Bertie Ahern was the “Teflon Taoiseach” from 1997 to 2008. He was nearly impossible to dislike, the ordinary Joe you could enjoy a pint of Bass with in the local boozer, the right man to lead us through the good times.
More fool us! This was the man who quit as the storm clouds gathered and left his loyal lieutenant Brian Cowen to deal with the mess. There was nothing left in the coffers once the Celtic Tiger died a sudden death, nothing had been put aside for the rainy day and the myth of prosperity was laid bare.
Meanwhile Bertie penned an autobiography and had the audacity to claim an artists’ tax exemption for it! Mind you some people thought it should be filed alongside Terry Pratchett, et al, in the ‘Fantasy & Science Fiction’ section of the bookshops, such was its connection to reality.
Then to add insult to injury, Bertie had a ‘pity the poor developers’ lament in the book, and was pictured with a right scowl on his face in the Dáil when it was announced that former ministers would have to endure cuts to pay and pensions. Seriously, we used to think this was a ‘man of the people’.
Perhaps this is why the Galway Alliance Against War has a section entitled Arresting Bertie? in its current newsletter.
The newsletter make reference to the website www.arrestblair.org, which urges people to make a citizen’s arrest of former British prime minister Tony Blair. For a successful attempt, the site pledges to pay the citizen who performs this civic duty a quarter of the money collected by the website.
“One wonders whether we should be setting up an arrest Bertie website,” the GAAW newsletter comments. “Wasn’t Bertie an accessory to the illegal invasion of Iraq? Of course, as we see our economy collapse, one could think of other reasons for arresting Bertie.”