Falling for propaganda of loyalty to the leader

ACCORDING to your political editor Harry McGee, Finance Minister Brian Cowen is “the personification of the heart and soul of his party and what it represents and stands for” (Irish Examiner, September 29).

While Mr McGee was writing in high praise of the minister, he unwittingly hit the nail on the head regarding the response of Fianna Fáil politicians to the controversy surrounding the acceptance of large amounts of cash by Bertie Ahern while he was Minister for Finance.

Not a single Fianna Fáil politician, not a single minister, not a single party official, not even a single ordinary member had the courage to stand up and clearly state that accepting such payments was wrong.

In case there was any doubt about where the “heart and soul” of Fianna Fáil lies, Mr Cowen was clear: “I believe political loyalty is a virtue and that loyalty will be maintained by the Government for the Taoiseach on the basis of his achievements.”

In other words, the party and its leader take precedence. Political accountability and loyalty to the State are secondary.

There’s nothing new about FF putting party interests above all other considerations, but it is surprising to see an experienced journalist like Harry McGee being taken in by such propaganda.

Anthony Sheridan

1 Carraig Eoin

Cobh

Co Cork

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