Bertie Ahern is an incredibly lucky politician. He’s lucky because he has friends who gave him a substantial loan and didn’t ask for any repayment. If this ‘loan’ had been a gift, Bertie would have been in trouble.
He’s lucky because he has the ability to be Minister for Finance in one instant and a private citizens the next. This amazing ability allowed him to take a substantial ‘gift’ from a group of businessmen that he hardly knew. If it had been a political donation, he would have been in trouble.
He’s lucky because one of the few people Bertie can remember being at the event where he got the ‘gift’ was not actually at the event. Well, he was at the event but because he didn’t eat a dinner he is deemed not to have been there – if you get my drift.
Yes, he is a friend of Bertie’s and he is a businessman but luckily for Bertie, he was just there as a minibus driver, and again luckily for Bertie, he denies making a contribution on that night.
Bertie is also lucky that at a time when he claims he was financially strapped for cash, and therefore badly needed gifts and loans, he was able to make frequent overseas trips to see his favourite football team, save about €64,000 and pay all the expenses of everyday life.
He’s lucky because for a crucial 6 year period, when there was a lot of skullduggery going on in Irish public life, he claims he had no bank account. This means that his enemies and those nasty people over in Dublin Castle are very limited in checking his financial activities. For example, that €64,000 he saved while being virtually penniless, well, he just stuffed it into a mattress I suppose.
On a broader level, he’s lucky to be a member of a party whose members are totally loyal to its leader no matter what he does, no matter how strong the stink.
He’s lucky that his coalition partner have dumped their core value of demanding accountability in public life and finally he’s lucky that he lives in a country where corruption is so widespread that most citizens are not even aware that Bertie is as dodgy as his mentor and hero, Charlie Haughey – Shure isn’t he doing great tings for da country?
For the record, the latest scandal has officially legitimized the following activities.
Politicians appointing persons to State boards can now openly state that they are doing so because he/she is a friend. Of course, political friends have always been rewarded with such appointments but it was never permitted to actually admit that fact.
Government ministers can now accept large amounts of cash from friends/businessmen and avoid censure by simply declaring that they did not consider themselves to be a Government minister at the particular moment when the cash was handed over.
Welcome to the Banana Republic of Ireland
11 thoughts on “Lucky Bertie”
Last weekend the people of Ireland gave their answer to the begrudgers. They want Bertie to stay as I do. Never has a Taoiseach worked so hard and so selflessly for this country than Bertie Ahern. The economy is the envy of Europe and indeed the world.
We are on the brink of a historic breakthrough in Northern Ireland next month and all the begrudgers can do is throw mud at Bertie. We know that Geraldine Kennedy, Kenny and Rabbitte have another agenda but at the crucial times next May particularly people power will win out again and the begrudgers will be left where they belong : floundering.
I agree with both of you! But what I can’t get out of my head is that the then Minister for Finance, a qualified accountant, didn’t have a bank account but he had savings (ie CASH – real paper money that you can touch) in excess of the price of a house.
The OP says €64,000. How much physical space does €64k take up if it’s in €100 notes? Forget envelopes – how many suitcases?
He has done ‘the state some service’ but, right now, I’m not satisfied with the explanations of ‘the most cunning, the most devious etc’.
No requirement for Bank Account
There is no law in this country which requires any citizen to have a Bank Account and there never has been. People are just using this as a means of trying to whip up hatred of Bertie. Believe me €60,000 will fit in a very small space. In €500 Euro notes you could carry it with you without any trouble. Its a totally spurious argument to discredit the man.
Beware the shiny whiter than white brigade, we have one in Washinton and look what he has done to the world. Bertie is human like the rest of us, no flashy lifestyle, no fancy accent, just a hard working politician who has brought great prosperity to this land of ours. Given a chance his endeavours will also bring peace to the Northern part of our country. All the begrudgery in the world will not rob this man of his place in history.
