Note to Marian Finucane: Flirting with reality can be embarrassing

Journalist and Fianna Fail supporter, Noel Whelan, was on the Marian Finucane Show (Saturday) discussing his new book – Fianna Fail, A biography of the Party.

He was joined in the discussion by former PD leader, Des O’Malley and historian and broadcaster, John Bowman.

None of the participants had any notion whatsoever of what they were talking about.

Any Irish citizen who engages in a discussion on the history of Fianna Fail for over thirty minutes without once mentioning the word ‘corruption’ is either clinically brain dead or is living in a parallel universe.

The criminal Haughey, for example, was only mentioned briefly on a number of occasions with no reference whatsoever to his long criminal career in politics.

It seems that this vastly experienced and professional group of people, deeply involved, for decades, in Irish politics and journalism, sees no connection between the most corrupt political party in the land, its former leader, the criminal Haughey, and the ultimate destruction of the nation.

Marian referred to those who are still proud to be a member of Fianna Fail, specifically referring to the recent rant by Fail TD, Robert Troy, who seems to resent being treated like something one would walk on, on the streets.

John Bowman’s response was incredible:

And so they should be, Fianna Fail has a fantastic record. It has changed this country, it has modernised this country. During the war it held the country together on a policy of neutrality when other parties were much more fragmented so it has a lot to be proud of.

Before I go any further let’s take a brief look at Bowman’s record.

He has a PhD in Political Science. He chaired Questions and Answers for 21 years where he dealt with the avalanche of political and business corruption that came down upon the people of Ireland during those years.

He has written several books on Irish politics/history.

You will not find many people in Ireland, and not one person in the media, willing to criticise this icon of the Irish state and yet he’s obviously a complete ignoramus on the subject of Fianna Fail and the major part played by that party in the destruction of Ireland.

We witness a hint of Bowman’s ignorance when he has to go back 72 years to Fianna Fail’s policy of neutrality in World War II for an example of the party’s so called good leadership.

He goes on to tell the nation where it all went wrong for Fianna Fail.

People were voting for Fianna Fail because they were economically competent. “Don’t much like them but they know how to run the country.”

They were trading on economic competence and because they were economically incompetent in the last government that’s where it all melted away.

So, this ‘great’ intellectual and so called political scientist labours under the delusion that Fianna Fail was, until very recent times, an economically competent party, a party who knew how to run the country?

Even Marian Finucane couldn’t handle this level of ignorance.

Mind you, given the amount of time they were in power in the 85 years, it was like cyclical that they were incompetent. If you take the emigration of the 50s, the disaster of the 80s and the current situation, they were running the show?

Finucane’s deadly and very accurate assessment of reality was followed by an embarrassed silence caused, I suspect, by what Bowman saw as an impertinent challenge to his usually unchallenged political analysis.

He began to splutter.

Mmm…yeah….but…well emigration was driven not necessarily…I mean there’s an assumption in your question that if only the politicians could get the policy right we’d have no emigration.

Finucane wasn’t talking about emigration; she was exposing Bowman’s ridiculous analysis of recent Irish history.

Before any more embarrassment could be inflicted on Bowman, Noel Whelan interrupted and changed the subject.

Finucane should really be more careful about straying from the parallel universe in which most of the Irish media enjoy a comfortable existence with their political friends.

Flirting with reality can be embarrassing.