TAXI drivers are right – Irish politicians are either one shower in power or the other shower.
But the Greens risk becoming a mini-shower after the leader in more ways than one Eamon Ryan‘s latest anti-inflation advice: take shorter showers.
It left the Taoiseach today with the reference to personal “energy efficiency” when asked about common green hygiene.
Asked whether it was either practical or condescending to call for shorter showers, Mr Martin said energy efficiency “makes sense at any time of the year, crisis or not”.
Despite feeling like he was being hung out to dry by a cabinet colleague, he added heatedly: “Let’s not be so dismissive.
“Energy efficiency is an important issue – that’s why we’re putting so much money into homes to enable people to be more energy efficient, which means less costs for people.”
So he didn’t slip with the soap, knowing full well the reaction to Ryan’s earlier suggestion that drivers slow down to save fuel – it just wouldn’t wash.
The Taoiseach said he had no problem at all with energy efficiency proposals. Asked whether Mr. Ryan was at risk of being ridiculed for such shower-related suggestions, Mr. Martin again put up a full bath and refused to agree that bald people (like this reporter) might have shorter showers than others.
But the Taoiseach stressed that we must reduce our reliance on loofah tools.
Sorry, misunderstood my sticky notes – he said fossil fuel dependency.
And the hard facts are that we also need to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas – although, um, “we’re not as exposed as other countries.”
But the dirty media tried to rain down Mr Martin’s parade again, bringing matters back to Mr Ryan’s less-drop idea… and whether it might smack of Seán Fleming’s recent brainstorm that people should be “looking around” rather than toward it wait for the government to do absolutely everything for you.
The Taoiseach, in a solemn and dignified job posting, did not catch that particular vowed sponge. The question just didn’t add up, and instead he preferred to wait with statistics.
The patient Taoiseach, perfectly groomed in a smart suit and crisp white shirt, also refused to restrain himself when asked if he’d taken a shorter shower himself this morning. Presumably the exact time was not recorded on a stopwatch.
But you can see why this stuff is politically sensitive. It’s one thing for the Greens to fret over finer ways of handling the day – through the most modest display of your modesty – but expecting your coalition partners to shower together to conserve water is quite another .
Now, all attention will be on Eamon Ryan’s inspirational greasy hair for the days to come. And if it’s not oily – he might forgive an unfortunate phrase – then all hell breaks loose.
Five years ago, the Prime Minister of the Western Cape in South Africa, Helen Zille, announced that she only showers every third day. “I view greasy hair in a drought as much of a status symbol as a dusty car,” she said.
Whether they would regard an energy cost crisis as a similarly serious circumstance is another matter. She had, you see, left her post within two years.
Mr Ryan’s future has yet to be decided as he earnestly insists we all have a groom to better ourselves. And indeed, there is a serious issue that deserves careful thought (but not in this article).
One can only hope that an impatient electorate doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/energy-savings-are-slippery-political-territory-no-matter-which-shower-are-in-power-41519743.html Energy conservation is slippery political terrain, no matter what party is in power