Sunday April 5, 2020

Pat Leahy: The coalition will simultaneously promise a spending spree while cloaking themselves in the mantle of economic prudence. It’s a bit of a tightrope

Probably the apex of Bertie Ahern’s era of ‘Showtime’ politics was his speech to the pre-election Fianna Fáil ard fheis in 2007.

8th March, 2015
Gerard Crowley cartoon

Although Ahern and his advisers had previously agreed a strategy of minimal promising and stressing Fianna Fáil’s competent economic management (!), by the time of the ard fheis he was facing questions from the Mahon Tribunal, low poll numbers and an uphill battle to win his third general election in a row. He changed his mind about the message of prudence in the days before the conference.

Demonstrating that extraordinary feel for...

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