Fianna Fail and the Tribunal

By | February 27, 2008

They say

1. It’s turned into a witch-hunt into his personal finances

No, it hasn’t. An allegation was made that he had taken money. They investigated his accounts and found hundreds of thousands of pounds in them. They asked him to explain the source of the money. He can’t.

2. A different standard applied at the time – all this ethics business is quite new

Since when was it not required to pay tax on your personal income?

3. We should wait until the Tribunal reports

Why? John Bruton ordered Michael Lowry to resign within 24hours of learning of his payments from Ben Dunne on which he had paid no tax (for work actually carried out! unlike Bertie). Some people don’t need a tribunal to tell them how to act.

4. The people knew all this anyway before the election

No they didn’t. Substantially new information has come out in even just the past month.

5. It doesn’t matter cos he did a deal on the North

Who said that being tax compliant and delivering on political issues were mutually exclusive?

6. Lots of people have tax issues

And we can see why. Why should they pay taxes if successive FIANNA FAIL TAOISIGH don’t bother.

7. Other politicians in other political parties took money

And they were wrong too.

8. It’s important to be loyal to the leader

And debase everyone associated with politics in the meantime. And themselves.

9. Fine Gael and Labour lost the election so tough luck.

I don’t care. The Taoiseach took money for Fianna Fail and kept it for himself. Took money for himself and didn’t pay his taxes. He told huge lies to the people in the Brian Dobson interview. Even if the people re-elected him tomorrow it would still be wrong.

19 thoughts on “Fianna Fail and the Tribunal

  1. Andrew Lawlor

    You just don’t learn, do you, Sarah. Red rag to a bull or what. Firstly I agree with all that you have said, but thers’s no point telling the Crewser to shut up and then publishing a post like that!!

  2. The Bad Ambassador

    QED!

    Excellent post Sarah – right on the money.

    Perhaps in this case I should really say “right on the money*/dig out/debt of honour/loan/political contribution for personal use”. (Delete as appropriate).

    * In some cases the particular currency and denominations of money in question is unclear.

  3. Elizabeth

    10. The tribunal has not produced any evidence that he got money from O’Callaghan, as alleged by Gilmartin.

    But if he didn’t get it from O’Callaghan, who then gave him such vast amounts of money and why did they give it?

    Waiting for the tribunal to report is all very well, but it – as FF are constantly at pains to point out – was not set up to inquire into Ahern’s finances. It can only conclude one of two things in respect of Ahern – he got money from O’Callaghan or he didn’t. The tribunal’s report will not, and cannot, come to any conclusions on the rights and wrongs of the vast sums sloshing around Drumcondra at the time.

    As FF know, the tribunal will probably have to conclude that there is not enough evidence (because there is no evidence of anything in regard to his finances and most of the witnesses are conveniently dead or “unwell”) to decide that he got money from O’Callaghan. However, it cannot “vindicate” him (to borrow a phrase from Albert) in regard to the Pandora’s box of other issues in regard to his finances that the tribunal’s investigations have inadvertently shone a light on. Therefore, it is incumbent on FF to state their position now, rather than hiding behind the tribunal until after the election.

    However, if the opposition have any sense, they will lay off now and let FF self-destruct. It is important to make statements and keep the evidence in the headlines. However, if they continue to force the issue, as they did with Cowen this week, it will backfire, as FF will then be able to spin it as an essentially decent man, hounded out of office – the prince of peace, forced to languish on the backbenches. Let his evidence take its course, and let him continue to reveal himself and the Drumcondra mafia for what they really are.

  4. Tomaltach

    Crewser said Not a shred of evidence has emerged against Bertie Ahern in respect of the matters which Mahon was supposed to be investigating

    That’s right. But your point is that regardless of what wrongs Bertie might be found to have committed while in high office, as long as it’s not within Mahon’s direct terms of reference it should have no political relevance! Well, I’m sorry to say that position is not tenable, nor, thankfully is it going to pertain. As long as more funny stories about Bertie’s finances emerge, they will have, as they should, political consequences for him and senior members of his party.

  5. Electron

    Using an old expression – FF are as brazen as brass and they just don’t care. They’ve been in power for far too long and have lost touch with reality and are now acting like a type of monarchy.
    It a dangerous development as this brings us full circle from our origins as a nation. Bertie just did a job of work, no more, no less, and got well paid for it – what more does he deserve. Reality is being abandoned for a type of fairyland. Lowry got the chop immediately for being involved in an unorthodox business arrangement – it was a work payment issue and not a bribe. Bertie and his predecessors are a totally different ballgame, monies were received for what we don’t know – our suspicions are well justified. To FF, winning an election is viewed as a licence to do as they please – a monarchy in all but name.

  6. Tom N

    The defenses of the Taoiseach reached a new low last Friday on morning Ireland. Dr Mansergh screamed at Cathal Mac Choille (a very nice man by the way) and Senator Regan (or O’Regan as Dr Mansergh calls him. Mind you he also called him Mohammed Al Fayed).

