Ah, election time. The promises, the scandals, the photo opportunities, the airbrushing. Since Sunday the number of giant Berties around town seems to be multiplying each day, like a cyborg army of Telly Tubbies.
I have particularly enjoyed the short and sweet slogans resting at the bottom of these election posters. Knowing the hours that must have been spent agonising over these make-or-break statements, I have to say I'm impressed and amused in equal parts.
My favourite so far is Enda Kenny's call to action on Kevin St.
Hospitals that work.
For a change.
I like it. The colloquial nature of the phrase, the dripping sarcasm. The cheeky full stop that lends a double meaning. Unfortunately for Enda, change can also be a byword for uncertainty. When you're doing well (and maybe haven't had a recent experience in an emergency room) perhaps you'd be inclined just to keep things the way they are. However by subverting their own slogan Fine Gael provide some meaty food for thought. At any rate it's a heck of a lot better than "Go on, give us a try".
Then on a morning run in Sandymount I came across Michael McDowell's shiny mug.
"Don't throw it all away," he says with a smile on his face.
So dire! McDowell knows that the "fear factor" is often very effective. Throw what away you may ask? Well, all this progress of course. Look around you, the tapas bars, the mixed-use developments, the investment properties in Spain, it could all be gone in a second, poof! This slogan could be a particularly strong motivator for the Irish, whom I often suspect have the feeling the Celtic Tiger has all just a been a bit too good to be true.
And of course there are those who like to keep it simple:
Vote Bertie's team!
Go on, it's your old mate Bertie, you wouldn't let a mate down would ya? After all I've done for you? No of course you wouldn't, now there's a good lad. Fetch my briefcase and we'll go for a pint.