Bertie Ahern does a 'Nixon' over money scandal - Political Quote

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Bertie Ahern does a 'Nixon' over money scandal

An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD, is developing a Nixonesque paranoia in relation to the Irish Times expose on the cash he received from friends, aka the €50,000 "dig out" and the "gift" payment in Manchester of €8,000.

Ahern was asked by the Sunday Independent some weeks ago about who he thought had brought the payments to the attention of the media. He was also asked by the paper did he know who was out to "bury" him?

Bertie Ahern replied "I'd love to know. And I'd bury them. But I don't know. But somebody was. Somebody had fairly calculated and manipulatively planned this out. But I don't know. I could get lucky some day if I find out."

Bertie has also complained about a conspiracy against him (read that here) which is being conducted, according to Bertie Ahern, by "those in politics who have agendas. There are those out there who are personally out to get you all of the time."
He has also complained about the media coverage of these payments. Asked to sum up 2006 at his annual Christmas Address to the nation Mr Ahern said his treatment by the media over the issue of the payments was unfair and accused some people of operating an agenda aimed at tripping him up.
The Taoiseach is keeping a close eye on the media and he recently observed that in relation to the reports on his acceptance of payments "For 22 days of the year I got the national newspapers, for the first time in my 30-year career, for 18 headlines in a row. One national newspaper gave me 16 headlines out of 18."
Ahern's claims of unfair treatment by the media, his being targeted by a conspiracy and his promise to "bury" those responsible for exposing the payments can only be seen as attempts to distract from the real controversy.
The facts are that Bertie Ahern received two payments "from friends" in 1994 and 1995 totalling €50,000 which he says he regarded as loans but then admitted that in 10 years he had not repaid a cent.
In 1994 he received another payment in the form of a "whip-round" "gift" of €8,000 from 25 businessmen in Manchester. As he received this outside of the country he says he did not need to pay tax on it.
Bertie Ahern has taken money while a serving minister of our government, that is a fact and it was wrong. The scandal and media hype surrounding Ahern's finances are his own fault, of his own creation and the media's inquiries and coverage has been entirely justified.
Talk of conspiracy, persecution by the media and threats to "bury" the whistleblower is disturbing coming from the lips of the Taoiseach. It is reminiscent of Nixon's behaviour in the months before he was finally forced to leave power over the Watergate scandal. Nixon was full of threats, casting around for those responsible for exposing his wrong-doing and denying his role and responsibility to the media, his staff and those close to him.

Like Nixon, Bertie Ahern is casting about for a scapegoat, blaming those with "agendas", denying his culpability and has already given us his Checkers speech on RTE with Brian Dobson (though he used his daughters and not his dog to hide behind and to milk for sympathy).

Bertie Ahern is guilty of low standards in high office, he compounds this with talk of conspiracy, blaming the media while refusing to acknowledge that he did wrong, but it is when he starts talking about "burying" people that he goes too far.

kick it on


cathy said...

congrats on nomination for best post.

seankk said...

Excellent post Keith, and well done on all the nominations in the blog awards. Keep it up. How do you do the transitions?

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