An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The Users.

Is this a dagger I see before me?

Is this a dagger I see before me?

In fairness, they’re not unique to Irish politics, but they’re there, nevertheless. The first time you meet them, they’re charming and open with you, whilst subtly seeing if you can be of any use to them. If you are, they’ll be quick to help you out and do you a favour, sometimes even doing it for you pro-actively because they’ll want something from you later.

They realised early in life that compliments are free, and are quick to want to bring you into their personal circle, or at least make you feel that way.  Subtlety is the key: Work you have done somehow gets attributed to them, although if there is any chance they’ll get caught they turn it on its ear, lavishing you publicly with praise (and showing what a generous person they are, in public, of course). Awkward emails or texts get ignored. They’ll “get back to you” on this or “have something in the pipeline” on that. When you have outlived your usefulness to them, they quietly step away, and onto the next target, unless you suddenly surprise them by doing something new and potentially useful once again, and they’re back with a “we haven’t hung out in ages!”

Eventually, they read something like this, and in a Carly Simon moment, ponder: Is he talking about me?

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