As I have feared - and predicted earlier - Dustin the Turkey (photo) did win Eurosong 2008 and will now be the official representative of the Republic of Ireland in this year's Eurovision Song Contest on May 24th in the Serbian capital Belgrade.
If there would be any need to prove that the Irish are a mad nation, and that voting is not our strong side, this would be it. Unfortunately we have known that already for quite some time, looking at the results of the last three general elections...
For Irish people the vote for Dustin was probably not more than "a laugh", a bit of craic, and maybe a slight two-finger gesture towards the ever so serious movers and shakers in the music industry. It was a typical action for an insular people who know very little of the rest of Europe, and do not give a hoot for it either. Never mind all the Poles and other foreigners working here. As long as they do their jobs for low wages, we don't care.
So, dear compatriots, be not surprised when we will become the laughing stock of Europe (and perhaps even further afield) for sending the stuffed puppet of a turkey to an international and well-televised contest that we once not only took very seriously, but also used to win. No matter how well or poorly Dustin will perform in Belgrade, the turkey image will stick and become an idea other - and way more serious - nations in Europe will associate with Ireland. Dustin will in future be the companion of the "lazy Paddy" when people think of our country.
In light of his great election success tonight, I propose a further career move for the singing and plain speaking turkey. When he returns from his mission to Belgrade in late May, he should take over the reigns of the country and become the next Taoiseach when Bertie Ahern steps down. If he can win a vote like the one tonight, he should be easily elected with overwhelming majority by the Irish people. He could not be doing things much worse than Bertie, and I am sure he would remember it when someone gives him a large sum of money. And, being a turkey, he would most certainly never vote for Christmas, which could only improve the physical and spiritual health of the nation... Dustin for Taoiseach! Dustin for Taoiseach!
The Emerald Islander