Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"The most clever, the most cunning" & Bertie Ahern

Liz O'Donnell is a politician that I admire greatly. Intelligent, articulate and opinionated, she is respected for her interest in Northern Ireland, Human Rights and Overseas Development Aid. Issues which are unlikely to buy her too many votes within her Dublin South constituency. In general she comes across as more astute and less self-serving than most of her fellow TD's.

Her critics have described her as something of a loose canon. (Of course any woman with an opinion is dangerous and can only be thought of as a lethal weapon. Funny how Conor Lenihan is a maverick politician but Liz is a loose canon.) While I admit one sure sign of an impending election is a broadside from the bould Liz, when has re-establishing one self in the public consciousness at a critical time been a crime?

Now I'm with Liz on the need to separate Church and State. Still her swipe at Bertie Ahern seems more than a little unnecessarily personal. As far as I'm aware, "All Hallows" is not a commonly recognised euphemism for the Catholic Church Inc. Of Ireland. And although I know precious little about Bertie's domestic circumstances, even I was aware that he has a personal affinity to the Vincentian institution and that he lived nearby.

In the wake of the Ferns report, it is completely acceptable to highlight the need to separate Church and State instruments. Personally, I think that one of the best ways would be to acknowledge how the Catholic Church has been a power of both tremendous good as well as despicable evil. We can be no more a la carte with our secularism than we can with our religion.
The swipe at Bertie seemed calculated and premeditated. It certainly wasn't the work of a loose cannon.

So this got me thinking. What if it was all a ruse. You know a contrived spat between Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats that wasn't going to do either Bertie or Liz any harm. Both come out of it looking strong to their particular constituencies. It creates the semblance of debate between the government partners but one that can be soon forgotten. Of course what it does do is knock Fine Gael's Ard Fheis off every news bulletin and relegates it to page 3-4 of most newspapers. The haste with which both sides kissed and made up was quite telling.

Nice one Liz, I'd nearly move house just so that I could be in your constituency.


Blogger JL Pagano said...

Very shrewd observation re: the ruse, that never occurred to me, and is extremely likely.

I also like your swipe at Enda "Can He?" but I hope you are not seriously comparing the use of Irish in the big bad world with that of trigonometry and French...

12:17 p.m., November 16, 2005  

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