Monday, May 07, 2007

INSIDE POLITICS - Where is this election going?

The whole BertieGate episode is a complete mess. You have both Government parties in disarray and everything else sidelined. There's been a debate over the past week about whether or not this is a distraction. It's not. Credibility is fundemental in any democracy. If what's captured by that lovely Irish expression, "uisce faoi thalamh" is happening, then the public deserve to know.

Of course, Bertie Ahern feels hard done by. The Mahon Tribunal's timing of Quarryvale 2 was disastrous from his point of view. Once the Sunday Business Post/Barry O'Kelly judgement went against the Tribunal in the Supreme Court, it followed that it was going to be open season in terms of material finding its way into the public domain.

It's uncertain if Ahern made his statement to the Tribunal before or after the Supreme Court judgement or if his statement was distributed to the affected parties before or after that judgement was delivered. It's been reported that his statement was sent 20 people or more who are interested parties in this module. If that's true, he would have been just as well to have perched himself atop the Spire on O'Connell Street and read it out to the populace. In the event, the Tribunal sending a 'desist' letter to the media on Friday (five days after the Irish Mail on Sunday broke the story) was, to put it mildly, a little too late.

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