No more smoke and daggers, we need to be clear on policy
What better way to start 2011 than with the standing down of a man so emblematic of our Toxic Tiger era. It's a new year and never have we been more in need of new politics. The announcement by Bertie Ahern that he will not stand again for the Dail makes for a great beginning.
In recent times, Bertie had become like a boyfriend you just couldn't quite believe you ever dated, not to mention once adored. His list of sins is a long one, but the rapidly deteriorating "relationship" reached a recent low point with his appearance in a kitchen cupboard for a 'News of the World' TV ad.
Was it just me who read it as a backhanded compliment when Brian Cowen said in his tribute to Bertie that he was "without question the consummate politician of our generation in this country"? We can't, or shouldn't, take from him the great work he did in Northern Ireland, the great work in keeping Fianna Fail united and the great work at making everyone feel really good about themselves. But, as he would say himself, much of it was "smoke and daggers" and is tainted by the collapse of the economy and the evidence concerning his own shady finances, which we have heard about from the planning tribunal.