David McWilliams on stupid Bertie

From the Attic Archives.

Irish Times, Friday January 30th 2004.

Broadcaster wrote Ahern speeches.

The broadcaster David McWilliams has said that he wrote magazine articles under a pseudonym in the 1990s criticising the then finance minister, Mr. Bertie Ahern, for whom he was writing speeches at the time.

McWilliams said in an interview with Hot Press magazine that he wrote speeches for Mr. Ahern for three years when he was working in the Central Bank.

“Bertie was the minister for finance and wouldn’t have been very well versed in the intricacies of exchange rates and so forth, so we used to prime him on appropriate governmental reaction to economic events,” he said.

McWilliams said that he wrote a series of articles for Business & Finance magazine at that time using the pseudonym Jock Rosen.

“So I was writing speeches for Bertie on Wednesday and criticising him on a Friday in Business & Finance.”

McWillimans presents a radio show on NewsTalk 106 and he is host of TV3s Agenda programme. He said that many powerful institutions were made of sand “and that’s something my time in the Central Bank taught me.”

The people who are supposed to be in control aren’t in control, and this is the beauty of all sorts of powerful institutions which flex their muscles publicly,” he said

“I mean, I really did observe that at a certain point we could more or less have written anything, and it would have been read out. Fortunately I’m not that devious.”

This article tells us a number of things.

McWilliams, as early as 2004, was on the ball about what was happening in Ireland. He was aware that powerful institutions were made of sand and were not in control.

He was also having great fun showing up Ahern for what he is – an idiot willing to read out anything handed to him no matter how ridiculous.