Posted on 23rd December 2022

For generations to come Volodymyr Zelensky will be seen as the hero of his age, deserving as much attention and adulation as Winston Churchill.  He has galvanised his nation and given them the courage to stand up to the amoral and naked aggression of the Russians and Vladimir Putin.  Like Churchill before him when confronted by Hitler he sees it as essential to secure the ongoing support of the United States in defeating Vlad the Bad.  So clad in his trade mark green sweat shirt, with considerable danger to himself, he heads to Washington to meet the American President.  Biden wears a blue and yellow striped tie and Zelensky unfurls a Ukrainian battle flag on the floor of the House of Representatives when he makes a moving speech to a joint meeting of the House and the Senate.  I loved it when he said “ Ukraine is alive and kicking” but the underlying message was clear.  They want weapons and more weapons, even at one point saying that Ukrainians can operate U.S. planes and tanks themselves.  This, no doubt, said to allay any fears of being accused of escalating the war.  It was extraordinary to watch the confident delivery by a man who not so long ago was making his living telling jokes.  This, however, was deeply serious as Zelensky said in his address “ The struggle will define in what world our children and grandchildren live in”.  The Americans to their credit have pledged more support and crucially are delivering a patriot missile system which will help them protect Kiev and deal with the bombardment they are receiving from the Iranian manufactured drones which are decimating their energy infrastructure.  One can only admire Zelensky’s extraordinary courage and resolve and salute the very same attributes in his people.  They are deserving of our prayers this Christmas.  One can only hope that the United States and NATO continue to stand by Ukraine at this critical juncture as Vlad the Bad will, as always, be looking for any weakening of their position.

So turning to the home ground, we have a new Taoiseach, or should I say a new old Taoiseach, as Leo the Leak is back.  Unfortunately for Leo the reputational damage from the saga of the leaked memo still lingers.  This was before the video in the night club which somebody sent me.  Whether Leo likes it or not this has not helped and I judge will not be greeted with enthusiasm by some of Fine Gael’s more conservative members.  Adding to a sense of unease was the refusal of Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin to accept an appointment to a junior ministerial position.  Is it possible that insurrection is brewing in the ranks.  Leo has now very publicly ruled out coalition with Sinn Fein, even saying he would resign from the party if it happened.  Micheal Martin has been more measured – sensible in the light of the polls.  The Taoiseach needs to shore up his support to survive.

The view of Slane Castle from the hill