Saturday, October 3, 2009

As Donegal doesn't go, so goes the nation

That one's adapted from US politics. It was coined in 1888, reflecting the circumstance that the State of Maine (which held its elections in September rather than November) had been the bell-weather for every Presidential election since whenever. In 1936 Maine went for Alfred Landon over FDR. Only one other state voted the same way, ensuring FDR's record sweep of all but eight votes in the Electoral College. That gave FDR's campaign manager, James Farley, the line:
As Maine goes, so goes Vermont.
Today's two-to-one "Yes" vote across Ireland has a similar flavour. So we can say:
As goes Donegal NE, so goes Donegal SW.
Even there were only 848 and 171 votes, respectively, in it.

So, Malcolm proposes a message for every Europhobic Ozymandias. Of late you bestrode the earth so arrogantly, and were impertinently loud in demanding Ireland toe your English Tory line. As you troop off to the Conservative Party Conference, remember Shelley:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
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