It is not correct — if I said so I wasn’t correct. I can’t recall if I did say it. But I did not say, or if I did say it, I didn’t mean to say it, that these issues could not be dealt with until the end of the Mahon Tribunal
Bertie Ahern, Taoiseach of Ireland, to the Dail, 30th January 2008.
Bertie delivered this gem of mangled syntax and distorted English to the quizzical and down-right baffled Dail yesterday. He is the master of bafflement, the bringer of confusion, the word-mangling supreme being. Bertie the word-mangler makes ancient greek look lucid and logical.
Philosophers like Sartre and Kant were famously prolix and contorted. At least Kant made sense once he could be understood – Sartre rarely did, but at least he didn’t subject a whole nation to his ponderous musings. And they both were tackling the great issues of metaphysics, meaning, and epistemology. Bertie has no such excuse. He is dealing with questions that demand yes/no answers. And we get this verbiage. Why?
The depths of muddle revealed by his multi-layered miasma of contorted speech are his greatest defence and his biggest political asset. He hides the truth while dressing up reality in a many-layered and concealing cloak of mystery.
The truth is simple. He’s hiding something. He cannot think straight because he has twisted and turned from reality so often that he breaks out in a sweat everytime he has to answer a question about it.
The facts are simple: he is not tax-compliant for a period dating back to the mid-1990s when he was Minister for Finance. That the highest official in the land responsible for the collection of taxes cannot satisfy the tax authorities that he paid his tax, from a period dating back more than ten years, means that he either didn’t pay the right tax, or his accounts were not in order. If he had any honor left in him, he’d resign. He’d put the country before his personal ambition and he’d hand over to someone more capable of running the country. With economic uncertainty, a collapsing property market, and a potential US recession around the corner, the country needs stability and focus. Not this crap.