After deciding to ditch the irresponsible Sindo following their disgusting handling of the Liam Lawler affair and just when I thought it was safe to dip my toe back in the cesspool of media coverage we poor citizens in this country have to endure what does my new oracle of choice the I. Times, bastion of the middle ground do, it attempts to continue where it left off in 1994 and carry out another Coup de Tat and bring down another government.
Can it just be a coincident or am I having a bad case of deja veu what is the real motivation of the I.T. and Ger the “hubble bubble toil and trouble” editor Is it possible that in 1994 the I.T. couldn’t stomach the Joint Downing Street Declaration and the obvious repercussion that this declaration would have politically. I recall the Reynolds/Spring coalition were about to patch up there smat over Harry Whelahan until the I.T. threw a hand grenade into the party.
Dick walked the next day.
Fast forward to 2006 “weve done it before why not do it again” but this time it infiltrate the discredited Mahon tribunal, illegally get possession of the most private of details, publish them, then shred. This type of gutter press worked for I.T. before its bound to work again another coup de tat another government falls at a very politically sensitive time November 24 2006 looms it make or break time for the devolved institutions up north.
What is Ger and her pals up to in the I.T. who do they think they represent does the great democrats ignore 94% south and 74% north saying yes does this resounding endorsement not mean anything to these misguided self elected guardians of the state.
Or am I missing the point here is there a much more deep rooted reasons for this type of dangerous journalism from the I.T. who are pulling the strings behind the scenes ? who are setting the papers policy’s ? what is the motivation ? where does the editorial stance come from and why ?
No doubt about it we are living in treacherous times in this country some might even go as far as saying treasonous.
Don’t forget You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. I would have voted for Abe Lincoln.
Wise up Ger and co. before you do us more real political and economic damage.
Well summed up “Dalkey Observer” The media people are very good at asking questions but not so good at answering when required. There is a race to the bottom underway between media organs in this country and nobody seems prepared to check it.
But there are deeper questions for Kennedy and Co. to answer. The timing of this illegal publication must be looked at, at once. Was it her intention to scupper the chance of peace in Northern Ireland and who is the ringmaster in the backround who is directing all of this. The Irish Times was always a pro Brittish publication but even the Brittish want peace in Northern Ireland now. The Taoiseach has answered all his questions as a result of this illegal leak, now its time for Kennedy and the Times to come on stage and let us know what their agenda is. But of course the most pertinent material has already been destroyed by Ms Kennedy. Why no media questions about that.
The right of the media to tell the people the truth is sacred. Whether or not Bertie Ahern is a good public servant is an opinion at this stage. Personally I reflect on all the farces that he has presided over/created. First of all there are his ministerial appointments. It is now blatantly obviously that Ahern learnt one thing well from his mentor CJH. Ahern only places loyal people to cabinet posts. All Ahern’s ministers have the same prime characteristic – OBEDIENCE. It’s worse that the Catholic Hierarchy in the 1950s under John Charles McQuaid. (JCM is also another mentor of Ahern-in fact Ahern practically grew up under his nose. JCM had a big thing about Obedience also-and he knew how to punish anybody who showed disobedience). Ability is of no importance to any of Ahern’s ministers. Take a lot a them. Cullen the consistent clow. Roche who is the most capable liar Irish poltics has seen since Ray Burke. Dermot Ahern – another con-artist. Dempsey – pandering to vested interests like Shell, and the ESB. O’Donoghue – minister for looking after the FAI fat cats. Kitt – lazy. Biffo-an alcoholic. Willie O’Dea – trigger happy. Only Michael Martin stands out as capable in doing his job, and the rest of them have all rallied around Ahern to isolate Michael Martin.
Why is it that in Ireland we jail journalists who tell the people the truth before we jail politicians who are corrupt ?? (example Susan O’Keefe, and the Beef Tribunal investigation).
Fine Gael are trying to inflict as much damage as possible on Ahern without causing him to resign as FF leader. The last thing Fine Gael want to see is Michael Martin as FF leader. Michael Martin is everything that is Ahern is missing. Martin is articulate, can reason issues, is a good listener, can analyze complex issues, and never panics in a crisis. Most crucially he is consistent on every position that he takes. He does not weave stories like Ahern and then twist them etc.. the fact is we are not paying our taxes to have a liar run the country.
