Praise of Ahern's failed politics
Reading Bertie Ahern's departure speech along with Brian Cowen's tribute, I am disappointed but not surprised to see both politicians yet again revert to their dream histories, rather than confront the realities of their disastrous administrations.
In his curiously distant tribute -- cordial rather than enthusiastic -- Mr Cowen describes Mr Ahern as the "consummate politician of his generation". If you take Tammany Hall as your model, yes, Bertie was a great politician.
By his own admission, he appointed his cronies to state boards simply because they were friends of his -- the result was economic basket cases like the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, FAS and the Central Bank.