I did a post a couple of years ago warning people to watch out for guys – it’s always guys – with diminutive names. (Unless of course they’re jazz musicians.)
At the time I meant politicians. (You knew where you were with Mark Antony - he didn’t call himself “Markey”; it was that Pompey who was up to no good.) But who would trust a guy called Bertie Ahern, the Irish taoiseach at the time? And if he’s a double-diminutive, like his predecesor, Charley Haughey, you have to be twice as wary.
Now Bertie, whom Charley called “the most skilful, […] devious[…] and cunning” of politicians, (from Charley, praise indeed), has quit over “unexplained transactions” of about £600,000.
What I said in 2006 was
‘He said it was “a misjudgement”. First it was “only $60,000”, then “a speaking fee”, then “an unsolicited gift to help me over my separation” then “a loan”. Now, it’s a misjudgement.’
But Bertie’s replacement is obviously a man on whom you can depend: he has the solid, diminutiveless name of Brian Cowen. But according to my news bible, The Week, it seems he’s not known as Brian Cowen. In political circles they call him “Biffo” – an acronym for “the Big Ignorant Fucker From Offaly”.
Meanwhile, highly-paid British Airways PR consultants are trying to hide their new Chief Exec because of the Terminal 5 debacle. (Following on the “Gate Gourmet” and the “wearing a cross on your necklace” debacles - which admittedly weren't on his watch.) Next it’ll be the "Great Third Runway Debacle". I’d like to write to him to complain about aircraft noise, but he’s the diminutively-named Willie Walsh.