Well, well. Bertie Ahern, the well-known sterling magnet, has decided to step down. His statement says (after an interminable prologue about his magnificent achievements) that
It is a matter of real concern to me that the important work of government and party is now being over shadowed by issues relating to me at the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments. The constant barrage of commentary on Tribunal related matters has and I believe will continue to dominate the political agenda at an important point for our country.
We face uncertain economic times and challenges and we are soon to cast our vote on the Lisbon Treaty. The vital interests of Ireland demand that the national dialogue of our political system address these fundamental issues and not be constantly deflected by the minutiae of my life, my lifestyle, and my finances.
The decision I am announcing today — like all other decisions that I have taken in a lifetime in politics – is solely motivated by what is best for the people.
He goes on to say that he has “no doubt that a simplistic analysis will suggest that my decision has been influenced by most recent events at the Tribunal”.
Simplistic, my eye. Last Saturday’s Irish Times had a scarifying analysis of all the money that has cascaded into his many bank accounts over the years.
So that’s one down. Now for Robert Mugabe…