I listened to Bertie Ahern yesterday talking with 'Miriam,' (our next President), and two thoughts struck me in quick succession.
Despite what we know and despite what resulted from his light-touch approach while in office, Bertie is still likable. I was introduced to him once and both then and yesterday, it was like listening to an ordinary bloke in the pub. He was down-to-earth without any of the airs and graces normally assumed by our politicians. It is hard not to like Bertie Ahern and many of us believe during the Peace Process that even Paisley began to like Bertie.
Then I also realized that I don't like Enda Kenny for fairly obvious reasons. He led us to believe that if elected he would change the face of Irish politics and we know now it was a damned lie. He opposed Irish Water in opposition and couldn't wait to set it up when in Government. The Mayo schoolteacher feigns a Statesmanlike demeanor when talking down to us but all I see and hear is a haughty teacher. He bluffs and he blusters and mouths inanities before striding away to his State car and driver.
No, I don't like Kenny and more importantly I don't trust the man. I don't much care for his cabinet either though I'l admit a sneaking regard for Varakar. Kenny had barely got his arse in the chair before he began appointing his cronies all around him. For me, this was an utter lie because it was this very practice that he was bleating against in opposition. His references to the 'Galway Tent,' were aways in relation to the practice of 'Jobs for the Boys.' Considering who to vote for at the time, I was taken in by Kenny's apparent sincerity and it was a bitter lesson later to discover it was all a lie. So if he is the leader of Fine Gael then by extension, they are all like him, that is they not to be trusted.
But liking and trusting are two different emotions and it makes me wonder which of those emotions decides the ordinary citizen faced with the ballot box. Even after his credible defense of his time in Government yesterday on radio, I still don't know if I'd trust Bertie. But I neither like nor trust Kenny so I'd probably vote Bertie instead because I like him.