Sunday, December 02, 2007

Taoiseach's Friends and Finances

I observe with growing incredulity the unravelling of Bertie Ahern's stories about his personal finances and loans from so-called friends. It reminds me of the story of the little boy who, caught by his mammy with jam smeared on his face, denies adamantly that he had his fingers in the jam jar. I also listen with disgust and anger to the hordes of apologists and wizards of sophistry who seem to find nothing strange about the convoluted financial dealings of our most senior and well-heeled politician: an accountant, former Finance Minister and now Prime Minister of our country.

The legacy of Charles Haughey (who is reputed to have characterised Ahern as, "... the most skillful, the most devious and the most cunning of them all") lives on and continues to fester in the heart of Fianna Fail and to debase those associated with it, whether in politics, business, law, media or public service.

Edmund Burke, the Dublin philosopher, lawyer, politician and graduate of Trinity College, warned that, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." When we accept - and, indeed, defend - standards in public life that are questionable (to say the least) and find nothing wrong with our acceptance, we weaken and corrupt our democracy and civic society.

Burke also said, “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little.” How bad does the stench of putrefaction from Fianna Fail have to get before those with influence and power can bear it no longer and choose instead to rally to Burke's vision and the cause of this Irish republic?

(Broadcast on Today with Pat Kenny, RTE Radio 1 on Monday 3 December 2007)
(Published in Irish Independent on Wednesday 2 December 2007)

No comments: