The Middle East with a northern accent
When republicans take up the cause of Gaza, writes Eilis O'Hanlon, they're really fighting a battle closer to home
Bertie Ahern is never asked to comment on what should be done with the Irish economy. It would never even occur to anyone in the Irish media to ask him to do so, because Fianna Fail is generally seen as having been responsible for the financial crash which brought the country to its knees.
Probably unfairly. There's not a single politician in Ireland who wouldn't have ridden the pig's back the way that Fianna Fail did. They may have spent the lolly which came from the property boom differently - People Before Profit, for example, might have bought everyone on social welfare their own jacuzzi - but none of them would have cut off the supply.
Stamp duty alone was bringing in so much cash that it must have seemed as if King Midas had taken up residence in the Department of Finance and was turning everything he touched into gold. Once it dried up, they'd all have been faced with the same impossible problem of how to bridge the Micawberish gap between income and outgoings, and we'd still be up to our oxters in debt.