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Has Bertie lost the Plot?

category national | irish social forum | opinion/analysis author Tuesday June 20, 2006 00:34author by Liam Mullen - Freelance Journalist Report this post to the editors

In delivering a resounding eulogy to his former mentor and “boss”, the late Taoiseach Charles J. Haughey, the current Taoiseach Bertie Ahern showed true compassion and tenacity in speaking warmly about CJ Haughey, but the question must be asked: Has Bertie Ahern and his top henchmen lost the plot?

The Taoiseach recently questioned poll findings that showed the Fianna Fail and Progressive Democrat coalition slipping in favour of a Fine Gael/Labour coalition, and he expressed surprise given that the FF/PD enjoyed higher poll ratings at the beginning of the year. In coming out so strongly for Charley, Ahern has displayed a political naivety that borders on the incredible and that may yet resound on his head.
In the end it was obvious that Charley Haughey had failed the people, including his beloved northside folk. The Moriarty Tribunal showed up the obvious failings of tax evasion and other similar matters, but Haughey’s legacy leaves questions unanswered about the enforced emigration of the 80’s due to Ireland’s poor fiscal policies, and about how well he supported the victim’s families following the tragic Stardust disaster.
The State funeral organised by the present government shows that the Irish people stayed away in droves from the final act of this multi-faceted play, but it should also serve notice on this present government that the Irish people are not fools, and will not suffer fools gladly. We didn’t betray Charley Haughey, but sadly he may have betrayed his people.

author by Hockeypublication date Tue Jun 20, 2006 13:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is what Bertie ( a man of the People said).

A bit of subtle self-identification there. Though he was absent the week of the 26/05-2/6
no image of Bertie during the sex-law debates. No identification with the issue.
Leadership defecit-

Now what is that Othello speech.....

author by John - dunaree2000publication date Tue Jun 20, 2006 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are wrong when you blame Haughey for 'the enforced emigration of the 80’s due to Ireland’s poor fiscal policies'. You are rewriting history, trying to dupe a younger generation into believing that Haughey was in power throughout the 1980s. Actually, Garret Fitzgerald was Taoiseach and an FG/Labour Government was in power for most of the 1980s. It was under that Government most of the enforced emigration took place and it was under that Government that Ireland's fiscal deficits ballooned. Please check your facts in future. Just because Haughey had numerous personal failings, it doesn't mean you can airbrush the disastrous 1981-1987 FG/Labour Government out of history and pretend it never existed.

author by caudillopublication date Tue Jun 20, 2006 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Coz I'm loathe to allow someone like John Dunaree suggest our history lessons & discussions are flawed.
there were 3653 days in the 80's if you accept the 80's as starting on Tuesday 1/1/80 and ended on Sunday 31/12/89. Of course some of us are pedantic and think the 80's began on Thursday 1/1/81 and ended on Monday 31/12/90 in which case there were 3652 days in the 80's.

you'll forgive me thus for rounding off the decade for the purposes of soft math to 3650 days in length.

In those 3650 days, the Irish state was governed by the 21st to 26th Dails. There were 2 men who got the job of Taoiseach (as supreme irish editor is known)
Charles Haughey - Garett FitzGerald.

the 21st Dail (FF) lasted 1,456 days from its election on Bloomsday exactly 29 years before the death of the Boss in 1977 under Jack Lynch and ended under Haughey 30/6/81. Haughey became Taoiseach on the 11/12/79. He was thus the first and last taoiseach of the 80's, the last Dail of the 80's being the 26th Dail which lasted 1,259 days and ended in 1992 under Albert Reynolds after Othello left us.

Then the 22nd Dail lasted 252 days by which stage the national debt was spiralling out of control, something which had begun in the 1970's was to cause "mass migration" in the 1980's.

the 23rd Dail lasted 279 days.
the 24th Dail lasted 1,546 days.
the 25th Dail lasted 849 days.

