Ahern says Government critics should 'dig the garden or grow bluebells'


CRITICS WHO blame the Government for the economic crisis should “dig the garden or grow bluebells or do something useful”, former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said.

In an interview, Mr Ahern attacked “cynics and knockers, people who always see the glass as half empty. I can’t understand people who are always bitching, saying ‘It’s the Government’s fault, it’s the doctor’s fault, it’s the cat’s fault.’ It’s everybody’s fault except their own.

“I don’t know why they wouldn’t go out and dig the garden or grow bluebells or do something useful! I like doers – people who paint their house, bake, work, whatever,” he told the latest edition of VIPmagazine.

He said that since he resigned as taoiseach last year, “life is not as controlled as it was. I’m busy doing different things, some quite important, but it’s just not the same. If I want to go to a match, I go to a match; if I want to see some friends tomorrow night, I can do that, so it’s a big change.”

Asked whether he was happier now, he said: “Yes, definitely, but there are times I miss it.”

Commenting on the economic difficulties facing his successor, he said: “Brian has had it rough because of the huge international slowdown. The big trick for him is how we can get out of it quickly.”

In another interview, which is to be broadcast on TV3 this week and which was reported in yesterday’s Sunday Times,Mr Ahern says an unnamed political colleague had worked “night and day” to bring him down.

“One person working night and day to screw me up and I think I know why and I think I know how. Maybe, along the way, they got things wrong, and maybe they had to be punished a bit for that, and maybe they set about then trying to screw up.

“I know who the person is. But libel laws are dangerous and if you can’t prove it, you can’t say it. But you can still know it,” the former taoiseach says.

Bertie Ahern also told the Sunday Timesa colleague had worked “night and day” to bring him down