Repost: It is someone spraying “Tratior!” (sic) on the front of his house that finally convinces him. In the past, he was pretty hard-necked and was buggered if he was going to let some illiterate morons decide his future (Didn’t he get enough of that in the parliamentary party?) but the wife became very upset when the envelopes with the excrement started to arrive, and don’t even get him started on those phonecalls. Yeah, big brave men threatening women anonymously over the phone. He’d just love if one of them called up to the house. He’d give them a good hidin’ with the fireside poker, Home Defence Act or no Home Defence Act. God love her, she’s put up with enough with his three terms in the house without those gutless toerags.
This was going to be the last time, but feck it, what’s the point? €50k in the hole to be humiliated at the count? No, to hell with that, he’ll take the scrappage money, the pension, give Maura in the constituency office a few bob for all her effort, and get the hell out now. Let one of the young buckos take their chances, although he noticed that they’re all quietly stepping back of late. Maybe treat the wife to a week in Malta, or somewhere like that. He’d been there on a parliamentary exchange hoohah and it was lovely. She’d appreciate that.
When he sits in his office in Kildare Street, waiting for a vote, and having a nip of brandy from the bottle Maura keeps in the bottom drawer, it hits him. He knows he’s helped a lot of people. He can remember the faces of the terrified widow who was afraid she was going to lose the pension, or the young mother he got a house for. Yeah, there were plenty of chancers too, and ungrateful cynics who think the world owes them free passage. But watching the country in this state, he’s overwhelmed by guilt. He’s a member of parliament, for Christ’s sake. He was a junior minister for a year and a half and remembered laughing at some EU meeting at the other ministers with their Phds and degrees in banking and thinking that they knew nothing about the real world and the issues on the ground. Now the real world of the bond markets is crashing through, and he suddenly realises that when he was sitting in Brussels, going through his planning permission applications as some Belgian droned on about about banking and loan to asset valuations, he always assumed that someone was keeping an eye on the big picture. But if not him, a minister in the Irish government, then who?
He’ll step down, and for the first time in 30 years in politics, as he puts his coat on, he’ll pull the collar up and pray that no one recognises him.