Thus we may see the Dails of Eire of the 80's lasted a total 5641 days an overlap of FF rule of almost 2000 days on either end.

I need not exercise your intellects more at this juncture, Q.E.D. FF ruled Ireland for more of the 1980's than FG

author by By Any Means Necessarypublication date Tue Jun 20, 2006 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can you not admit that the fiscal policies of the FF government in the 1980's was only beneficial to the ruling political elite of the 26 counties.

Thanks to the previous post your political posturing has been exposed as being false and self serving..at last you've been exposed.

FF's fiscal policy of the 80's was deeply flawed and the coalition's attempts were not that much better.in fact the three main political parties in the 26 provided an economy that drove thousands of well qualified citizens to seek their future in Britain..coincidence ?

Let us not forget as well that these same politicians also collaborated with british intelligence and security to deny citizens the full rights of nationhood in the six counties.

author by caudillopublication date Tue Jun 20, 2006 18:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

as much in Ireland of the 1980's as anywhere on the planet now.

They are generally termed "pull" & "push" factors.

"pull factors" are generally thought to be - "sense of personal development ("Adventure") : Higher incomes :Better availability of employment : Better medical facilities : Better education facilities : Family reasons : Political stability : Religious tolerance :

"Push factors" may be summarised by these factors : Armed conflict : epidemic or plague : Repressive political climate : religious or ethnic intolerance : Lack of employment opportunities.

If migration is dominated by pull factors, it is voluntary migration.
If it is based on push factors it is forced migration.
Ireland's migration was dominated by "pull factors" thus it was voluntary.

The economy of the UK in the 80's was going through high growth and required cheap labour, Ireland offered english speaking labour of both educated and unskilled types, in addition most Irish people already had family relatives in Britain.

We know from intake figures of Irish "returns" that not even the higher levels of economic growth enjoyed in Ireland of the 90's popularly termed the "celtic tiger" attracted many to come home. We may wonder where the imbalance of "push & pull" factors was and is, when considering the lack of returned Irish migrants or the increase of non-Irish migrants. We may point to such factors as the lack of investment or improvement of education and health services or housing. Any Irish migrant who left in the 80's under either FF or FG governments would have been entitled to a council flat or house in Britain by the start of the Celtic Tiger, would have had a shorter waiting list on the NHS and if that migrant had kids, those "Irish British sprogs" would enjoy free school books and free school dinners.
At end the value of such things outweighed seeing carp swimming in the cleaned up auld canal.

author by N35publication date Tue Jun 20, 2006 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Ireland's migration was dominated by "pull factors" thus it was voluntary."

No, you are underestimating the "push" factor, it is deeply ingrained in this society, at least among the working classes, though perhaps not among the "Trinners" set.
When you are writing about the eighties I assume you mean emigration. I was unemployed in this country for most of the eighties. I remained here because I care about this country and I was determined not to forced out of Ireland by the gombeen men and their mentality. I took that decision despite the "Armed conflict,Repressive political climate, religious intolerance and lack of employment opportunities".

I was also determined not to have to emigrate like my father had to in the fifties.
In other words I resisted the "push factor" because I was and am committed to this country and wanted to stay and try to change things here (and might I add that included supporting the emerging feminist movement), I did not go away and waffle incessently from abroad like some individuals are prone to do.

author by Liam - Freelancerpublication date Tue Jun 20, 2006 20:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm not trying to pin all the blame on FF for the enforced emigration throughout the 1980's. I'm well aware that all parties were negligent in this regard. I tend to agree with your hypothesis that FG/Labour were no saints whilst holding the balance of power, and equally it must be added that the independents who propped up certain governments were not representative of the people as a whole, but sought to cater to a narrow defined patch of their own support base.
My main point with regard to the 80's is that all parties contributed to the shambles, and that much of the blame for this lies at the door of the late Taoiseach Charles J. Haughey and the ex-Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald. And thinking of government ministers of the time, who can ever forget the attempts by Alan Dukes to tax children's shoes!

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