Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Bertie Ahern resigns at last

Gombeen Man wishes Bertie (Dig-out) Ahern good riddance, but doubts that his likely successor - Brian Cowan - will offer any improvement in terms of integrity. Note Cowen's U-turn on stamp duty in the last budget - which he had promised he would not alter - after a reported meeting in the Radisson with property developers and leading estate agents before its presentation. Note his recent decision not to close off a stamp duty tax avoidance "loophole" used by developers. More of the same, I'm afraid.

In Britain, politicians resign when they are caught at it. Here, they have to be drummed out of office - and the most worrying thing is that in Ahern's case this has been brought about by the airing of his affairs by the tribunals, and the resultant (and justified) pressure from the press.

Sadly, if Ahern stood up for election again tomorrow, the Irish public would vote him back in.

What does that say about us as a nation?

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