‘No one more sorry than I about what happened,’ says Cowen .
I have never met Brian Cowen.
The closest I came was twice, once when I saw him and some others in a hotel near the Dáil and the other time when a mutual acquaintance with whom he had been in school stood me up for a beer in favour of the then Deputy. I am sure and am assured that he is a decent chap, and one who has as much empathy as any other. This can only be highlighted witnessing the shambles that society has entered into. I believe him when he says that the actions, ultimately disastrous as they were and serially incredible as they seemed even at the time, were taken by him and his cabinet for the best of intentions. Alas, not just the road to Clara and political ignominy is paved with good intentions.
That said, it seems to me to degrade language for him, in his present circumstances of a 140k per annum pension, to say he is the sorriest of all. A partial list of people whom one might think are more sorry than he for the economic collapse might include
- the nearly 400,000 people who have emigrated since the start of 2009
- the nearly 200,000 people who have not emigrated but who as of July 2013 were more than one year on the live register.
- the residents of Priory Hall left in the lurch by state, court and society but who are being hounded for payment by the banks they saved
- the residents of poxy pyrite mansions dotted round the country who have been left in the lurch by insurers, Homebond, the state and the legal system
- the 77,000 people who saw their respite care grant cut.
- economists in banks who ramped the system
- economists in universities who could have, but didn’t, shout stop earlier or at all
- the 50 or so FF TDs who lost their jobs in 2011
- The 30 plus Labour TDs not in cabinet who now face the electoral whirlwind in 2014
One could go on.
This is not an Anti FF post. It is anti a style of political rhetoric which thinks a half-baked apology en grudge served on a bed of self-justification with a glass of crocodile tears is enough. Far better to respond to all media with ” I am retired from politics. What we did we did for what we thought then were the right decisions. Of course I regret any pain and suffering my and others actions caused. Thank you”. Simple, dignified, and accurate. Engaging in competitive misery from a well paid retirement is none of the above.
This article also appears on Brian Lucey’s website here.