Bertie Ahern: “If you ask me, my view is you’re better doing it my way…”

Now that the notorious gambler, and former Taoiseach, Bertie ‘Lucky’ Ahern, has confirmed his decision not to contest the next Irish general election he obviously feels freer to be critical of his party colleagues in government.  From the Belfast Telegraph report Mr Ahern, a columnist for the Irish News of The World, told the newspaper Mr Cowen’s administration failed to communicate properly with the public throughout the crisis. He said he carried out daily doorstep interviews with the media when he led …

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Angela Merkel: “now we need more in common in our economic policies…”

EU leaders met in Brussels last week, for their last summit of 2010, and agreed the text of a “narrow revision” to the Lisbon Treaty – the conclusions of the European Council (16-17 December 2010) [pdf file]. In Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s view, “There isn’t a change of competence or a transfer of competence, so our strong view is that it is compatible with the Constitution.”  That would be without the need for a referendum.  And from the same Irish Times …

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Cowen: “I believe the pursuit of the national interest and the common good must have priority”

With Sinn Féin proposing some more taxes and borrowing here, it’s worth looking at what’s been happening there. On Saturday 9th October RTÉ noted Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s intial lukewarm response to Green Party leader John Gormley’s call for an all-party consensus on a four-year budget plan. Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he would welcome a political consensus on the budgetary measures needed to get the economic situation under control. However, he said it was up to the Opposition parties to put …

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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, …

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“Bar them from the Eurovision?”

In the Irish Times Miriam Lord reflects, briefly, on Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s Skibbereen Eagle moment in the Dáil yesterday Yesterday, the party leaders discussed what Kenny described as “an outrageous act of aggression on the high seas”. The attack by Israeli commandos on a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza was roundly condemned, but minds were focused on the fact that an Irish vessel, the Rachel Corrie , is still on course for Gaza. Hence Cowen’s Skibbereen Eagle moment – although at least …

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