View Full Version : Leary lets fly....but comes a cropper in court

12th Feb 2004, 22:30
Opinion: Leary lets fly....but comes a cropper in court
Irish Times 02/12/04
author: Newton Emerson

Newton Emerson takes a Learyjet flight of fantasy to Bruxelles Sud (price 20c with subsidy)

"Case number 762341625, Learyjet versus the European Commission."

Well this is it, then, thought the boss, as everyone rose respectfully to their feet. Everyone except him, that is - he was damned if he was standing up for some poxy third-rate bureaucrat.

Sure wasn't he the greatest businessman in the history of the world, ever?

Or at least since Herb Kelleher, founder of South West Airlines, father of the budget airline industry and author of 737 Into a Billion Will Go! from which Learyjet's revolutionary business model had, truth be told, been lifted wholesale.

La Premiere Chambre de la Palais de Euro-Justice Social et Economique fell silent as EU Transport Commissioner Ms Payola de Lolita took her seat and began fiddling with the simultaneous translation webcam.

Only another few months, lamented the boss, and he could have demanded proceedings in Irish and stalled the whole thing indefinitely.

But then you couldn't rely on Fianna Fáil for anything these days, in fact since they bought their own plane you could hardly get them on the phone.

"Please be seated," said the Commissioner, the words appearing on LCD flat-screens behind her in Lithuanian, Croatian, Alsatian and Ulster-Scots.

Slowly, infuriatingly, she began flicking through the file on her desk.

The rasp of ring-bound pages turning echoed around the room. "Risp", "Rosp", "Rusp", "Raaaasp" flashed the flat-screens obediently.

"Mr Leary," she said, looking up at last, "the commission finds you guilty of discrimination against the disabled."

With that the boss sprang angrily to his feet. "This is ridiculous!" he yelled. "Do you know how much wheelchair ramps cost? They don't call them 'crippling overheads' for nothing!"

"Sit down, Mr Leary, I am not finished," said the Commissioner sharply. "We also find that you have received an illegal subsidy from the Walloon Flying Club and Caravan Park, trading as Charleroi Airport. Please see the bailiff to arrange repayment."

But as the Commissioner snapped her ring-bound file shut, the boss jumped up again. "Madam," he said, struggling to contain himself, "you're nothing better than an f----- communist!"

A gasp echoed around the room. "Gisp", "Gosp", "Gusp", "Gaaaasp" flashed the flat-screens in extra-large letters.

The Commissioner froze for a moment, then smiled coldly. "Mr Leary," she replied, "I do not understand how abolishing a public subsidy makes me a communist."

"I strongly advise you not to respond," whispered the Learyjet barrister.

"Shut up," said the boss, "you had your chance."

And, tucking in his freshly travel-ironed St Bernard chequered polo shirt, he rose to address the chamber.

"Madam Commissioner, you don't have a problem with subsidies to Lufthansa, Air France, Alitalia, Iberia, KLM, Aer Lingus," he said, practically spitting out the last two words.

"You have no problem with public assistance yourself," remarked the Commissioner coolly. "What about the favourable rates you have obtained at Montpellier, Strasbourg, Newquay, Pau, Malaga, Pisa, Venice, London, Derry, Derry ... Mr Leary, Aeroflot scarcely received such support."

"They are not subsidies," explained the boss with unconvincing civility. "They are legitimate, private financial arrangements which have benefited all concerned."

Too late, he noticed the barrister shaking his head violently.

"MR LEARY!" shouted the Commissioner, banging her gavel down hard. "I have just ruled on the legality of your business arrangements, and if you question that ruling again I will hold you in contempt."

"Fair enough, love," the boss snapped back, finally losing it, "but not in as much contempt as I hold you, sitting up there passing judgement on an honest businessman. How much do you cost the taxpayer, eh? I've done more for Brussels than every one of you useless Eurocrats put together.

"I put this town on the map - or at least on the very big maps that include other towns 50 miles away. If you really want to do the public a favour, why don't you leave the national flag-carriers to history, and give this industry back to the working man?"

"It would appear that you are the communist, Mr Leary," said the commissioner, pressing the security alarm.

"I am not an f------ communist!" squealed the boss as the bailiff dragged him away, "and if it takes the worst service, the lowest wages, the fattest profit margins, the toughest lawyers, the most remote airstrips and the dodgiest district councillors in Europe, then so help me God I will prove to you all that the free market works!"

As the door slammed behind him, the Commissioner muttered something under her breath. "Ficker", "Focker", "Fecker", "F-------," flashed the flat-screens.

I say Bully for Mr. Leary..........:}

She probably is an F......ing Communist :hmm:

Loose rivets
13th Feb 2004, 11:43
Aaaahhh, and to think I said 'they don't write stories like that anymore'.