At long last after years of building pressure Bertie Ahern is to step down as the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) next month. I think it’s fair to say that he was hoisted up by his own petard to some extent. It was Bertie who set up the Tribunals and it was Bertie who told them to follow the money. I doubt he expected those instructions to lead to his own accounts and I doubt he wanted the public to get an insight into the way he operated them. It’s a fantastical tale involving literally bags of cash and multi-thousand-pound whip-rounds by friends who who just happen to be major business figures. He also conveniently didn’t have a bank account for many years, even while he was minister for finance, and when he did have bank accounts he didn’t seem to know much about what was happening in them. He’s been shown not to have been telling the truth by his secretary and it really was high time he stepped down. He should have done this ages ago. I expect the highest standards of ethics from my political leaders, and Bertie’s didn’t meet the mark. For him to stay on so long despite what the tribunals have been uncovering was damaging to Irish politics and sent out the complete wrong message. Personally I don’t care whether he actually committed any crimes, his carry-on fell far below what I expect from a minister. I won’t be shedding a tear for Bertie.

[tags]Politics, Ireland, Bertie Ahern[/tags]