Author Topic: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government  (Read 3283 times)

Lar Naparka

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Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« on: November 07, 2011, 06:22:56 PM »
There’s a program going out tonight at 21.35 on RTE 1.
It purports to reveal what really went on the inside, as it were, during Brian Cowen’s time as Taoiseach.
If even half of what I heard is true it should be very interesting indeed……

I'll say no more. ;D
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Fear ón Srath Bán

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 06:42:55 PM »
And Cowen refused point-blank to participate in the program!  ???
Carlsberg don't do Gombeenocracies, but by jaysus if they did...

muppet

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 07:08:08 PM »
And Cowen refused point-blank to participate in the program governing!  ???
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seafoid

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 10:42:16 PM »
And Cowen refused point-blank to participate in the program governing!  ???

But he was a mighty man for a rousing ard fheis speech

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS6wn3GwaGs
 
WTF
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muppet

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Declan

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2011, 07:23:57 AM »
Unreal stuff last night - politics truly is the dirtiest game in town. To see the Soldiers of Destiny only too willing to dance on Cowen's political corpse whilst not even acknowledging tha they were the architects of the collapse was sickening. It truly has been an amazing couple of years

oakleafgael

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2011, 08:56:25 AM »
Unreal stuff last night - politics truly is the dirtiest game in town. To see the Soldiers of Destiny only too willing to dance on Cowen's political corpse whilst not even acknowledging tha they were the architects of the collapse was sickening. It truly has been an amazing couple of years

The only time the boot should ever be out of Mammy is drive the other one into her. A shower of two faced rats with Martin the worst of the lot.

Bord na Mona man

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2011, 09:56:31 AM »
Cowen's biggest failing was ramping up spending to unsustainable levels during his tenure in Finance.
Adding on 15 billion, which is essentially the deficit we are trying to bridge now.

The documentary had too many Fianna Fail talking heads trying to protect their own legacies, or possibly even plotting a return to the Dail.
His image or whether he came out and communicated when he was Taoiseach was immaterial.
The country was already bust and it would have made little difference. It may have helped make the government a little less unpopular, allowing a few more of them to hold onto their seats and this seems to be their major gripe.

Declan

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 10:57:38 AM »
Quote
His image or whether he came out and communicated when he was Taoiseach was immaterial.
The country was already bust and it would have made little difference.

Yep and to gloss over this is to miss why we are where we are to coin a phrase!

Lar Naparka

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2011, 11:26:06 AM »
What we saw last night fell well short of what I was expecting to come out.
It was well known around Leinster House that the main decisions on government policy took place in the Dail bar or across the road in Buswells- usually well after closing time.
Cowen wasn’t the only individual who sought solace in a pint glass as one former FF minister told me. According to the same source, it seemed as if a mood of collective hysteria had descended on Cowen and a group of his close associates and they tried to blot out reality by getting steamed at every opportunity.
Some newspapers did report on the drink culture that was clearly evident at the top and I’d give credit to the Sindo in this respect. A number of its reporters made very pointed references from time to time to Cowen’s mood swings and his  frequent failure to turn up for early morning meetings.  It seems a number of his fellow ministers were in the same boat.
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Rossfan

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2011, 12:09:33 PM »
The damage was done long before Cowen became Taoiseach.
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ludermor

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2011, 12:12:56 PM »
The damage was done long before Cowen became Taoiseach.

Yes, when he was minister for Finance

Rossfan

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2011, 04:27:30 PM »
And did he run a dictatorship?
There were 14 other fcukheads in the Cabinet plus 20+ Junior ministers plus around 40 back benchers who voted for and supported all the unregulated ridiculous property bubble borrowing that was going on instead of trying to develop a real economy.

Isn't it just amazing how the FFCnuts are all no singing from the same hymnsheet - -" Twas all that Cowen's fault"  ::)
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Dougal Maguire

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2011, 08:24:50 PM »
Unreal stuff last night - politics truly is the dirtiest game in town. To see the Soldiers of Destiny only too willing to dance on Cowen's political corpse whilst not even acknowledging tha they were the architects of the collapse was sickening. It truly has been an amazing couple of years

The only time the boot should ever be out of Mammy is drive the other one into her. A shower of two faced rats with Martin the worst of the lot.

One of the best quotes I've ever read on this board
Careful now

Declan

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Re: Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2011, 07:20:40 AM »
Must say I agree with most of this article

Former ministers rewriting history in pathetic bid to save their own skins
By Colette Browne

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I WAS reminded of the above quote from Alice in Wonderland as I sat agog in front of the television on Monday night watching Crisis: Inside the Cowen Government — the biggest exercise in revisionism since David Irving’s last book launch.

To its credit, the RTÉ documentary charting the fall, and fall, of Fianna Fáil had a remarkable scoop — ministers were apparently gagged and bound to their cabinet chairs for the duration of Brian Cowen’s tenure as Taoiseach.

One by one they all lined up, lower lips shaking, to tell us their tales of woe. Many still seemed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — not because of any of the calamities that befell the country on their watch, rather the pain of losing their seats is still raw.

