You see him outside the GPO, denouncing the right-wing government and their paycuts and tax increases and their betrayal of the people. “Tell the banks to f**k off!” “Back the Greeks!” “Take to the streets now!” and other dramatic slogans are his stock-in-trade. He wants revolution, “the people” to march on the Dail and take control of the country and…and what? He’s not sure, because his level of political thought never got past that of a 14 year old.
“Tax the Rich!” is a favourite, of course, except that he can’t explain why the rich would stay in a country that wants to actually punish them. Confiscate their assets! What, their homes? What’ll the government do with a couple of hundred big houses? Sell them? To whom? It’s not like we have a shortage of houses now, is it? Confiscate their businesses? What? The ones that are all losing money? Fair enough. Nationalise all business, and give pay increases. Ok. Now that the state owns all the business and all the rich are gone who pays for all the pay increases (and the reversed cuts too, presumably)? Eh? Print more money! You can do that for a day, until the Luftwaffe take out the Mint in Sandyford to prevent the debasement of the Euro. Now what? The public are marching aginst the new revolutionary government, because their wages aren’t being paid. Then? The revolutionary Taoiseach goes on the telly and says “We can’t borrow, because the international bankers don’t believe we’ll pay them back. We can’t tax the rich because there aren’t any. We don’t have enough money to pay all the wages of, well, everyone who now works for the state, nor the welfare, and our businesses have stopped functioning because we can’t import raw materials because we refused to honour our debts, so we can’t tax them, nor can they pay their workers. So tonight I’d like to talk to you about paycuts and tax increases.”
Cue bloke standing outside the GPO denouncing the right-wing government and their paycuts and tax increases and their betrayal of the people.
His whole life has been waiting and talking about the revolution, and whilst his peers compromised and made gradual progress on poverty reduction and women’s rights and third world debt relief, he never sold out. He remained pure to the cause, and when he lies on his death bed, he can sneer at their “progress” and incrementalism and point to the great achievements of his life, like…well, no one has ever used an exclamation mark as effectively as he.