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Thursday, 21 December 2006

Charlie as Banquo's ghost

Have I read the Moriarty Report? No I haven’t, the bastard weighs in at 704 pages. But I have read the executive summary and skimmed some of the sections, which makes me at least as well qualified to comment as most of the pundits in the O’Reilly press.

We all knew, and had done for years, that Charlie was up to his oxters in corruption. All Moriarty could really do was give the facts and figures. Of the £9.1 million figure Moriarty gives, few people can be surprised it reached that amount – some may be surprised Charlie’s rapacity wasn’t even greater. Of course, what with the secrecy and the offshore accounts, we might never know the full extent of what he was up to.

Charlie was a deeply complex character who defied easy analysis. He was also fortunate in his enemies, many of whom hated him for the wrong reasons. Des Fennell rightly says that an awful lot of the D4 discourse on Charlie is really snobbery dressed up as moral indignation. That’s not to say, however, that moral indignation doesn’t have its place, and Charlie filling his boots throughout the hairshirt 80s is enough to provoke the most phlegmatic amongst us.

What’s more interesting is Bertie’s reaction. Consider this:

A mere few months ago Charlie gets the state funeral he had thoughtfully arranged for himself. Bertie presides, a fitting tribute to his mentor.

Today, Bertie is perfectly happy to denounce the corruption of the now safely dead Boss. In the meantime, Bertie has himself had a bit of trouble in the brown envelopes department.

What’s wrong with this picture?

We have Fianna Fáil distancing themselves from the man who dominated their party for the best part of thirty years. We have Electric Enda trying to make capital, although Moriarty’s second report – into Michael Lowry – is likely to make uncomfortable reading for the Blueshirts. We have Rabbitte clinging to Fine Gael like grim death. And we have the Socialist Workers Party jumping up and down, waving their little placards calling on the gardaí to arrest elected representatives. Dear God.

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