I see that Bertie Ahern has moved to repay the brown envelopes/"loans" that he received when he was Minister for Finance in the 1990's. It seems that in the world that is "Bertie" repayment somehow makes everything all right.
It would not matter whether Bertie received £5 or £5 million, the fundamental problem, which some find hard to grasp, is that as Minister for Finance Bertie knew or should have know that accepting such "loans" would be unacceptable.
They create the impression of impropriety and considering what all the tribunal’s have being revealing about those dark days of cronyism and cute-whoreism that impression has an awful lot of substance.
It is unacceptable for any Minister for Finance to accept any kind of "loan" (I thought loans had to be paid back?) from a businessman.
It's political rule 101, no sleaze in politics. A rule that Fianna Fail still fail to grasp.
I know that 64% do not want Bertie to leave as Taoiseach and considering the realistic alternative (Blue shirts and Stickies) at the moment I don't blame them.
I do have the feeling though that if the Government doesn't collapse, and it won't because McDowell would sell his granny for any class of political power, Fianna Failers will view this as a let off.
I am of the view that this repayment is just more attempts to gloss over the real issue of sleaze that lies at the heart of most of the establishment parties.
Let's not forget that Bertie also said he "searched up every tree in Dublin" to find sleaze on Ray Burke.
He obviously didn't look too hard!
It doesn't surprise me that Ahern thought of it, he's living up to the mantra that his predecessor gave him as "the most ruthless, the most devious, the most cunning of them all"
I do hope that in time ordinary working-class Fianna Fail voters will examine their party of choice more closely.
Do they wish to be represented by a party that only pays lip-service to its Republican credentials?
As Conor Murphy said, Fianna Fail may be a Republican party but their Republicanism stops at the British imposed border.
Do they wish to be represented by a party embroiled in sleaze, brown envelopes and cronyism?
Instead of looking after the interests of the working-class they are more interested in selling themselves to the highest bidder in the corporate tent at the Galway races.
Look who they let run Health and Justice, you may as well just let Göring and Höss lead two of the most important Government departments.
They should think about being represented by a genuine Republican party. A party which places the needs of the most vulnerable over those of corporate businessmen. A party whose principles are not up for auction to the highest bidder. The only party untainted by sleaze.
Sinn Féin is that party!