After a bitter week of campaigning for Labour in the EU elections, the opposition leader recalled the moment Gerry Adams, who is not a former IRA commander, gave him some sage advice.
“I was talking with Ger in the Bogside in 2015 about the upcoming Labour leadership election. I told him I was considering standing for the election, since Diane and John had already had their turns in previous leadership contests.”
Fate, however, almost didn’t happen. It was Mr Adams who persuaded the embattled Labour leader to put his name forward and ignore his other interests.
“I told him the London and Home Counties Marrow Fair was coming up, and that I wouldn’t have enough time for a vain leadership contest when I had to fertilise my narrows every day. Volunteering in my local food bank and volunteering for my local Pensioner Association’s crocheting afternoons was already eating into my free time, I told him. I was already worried I wouldn’t have enough time to judge for the 2015 Annual Islington Autistic society’s Playdough Modelling competition.”
But the Irish Independence figurehead persisted.
“He said to me ‘do it for the craic, sure’”.
The phrase, once suggested as the title for the national anthem of Ireland, is a common refrain in the country, used to cajole people into swimming in icy water, climbing over the gates of Leinster House or doing the robot in the background of a live RTÉ report.
“Of course, I took his advice, the absolute legend, and now look: I’m the only party leader who didn’t betray students over tuition fees, resign or get milkshake’d. You can do worse than to take Gerry’s advice”.
The police are working under the assumption that at least one of the recent UKIP milkshakings may have been related to this slogan. The Chief Police Constable Lottie Nerve dissuaded people from following this mantra.
She said in a statement, “it may seem harmless, but doing it for the craic can lead to serious consequences. We want people to have great craic, but they must do so responsibly and safely”.
On Friday, during her resignation speech, the tearful Prime Minister too told of how the “British Schindler” gave her words of wisdom, which she took to heart as prime minister. “Compromise isn’t a dirty word” he had advised her. It’s certainly evident that the words of the man who rescued hundreds of children from the holocaust inspired Theresa May throughout her three years of cutting funding to schools, hospitals and social services.