Thursday, April 24, 2008

And as it began, so shall it end

So, the end of an era. At least that's what all the Opposition leaders (except Caoimhghin O Caoilain, of whom more later) had to say yesterday, on Bertie's last day at school. I mean in the Dáil. As Taoiseach.

Warm words from Inda. How surprising. Perhaps Inda has decided to take a leaf out of Bertie's now-redundant book and be all nicey-nicey for a change. More dignified that way I guess.

Poor oul Caoimhghin has been universally condemned (see both Miriam Lord and Fionnan Sheahan on Thursday) for his 'ill-judged' attack on the health service. I know it's not polite, but I can see his point - if he has a problem, it's better to be open about these things.

In fairness to Mr Ahern, he was a great Taoiseach in some ways. Northern Ireland is obviously an achievement of indescribable proportions, probably more for future generations than for this one.

But I do wonder about all the praise being heaped on him for the economy. Surely he (and his ministers, let's not forget, as well as government officials) were only capitalising on something that was building since the early 1990s, EU enlargement helped, and of course the improvements in the world economy.

Maybe there's a reason Cowen was somewhat limited with his eulogy - he knows that he will have less to work with, and will be blamed, as Bertie has been praised, for progress or lack thereof over the coming years.

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