Brian Cowen meets with the Queen of England and asks her, how come she has such an efficient Parliament?
"Well," says the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."
Cowen frowns "But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?"
The Queen takes a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy. You just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle." The Queen pushes a button.
"Please send Gordon Brown in here, would you?"
Brown walks into the room. "Yes, my Queen?"
The Queen smiles. "Answer me this, please, Gordon. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?"
Without pausing for a moment, Brown answers, "That would be me."
"Yes! Very good," says the Queen.
Cowen returns to Dublin and asks Martin Cullen, the same question.
"Martin. Answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"
"I'm not sure," says Cullen "Let me get back to you on that one."
He goes to his advisors but none can give him an answer. Finally, he ends up in the toilet and recognises Willie O Dea's shoes in the next cubicle.
Cullen asks, "Willie! Can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?"
Minister O’Dea yells back, "That's easy. It's me!"
Cullen smiles, and says, "Thanks!" Then, he goes back to speak with Cowen.
"Howya, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Minister O' Dea."
Cowen gets up, stomps over to Cullen, and angrily yells into his face,
"No, you idiot! It's Gordon Brown!"
Now you know why we're f****d
(with thanks to Seán Ó Éigeartaigh.)