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10th May 2016

‘Goodbye Labour, I’m off to pursue a career in canoeing’ – Joan Burton’s Diary Entry

Ciara Knight

Hi folks,

Firstly, Minister, can I just say I’m absolutely chuffed to be taking part in’s diary entry series, it’s been a lifelong ambition of mine and I feel truly honoured and blessed to have been given this platform.

Yes, the rumours are true. I’m stepping down as leader of the Labour Party. It’s time. It’s definitely time. There’s four main reasons why I’ve made this difficult decision, which I will now detail for you nosey parkers.

1. My jokes about being in labour have dried up

Truth be told, the main reason I got into Labour was so I could make countless jokes about being in labour. I hit the ground running and spent my first few weeks in the party ringing Pat (my husband) in a state of panic saying ‘PAT, I’VE GONE INTO LABOUR, HELP’. He almost laughed, it was gas! My ninth month in the party was probably the most insufferable time to be around me. I kept sending emails that ended with ‘Careful now, I’m in Labour nine months’. Nobody ever commented on that particular joke but I know it was funny, I’m not an idiot.

Successful business woman talking on the phone

2. I actually hate the colour red

I’ve kept it quiet all these years, but, truth be told, I can’t stand the colour red. It’s so gaudy and in your face. The worst things in life are red: The Chili Peppers, ketchup, Ruari Quinn’s face, tomatoes, Starbucks Christmas cups and Elmo. My favourite colour is white because it is simple and compliments my eyes (the whites of my eyes). If I had my way, Labour’s colour would be white with maybe a playful yet assertive splash of magenta.

3. I would like to pursue a career in canoeing

Yes, we all had a good laugh when old I, Joany-Burt, fell out of a canoe in Kilkenny last year. I have been told that the photographs went viral which, I am assured, is a very cool thing to happen. However, my ego was bruised after the incident. It’s always been a dream of mine to compete in the Provincial Regulated International Canoe Kompetitions (or the PRICKs, for short). So, after I step down as the leader of Labour, I will step into a bath and train Cool Runnings style, until I can regain the confidence to step back into a canoe again.


4. Pregnancy is 9 months, labour should not be 9 years

The average term for a pregnancy is 9 months. I have been in Labour for 9 years. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that there is a very strong comparison between the two. Labour has been my baby that I have nurtured to the best of my ability. Now my baby has grown and won’t even sit with me for lunch anymore. This baby is an ungrateful little rip and I need to let it go. Wipe your own bottom, Labour.

In terms of who I think should replace me as the leader of Labour, there’s a few names being tossed around, but I don’t think the role should go to any of them eejits. I would like to nominate an outsider and use this diary entry as the perfect opportunity to announce my support for Snowy. He is an invisible hamster that I have grown to love over the past couple of years. I have moulded him into the man I could never become. I will not stop until he leads this country to greatness. Even Frances Fitzerald likes him!

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 10: The Irish Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald applauds alongside Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Joan Burton after signing the commencement order for the Marriage Act 2015 and an accompanying regulation under the Civil Registration Act 2004 which will enable same-sex couples to marry in Ireland at Dublin Castle on November 10, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Earlier this year in May, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular ballot vote by a margin of around two-to-one after a marriage referendum was held. (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)

[Unfortunately, at this point we found Joan’s writing illegible all we could decipher is the remainder below].

…and that’s how I got the nickname Flirtin’ Burton.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got time for. Thank you so much to the wonderful souls at for giving me this astounding opportunity to speak my truth.


Joan x