What do Phil Hogan and Bertie Ahern have in common?
That’s right. They both got soft loans from Fingers Fingleton, with calculations done on the back of a fag box and no irritating formalities such as checks on their ability to pay. Phil Hogan is our current Environment minister and it turns out that he got two loans from Fingleton adding up to over a million euros, with Fingleton exercising little or no due diligence to find out if Hogan was able to pay back the money. Even more disturbingly, Hogan receieved loans that were free of interest for the first ten years.
Nice. Even nicer if you happen to be a government minister.
Comme ci, comme ça. Or, to extend the imagery, plus ça change.
You might remember my post here a while back, describing the loan Fingers advanced to Bertie Ahern when his current girlfriend, Celia Larkin, got into trouble.
It has been suggested that Nationwide funded our judiciary, our police and our politicians to an embarrassing extent. To an extent, indeed that rendered all of them impotent, but of course, that’s just speculation. However, if it turned out to be true, then the whole country would have been in the pocket of one man. To put it another way, there would have been no government in Ireland, and every crook would have had the opportunity to dictate government policy, because one man would have been telling our politicians what to do.
Some people say that the Irish bank guarantee happened for one reason only: to hide the secret transactions involving Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide and a whole series of senior politicians, policemen and judges because we need to conceal the fact that all these people were in the pocket of senior bankers. After all, we don’t need to know that our judges are somehow in hock to a man who controls a private bank.
What precisely is the incentive for our government to investigate Michael Fingleton when he seems to own so many of our public people? Should we not find out how many judges, police and politicians were helped out by the likes of Fingleton before we decide how to move forward?
Is this not a basic principle underpinning democracy?