Bertie fans are really coming out of the woodwork in response to the television documentary.
Corcoran, a fanatical fan, thinks that Ahern will come to regret his participation in what he describes as a ‘crude little series’. In this instance I agree with Corcoran. So far, the documentary paints Ahern in a very bad but truthful light so it’s not surprising that one of his most devoted fans is upset.
O’Dea approves of the documentary. He tells us that the series demonstrates that wealth and personal glory were not the motivating factors for Ahern’s career in politics. Mmm…perhaps all that money Bertie ‘won on the horses’ was donated to charity?
Amazingly, O’Dea actually makes a mild criticism of Haughey – “Haughey polarised, Bertie united.” He tells us. Such ‘courage’ from one of the fearful faithful? Methinks Willie will be receiving a visit some dark night from the great corrupter.
John Cooney: (Author of ‘Battleship Bertie’; Politics in Ahern’s Ireland)
Cooney is another fan although he does refer to Ahern as ‘the disgraced ex-Taoiseach’. He goes on to describe Ahern as a major figure in history, tells us that the nation nostalgically yearns for the vanished Golden Age of the Bertie Era. Well, that’s partially correct – there was a lot of vanished gold.
Cooney aligns himself with all those stupid people who ignore the facts and choose to believe the fairytale that the cunning Bertie got out of power because he knew what was coming down the line.
I say stupid people because if, as his admirers claim, Bertie was a world class leader, a man of the people, a patriot to his fingertips, surely he would have stayed on to lead the nation through the great crisis and out into the glory of yet another Golden Age? Instead, the fecker legged it.
Professor Richard Aldous (Head of History and Archives at UCD).
Never heard of this guy before but he’s certainly a Bertie fan. The professor tells us that the Mahon Tribunal will warrant a mere two paragraphs when history makes its judgement on Ahern.
“The first will be to recount the part the inquiry played in the downfall of a Taoiseach. The second paragraph will be to wonder at the democratic deficit involved in that process.”
Clearly, the professor believes that Ahern is an innocent man brought down by an evil tribunal. I wonder what influence this man has on young students.
Later, Aldous bizarrely and grotesquely equates Ahern’s leadership qualities with those of Barack Obama – Where’s that bucket?
Brendan O’Connor: (Sunday Independent columnist).
O’Connor is Ahern’s number one fan; there are times when I suspect that the columnist is actually in love with his hero. He agrees with Ahern’s ex wife that Bertie has ‘lovely eyes’.
O’Connor attacks all the usual suspects, that is, everybody who hasn’t sworn undying loyalty to the ward boss.
He regrets that the documentary felt the need to trot out all that boring nitty-gritty stuff about Ahern’s bank accounts; it destroyed what could have been a great epic, he tells us. Bertie, according to O’Connor, is a ‘flawed masterpiece.’
Like all the other Bertie fans O’Connor talks about the deep and mysterious Bertie, the man that nobody really knows, the man who doesn’t even know himself, the man who looks in the mirror every morning and asks himself – “Can I trust you?”
Given the culture of corruption and ruthless ambition in Fianna Fail I’d say that’s a question every TD in the party asks every moring as they look in the mirror.