Eamon Keane: Everyone is to blame except Bertie Self-serving: Bertie Ahern
WELCOME back to Planet Bertie, the land where you swallow anything.
Bertie told us on RTE's Freefall programme that our financial meltdown is the fault of the Regulator, Government advisers and Lehman Brothers. Down to everyone but himself. Gulp. Bertie laid the blame mainly at the door of the banks. So that was it, Bertie. You couldn't have done anything more? Classic Bertie double-speak. It suited Bertie and Co to turn a blind eye to their buddies.
Down to everyone but himself. Gulp.
Bertie laid the blame mainly at the door of the banks. So that was it, Bertie. You couldn't have done anything more? Classic Bertie double-speak. It suited Bertie and Co to turn a blind eye to their buddies.
We've been here before. Remember Bertie explaining the large amounts of monies he had received in the '90s? Remember the infamous "Dig Outs" when Bert was experiencing marriage trouble ?
On RTE, Bertie said he was told to "stay quiet" when he raised concerns. Wasn't he the leader of the country? In Iceland they are looking at prosecuting former politicians for alleged negligence. What are the odds on any of our shower ever facing such a fate?
Just under a year ago I asked Bertie the question: "Weren't you warned about the economy?"
"No," came the answer.
I pointed out that John Fitzgerald and others had warned the Government repeatedly about overheating the economy.
"No," says Bertie.
Well what about the National Treasury Management Agency refusing to deposit funds with Anglo back in 2007?
Bertie had no worries about a property crash. In 2006 he told the "prophets of doom" he didn't know how 'they don't go and commit suicide". And last night Bertie told us that he stands by the underlying sentiment. You see, Omerta was the code of silence that you dared not break. Bertie's code. Those who spoke out were mocked and derided.
On previous episodes of Planet Bertie we were also told our current crisis was due to "International Factors" -- the fall of Lehman Brothers for instance. Sure if it wasn't for them we'd all still be sitting pretty. Ah, the good old days: two apartments in Bulgaria and the kids driving Range Rovers around the garden. But this tried and worn-out guff was blown out of the water by the Government's own recent banking report.
Let's be honest, the cabal of Bertie, developers and bankers have almost bankrupted this country. Yet still he evades the truth.
As does Brian Cowen.
They're still in denial over their fatal reliance on the construction sector. Still in denial over the tax laws they made that inflated the bubble. At least Brian Lenihan faced it squarely on Freefall.
Bertie blamed the Regulators' office as they "never looked for a meeting". Yet Bertie and Co created a regulatory system that made the Wild West look like Lourdes.
This is the same Bertie who signed blank cheques for Charlie Haughey, and would now like to be considered for the Presidency.
No doubt Bertie Ahern does deserve immense credit for his part in the Northern peace process. But he insults us with his stubborn refusal to accept he had any part in the making of the situation we are in now.
Bertie's legacy is our legacy. Think of the thousands of euros you and your children will pay for the Anglo mess.
Maybe you've had enough of Gombeen politics and Golden Circles, enough of Double Speak Bullshit and Omerta, enough of a political system that strips you of truth and transparency, enough of a country where you bail out the rich and the powerful.
Enough of Planet Bertie, where the former Taoiseach takes credit but never responsibility.