Biffo Not For Resigning

Cowen’s bunker mentality

Let’s get this clear in our minds now.

The prime minister of this country went out for dinner with senior figures in Schrödinger’s Bank and failed to mention quantum theory.

The bank was screwed.   It was insolvent.  It was so heavily indebted that it threatened to destroy the entire economy, and might well do so yet, but Brian Cowen decided to play a round of golf with its chairman, Sean Fitzpatrick, followed by dinner.  Cowens’s close friend and board member of Anglo, Fintan Drury, invited Cowen to attend the outing, also attended by Alan Gray, a director of the Central Bank; Gary McGann, another Anglo director and Biffo’s Garda driver who must have been wondering if he had segued into a parallel universe.

Today, Biffo refused to back down and resign, despite pressure from his own senior cabinet colleagues who have belatedly developed a rudimentary understanding of ethics.  They didn’t know that Biffo had attended a meeting with directors of the worst failed bank in Irish history.  They didn’t know that, at the meeting, he behaved as if nothing wrong had happened in that bank, or so they say.

The meeting took place at the same time that Anglo was lending money to people for the purpose of buying its own shares, thus artificially propping up their value.  Two months later, Cowen issued a blanket guarantee to the banks, including Anglo that led directly to the calamitous state of our economy today.

But Biffo, according to his account, never mentioned banking at the dinner and neither did the desperately-worried Anglo chiefs. They were all happy enough to talk about football and sing the Lakes of Pontchartrain, even though their scrotums were on the line.   What else would you do when your bank is going down the toilet? Even if you happen to be at a meeting with the prime minister, you wouldn’t dream of mentioning that your bank is fucked, when you could be chatting about sport and the weather.

Isn’t that right?

Of course it is.

And when you’re a prime minister who knows perfectly well that a bank is in deep trouble, obviously you wouldn’t see anything wrong with meeting its senior management for golf and dinner, followed by a few old songs in the bar.  Isn’t that just the way we are?

Of course it is.

If you accept Biffo’s claims that there was no discussion of Anglo, you still have to ask yourself one question though.

Why was he there?

It adds a new meaning to “bunker mentality”.

45 thoughts on “Biffo Not For Resigning

  1. and why is he still here? Any sensible and responsible person that had fucked up like Biffo would have, as it is normally called, “taken is responsibility and resigned”. But Biffo? No. He loves his salary too much. Brian Cowen is now a tyrant. Plato and Aristotle defined a tyrant as, “one who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics — against his own people as well as others”
    He is responsible for some of the saddest years of Irish history. Let’s make sure he’s not part of the future of this country. IMHO, he should be prosecuted and sent to jail. I know we don’t have the laws for that right now, but let’s make sure we get them.

  2. On the bright side…he didnt resign..if he did wouldnt they have to elect one more gormless fuckwit to the position and the we’d have to shell out for three Taoisigh pensions/cars/gardai monkey butlers then..As for ‘bunker mentality’?..I prefer the other term used to describe that point in history..’the banality of evil’..fucked over by a shower of over ambitious Renfields..

  3. None of them mentioned the elephant in the living room as they tucked in to desert?.

  4. Yes indeed. One of the most god-awful aspects of this controversy is the coyness of the mainstream media and even the so-called opposition parties in their commentary on it.

    The line they are adopting is that there wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with Cowen’s day out with the banking buccaneers. What they are saying is that it is Cowen’s failure to disclose it until now that is really wrong.

    On a political discussion programme the other night on RTE Radio 1 it was left to Terry Prone – a PR consultant for god’s sake! – to break ranks with the other panellists and point out just how wrong it was for Cowen to have been on that golfing outing in such company in the circumstances of the time.

    It’s not just Fianna Fáil politicians, bankers, developers and senior public servants who should be in jail for destroying the Irish economy. The whole cadre of elite politicians of every party and complicit political “journalists” and talk show presenters who are also responsible should be there with them.

  5. Ok, so we all know theres a cabal of corruption in the highest ranks.

    Any bright ideas how we can bring these evil fuckers to justice?
    Can we make sure that the next in line to lead, are not unpatriotic bastards?

    What can be done?

    Election? Revolution? Charge the Dail and take it? Call the Gardai? Get the Army? What? Someone tell me…

    I’ve just learned I am now paying nearly 100 Euro extra in the new bank bail out tax each month on top of the levy.

