By Michael Dwyer.
Senator Catherine Noone has put her head above the parapet, screwed her courage to the sticking place, leapt from the trenches and joined the toffee wars.
Sweets she has been horrified to discover contain sugar. Pause. Cue Gasp. Chocolate contains lots of sugar. So does Coke. And something called a caramel frappacino. So in her wisdom and in accord with our old friends at the WHO sugar in ‘treats’ should be capped at twenty per cent. I assume we are talking calories not volume or mass but I can’t tell for sure.
Now I am beginning to suspect that the lovely legal lady has not made many queenie cakes. But just off the top of my head this cap would result in the banning of All hard sweets, toffee, caramel, liquorice, jam, marmalade, chutney, meringue, pavlova, fruit tarts, fruit crumble and Ice Cream. All cakes buns pastries tortes puddings cheesecakes custards and Tiramisiu !
Her courage has inspired me. I have decided to rededicate myself to a project I had abandoned after failing to make any headway in the face of a howling gale of derision. But if that doesn’t bother Senator Noone then by gum it wont bother me.
It is difficult to be rigorously scientific about this as there are practical problems when it comes to measurement but I propose that from now on all senators should be made of a maximum of twenty per cent bull.
I know critics of this suggestion have pointed out that often in practice it is hard to distinguish bullshit from crass stupidity and that it leaves untouched the problem of cute hoordom , levels of which remain stubbornly high.
Senator Catherine Noone of the taking candy from all babies’ party, is a splendid example both of these difficulties and precisely why we must not let technical issues and temporary obstacles distract us from the higher goal.
The fact is that there is absolutely no way to know what the BS quotient is simply by looking at the senator. It is only by analysing what the seanadoir actually says that we can make a reasonable assessment. This involves listening to a senator. So you can see the difficulty.
I do accept the point that at the moment it is at times practically impossible to distinguish some types of BS from crass stupidity or media geisha syndrome (MGS). However this in and of itself is not a good enough reason to abandon the proposal as these three conditions are very closely connected and produce damn nearly identical outcomes in the unfortunately constituted senator.
It has been suggested that such a ban would represent an attack on the democratic prerogatives of the Seanad electorate. It is proposed that all we need to do is to affix to each member of the upper house a label which breaks down in detail the contents of the particular member. In this way we could see the proportion of the candidate that is bullshit, crass stupidity, venomous disappointment, cute hoor, manic ambition, pompous narcissism and relic of old decency.
I am sorry but the time for pussy footing and temporising is over. You can put all the labels you like on them and nothing will change. If they don’t get in via the panels, the students will elect them from the university constituencies, or the dear leader can make them one of his chosen eleven. People are thick and cannot be trusted to know to come in out of the rain. It is our job, our duty, to protect those who will not protect themselves.
The redoubtable senator has now chimed in against chimes. The music used by ice cream vans is a form of aggressive selling and is part of our childhood obesity crisis. It seems. Again La Noone shows a courage rare in politics. To oppose the bank guarantee is one thing, to attack the man in the van what sells the 99s ;and in the mouth of summer too, that is bravery. Senator Noone , we salute you.!