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Thread: Garret FitzGerald, the best taoiseach we could have had

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    Politics.ie Member RahenyFG's Avatar
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    Default Garret FitzGerald, the best taoiseach we could have had

    Just a reflection on Garret FitzGerald, taoiseach 1981-1982 and 1982-1987. I reckon he could have been the best taoiseach we ever had if a few things were different. If the economy wasn't as bad, the FG-Labour coalition or FG may have got re-elected in 1987. His attempts to liberalise Irish society went to no avail as Ireland was still a deeply conservative Catholic society at this time. His crowning glory is ultimately the Anglo Irish Agreement which cemented the Republic having a voice in the North. A minor glory was not allowing the debt in the 80s to spiral further out of control.

    All in all, a liberal taoiseach of honesty and integrity, if circumstances were different, would have been the best taoiseach ever.

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    The economy was in a shambles for the entire time he was in and Fianna Fail were able to arrest it when they replaced him. I understand the difficulties with Fianna Fail and Labour but the buck stops with him and he was abysmal at dealing with the overriding concern of the time. Lenihan has been a pretty good minister for finance if you're prepared to overlook the banks. Garret would have been good if the country was ticking along nicely. I don't think this would have been enough to warrant calling him the best ever though.

    I always think Garret is a mirror image of Dev. Both made great strides to achieve their goals and were certainly great if you shared their cultural viewpoint and valued it above all else. Their day to day running of the country was abysmal.

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    .....could have been a contender........

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    Politics.ie Member SlabMurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RahenyFG View Post
    Just a reflection on Garret FitzGerald, taoiseach 1981-1982 and 1982-1987. I reckon he could have been the best taoiseach we ever had if a few things were different. If the economy wasn't as bad, the FG-Labour coalition or FG may have got re-elected in 1987. His attempts to liberalise Irish society went to no avail as Ireland was still a deeply conservative Catholic society at this time. His crowning glory is ultimately the Anglo Irish Agreement which cemented the Republic having a voice in the North. A minor glory was not allowing the debt in the 80s to spiral further out of control.

    All in all, a liberal taoiseach of honesty and integrity, if circumstances were different, would have been the best taoiseach ever.
    You mean Gerret FitzThatcher ? It was said of Fitzgerald that if Thatcher blew her nose Fitzgerald would apologise and then clean her nose for her. He was probably the most servile, apologetic quisling the brits had running this state since it's inception - and that's saying something.

    As for " he could have been the best taoiseach we ever had if a few things were different. " - yeah and I could pull Miss World if a few things were different

    And his " His attempts to liberalise Irish society " - The buffon was the one who was the root of the infamous X Case. GF gave an assurance to some obscure Catholic religious pressure group when he was in Knock that he would hold a referendum on the Abortion wording. They and the whole Catholic Church bandwagon then went into full overdrive resulting in the change to the constitution and the disastorious X Case some years later. Some " attempts to liberalise Irish society " Then there was the first divorce referendum, which of course been the clown he is, it was badly constructed and impractical and failed.

    As for the Anglo Irish Agreement ( AIA ) Thatcher and co. was running the show, he only doted the i's and crossed the t's, the British were it architects. The AIA was forced on the British govt to introduce an 'Irish dimension' into the daily running of the occupied counties due to the surge in Sinn Fein's vote after the hunger strikes. The British govt had claimed for years that the IRA had no support but hunger strikers election wins in the north and border counties was a slap in the face to that line. Hence the Anglo Irish agreement was brought about to try and stem support for SF and throw a lifeline to the SDLP and give the Irish govt brownie points for been seen to do their bit on reunification. All symbolism as far as I'm concerned.

    The AIA's coming about and implimentation had very little to do with Fitzgerald, he was just a puppet doing whatever the British demaned.

    As for his " honesty and integrity ", well he didn't mind benefitting from a bad debt been dropped by friends in AIB who he had previously bailed out. Not quite in Huaghey's league, but not bad for a man of supposed honesty and integrity.
    Last edited by SlabMurphy; 29th September 2010 at 01:18 PM.

