Nick Gilmartin's Weblog

And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

UK V Ireland: Battle of the Boring PMs

with 3 comments

Is he smiling or is it just wind?

Is he smiling or is it just wind?

It has recently occured to me that the British Prime Minister has a lot in common with his Irish counterpart.

Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen both have a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle, and a temprament to match.  And they both came to power within months via very similar routes.

James Gordon Brown was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a minister of the Church of Scotland.  While studying at the univerity of Edinborough he was kicked in the head during a rugby union match.  This left him with retina detachment which sent him blind in one eye.  He only narrowly retained sight in his other eye after experimental surgery in Edinborough hospital.  Later in life he proved a highly competent Chancellor of the Exchequer before ruining it all by becoming Prime Minister after an awful lot of moaning and sulking.

In the recent leadership challenges he has been depicted as a crazed King Macbeth, clinging to power over a corrupt and decadent court.

Hello gorgeous, do you come here often?

Hello gorgeous, do you come here often?

Brian Cowen, another man not blessed with film-star good looks, rules the roost over the Irish sea.  He too was something of a sportsman in his day and is still an official in the Gaelic Athletic Association.  Luckily he suffered no mishaps on the pitch and he did well at school.  Like Brown, he was not known for his diplomacy or sunny personality, and he soon gained a unique acronym, BIFFO.  That is, Big Ignorant Fecker From Offally.  Clearly, then, a man of the people.

He worked hard as a  TD (Irish Member of Parliment), then as a cabinet member, then as a minister of various posts.  Finally his corrupt boss, Bertie Ahern,  was given the push and Brian got the top job.

If Britain thinks Brown is incompetent then Cowen seems to be univerally detested.  The French paper, La Tribune, listed him 26 out of 27 on a list of Europe’s most effective leaders.  Naturally, the insisted that Nicolas Sarcozy came first.  Trust the bloody French.  Don’t let it bother you, Brian.

Hardly a rembrant unfortunately

Hardly a rembrant unfortunately

However his career took an interesting as a life model.  Bright and early one April morning the National Gallery of Ireland curators found a new addition to their portraits.  Some joker had donated a rather good painting of Brian in the nude, and another one of him on the toilet.  It made international headlines though nobody was ever charged.

Please do Gordon Brown next.  We have money.. actually, we don't.

Please do Gordon Brown next. We have money.. actually, we don't.

So the leaders of the British and Irish Isles are a rather dull boring sort, the kind you would desperately aviod down the pub.  Both are married with kids, to  presumably, very patient women who don’t do wild boyfriends.   Maybe they need a weekend with Nicolas and Silvio to sort out their image.

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Written by Nick Gilmartin

June 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Well, during the week, he promised to cut down on his partying lifestyle, so maybe he’s not as boring as we thought ;D I wonder if he’s the only PM in Europe that…allegedly…..did an interview with a severe hangover!

    roisinaobrien

    September 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    • Are you referring to Gordon or Brian?

      Nick Gilmartin

      September 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

  2. Sorry, I’m referring to Brian Cowen.

    roisinaobrien

    September 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm


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