Friday, December 31, 2010
Out with the old and in with the new
Ironically for the day that’s in it that former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern should announce his retirement at years end, 19 years after Mikhail Gorbachev threw in his hand . But threre the comparison ends. Whereas Gorbachev never achieved his goal of reconstructing the Soviet Union into a modern socialist state, Bertie the sociaist sure changed our society for many’s a year to come and I for now know that as I’ll be paying his bills as well as his pension for quite some time yet.
Bertie’s greatest achievement wasn’t the Good Friday Agreement, I’ll credit that to John Hume the genuine and greatest Irishman ever. No, Berties’s greatest achievement of which there were very many was hoodwinking the Irish people into the fairytale that he was the Dubs and Man U loving Bass drinking working class lad from the inner city who made it to the London School of Economics and created the wealth that was described in the media as the Celtic Tiger. I can never take any of that away from him. He was none of tha. the genesis for our tiger economy of the late 90's was put in place by the Rainbow. By 2001 Fianna Fail had trashed it and replaced it with a consumer boom
Once the Bertie myth had been put out there by a compliant media led by O’Reilly who saw advantage and profit for themselves the re-creation of our country as the ideal right wing playground for the illusion of wealth that is Ahern’s Fianna Fail, the slump was inevitable. Ahern's first move was to create a post intellectual society where tax write offs or buy offs or celebrity politics sub planted debate and discussion. If you suggested a bust you were talking down the economy (as some economists who wouldn't share my analysis did and they were right). Bertie famously turned up on RTE’s “The Premiership and Hung with Hector. Dumbing down rather than levelling up. The acquiescent media and an opposition that competed with one another to bed down with the Frankenstein that he’d created rather than square up all played their part in trashing the state.
I remember at one election commenting to any one who’d listen that Labour was neither sadly big enough to pose a threat to Fianna Fail nor thankfully small enough to be of use to them. Ahern found his toadies, a TD from the Gaeltacht who wanted to watch BBC, Lowry who feared a tribunal report, Healy Rae, the greens and of course Harney and her zealots in the PD’s. The rest isn’t so much history as the evidence needed for a treason trial. In reality I don’t think we will see here what the Icelandic people will get from their PM who tee-ed up their slump when he goes on trial.
We don’t have government for the people by the people. Our unique democratic system is more government by alibi for the guilty. Lehman Brothers, Europe, the regulator, the Central Bank, the builders and the bankers all according to Ahern were outside this control and if he was in power he’d have kept a closer eye on things as the recently reminded the Poles.
The reality is that our current mess resulted from his and Fianna Fail’s abandonment of their responsibility to protect the state from the collateral damage of moneymen and cowboys doing the only thing that that they know what to do. Those of us who are more cynical would say that the moneymen could only do what they did with the support of Ahern and his toadies.
He didn’t enter politics 40 years ago for the money but he sure got out of it for the pension. Thanks for nothing Bertie! You’re a leprechaun in comparison to real politicians like Hume or Gorbachev.