you will look in the mirror and wonder who that person is looking back at you. You will spend thousands on full colour leaflets that don’t actually say anything.  

10. You will spend years doing this before wondering what you could have achieved if you had put all that effort into something else. 

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