According to media reports today, the Fianna Fail Party Political Broadcast to be transmitted tonight will feature clips of Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and George Mitchell extolling the virtues of Bertie Ahern.
All these endorsements will have emanated from the interactions with respect to Northern Ireland, though Fianna Fail claimed today that the various individuals have consented to their use in this broadcast. In the context of the "Cash for Honours" scandal overhanging Tony Blair's last months in office, this smacks of a "quid pro quo" arrangement - Bertie has helped secure the only major achievement in the Blair legacy to date and Tony is repaying the debt. Every honour has its price.
No one can deny Bertie credit for his key role in resolving the Northern Ireland political impasse, though Albert Reynolds deserves much of the credit for the 1997 Good Friday Agreement itself.
However, Bertie’s triumphs on the international stage have not been confined to Northern Ireland. He has been a key player in the EU, most recently during Ireland’s presidency of the European Council (Jan-June 2004) when he succeeded in getting agreement on the text for the proposed EU Constitution and finding a successor to Romano Prodi as President of the Commission.
Decisions: My Life in Politics, published in 2006, is the 544 page memoir of Gerhard Schroder who was Chancellor of Germany from October 1998 to November 2005.
As the title implies, it focuses on his political career, including international dealings with the EU, USA etc..
Strangely, the Schroder memoirs contain not a single reference to Bertie Ahern who, we are constantly told by our domestic media, has bestrode the EU like a colossus during his 10 years as Taoiseach.
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