Ignorant of the concept of collective cabinet responsibility, former ministers professed themselves to be innocent bystander cabinet ministers — utterly oblivious to any of the catastrophic decisions that destroyed the country. They were, they said, as taken aback as the rest of us when they belatedly realised the economy was in tatters and discovered members of the IMF stalking through the corridors in Leinster House.

Willie O’Dea likely caused a dangerous spike in the nation’s collective levels of hypertension when he said it would have been better if some other political party had taken over immediately after they’d banjaxed the country.

He was perfectly happy being in government during the boom but thought that, in retrospect, it would have been better if someone else could have cleaned up their mess, and let them slink off to the opposition benches, a little sooner.

Micheál Martin, who holds the dubious distinction of leading the ragtag remnants of the Soldiers of Destiny, was equally critical of Cowen and his handling of, well, everything. Martin who, lest we forget, was a member of successive cabinets for over 13 years, said Cowen was an awful communicator and just didn’t understand his brief.

The implication, of course, was that everything would have turned out rosy if someone of his superlative political abilities had been in charge.

Mary Hanafin was similarly scathing and threw her eyes up to heaven as she described her inner turmoil about Cowen’s handling of the economic situation — even as clips showed her going out to bat for the then Taoiseach, confidently spinning the government line that everything was under control and they knew what they were doing.

Party stalwart Mary O’Rourke has apparently been whiling away the days since she lost her seat merrily sharpening knives in anticipation of plunging them into Cowen’s prone back. A smiling assassin, the rictus grin remained etched on her face as she blithely ripped his reputation apart.

The level of cold invective that she casually hurled at her former party leader — at one point cruelly musing, "maybe the drink helped him", when she remarked that he was quite a shy man — was really quite astonishing. Green party members weren’t averse to dancing on Cowen’s grave either. They confided that wily Fianna Fáil members ran rings around them before sucker punching them with the news of the IMF’s imminent arrival in Dublin. It really was galling. If you didn’t know better, you’d almost think they hadn’t enjoyed front row seats at the bankrupting of the country.

The one glaring omission from the show, apart from an appearance from Cowen to defend himself from the virulent attacks of his former colleagues (he declined to take part), was any modicum of regret or any admission of responsibility from anyone who was a member of that reviled government. We got lots of excuses, lots of previously unexpressed concerns about the calamitous decisions that were made and lots of venom, but not one former cabinet member said anything, at any point, that in any way acknowledged their own inimitable role in the downfall of the country.

Sorry, it seems, truly is the hardest word. Martin, in particular, has said that he wants to lead a sort of Fianna Fáil Nua and renounce the Punch and Judy politics of yore — strange then that he played his part in this pantomime with such remarkable aplomb.

The strategy was simple, Cowen was demonised while his finance minister, the now deceased Brian Lenihan, was lionised. Cowen was the bumbling buffoon, incapable of communicating with the people, while the stately Lenihan, an eminent silk, kept the show afloat for as long as he could. The fact that Lenihan made a series of disastrous blunders, and a number of huge gaffes — not least the infamous "the worst is over" bookend to his 2010 budget speech — was quietly swept under the carpet. Like any good panto, we were presented with a hero and a villain and then asked to accept this simplistic black-and-white appraisal of extremely complicated events.

This rewriting of history and heaping of blame on Cowen, who undoubtedly holds a great deal of responsibility for the mess we now find ourselves mired in, suits Martin’s efforts to rebrand the party and rebuild it over the coming years.

After all, if the success of the young Fianna Fáil councillor in the Dublin West by-election has taught us anything it’s that the Irish electorate have very short memories and, most of all, want a local politician who will look after their patch — regardless of their political affiliation.

The speed of the party’s recovery in that one constituency is such that there is every chance it will be fully rehabilitated, and again in contention at the top of polls, before we’ve gotten around to repaying all of the unsecured Anglo bondholders the current administration is so determined to reimburse.

Other than the obfuscation, the really depressing thing about the documentary was that one got the distinct feeling that the politicians featured actually believe all of the self-serving guff they spouted.

That their consciences are clear, they bear no culpability for the loss of the country’s economic sovereignty, they acted on the best advice and that nobody warned them of the likely consequences of their actions.

Psychologists call this behaviour — distorting the memory of a traumatic event to give one a false sense of accomplishment — a "maladaptive coping strategy" but just because politicians have gone through the looking glass doesn’t mean that we have to.

Cowen is no innocent abroad, and played a huge role in beggaring the country during his tenure as both finance minister and Taoiseach, but, previously at least, we didn’t live in an autocratic regime and cabinet members had the ability to simply say no.

Unfortunately for us, nobody shouted stop and generations of Irish people will now be left picking up the resultant tab. The crude attempt to vilify Cowen, by former ministers eager to save their own skins, should be seen for what it is — a cowardly attempt to evade responsibility and claw their way back into positions of prestige and power.



Read more: http://www.examiner.ie/opinion/columnists/colette-browne/former-ministers-rewriting-history-in-pathetic-bid-to-save-their-own-skins-173252.html#ixzz1dBroWasn