Simon Harris often apologises- it makes for good PR. You can say sorry– and then walk away from any scandal unscathed.
Take the Cervical cancer issue. Women are dying because a right wing government outsourced cancer screening to a private, low cost US firms. Worse, there was a significant delay in informing women that they had received false negatives – because the private companies were threatening legal action.
So Harris apologises. ‘I have acknowledged I personally made mistakes’ before adding that admitting a mistake’ is not as a ‘weakness’ but instead as ‘a sign of leadership’.
Yet to this day, Harris refuses to reveal to the Dail how many false negatives occurred at each individual facility where the checks occurred. He wants to hide which private firms made the most mistakes.
The same technique has been deployed around the National Children’s Hospital. He has ‘sincerely apologised’ to the Dail for hiding the fact that he knew there was a large cost over-run in September.
To gain cover he has hired PWC to investigate the matter – even though this company has received funding from his Department and from the main contractor BAM.
In Ireland there is a very simple rule: If you are rich and powerful, just apologise and you will get away with anything. But if you are at the bottom of the pile, you face the consequences.