Length Matters I

  • Length of the original Morning Ireland segment on which the Taoiseach is alleged to have appeared in a ‘tired and emotional’ state: 9 minutes, 25 seconds
  • Length of the digitally altered Youtube segment in which his voice was slowed to appear more tired and more emotional (and according to the Google cache, until recently labelled ‘original’): 10 minutes, 35 seconds.
  • Which version did the Guardian embed yesterday afternoon in a story on the Taoiseach’s fortunes?: if you guessed the second, you win.

Disclaimer: I haven’t yet fully decided what you win.


  • Alias

    Given that alcohol burns off at the rate of .016 BAC an hour irrespective of body size, if Biffo had reached the legal limit of .08 at 4am (and he was well over it by all accounts) then he would still have been under its influence when Morning Ireland had gone off the air.

    If he was 3 times over the limit (5 or 6 pints of larger) then it would have taken 15 hours to exit his system, so government business until 7pm would have been conducted by a Taoiseach that was under the influence of alcohol.

    It is a new low in Irish politics, and one that will not impress the international community (and media).

  • Mick Fealty

    How too many people in the country heard it (or about it)…

  • Alan Maskey

    Such antics did not deter Boris Putin. Swearing did not hurt Charlie H or the young John Waters who interviewed him. Surely Alias, little foibles like being a Biffo do not impinge on the antics of those who cotnrol the Biffos and the other puppet leaders of our world.

  • Pippakin

    Considering the number of politicians from all over the world who have been known to over indulge. I’m wondering if the continued hounding of Brian Cowen is more about the inferiority complex some Irish people wear like a hair coat than any mistake he made.

  • William Markfelt

    Taoiseach or not, it’s some laugh to have JOURNALISTS moralising about him. He’s human, he likes a drink, so what?

    As long as it doesn’t go to Yeltsin at Shannon extremes, what’s the big problem? I’d rather have someone like Biffo demonstrate some fairly common human behaviour than all of these hypocritical politicians who a) go to church in a ‘private’ capacity (as separate from state demands to be there), and you still know it’s a photo-op or b) swear they never inhaled.

    Maybe part of the problem in politics is that they’re all God-bothering straights rather than people who display a much more basic common need to let their hair down once in a while, like the rest of the population (who drink to forget the mess the politicians and bankers have made of everyone’s lives).

  • HeinzGuderian

    Is this really a news story ???

  • Pete Baker

    “on which the Taoiseach is alleged to have appeared in a ‘tired and emotional’ state”

    You can listen to the original interview here.

    Where I’ve already noted that the Taoiseach has apologised for his under-par performance in the pre-breakfast radio interview.

  • Seymour Major

    If he had been more successful at his job, I think people would be more likely to have turned a blind eye.

    Just to give some balance, here, in British Politics, there has been no shortage of drinking when in power


    The only example that I can think of where a politician has been the laughing stock because of drinking is George Brown, who, like Charles Kennedy, had an alcohol problem. By co-incidence the BBC clip which is linked above, describes Brown as being “tired and emotional”

    If Cowan does have an alcohol problem (the fact that he turned up drunk to a media interview is an ominous sign), it is only a matter of time before it comes out fully and he is forced to resign.

  • Watcher

    Did his poor performance, whilst allegedly hungover, result in any wrong decisions?

    No, I think is the answer.

    The media have hyped this up beyond reason.

    He had a party get together the night before; i’m sure many people have not been 100% the next day after a work night out.

  • William Markfelt


    ‘Length Matters…1’????

    Is this to infer there is a ‘Length Matters 2’ imminent?

    Will this be a doctored Morning Ireland speeded up tape to infer that Biffo is a helium addict?

  • redhugh78

    I’m no fan of Biffo but he was a bit hoarse and probably had a few pints on a Saturday night, big deal.
    It’s not like he said or did something outrageous.

  • Munsterview

    Cannot agree with you at all

    Brian should have had a first had a nice stroll by the riverside, found a small restaurant, gone in and had himself a nice pot of tea and turned in for an early night!

    Not too much trouble a politician can get into by a canal or riverside restaurant, over a pot of tea and scones, is there now ?

    Times like this we could do with some sober presbyterian protestant values down here!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    so………a digitally enhanced clip was used to show Cowen in a bad light.
    But thats how Journalism works.
    Journalists……dontcha just love em?
    Gin and tonics all round…..in the bar at Stormont which the journos are complaining has no alcohol.

    Hypocrisy……thy name is Journalism.

  • Greenflag

    The knives are out for Mr Cowen some in his own party . As the election nears it will be posited that only by getting itself a new leader will FF have any chance in the next election bar slim /fat and none .

    But when I listen to Gilmore’s unctious prate or look at Kenny’s silent offerings I can’t imagine either or a coalition of both doing the necessary business .

    Ironically we are no different from Northern Ireland . We have an opposition in theory but in practice they are bags of wind 🙁

    Nonetheless I will not be surprised if Mr Cowen is persuaded by a coterie of former ‘friends’ that falling on his own sword might leave him with some scraps of honour and help the party on it’s long climb back to it’s former status if not this time then in future elections .

    As for the drink and Alias’s judgement from on high on the new low in Irish politics – rubbish . The Irish are not Moslems at least not yet and there’s hardly a soul in the country that would’nt begrudge our Taoiseach his pint . Hasn’t he a designated driver at his beck and call night and day anyway ?

    Strange thing about the Irish we like our leaders to be human beings first and politicians second . Even Paisley figured that much out .

  • Pippakin

    A few beers or whatever never hurt any politician. By itself it will do Cowen no harm. He did not sound drunk, I thought he sounded tired. His problem and the problem for FF generally is they have been in power for a long time and therefore they are unable to escape responsibility for the mess the country is in.

    FF may well try to dump Cowen but I dont see how it will help them, their most charismatic and obvious next leader is Lenihan and even if he were not heavily involved in the disaster that is the south. I’m not convinced, however ambitious he is, he actually wants the job at this time.