  6. Look, it wouldn’t make sense to talk banking. Why would it? Maybe they were all busy trying to impress each other with their golf. That would make sense.
    What to do? Please tell me there is an end to this. Do we think there will be a “hold the line policy” if a new crowd get in? Will there be some better politicians with intelligence, who will collectively undo the policies that are in place now i.e., the corporate rate, etc? Aren’t exports up at the moment?

    I don’t know, and I wouldn’t have the brain nor the stomach to go into politics but I sincerely hope we will do better. Jeez I’ll be on pills if I hear of another young family leaving or see another family weep for their departing, educated children. The future of our country depends on today’s youth. Today I heard of a son who left last week and another who took their own life. Enough!

  7. Dont forget this – not one cabinet minister had the courage to come out against Cowen, in the same way they all stood four square behind Bertie. There exists no greater shower of denizens or hypocrites. Shame is one word notably absent from their collective vocabularies. Theyre a disgrace to themselves as human beings and to the people of this country whom they have royally fucked. Every time I see that prick Lenihan I see the personification of outright evil. Sick me bollix. Bock,you were correct in your description of all these ministers,but temperate in your language as the worst possible expletives would not do justice to them. I heard so called journalists and “commentators”(god help us) on the radio yesterday saying they felt sorry for Cowens family. What about all the families who are now struggling to put food on the table? What about all the families whose children have once again to take the emigrant route? What about all the families affected by suicide because there is no other way out?

  8. Cowen has no where to go, all his life he has been at the centre surrounded by lackies, he knows nothing else.
    there is nothing more frighting for him than becoming an non-entity.
    where would he go what would he do, is more important to him than anything else.

  9. The fact that nobody gave out about him is as telling as would the sound of many daggers being carefully unsheathed and hidden up sleeves. His days are numbered. He knows it, and they know it. Now the scrabble to pin as many shitty tails to this particular donkey will begin, in an attempt to ensure that, when they finally do stab him in the back, that he takes as much of the blame as possible. Meanwhile he will continue to bluster and obfuscate in the hope that when he finally has to abdicate, nobody remember what is was they were pissed off about in the first place.

    In other words, politics as usual.

    I think the only way we can strike back now, short of revolution, is to use our vote (if we are ever given the chance) to make sure that no large party can get into power. If we could somehow engineer the next election to end up with a coalition of independants and “fringe lunatic” parties, I think we’d see a better government, since they’d all have to watch their backs from the outset and if (when?) someone fucked up, they’d be cast out quickly instead of it becoming a “matter for the party”.

  10. Its all very predictable isn’t it ? As Steve correctly pointed out above, Cowan is now no use to anyone but himself, So out comes the backstabbing and flailing about to identify themselves as either victims, scapegoats or men of principle, Who is believing this crap ?

    This morning a laughable cynical performance was activated at the home of Seanie Fitz, The seizing of his ’92 D BMW, Valued at app 1,200 Euro ( Probably overvalued ) What a big hoo haa to appease us poor peasants, While several other vehicles stand untouched in driveway incl a 2010 D and a 2008 D BMW 4X4, surely protected by alternate ownership.

    Why would a man with intense knowledge and intrinsic embedded values of cronyism resign the position of such future monetary value, A position he is very unlikely to even look in a window at in the future.

    To the best of my knowledge and I am open to correction on this, If Cowan can drag this debacle out until April 2011 he will be entitled to a full Taoiseach’s pension of 100 k and a TD’s pension of 53 k , So as he has ably demonstrated his moral values to the electorate over his tenure, Then predictable is what it is.

    The man has ” Ball’s of steel ” Its just most unfortunate those ” Balls ” were’nt of any benefit to the citizens of this Country.

  11. And John FitzGerald of ESRI wasn’t there either. He was rummaging inane prognostications in the statistical trough. Now there’s a bunker for you!

  12. Niall Collins mentioned on Limerick 95fm website as possible successor to Cowen. God help us all. Then we would really be in the shit.

  13. The Limerick Leader this weekend gave slick willie a full page to himself. Makes out he is really a saint too!

    When is that paper ever going to cop on, poor slick willie, a victim all this time and we never knew!

  14. In the immortal words of Limerick’s comedy heroes the ‘Bandits:

    Stall the ball. Pope John Paul. Let’s all go and egg the Dail.
    Stall the ball. Pope John Paul. Let’s all go and egg the Dail.
    Stall the ball. Pope John Paul. Let’s all go and egg the Dail.
    Stall the ball. Pope John Paul. Let’s all go and egg the Dail.
    Stall the ball. Pope John Paul. Let’s all go and egg the Dail.


