Life

Why can't companies admit to their money desire?

Designers discussing design, look, and level of detail of the LEGO Friends figure
Billy Foley

Lenihan: A Legacy, RTE 1, Monday at 9.35pm

It may be in inverse proportion to what the people are interested in, but political biographies are on the increase in RTE.

The last couple of years have seen major television documentaries and dramas on Charlie Haughey, Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and Garrett Fitzgerald.

But this week's programme on the late Brian Lenihan was the first one on a figure who wasn't even a party leader, never mind a taoiseach.

Mr Lenihan, who died of cancer in 2011, has been described as the most capable Fianna Fail politician of his generation, but he only became a full cabinet minister in 2007.

He rose to full public prominence when Brian Cowen promoted him to minister for finance in 2008, where he served until his premature death at the age of just 52.

His time in finance was the most remarkable in the history of the state, with Mr Lenihan in charge when the IMF and European bank had to step in to prevent a default.

He was also finance minister when Ireland signed the appalling bank guarantee scheme which is now the subject of a public inquiry.

It is remarkable therefore that Mr Lenihan, who comes from one the most famous political families in the state, retained enormous public sympathy throughout this period.

There was a natural concern and respect for a man fighting on (including contesting a Fianna Fail leadership battle) through his illness and also a widespread view that he was unfortunate to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time rather than being the architect of the financial collapse.

His posthumous popularity will not be hindered by the revelation that one of those architects was not a fan.

Three-time Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said Lenihan jnr, whom he failed to promote while leader, could be "difficult."

``The more intellectual they are, the more work they don't want to do. You have to have both, you have to be able to put in the graft, keep lunches to a minimum, keep tea to a minimum and keep finishing time late. We had to make him knock on doors."

Despite his travails, it seems Bertie refuses to let go of his self-created image as an ordinary man; the guy who drinks pints of Bass in the local in Drumcondra.

No wonder people prefer Brian Lenihan – he never pretended to be anything but himself.

***

The Secret World of Lego, Channel 4, Sunday at 8pm

Modern multi-nationals just can't seem to admit any more to wanting to make money.

Facebook, Twitter and now Lego are just trying to help people lead better lives, they tell us.

Two things about this programme made me want to buy a big box of Meccano.

First calling a programme ‘The Secret World of Lego' when the cameras are invited to tour the factory, speak to the staff, interview the top brass and metaphorically hug the head of PR.

The British born head of design at the Danish giant almost cried (honestly) as he told that his fervent hope was that his toys might bring a moment of joy to a child in difficult circumstances somewhere in the world.

Presumably then he goes to board meetings and argues that their stuff should be just given away to the needy, rather than charged at more than £10 for a tiny box.

Life

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: