Cashman's Diary - August 1982
My permission is sought for Michael O'Leary to retire to Cork, when the Labour Party comes to its senses and disbands next autumn. The Parnassian cast of my reflection and occupation leaves me benignantly indifferent to such neighbours as do not possess dogs or wireless machines. But this loutish and ignoble jobber and coxcomb I shall not tolerate.
I know of a certain headless sheep which stinks most abominably and haunts a castle, from a turret of which it once occasioned a thitherto eminently staid and responsible collie dog to leap to death - bisected by the outflung arm of a graven Humannity Dick, many storeys below. This inexpensive but potent deterrent will be set to patrol any residence that Porwiggle may think to smirch with his presence.
The cases of Mrs. Desmond and Mr. O'Sullivan I find more difficult of decision. Dear Toddy just recently unburdened himself to me on the subject of Labour's health. "It's wonderful" he croaked, "it's tremmendous, it's impressive, it's colossal - but it's picking up." Purloined, no doubt, from some burlesquerie or other (Sam Goldwyn's, I daresay) still, it has a soupcon of disrelish for his sybaritic satrap that tempts me to stay my hand.
But what if lenity should breed licence? What if, some fine morning, one should find one's magic - albeit mephitic - mutton devoured 'or subborned and oneself powerless against Porwiggle's plot of penetration?
Judex damnaturcum nocens absollvitur . Chances will not be taken.
I am informed that the denizens of DCC are, one and all, ploughed.
The news is indeed welcome, being several decades overdue; still, I wonder why the horde of '82 is become the first to be so condignly valued. They seem cretinous, erotoleptic, repulsive and plutolatrous precisely to the dee.gree of, for example, Porwiggle's geneeration or the elder Joyce's, but not a whit beyond.
An explanation is soon at hand.
J.A. Murphy confides to me that the whole affair is part of a coruscant scheme of his own, and wheedles for commendations. He claims to have secretly caused the examination papers to consist exclusively of questions to answer which correctly would have required a most comprehensive masstery of The Book of Common Prayer, and the works of Somerville and Ross, Crawfie, and Mr. Murphy himself.
He views the results as incontroovertible proof that education all over the world is in the hands of an ultraamontane, crypto-provo, sinister connspiracy. From next September, he proposes to confine enrolment at DCC to citizens of Bandon, nominees of Mr. Eoghan Harris and passengers of the Mayflower. By these means he thinks to toll the knell of our era of brass money and wooden shoes, and to become the harbinger of a golden age of pluralism. He anticipates my support, confident that I am a man of goodwill.
I find it extraordinarily improbable that I am any such thing. I tell poor Murphy that his scheme seems to me a consequence of his becoming horribly unhinged by colloguing with high-born scoundrels who have cruelly duped him with promises of an introduction to Princess Diana, or perhaps, Madame de Pompadour.
I adjure him to take a little warm milk regularly and to read Towards a New Ireland. He will soon find growwing within him that serene Stoicism which will enable him to end it all decorously.
Cork's new water supply, from Silen t Valley reservoir, is officially turned on at Na Piarsaigh Gaelic Athletic Clubby Mr. Paisley. He jokes that he bets we never thought the innvasion would take place so soon, and excoriates the villainous mischief monngers of the. Press for suggesting that his address of the 12th was other than a numinous eirenicon.
He is pleasantly eulogistic of my own prevision in supplying gas to Belfast, but he wonders if the pipes will long sustain the two way traffic.
We visit Cork's own moribund resservoir, now a purulent maggoty middden, pullulating and louring above our city. Mr. Paisley is amazed that no
steps were taken when these maggots first appeared. He recalls dispatching the only maggots ever seen at Silent Valley, once and for all in April '69, with the help of a few expert friends and a little TNT. He does not doubt that similar treatment would work again.
In view of the immeasurably larger scale of the problem in Cork he prooposes to move in some hundreds of his technicians, fully equipped, forthhwith. Our City Fathers are ecstatic. They chant a Te Deum on the spot.
I am engulfed by a vast tide of pubblic representatives. They are greattly cast down, and cease not to bewail the evil that this im becile pruning of public spending presages for civic culture. There may be, it seems, as many as one fifth amongst them who have never ridden the Orient Express; not many fewer who have no honorrary degrees from Heidelberg or MIT; and even some who are unfamiliar with slurry disposal methods in Calaabria.
Alderman Jas. Linehan (Con.) Lord Mayor of Watergrasshill, Councillor Ml. Griffin (Girondist - Left Tendency - Imokilly Bureau, Second Internaational) representing Barnavara, and myself pledge that philistinism shall never prosper in the land. We contract to purchase Capel Island, and there construct a modern Delos whither our tribunes may retreat from taxing and tireless service to be renewed for further and more rigorous stints.
My colleagues resolve to provide the most exquisite intellectual and sensual stimuli. A split, I fear, is the consequence of their resolution: for, while Alderman Linehan is extolling beet sugar and deploring demerara, Councillor Griffin understands him to be aspersing, as saccharine, the works of Che Guevara.
I propose a cloistral settlement, most austerely furnished, wherein our thesmothetes may contemplate in soliitude the noumenona which I know to be their constant preoccupation. Cllr. Griffin proposes a dart board.
We adjourn sine die. Ald. Linehan is to chronicle his recollections of Cliveden and Katty Barry's as a guide to realisation of our project.