in this issue:
The political world, always a hotbed of sizzling gossip, is aflame with excitement tonight, and there's only one topic on everybody's lips: that bill.
Yes, everybody is still reeling from the sensational passage this afternoon of the "dazzling, unique" (Cosmopolitan) piece of legislation that will forever be known not by its official sobriquet of 'The Supply of Electrical Services Act, 2001" but simply as 'that bill'.
The excited rumpus has taken even seasoned political stalwarts by surprise. "I'm still breathless, absolutely breathless!", gasped Brian Cowen (FF). "Did you see what was on that bill?? Hello?? I was like, 'Oh my God'."
Even Labour Party Finance Spokesman Derek McDowell, famed 'Superbitch' of the Dail, was stunned into silence - almost! "I was flabbergasted", he said, "and you should know it takes a lot to gast this flabber! But seriously folks, didn't you think this was a bill that tried just a little too hard?? Maybe someone didn't get enough attention as a White Paper!".
"But maybe I'm just nit-picking", he added.
The Act's impact has taken everybody by surprise, not least the man who began it all, Minister of State for Public Enterprise Joe Jacob. "Believe me," he told a packed room of reporters after the Bill's triumphant final passage through the Dail, "When we started this whole thing in a little office in Government Buildings way back in January 2000, we had no idea it would become such a huge thing. I'm just overwhelmed".
After thanking "the best back-room team any Minister for State, has ever had, ever - we had some crazy times, let me tell you", he then dedicated his success to his sister Alva, "who's been such a rock for me".