The Taoiseach and the Showgirl


So the Taoiseach (prime minister of Ireland) is a fan of Kylie Minogue. This is not surprising. Leo Varadkar is 40 so would have borne witness to Charlene’s explosion onto the international consciousness as part of Neighbours in the 1980s, and her evolution into a global pop sensation with Stock Aitken and Waterman a few years later. Kylie’s special place in the heart of the gay community might be confusing to some, but it is undeniable. Speaking personally, I have seen her in concert on numerous occasions, in various countries over the years, depending on where I have been  living at the time.

Well our Leo has gotten himself into a spot of bother in recent days, when the Irish Times revealed – via a Freedom of Information request – that Varadkar had written to Kylie in his capacity as Taoiseach, on official paperwork to express his fan-boy status, and to ask for a meeting.

“Dear Kylie,” wrote Leo. “Just wanted to drop you a short note in advance of the concert in Dublin. I am really looking forward to it. Am a huge fan! I understand you are staying in the Merrion Hotel which is just across the street from my office in Government Buildings. If you like, I’d love to welcome you to Ireland personally.”

I am no fan of Leo Varadkar. I think he is an appalling Taoiseach whose failure to properly tackle the housing, homelessness and health service crises engulfing the nation are a stain on his reputation – and seem to be ideologically driven. His apparent lack of concern for anyone struggling is deeply distressing.

That said, I am finding the reaction to his fan meltdown over Kylie is a bit unsettling. A touch excessive. It makes me slightly uneasy, as there seems to be a faint stench of homophobia surrounding the sneering condemnatory reaction. Something resembling a minutes old fart.

It was present some months ago when the papers claimed that he had accepted a freebie meal and drinks in the 3Arena before Kylie’s show – he denied it. An air of malice, that seemed to hide an unpleasant ulterior motive. Nothing blatant – you can’t be seen to insult the gays openly any more – thankfully. There was something though.

While writing a fan-boy letter on official paper, in order to wangle a meeting with the Queen of Everything, is hardly an appropriate uses of government resources, or his office, it hardly ranks in the same league as Charlie Haughey robbing the country blind, or accepting bribes from Maltese billionaires in exchange for a mobile phone license.

I may be wrong, but I have a feeling in my waters, an inkling you could say, that had he written to Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, or someone suitably acceptable to heterosexual males, then the note would hardly raise an eyebrow.

That’s all.

By the way, I hope you have all bought your tickets to my show ‘The Number’ which is running in the 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival., from May 6th to May 11th inclusive, at the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square, at 9pm. Tickets available at the LINK.

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