Cowen inhibited by insight and intelligence

From 2004 to 2008, Brian Cowen was the Minister for Finance who got the economy wrong. His boss was the unspeakable economic genius Professor Bertie Ahern who invited dissentors on the economy to commit metaphorical suicide. Because I know that Brian Cowen is an intelligent and emotionally competent individual, the critical observations made on his performance as Taoiseach by Stephen Collins in the Irish Times are both predictable and easily understood. Cowen’s problem is that unlike many politicians and successful people, he is not a highly functioning Asberger’s Syndrome. He may be a Fianna Fail zealot but his aggression and bluster is a camouflage to hide his insight and embarrassment for the consequences of the mismanagement of the Fianna Fail/PD coalitions of those years. He knows it is the government the governs not the opposition, so blaming the opposition for demanding more spending does not excuse his performance or his failure to read the OECD and Economist Intelligence Unit’s reports on the Irish boom. He instinstively knows that having lead the country over a cliff, he is not the pied piper and will never lead us back to rationality.

Irrespective of the Fine Gael policy at the last general election, Cowen knows that Richard Bruton is slowly being vindicated in his bank policies despite criticism from grandees like Dr Garret FitzGerald and Alan Dukes. Joan Burton too has a valid point on the blanket bank guarantee of September 2008.

Self consciousness and true insight are crippling Brian Cowen’s Rottweiler tendency. Any good opponent can tell him on live radio or Television that he has presided over the worst economic direction and financial regulation in Irish history.

Sometimes there is an advantage in being a political psychopath. Cowen’s problem is that he is not one and neither is he an “economic traitor”. It seems that Asberger’s rules OK!