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Why did Bertie annoint Biffo as his successor


Tomas Mor

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It always intrigues me why Bertie anointed Biffo as his successor, with laying on of hands. What story lies behind this, was Biffo just loyal to Bertie, knew what was going on but kept mum. There was no evidence that he was a good minister, let alone a brilliant one. And was it not a gutless FF party that allowed this. A few of them like Dermot Ahern and Martin waited a while, but they all got in hehind Biffo as the only candidate with amen chorus. Some party, some courage. Or did Biffo have it all sewn up with his pint drinking colleagues on the back benches and who are now turning sour.
 
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White Horse

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The entire media was convinced that Cowen was an intellectual heavyweight.

Once again, they were wrong.
 

toughbutfair

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The minister for Finance is always the strongest canditate.

I admit I didn't realise Cowen is as weak a man as he is.
 

stanley

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Continuity, same route MoF to Taoiseach, Bertie needed someone to understand what he was doing and Biffo, steeped in FF'er ways, knew what was required and in his greed for power was equally complicit with the great ditherer.
 

wheels

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I think it was pure vanity. He did not want his successor to outshine him so he chose someone who would make him look good.
 

oceanclub

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I think wheels has the answer - passing the poison chalice to someone dim enough to think it was the holy grail was the final act of the most cunning and devious of them all.

P.
 

geruptheyard!

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I think it was pure vanity. He did not want his successor to outshine him so he chose someone who would make him look good.
That is one of the smarter answers i have seen on this site in a long time.

Here, Here!
 

owedtojoy

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Send in the clowns ....

I think it was pure vanity. He did not want his successor to outshine him so he chose someone who would make him look good.
Well, his successor has outshone him - as a complete bloody clown.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Bertie surrounded himself with weaker (if you can imagine that) people who made him look good. Like the old joke in the US - having Dan Quayle as Vice president was the most important aspect of the President's security plan.

With Cowen as next in line, no one was going to insist Ahern stepped down.

I also believe there was a nasty twist to it too - Ahern knew Cowen's weakness was his ability to reach out and connect with people, so when it was obvious the sh*t was about to hit the fan Ahern did some quick back stepping, created a sense of credible denial (recall his ludicrous quotes about politically motivated negativity and suicide) and then passed the buck on to a man incapable of explaining to Joe Soap that he had been sold a lemming without reverting to jargon and ****************************************. In reality it was a master stroke and it may have almost worked of it wasn't for the scale of the problem.
 

owedtojoy

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Biffo's main claim to fame was to nickname the Dept. of Health "Angola" for all the landmines. He also approved the hounding of sick and dying Brigid McCole, then blamed it all on Michael Noonan when he himself was out of office.

That established him as a "cute hoor" and exactly the right man Fianna Fail TDs would want to lead the party.
 

MPB

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The entire media was convinced that Cowen was an intellectual heavyweight.

Once again, they were wrong.
The entire media thought Bertie was some kind genius.

They actually thought that his inability to speak was a cunning plan.

They even praised is "ability" to refuse to answer a direct question, as if it was some sort of messionic quality.

The media in this country are next to useless.
 

Tomas Mor

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Bertie surrounded himself with weaker (if you can imagine that) people who made him look good. Like the old joke in the US - having Dan Quayle as Vice president was the most important aspect of the President's security plan.
In reality it was a master stroke and it may have almost worked of it wasn't for the scale of the problem.
Interesting analysis. I heard from somebody who drinks in Fagans that Bertie has dumped on Biffo, in fact has said that the worst thing he ever did was make him Minister for Finance. As one poster said this devious master plan may have worked if the problem was not so huge.
 

Rocky

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I think it was that Cowen was the strongest man in Fianna Fail. The party faithful loved him (how things have changed), the media loved him (god knows why), and the FF backbenchers loved him (once again how things have changed) and so if anyone was going to take Bertie out it was Cowen. So it made sense for Berite to appoint him as his Successor, in which case he couldn't really take him out.

I don't think it was a case that Bertie thought he was the best man for the job, I don't think he cared either way, I think he just thought he was the most likely man to shaft him.
 

Rocky

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Interesting analysis. I heard from somebody who drinks in Fagans that Bertie has dumped on Biffo, in fact has said that the worst thing he ever did was make him Minister for Finance. As one poster said this devious master plan may have worked if the problem was not so huge.
Bertie has argued a few things that when he left office the economy was great, which instantly puts all the blame on Cowen. It is of course nonsense, but it shows that Bertie will happily hurt anyone else in an attempt to protect his own reputation.
 

DCon

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The minister for Finance is always the strongest canditate.

I admit I didn't realise Cowen is as weak a man as he is.
Didn't the Bert also annoint BIFFO MoF?
 

Bosun Higgs

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Feb 22, 2010
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The entire media was convinced that Cowen was an intellectual heavyweight.

Once again, they were wrong.
Compared to most of the media in this country, the man is a genius and an intellectual heavyweight.
But compared to normal people................................?
 

Dunlin3

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The entire media was convinced that Cowen was an intellectual heavyweight.

Once again, they were wrong.
That's not true. Quite a few journalists were suspicious of his lack of achievements as a minister. If you rememeber all the FFers came out in force to tell us about the great things he achieved in health, foreign affairs and finance to silence the critics. Most people couldn't think of any!!
 

flavirostris

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It was done partly to neutralise Biffo . He could hardly move against the man who had annointed him as his successor. Haughey didn’t come out with those famous words for nothing
 
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