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.
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