Day of the Loolah

Issue: 25 – May 2008
Day of the Loolah
The surprise announcement by Bertie Ahern that he is stepping down as Taoiseach this month has provoked a tsunami of speculation.

Amid crocodile tears and lavish praise for the man they hounded, the controlled media has been happy to put the sudden resignation down to the exposure of Aherns alleged financial irregularities, following his sundry appearances at the on-going Mahon Tribunal.
While the Tribunal undoubtedly left Ahern in a weakened position, it was hardly serious enough to warrant his immediate departure from the office of leader; a move that was widely expected to take place later this year.

The largely pro-EU media has been notably reluctant to highlight the obvious reason for Aherns sudden bail-out; namely, the Establishments concern over the impact Berties shenanigans were likely to have on the result of the upcoming Lisbon Treaty referendum.

Had he continued in office, the negative coverage seeping out of Mahon was guaranteed to undermine Ahern, and by extension the Yes campaign, in the eyes of voters. The concern was that this would lead to a backlash at the polls and hand an easy victory to the No campaign.

Sure enough, his announcement, amid a miasma of schmaltz, had the effect of winning a wave of sympathy for the man as well as providing a surge of goodwill for his successor Brian Cowen. For a time it seemed as if the Yes to Lisbon folk had pulled off a master stroke and that the referendum was in the bag.

As events have transpired Ahern, who once famously described opponents of Lisbon as loolahs, may have jumped too soon. The man who once determined to rail-road homosexual marriage legislation into Irish law may have fallen foul of a prominent practitioner of the vice.

Peter Mandelson, the English homosexual who once lorded over the Six-Counties as British Home Secretary there, now swans around Brussels in his capacity as EU Commissioner for Trade.

The notoriously haughty Mandelson has incensed Irish farmers by his offer to cut EU supports on agricultural exports by 70 per cent as part of a concessions deal in World Trade Organisation talks. Such a deal would devastate Irish agriculture, putting tens of thousands out of work and costing the Irish economy 4 billion.

The overall effect has been to drive the once staunchly pro-EU Irish Farmers groups into the No to Lisbon camp. Unless the Irish government can persuade Mandelson to bend the other way, the growing legion of loolahs may well have the last laugh in this matter.


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