What a load of complete codswallop.
He does a carefully managed one-on-one interview with the ever polite Dobson who to be fair did ask the right questions but just very nicely. He did pull out a great quote from Bertie that politicians should not be under obligation to anyone! Wasn’t going to stand up in the Dail! Why didn’t he say what he had to say in the Dail?
EVERYONE who has had contact with the Tribunals has had to go through the same process. And as we all know the Tribunals leak like sieves (em, guilty here I know). Ever had a tax audit Bertie? My parents had one. My mother had to go through the account in our local shop and explain how she managed to feed a family on the food she was buying. The auditor didn’t believe she could run her kitchen on the food bought in the corner shop. And you weep because you have to explain where you got Â£38k in 1993?
The bottom line is that he received money from his friends, “loans” which were never repaid, to help him out with his personal finances. (Sound familiar? What’s the difference between this and Haughey except scale? He says its not the same. How exactly?) Now I don’t believe that Bertie Ahern is corrupt or that these were bribes or anything else. I’m still vague on the tax implications. But tough, welcome to Tribunal land. He got money and he has to explain it. Yes its embarrassing, yes its stressful. What do you think everyone else has been going through for years? Suddenly he’s the only victim of the Tribunals?
Marvellous media management. And its worked. RTE being flooded with outraged calls. I’m sorry for him personally, but I had a flash back to me crying in the bed when the Moriarty Tribunal told me that they’d call me to the witness stand a few days after my first baby was due to be born. And Denis O’Brien trying to get permission for a day off from the Tribunal because his wife had to get a Caesarian because their baby was in trouble. (And a lot of people casually assuming it was a lie). Bertie Ahern isn’t the first person to have his finances exposed. Tough shit.
Update: Listening to the radio and the journos are screeching about this being the biggest political crisis Bertie has faced and he is SO damaged etc etc. He’s not damaged. The performance last night was outstanding and the people will sympathise with him. In fact, if I was the opposition I could fairly easy today or they’ll be a backlash.