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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Death by a thousand cuts

History will not record that Louth Fianna Fail councillor Tommy Murphy dealt Bertie the first cut.

Nor will history record that Progressive Democrat senator and leader candidate Fiona O'Malley dealt Bertie that first cut.

Despite the belated scramble by the abject Green Party leader, Minister for Environment John Gormley to slide a knife into Ahern, history will not record that he dealt the Taoiseach the first blow.

No, the first of the thousand cuts that kill Bertie's Taoiseachship came from Minister for Health, Mary Harney.

Let me be clear. I do not like Mary Harney or her policies in the Department of Health. She has presided, literally, over a repudiation of responsibility that verges on criminal and has undoubtedly contributed to circumstances in the Irish health service which have cost people their lives.

But I will acknowledge that she has integrity. She left Fianna Fail because of its endemic corruption and has remained outside since. Many will query whether that made a big difference, since she so cleverly positioned her tiny party in such a place that it propped up successive Fianna Fail governments.

I would suggest it made a difference to her. Fianna Fail used her as a mudguard in regard to the health service. She knows this, and knew it when Bertie re-appointed her to the position recently.

There are easier jobs she could do, no doubt. Especially following the decimation of her party last year, and her having the leadership foisted upon her after McDowell had so rudely demanded she relinquish it.

But her integrity ensured that she remained at her post. More's the pity, I would say. There are few other health ministers who would have pursued the privatisation of our health service with such blinkered vision and such disastrous results.

But just as her integrity can have negative consequences, so it can occasionally be positive for the nation also.

Such as today.

Her conscience jogged by Fiona O'Malley, Harney finally spoke out, finally removed the knife from the belt and slammed it into the back of Bertie.

Apres ca, le deluge.

Let the bloodletting begin.


Anonymous said...

Ah, a thousand cuts. A thousand knives. Cue music (by the greatest synthesizer pop band of all time, Yellow Magic Orchestra):

JC Skinner said...

I like the image of Bertie's career ending to the sound of cheesy 80s keyboards.
Thanks for that, Anon.