Labour are in an even weaker position. The problem from the Labour viewpoint is that on the ground they have become Fianna Fail Plan B. The Labour front bench are older and less imaginitative than Fianna Fail. However the Labour front bench are not willing to staqnd down and let another younger generation take their place. For one thing they haven’t been in power since 1997, and they enjoyed it then, and want to go back to those days. Dessie O’Malley once said that Labour would go mad if they got into government. Well the deepest urge within the Labour Party is to get into government and Go Mad. There is a generational struggle within the Irish Labour Party, with the children of 1968 and privelege trying to hold the reins for long enough for one more Californian style slurge into madness.
Then we have the others. The Independents are in two camps. Easy to accomodate if you are the government. And difficult to accomodate if you are in government. The semi-FF Independents are the weakest electorally. The hardline localist independents are strongest, because they come from the activist side of politics. Also because they are prinicipled they are harder to buy when scandal breaks. Sinn Fein have stalled, but they aim to hold the balance of power. Given their past, none of the others will allow this to happen. The Greens show the capacity to ask serious probing questions of others, while producing stupid answers of their own at the same time. And the PDs are divided within into the McDowell camp, which wants to act as the consceince of the body politic and the Liz O’Donnel camp which wants to go shopping.
If Micheal Martin took over Fianna Fail and replaced the clowns this would reinvigorate the Irish politic system even more than the changearound that Enda Kenny has acheived within Fine Gael. It would also paralyze the current Labour leadership, because they would find themselves redundant for the core section of the electorate that both Fianna Fail and Labour aim to please. In essence the result would be that Labour would have to remakre itself also.
This would result in the three main political parties raising their level of comptence before the next election. There are possible losers in such a scenario. These would include the big winners under the current scenario. Therefore in spite of this crisis, there are lot of elements in the political and media arena that wish to prevent Ahern from being sacked/forced to resign. And it is the strength of these elements that is the reason why Ahern is still in power.
The only true public servant in the Media seems to be the Irish Times, and in the political arena, the activist Independents. It is no wonder many Irish people are cynical of politics. Only those that vote for activist independents, a few competent main party candidates with national outlook, and analyse these issues to the level of Geraldine Kennedy, or at a higher level are really doing anything positive about it, HOWEVER.
Last night the Irish soccer team got beaten. The manager is in many wasy the epitome of an Irish government minister. The fans are outraged. But he was picked for his one quality “OBEDIENCE”. Stan obeyed the FAI line after Keane was sent home from Saipan. RTE gave him man of the match. Stan told us what being Irish was really about-having
Stan told us what being Irish was really about. Getting pissed and having a laugh. Stan wasn’t having any of the Roy Keane nonsense about going to the World Cup to win the World Cup. Anyone with the mentality should go and get a caman and join the Cork Hurling team. Being Irish soccer supporter is all about loyalty, showing loyalty, showing off loyalty. And essentially I cannot see any difference between loyalt and OBEDIENCE. Walk outs are for GAA players. Irish soccer players don’t walk out. Because Irish soccer players are OBDIENT, through the loyalty culture. But the GAA players are volunteers. And volunteers can unvolunteer themselves at any moment. And this is the essence of a different approach to Authority. It’s a case of the players actually waiting to be led by reason rather than authority. And this is what all the conflict and scandals in IRISH SOCIETY ALL COME DOWN TO – AUTHORITY vs. REASON in Irish society. And this was why the FAI hated Roy Keane. Roy Keane was the source of a leak. Roy Keane acted as the voice of reason. Keane had his facts in order. There was a threat to their authority. And this was evidence when all the FAI officials got off the plane when the Irish soccer team came home from another “result”. The same mentality that we seen with FF ministers attacking the Irish Times for protecting the source of the leak that hit Bertie. The same mentality that we seen when people called Keane a traitor. Yet Keane was the only true patriot of the lot. Because he refused to bow to incompetence on the part of authority. Roy Keane showed the Irish people how to handle authority. Take it on in an argument. And the OBEDIENCE patriotism concept is shown up as useless.
