I THINK we need to limit the amount of time politicians spend on our airwaves, television and radio both.
The radio wakes me in the morning.
But the minute I hear the voice of Richard Boyd Barrett or Leo Varadkar or Pearse Doherty or Micheál Martin I feel like turning over and going back to sleep.
It doesn’t take much effort. They start talking, and I’m snoring in seconds. Better than any tablet.
So I have a proposal.
Moderation in all things, they say.
I think that should apply to politicians appearing on radio and television.
Let’s limit them. Let’s say two television appearances and three radio interviews every month. And that cover ALL radio and television stations. RTE, Today, Newstalk, TV3, TG4 AND the local stations
It will be against the law for them to appear any more than that.
So we can have someone on Morning Ireland saying: “We were going to have Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin on this morning, but he has already reached his quota for the month.”
Or: “We’d like to put that to Michael McGrath, but he’s had his three appearances on radio this month already.”
And wouldn’t you love: “Breakign news. Richard Boyd Barrett TD has been arrested at his home after gardai discovered that he had made five radio appearances this month.”
And if they’re found guilty, they could be fined a month’s expenses – that’s at least €2,445 or three months in jail listening to tapes of themselves talking all day long.
God it would cheer me up.
While I’m at it, I think there should be a yellow and red card system for politicians who DO appear and waffle every time they’re asked a hard question.
You know the kind of thing:
INTERVIEWER: So where will you get the €2bn to fund this proposal.
POLITICIAN: First let me say….
Bell rings, Yellow card.
INTERVIEWER: But you said exactly the opposite last month.
SAME POLITICIAN: People need to understand…
Bell rings. RED card!
And while I’m at it…
…why don’t we bring in a law which says that a TD or minister must counterbalance their appearance at the opening of something, say a factory, a health centre or a school, by making an appearance at the closing of something, say a post office or a factory or a shop?
They wouldn’t like it one bit.
Which is precisely the reason for doing it!