Minister bemoans Ireland's “I”.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern has spoken out in a candid and scathing expose to Spanner reporters, revealing the difficulties he and his staff regularly experience in diplomatic dynamics at international conferences and events. The Minister highlighted with ruefulness, his annoyance at Ireland’s position in the alphabetical list of countries, in an interview which underscores the politics at play within the world of politics.
Located, as it is, under “I”, Ireland is forced to keep some very interesting company on the international conference circuit, including Iran, Iraq and Israel, which Mr Ahern argues places him, “smack bang in the middle of all their squabbling”, at conventions of an international nature.
“It’s not fair,” he added, “that when we are at one of those huge meetings, like the IMF, the UN, the Eurovision or something like that, the seating plan is alphabetical. All the other guys have loads of fun, and get to sit beside their friends; some of them even swap places so they can have a bit of craic with the lads. I remember at one of these gigs, Denmark was kind of bored sitting beside the lads from Djibouti, so they moved over beside Germany…but no-one will swap with us. Caught between a rock and a proverbial hard place, the Irish diplomats are frankly at their wits end in their letter grouping, surrounded by their sullen counterparts from the most 'troublesome' nations in the world."
“Sometimes I feel like a parent having to separate kids who keep fighting”, describes a weary member of staff before asserting that, “Iran and Israel are always at each others throats; if it’s not nuclear weapons its religion, day in, day out… They would really try your patience. The Iraqis have never exactly been easy neighbours but recently they’ve calmed down a bit I suppose… And America keeps passing notes to Israel, it gets on my nerves!” The situation could be worse, concedes another diplomat, “We could be under R for Republic. Being stuck between Russia, Romania and Rwanda wouldn’t make life any easier…”
“I feel like I’m at a wedding and the seating plan puts me right with the family from hell,” Mr. Ahern concludes. “Maybe we could call ourselves United Ireland if this devolution thing works out. We could then hang around with the UK or USA a bit more. Wouldn’t do us any harm either... I bet you’d see the old DFI going right up.”
Another solution offered involved the arrangement of countries’ seating arrangements, based on different criteria, such as GDP. Asked whether this controversial move would be an unjust display of the developed world’s dominance over the developing countries, Minister Ahern replied after a long pause, “well I’ve always been good friends with Bono…”.