In the wake of his police questioning with regard to the Jobstown water charge protests last November, Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy has spoken out strongly against what he perceives as a clear attempt by government to wipe the deludedly self-righteous grin off his face.
“If the powers that be think for one minute that arresting me is going to somehow dilute or lessen my pathological levels of smugness, they’re in for a big shock. In fact, right now I couldn’t imagine feeling more smug”, he said.
Trying without success to not look appallingly self-satisfied, the 31-year-old encountered assembled journalists following his release yesterday from Terenure Garda station, and immediately moved towards them .
“It’s moments like this that make the political slog worthwhile”, he said. “Sometimes I really have to pinch myself. I mean, here you all are, standing in the cold with your microphones and cameras, waiting for me. For me!”
The Anti Austerity Alliance member admitted, however, upon his release from custody, that he was finding it increasingly difficult to rein in the heady emotional mix of misplaced self-righteousness and sit-in activism, combined with a sense of excitement that he’s also actually getting paid a TD’s salary.
“I’m still finding my way, you know? There definitely has to be some method of masking how high I am on the utter improbability of it all. I mean, how much longer can I go around expecting people to think I’m angry about anything when I look so deliriously chuffed with myself?”, he asked.
When do we want it
Murphy, who never used to be let play with the bold boys, elaborated on some of the approaches he had been trying since his by-election success last October.
“Sounding as much as possible like (Swords comedian) Ed Byrne has certainly been one short-term tactic. He has this great down-home, civilized-earthy sort of schtick, and I figure if people associate my voice with his, then somehow it won’t be so jarring for them when they see me beaming uncontrollably from ear to ear while I simultaneously spout revolutionary political cliché.”
The Goatstown native went on to explain that he had looked elsewhere for copyable examples of Irish people attempting to convey gravitas while being secretly just happy that somebody was looking at them.
“I’ve always loved the way Eamon Dunphy squints pseudo-meaningfully and kind of twists his mouth downwards while he’s trying to deliver a line. But, like me, he’s never quite able to keep a straight face right to the very end.”
“That said, it’s essentially a strong play, so what I’ve been trying to do is go that route, and when I realize I can’t hold in my smirk for another second, I just think of sad things. Like dead kittens or losing my seat.”
“So far it hasn’t really been working”, he conceded, “but I’m in this for the long haul. Sooner or later, I’ll crack it.”
Aside from managing to push his already insufferable smugness further into the red, Murphy proceeded to claim he hadn’t even been unduly shaken by the overall experience of an early morning Garda arrest and subsequent interview session.
“Look, I’m a maverick rebel fighting on behalf of my people for a cause that is just and right, and this fact must take precedence over any risk to my personal safety”, insisted the erstwhile unsuccessful UCD Students’ Union presidential hopeful.
“But actually to be honest, the whole thing was quite a lot of fun. At one stage a few hours in, I suddenly put both hands up and said I was willing to sign a confession of my love for oversized anoraks, sensible footwear and sloppy bootcut jeans. Then one of the officers pretended to mistake me for a colleague of his from the Lucan plain clothes unit. It was good natured stuff. I mean, on some level we’re all on the same team.”
“I even got to ask them if I could have a cigarette after they sat me down. I’ve always wanted to do that.”
“And I don’t even smoke”, he explained.
GO RAIBH MAITH!