  15. Let the leadership campaign for Conor Lenihan start here. That should Finish the Fuckers oFF.

  16. Yeah, one of the few morsels of satisfaction to be had from the disaster that has befallen this country is watching those most responsible, the Vultures of Destiny, tear each other apart, now that there is nothing else left for them to scavenge on.

    Hopefully it will end like the story of the two Kilkenny cats:

    (Could anybody please tell me – in non-techie English – how to do that sexy smartlink (?) thing here. I can do it in a MS Word draft but when I paste the comment on a thread on this site, the link word changes back into ordinary text.)

  17. No idea Spailin. I can do sexy smartarse if that’s any good. :)
    You do up all your comments in a draft first? You do put a lot of thought into your ramblings, don’t you! :)
    Gold star for you for effort.

  18. FME, as I said before, I’m not as quick-witted as yourself and some of the other more illustrious and entertaining posters here.

    And even in spite of my ponderous modus operandi I’m not at all happy with some of the stuff I’ve put my moniker to on this site.

    And to those whose virtual toes I have unwittingly stepped on, including yours perhaps, in my more, er, passionate comments, I apologise.

    By the way, Pope, I should have said in my previous post that I think it was you who was asking Bock about that link thing recently.

  19. As an American, I had no idea what you were talking about at first, but your quick-wit and articulate style kept me going. If you could keep an American going you know you’ve got something.

  20. Kae mentioned macros also for HTML shortcuts .. on the living in a linux world thread recently. The macros link he gave was for linux.. but you’d find the equivalent for windows I’m sure.

  21. By the way, FME, “sexy smartarse” is good. See what I mean about being slow on the uptake?

    Thanks for that info. I’ll check it out and see if I can make any sense of it.

    Nina, maybe here in Paddy’s Land we are now thrown back again on one of the two most valuable things we were good at when we had nothing else – words “to sweeten Ireland’s wrong” in “Ballad and story , rann and song.” (WB Yeats, “To Ireland in the Coming Times”)

  22. It is pathetic to see Biffo thrashing about in his bunker. Directing the 5th and 6th Armies to the Eastern front and four Panzer Divisions to the west. His Generals know the game is up, but it seems none have the balls to tell him. Even the 14% arselickers left voting F.F. may yet cop themselves on and come to the realisation that the Party is over!

  23. Gary! would not the directing of the” soldiers of destiny” towards the steepest nearby cliff be a good tactical move to the satisfaction of all.

  24. Charles I do not want to see to see them dead. Just out of office and consigned to the history books to join their right wing the P.D’s .There is a vague possibility that at the next election , we may vote for people who have more on their agenda than filling potholes. I live in hope rather than expectation!

  25. Gary, it was a metaphor drived from tbe last days scenario of yer man in the bunker.

  26. Charles I read your comment as you intended . I am afraid I took the occasion to express my frustration with the Irish electorate and system. We do need radical change. Biffo is a symptom not the disease.

  27. Charles regrettably at the moment perhaps true. However there is always tomorrow and I am working hard to get there.

  28. In the interests of Ireland, FF (the one and same thing), our international responsibilities, and whatever figleaf you can think of, Briany is staying put(t). Putting it up to the those other great warriors of destiny , Martin and Lenihan, to show their hands. You couldn’t write this farce.

  29. It’s the same old Fianna Fáil hubris.

    We are the nation and we will continue playing our little kindergarten King of the Castle games while the country is going down in flames.

  30. A pathetic bunch of self-serving yoboos. Changing leaders anyway would be like changing captains on a pirate ship. They are still addicted to pillaging and the destruction of what’s left of the country.

  31. No he won’t go and perhaps this will hasten the demise of that civil war party. A wipe out at the election ?. Failing that I offer all Bocks writers asylum in my mountain cabin. Spailpin can build an exile government . I have me radio transmitter in the basement. “This is Dublin calling”. Good night Ireland.

  32. Yes, Charles, thank you for the compliment.

    I consider myself highly qualified to lead a government of liúdramáns by liúdramáns for liúdramáns.

    Though that would probably be a great improvement on the current sleveenocracy here.

    And a sojourn in Scandinavia might be just what the (head) doctor ordered for a lot of us Paddys.

    By the way, Charles, while I have you (as they say in these parts) could you tell me something.

