Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Big Picture Bertie

Not for the first time, we see similarities between the approach to government of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Dubya. Both have clearly chosen to stick to chairman of the board kind of stuff and avoid the messy details of policies. So Bertie has kept an extremely low profile on the Gama and nursing home scandals, but pops up today with a carefully phrased tribute to Sean Doherty RIP, a man that could have easily found a place in the Nixon Administration:

After a promising early career in An Garda Siochána he entered politics and enjoyed a career that had it full share of controversy and that was seldom far from the centre of events.

Indeed. This is one approach to Doherty's role in tapping journalists' phones as Minister for Justice, but he did make the play for redemption 10 years later by revealing that then Taoiseach Charlie Haughey knew all about it. And the Soldiers of Destiny lived happily ever after.

Bertie's other move lately has to been to play the Good European and claim that the Republic will proceed with a referendum on the dead-and-buried EU Constitution. Our guess is that he is going for point-scoring as the smug-faced one at the imminent EU Summit, leaving the insertion of the stake through the heart to one of the Slayer countries (most likely the UK). In the meantime, Bertie gets to enjoy favourable coverage in Le Monde:

l'Irlande a décidé de maintenir le sien. "Oui, nous allons le faire", a déclaré mardi le ministre des affaires étrangères irlandais, Dermot Ahern, interrogé par la BBC, à la question de savoir si le référendum irlandais était maintenu

The story even has a nice picture of the two Aherns signing the Dead Parrot last year in Rome. One wonders if Bertie's fan club in Paris gets him a complimentary tailored shirt from Charvet?

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