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E-Voting debacle gives us the first F-word in the Dail

EVoting: No ducking the f*ing question . . . did he say it? (Irish Independent) (reg req’d, see bugmenot):

A direct transcription of Mr (Michael) Smith’s comments reads: “Let them, f* it, we’ll say no more – we’ll say no more.”

Given the barrage of taunts he was facing in the Dail at the time, it is quite plausible – and in context – if the ‘eff it’ is replaced in the sentence by ‘duck it’.

The Opposition was continually interrupting Mr Smith when he was trying to put a brave face on the Government’s squandering of EUR 52m on e-voting. Ill at ease and clearly keen to avoid the onslaught from the Opposition, the minister seemed to know he was on a hiding to nothing.

Labour leader Pat Rabbitte, who has made baiting Michael Smith a career work-in-progress, was pursuing his quarry with noticeable effect. Mr Smith’s eyes narrowed as his mouth tightened in frustration, he turned to address his frontbench colleagues, and uttered the sentence that has turned him from Tipperary choirboy to bad-boy rapper.

It seems that the F-word isn’t specifically prohibited in the Dail — “the ‘Salient Rulings of the Chair, Second Edition’, the book which governs behaviour in the Dail, doesn’t specifically forbid the use” of the word. It does, however, apparently prohibit the words “brat, buffoon, chancer, communist, corner boy, fascist, gurrier, guttersnipe, hypocrite, rat, (and) scumbag.” (‘corner boy’?)