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    Politics.ie Member NewGoldDream's Avatar
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    Let's be frank, he was like the worst aspects of Haughey and Ahern and Cowen put together. Not only was he up to his eyes in the mess like Ahern and possibly responsible to some degree (that can be argued over and back), but he bailed out the banks just like Cowen and in turn got a bail out himself like Haughey and allegedly Ahern. It was all whitewashed because instead of being put in funds, he got a massive debt written off. But I think for the average person who doesn't get to make decisions on what banks to bail out and what friends to install as head of that bank and what loan to write off, it stank. Best Taoiseach me arse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGoldDream View Post
    Let's be frank, he was like the worst aspects of Haughey and Ahern and Cowen put together. Not only was he up to his eyes in the mess like Ahern and possibly responsible to some degree (that can be argued over and back), but he bailed out the banks just like Cowen and in turn got a bail out himself like Haughey and allegedly Ahern. It was all whitewashed because instead of being put in funds, he got a massive debt written off. But I think for the average person who doesn't get to make decisions on what banks to bail out and what friends to install as head of that bank and what loan to write off, it stank. Best Taoiseach me arse.


    You are at it again NGD about GF's loan, how many times does it have to be explained to you, question for you - How much did AIB write off which you describe as a massive debt ?


    Also GF had to bail out AIB for about 100m over the ICI insurance deficit, nowhere near what is going on now, it was very much a localised problem even when you think of Sean Quinn FF in for 3bn, ICI was peanuts.

    AIB traded out of their ICI problem and repaid the Govt in full.

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    Politics.ie Member NewGoldDream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanley View Post
    You are at it again NGD about GF's loan, how many times does it have to be explained to you, question for you - How much did AIB write off which you describe as a massive debt ?
    As I understand Garrett had 200k written off in his debts to both AIB and Ansbacher (he liked to move in the circles of banking infamy I guess) almost 20 years ago, when 200k was really worth 200k. If it's not massive debt, how would you describe it? If you are arguing that it wasn't just AIB, well maybe he got his benefits from a couple of banks and in fairness he only installed his very best friend in one of them.

    Speaking of outstanding questions, you not see the Where's Bertie thread?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGoldDream View Post
    As I understand Garrett had 200k written off in his debts to both AIB and Ansbacher (he liked to move in the circles of banking infamy I guess) almost 20 years ago, when 200k was really worth 200k. If it's not massive debt, how would you describe it? If you are arguing that it wasn't just AIB, well maybe he got his benefits from a couple of banks and in fairness he only installed his very best friend in one of them.

    Speaking of outstanding questions, you not see the Where's Bertie thread?

    Ansbacher was the bank which looked after FF'ers and their mates, Haughey was the prominent guy with his sidekick, Hanafin, not aware GF had any dealings there, would be more than surprised.

    Haughey had more than 500,000 written off by AIB.

    Peter Sutherland was an outstanding businessman and an EU Commissioner to boot, every bank in Europe wanted him as Chairman, he also chaired BP and Goldman Sachs, AIB was very small beer.
    Last edited by stanley; 29th September 2010 at 04:15 PM.

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    Comparing the AIB/ICI 100m bailout in 1985 (which as Stanley correctly points out has been more than paid back since then by AIB) with the current bail out is like comparing a labourer's credit union overdraft to Derek Quinlan.

    Comparing Garret Fitzgerald's financial affairs (especially as he sold practically everything he owned in an attempt to settle in full) with that of Haughey is like equating jaywalking to genocide.

    Finally comparing anything to do with Ahern with anything of higher value than my arse fluff is too kind to him.

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    Politics.ie Member NewGoldDream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanley View Post
    Ansbacher was the bank which looked after FF'ers and their mates...
    ...Haughey had more than 500,000 written off by AIB...
    ...Peter Sutherland was an outstanding businessman and an EU Commissioner to boot, every bank in Europe wanted him as Chairman, he also chired BP and Goldman Sachs, AIB was very small beer.
    Is that some sort of defence? It's weak.

    I completely agree that Sutherland did some good (though using Goldman Sachs and BP as references is amusing!) that Haughey got bigger kickbacks, that the AIB bailout was small change compared to what's going on now.

    But what happened to Garrett Fitzgerald was still a disgrace, the fact that he may rank behind Ahern and Haughey in the gallery of rogues is no great praise.

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