Sunday distraction: watch Citizen Ming, an excellent documentary on cannabis campaigner Luke Flanagan
Luke Flanagan, nicknamed “Ming” for his resemblance to Flash Gordon’s nemesis, may have been laughed off as a joke candidate when he first stood for election in 1997 but this year the now Mayor of Roscommon wants in to the Dail.
Ming wants one of the three seats on offer in the Roscommon-South Leitrim constituency. Said constituency has never returned the same three TDs in successive General Elections so the odds are on a wildcard when voters finally get their say. Ming aims to be that wildcard.
As well as his pro-cannabis stance, Ming has made many “common sense” moves that will ingratiated him to the voters. For instance he took a 50% cut in his formal mayoral allowance, a similar cut in his travel allowance and 100% cut in his foreign travel and conference allowances. He’s made clear he wants the President, Taoiseach, ministers, other mayors and heads of government bodies to follow suit.
What better time than this to remind yourself of Ming’s origins as a fringe campaigner for the legalisation of cannabis, when it seemed unlikely he would have any success at all. A good reminder that perseverance and sticking to your principles can, in exceptional cases, eventually yield success.