    I came across an article, on the internet I think, ages ago about a particular word used in one or more of the Scandinavian countries. The word is similar in meaning to the English word “begrudge” but does not have the same negative connotations. I have tried to find the word or the article since but have failed.

    The article explained that given the more egalitarian culture of Scandinavian countries, to disapprove of others “getting ahead” or “doing very well for themselves” to an excessive degree was not necessarily frowned upon and indeed was often considered a moral duty.

    In Ireland, however, the term “begrudger” is invariably a derogatory term and is often used to put down critics of our more prominent cleptocrats.

  33. Spailpin ,well since I have you in my cabin government here in the mountains I must find this word. Avundsjuka?, Missunsamhet? Belackare?, Jantelagen?. I think you may be refereing to the Norwegian writer Axel Sandemose’s book “En varg korsar sitt spår” or “A wolf crosses it’s track”. This book has a sentence which every body here knows. Du ska inte tror du är något” (You shall not beleive you are somebody) Jantelagen is a perverted egalitarian state of mind found in a remote moutainous area where nobody is allowed to break ranks. The area is called “Jante” in his book and althougt fictional he received huge critisim for insulting every area in Norway by readers who thought he was attacking just their home area. He enriched the Scandinavien language by this word. So my guess is “Jantelagen”. Translated it means “The Law Of Jante”. Think in terms of social control exercised by the people in a rural area where an individual with obvious talent is held back by being frowned upon and discouraged. Do you have the radio transmitter ready, I just put up the antenn on the cabin roof. What is a Liudramans? Does it have anything to do with your primeminister?.

  34. Thank you for that very detailed response to my enquiry, Charles.

    I thought the word I had in mind was more positive in its implications than “The Law of Jante” but I could be wrong. The Law of Jante seems to be essentially the same as begrudgery.

    I suppose begrudgery is common to all peasant communities where life is regarded as a “zero sum game” due to the limited amount of fertile land.

    I was watching a video about ABBA (I know, I’m getting softer with advancing years) a while back and I learned that Swedish radio stations refused to play their records at first because it was thought ABBA had become too successful and were making too much money. However, that policy backfired because Swedes had then to buy ABBA records to hear them.

    On the other hand, I came across the following passage in a book I’m rereading at the moment (The Soul’s Code by James Hillman) which happens to be relevant here:

    “Anyone who rises in a world that worships success should be suspect, for this is an age of psychopathy. The psychopath no longer slinks like a dirty rat through the dark alleys of black-and-white 1930’s crime films, but parades through the boulevards in a bullet-proof limo on state visits, runs entire nations, and sends delegates to the UN.”

    Ludramán (or liúdramán) 1. Lanky lazy person; 2. Loafer (Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, Irish-English Dictionary, Niall Ó Dónaill)

    Meaning 2 applies to me as I’m not lanky and I think I’m a thinker more than a doer. (Ok, that’s a nice way of saying I’m a lazy fucker.)

    I’m not sure how things like radio transmitters work, being a cack-handed type of liúdramán, as already explained. Limerick is a Viking (founded) city and my real life surname is of Viking origin so we could be on similar wavelengths.

    I don’t think there is a word in any language to describe our prime minister or Taoiseach. What’s going on in Irish politics at the moment is gone beyond farce and I don’t think there’s any word for that either.

    We’ve had politics based on nothing but pure bullshit here for as long as I can remember. Irrational systems by definition are a denial of reality and reality cannot be denied indefinitely. As Philip K Dick said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

    Reality has bitten back with a vengeance now here in Ireland and it remains to be seen how the majority of the Irish people will respond.

    I am not optimistic.

    Vincent Browne wrote in The Irish Times recently, “It’s the ideology, stupid!” The ideology of neo-liberalism has had a stranglehold on politics across the globe since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    We are living in a time of a global totalitarian political culture and maybe it won’t be until the cruel and idiotic game of global capitalism is played out that Marx’s prediction will be proved correct at last.

    Or maybe not.

  35. Cowen has finally overshot the runway and come to grief. He has now fallen on his sword. His antics would have made the most hardened dictator blush.

  36. This is more hubris. Cowen spoke as Gaeilge about all FF had brought to the state since its foundation. He didn’t mention the Civil War (instigated by their genetic predecessors), the Economic War, the isolationist revenue barriers of the 40s and 50s, the church fawning, the disastrous policies of the late 1970s after Lynch’s dutch auction election of 1977, and a plethora of dodgy dealings with the corrupt and greedy while holding public office.

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