    Follow the link. You need media player (or something similar). The interview starts at about 1hr 11 mins into the programme, but the scream is at about 1 hr 18 mins. Very funny stuff.

    http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2008/pc/pod-v-220208-110m27s-morningireland.mp3

    Sarah,
    I implore you to leave the Crewser’s comments in. I just spent hours in traffic and I need some comic relief. Her comments are quite like Dr Mansergh’s response on the interview.

  7. Electron

    Crewser, It’s a question of scale – nothing is perfect, but there’s normally some balance to the order of things. Other than the Lowry episode, there’s little else of significance on the opposition’s side.

  8. The Crewser

    Just like Bertie I am not going anywhere. I will continue to expose the begrudgery, double standards and petty grumbling of the opposition and their supporters.

  9. Andrew Lawlor

    Sarah,
    I have to say that I am extremely disapointed wlth your decision to moderate Crewser’s comments. It seems to me to be completely anathema to what this whole blogging lark should be about. To the best of my knowledge he hasn’t made any wildly libelous claims, nd if he does you can easily delete those specific comments, as you do with other contributors. Also, although extremely robust in his argument, I don’t believe that he has been personaly nasty towards any other visitors to the site. In fact it is he who is quite often on the recieving end of this type of abuse.

    I know that this is your private site, which you have every right to run as your own personal fiefdom, but it was the open and unrestricted debate which drew me here initially. I hope that that open debate will continue.

    The moderation of the most obviously dissenting view only feeds the belief that the argument against this corrupt cabal cannot stand up to scrutiny.

    Another thought is that you might be doing it to protect your position at the ST. I’m not saying that this is the case, but I can think of one contributor who would jump all over it.

  10. Andrew

    How do you know that a politician knows he’s in the wrong and can’t win a moral argument? He says he ‘won’t take lectures’ from his accuser. It’s a favourite of Cowen’s, so expect to hear plenty more of it.

  11. Gordon Davies

    Did any of you read Jonathan Dimbleby’s article in the ST? How many of you, like me, compared his analysis of Russia today with our situation here? Not as dramatic, perhaps. However, a large section of the electorat seems to have traded all their critical faculies to analyse what is happening for the sake of a short lived binge.

    The present situation in which the party in power fawningly supports a leader who has already admitted to taking money from businessmen for his own personal gain, tax defaulting and using his parties money for his own, and his families (Cecelia was familiy at the time) use is a disastrous undermining of any notions of democracy transparence and ethics in public life. Playing the patriotic tune – Ahern and the Good Friday agreement – is a smokescreen.

    I firmly believe that the way Bartholomew managed his personal and constituency finances is an accurate reflection of FF’s bumbling record in managing public finances and public infrastructure projects during their reign. Like Putin, they benefited from a favorable economic climat that was not of their making, and were able to disguise their incompetence and self-interested mal-administration. Yes, we had the Celtic Tiger, but in competent hands we could have used the new found riches to sort out the health service, improve schools, invest in broadband and other elements of the “knowledge economy” that is rapidly becoming an inattainable aspiration.

    Gordon

  12. Rob Hickey

    unfortunately Cowen’s reputation is only being tarnished in the eyes of those who already feel that FF is a cancer on Irish politics (cancer / parasite – you choose). It will take a lot more to convince the stubborn FF support to use their heads and start thinking about who they should let into government.

  13. Sarah Post author

    Gordon: I agree completely.The last ten years has seen waste and poor planning on an scale that amounts to immorality. Where do FF get reputation of sound management from? Its bungling and incompetence from one week to the next.

  14. V

    Andrew Mate…
    I don’t bother reading comments anymore on threads which feature Crewser because I know ‘it’ ruins the debate. Nothing ‘it’ says contains any relevance to points being discussed or a desire to discuss anything. Crewser is the human personification of ‘spam’ and as you well know, a political tactic is to reduce the debate to ridicule. As Orwell said, it is like a person standing up in the middle of a chess match and accusing the other of adultery. Even if you ignore ‘it’, ‘it’ still comes back again and again with the same old tactic and SOMEONE always rises to the bait. ‘It’ is human ‘spam’ and nothing else.

  15. Mark Waters

    Crewser, where can I get that software you have that scans blogs for mentions of your name and automatically posts boiler-plate responses? It’s really good, very lifelike.

  16. The Crewser

    Not so Gordon its just that FF politicians would not have the preachy holier than thou attitude of Enda Kenny if they were in opposition. Why is it ok to allow The Mahon Tribunal take its course in the case of his politicians and not in the case of members of other parties. I know its because Bertie has caused FG to be perennial losers in General Elections but thats not good enough as far as I am concerned.

  17. Mark Waters

    See what I mean? It’s brilliant. You can set it up to output the same content in a million different ways.

  18. Gordon Davies

    Score so far FG 2 FF about 200 or more… Crewser has lost that argument.

    Gordon

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