Poor old Tony Abbott just can’t put a foot right. Just as the lifestyle jokes start to wear thin, Irish Business leaders fail to see the humour in his St Patrick’s Day well-wishing.
A video message from the PM, due to be played to St Patrick’s Day luncheon gatherings in Melbourne and Sydney, has been met with some derision. One un-amused Irish business leader has even labelled it “patronising” and described Tony’s apparent ignorance as “astonishing”.
Has the Emerald Isle lost its sense of humour or has Tony lost his political senses completely?
In the video, which was apparently posted to the Liberal Party’s YouTube channel on Friday but appears to have since been removed (but not before other YouTubers made backups – above), Mr Abbott starts out well enough with a great gag about going green.
“It’s great to be a part of this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations,” the PM enthuses.
“And it’s safe to say that this is the one day of the year when it’s good to be green,” he jokes, before waving his green tie for the camera. Zing, Tony. Oh, Zing! That’s some golden Irish humour, worthy of a leprechaun’s pot, right there.
The prime minister goes on to rejoice that Aussies of all ethnic origins will enjoy celebrating the day for the Irish at parties in bars and pubs across the whole country.
He then lauds the Irish for giving Australia its love of life and good humour – because, you know, the nation would be a lifeless, stone-face wasteland without those jaunty Paddies.
Abbott then recalls how it’s often said of Australia that “the English made the laws, the Scots made the money, and the Irish made the songs”. Not that he’d want to stereotype or anything, you understand. Hey he was born in the UK, y’know.
After paying tribute to the “galvanising force” that the Irish played in forming Australia’s national character, the PM offers his apologies that he can’t be around to share a Guinness, or two, or even three.
Woah; three? Steady on there, mate. We know it’s St Patrick’s Day but let’s not get too crazy, hey. And, to be fair, that’s only sensible because Tony has important work to do; he can’t be getting all sloshed and musical and funny and (really) green on us; especially while everyone else across the whole country, of all ethnic origins, arm in arm, are getting sloshed, musical, funny and (oh, the horror) green.
But it would appear Tony, as usual, has found himself stuck in the dark ages. Apparently the Irish men and women of the 21st Century are a bit more serious than the prime minister suspects.
A Sydney based Irish businessman told the Irish Times that Tony’s message was “patronising” and that he “hoped for a more business-focused message”.
“There are so many good stories of Irish people in business in Australia, Mr Abbott’s lack of awareness of any of that is astonishing,” he said.
What a killjoy, hey?
Well Mr Irish businessman, you haven’t even heard Tony’s best material; like the one about the Gillard government being “a bit like the Irishman who lost 10 pounds betting on the Grand National and then lost 20 pounds on the action replay”.
Oh c’mon; it’s all just good craic, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s just a lifestyle thing?
I’m half Irish, you know.