I am here today to tell you that after long and careful consideration I have decided I will not be running for President. Of anywhere. Instead I intend to spend more time with my family, my squeedgee floor mop and my accountant. But I would like to take this opportunity to thank my husband, my blog reader and my hairdresser for their unswerving support and their encouraging cries of ‘Go, Laurie go!’ and ‘I do wish you’d use a decent conditioner.’

How did I come to this momentous decision? Did I suddenly realise I know nothing about running a country? Nope. If it didn’t stop Barack Obama I don’t see why it should stop me. Was it because of the inevitable gutter press scrutiny to which my loved ones would be subjected? Not really. My daughter hopes to get parole next month and my mother’s post-mortem ASBO is already common knowledge. No, it was something I witnessed in Dublin, a moment of searing insight into the public’s view of politicians.

We’re electing a new President  here in Ireland, on October 27th. There are seven candidates, including the winner of the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest and a former leader of the Provo IRA. They’re all out and about, pressing the flesh, and in Grafton Street earlier this week the current board leader, Michael Twinkle Toes Higgins, was doing his stuff. I didn’t quite twig what was occurring until two of the Grafton Street flower sellers started trying to conceal themselves behind their buckets of chrysanthemums.

Had they spotted an approaching VAT inspector? I asked someone what was going on.

‘Ah,’ she said, ‘Nuttin much. It’s just one of them presidential feckers.’

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