Long live People’s Albania! Long live Fianna Fáil!


Following on from the Dublin government’s endowment of the Mr Tony Blair Chair of Irish Studies at Liverpool University, I couldn’t help but notice Dermot Ahern’s announcement of a Conflict Resolution Unit, aimed at solving the problems of the world with reference to Ireland’s shining example. Now this won’t be a piddly wee interpretive centre, but a fully-fledged unit of the DFA with a €25m annual budget. There will further be a linked-in high-powered academic centre with the mission to train up peace professionals. This will allow the Dominion of ‘Éire’ to compete with the Norwegians in the peace business, and further burnish the reputation of our European Statesman. Here’s an idea – why not name the academic wing the Bertie Centre for Shock and Awe?

While we’re on Bertie, I loved this cracking little Swiftian diatribe from Diarmuid Doyle in the Turbine. Our Taoiseach really is almost beyond satire.


  1. Andy Newman said,

    July 10, 2007 at 11:49 am

    I don’t think that portrait really does credit to Hodxa. He was actually quite charismatic, as long as you didn’t mind his politics.

  2. splinteredsunrise said,

    July 10, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    He certainly had a more pleasing literary style than your average Stalinist dictator. In later life, of course, he came to uncannily resemble Arthur Daley, which probably tells you something about Albania.

  3. Andy Newman said,

    July 10, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    I once stayed at a comrade’s house who had a fine coffee table book of pictures of Hoxha.

    It is interesting that he started off looking like James Dean, moved in through Robert Mitchum and ended up – as you say as Arther Daley.

    Strangely enough my father was the spit and image of Arthur Daley, down to the way he spoke, mannerisms etc. But he didn’t resmeble George Cole at all.

  4. ejh said,

    July 10, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Invocations of “the worst this century” aren’t all that impressive only seven years into the current one…

  5. ejh said,

    July 11, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Oh, talking of lookalikes and seeing as you mentioned her in the previous piece….a few years ago I saw Lorna Fitzsimmons in full hectoring flow on Newsnight, outraged that somebody had said something less than completely loyal and compliemntary about Mr Blair. I had a sustained spell of déjà vu but it wasn’t until rather later that I realised what I was thinking of – it was Madame Mao at her trial.

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