We got rich, but we have not behaved like a people that had found it’s way. The Irish Times understands that this issue of Authority vs. Reason is at the heart of the Irish society. And this issue sells newspapers. Eventually Reason should succed. Just like it did in all the other Catholic countries. And when this happens, then we will have arrived. Then Robert Emmet’s epitaph can be written…
Allen of the bog has nicely clouded the issue and doesnt appear willing to face the issues I raised. The only ones to have done anthing illegal here are Geraldine Kennedy and the Irish times. They are the ones who have to answer the questions in relation to their devious and treasonous actions. Allen of the bog must be overwhelmed by the rarified air and the smell of the heather in the midlands but there is no escape for Kennedy and Co. They must not be above the law no more than any other citizen.
I can understand why Allen of the Bog is feeling a bit depressed. The polls are showing an upsurge of support for Bertie after the attempt by Kennedy and the Times to overthrow one of the best Governments this country has seen. Democracy must be a great disappointment to Allen of the Bog and his ilk. The Irish electorate is very sophisticated despite what he thinks and come next May Bertie will be back stronger that ever. Enda Kenny will be replaced by a new Fine Gael leader, however as we know changing Fine Gael leaders is like changing deck chairs on the Titanic.
Allen of the Bog does not want to know what Kennedy and Co. were really up to but I do and the Irish people do. We want peace in Northern Ireland and Bertie can help deliver that. We dont want our legitimate Government overthrown by a minority of treasonous activists with a secret and dangerous agenda.
So wise up Allen of the Bog. There are none so blind as those who will not see
Give up those fags your beginning to speak in tongues a chap like you advising FF who they should appoint as Taoiseach is like turkeys voting for Christmas.
Lets stick to the point and once and for all nail the pathetic quality of journalistic integrity we have in this country.
If you fire enough muck some is bound to stick there was a time when the College of Commerce Rathmines turned out a decent percentage of objectivity however since its departure to Aungier St. the quality of product as fallen sharply.
But most worrying of all is who are the Lecturing staff in these colleges what planet do they come from they do they seriously believe by saturating the Irish media circus with clone after clone of these brainwashed and at this stage predictable anti Irish scribes that the ability of the Irish electorate and society in general to see a clear pied piper syndrome at play in the Irish media.
So come on Mary get down out of your ivory tower and crank that I.T. machine into reverse and start investigating yourselves.
The recorder me arse recorder of what tittle tattle half truths that you can then regurgitate as quality investigative work such is the porosity of the media here that you know it will go unchallenged.
With your tendency to show your true colour at very sensitive political periods in recent history please stop trying to pretend you are anything other that a conduit for the worst type of attempted social and political manipulation.
With the bulk of the Irish regional press now owned by the following five main players – Independent News and Media plc, Thomas Crosbie Holdings, the Johnston Group, Dunfermline Press and Alpha Newspaper Group. Dunfermline is a Scottish-based company, which has bought five titles since 2002. Alpha Newspaper Group is a Northern Irish company owned by John Taylor, the former Unionist MP. It has purchased five regional titles south of the border since 2003 it doesn’t seem it is going to get any better in the short term.
Its gone past the stage of considering if we need a Press complaint commission in this country or not. It’s clearly a necessity to bring some sort of order on an INDUSTRY OUT OF CONTROL.
Useful web site http://www.pcc.org.uk
You are so right Dalkey Observer. The media in Ireland is full of extremely dodgy types now. The Independent Group were always suspect but now its spread across the entire spectrum. It must be put right and self regulation is not the answer. The Gardai are proof that, that doesnt work. Some sort of sin bin might be a help. Just remove their licence to publish for 6 Months or a Year for the really serious offences (such as Geraldine Kennedys)
It is vital in the meantime to find the truth behind the leak and its publication. It must relate in some way to the upcoming Northern Ireland peace talks and the overthrow attempt was meant derail devolved government for the North.
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