Politicians feeding off the victims of corruption

Defending a five star junket to Australia by a number of politicians a spokesperson for the Oireachtas said:

The trip had been useful in seeing first hand the issues facing the increasing number of Irish people travelling to Australia to take up job opportunities.

Is it not grotesquely ironic to witness politicians feeding off the misery inflicted on countless thousands of citizens who were forced to flee the country as a result of political corruption?

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Malaysia/Ireland: Different responses to corruption

An ongoing anti-corruption protest in Malaysia tells us a great deal about how far Ireland has to travel before we even begin to tackle the disease of corruption.

The protesters are demanding that Prime Minister Najib Razak step down over allegations that he accepted a large payment from unnamed foreign donors.

One protester said:

There are too many government scandals. I hope the Prime Minister steps down because he has shamed the country.

Another said:

The current government is robbing the nation of everything it’s got. The people need to put themselves forward to save the country.

In Ireland, while there is a great deal of awareness and anger at corruption, there is no concerted action in response to the disease.

There is no public outcry when our Prime Minister shames our country, which he frequently does. There is no public outcry when government officials/politicians rob the nation, which they frequently do.

The massive and ongoing protests against the water tax are the only indication that Irish citizens have had enough of corruption. And it is heartening to see that these protests are rapidly evolving into open rebellion against the rot in our political/administrative system.

One of the reasons for the corruption in Malaysia is the fact that the current political party has been in power for nearly six decades. The situation is similar in Ireland. We have a political class, (a ruling elite) principally composed of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour who have been ruling and robbing the nation since independence.

The emergence of several new parties and a host of independents coupled with growing anger among ordinary citizens is a clear indication that this old corrupt regime is heading for the bin of history.

The starkest difference between Ireland and Malaysia is that, in Malaysia, there is an anti-corruption agency. The agency is strongly backing the allegations of corruption made by the protesters.

Not only is there no such agency in Ireland but corruption as an issue is not even officially recognised. To my knowledge corruption doesn’t even appear as a statistic in Garda crime returns.

In fact, in Ireland, there is no independent authority whatsoever that has the power to challenge corruption within state organisations. All so-called regulatory/law enforcement agencies, including the Gardai, operate under the control and influence of our corrupt political system.

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Atheism; the most evil ideology ever, ever?

Catholic militant David Quinn:

Nazism, without doubt the most evil ideology ever.

Surely not, surely Atheism is the most evil ideology ever, ever, ever :-)

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Irish Times: Living on planet Irish Water

Here are some quotes from an editorial in today’s Irish Times entitled ‘Salvaging Irish Water’.

There is no question of abolishing charges.

Irish Water will remain.

The notion of returning to a discredited, fragmented local authority system is risible.

It would seem that the editor of the Irish Times lives on the same planet as Irish Water and government ministers.

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Shock news: Sinn Fein/IRA admits Twin Towers attack

This is all supposition.

This is the only fact surrounding the latest claim that the Provisional IRA is still in existence, is still killing people.

PSNI detective superintendent Kevin Geddes said the Provisional IRA was not involved in a recent killing but also said the organisation could have been involved.

And that’s all Unionist politicians and establishment politicians down here need to jump on the anti-Sinn Fein bandwagon which, by this stage, must be in serious need of an NCT test, it has been used so often since the IRA didn’t disband.

The media and in particular RTE and Denis O’Brien’s media empire are more than willing to provide widespread coverage of the non-existence of the Provisional IRA. This coverage will continue and increase in intensity as the general election approaches.

Arrests will be made, Sinn Fein members will be brought in for questioning, outrage at the non-existence of the IRA will reach epic proportions.

The intelligence of ordinary citizens will be insulted again and again as bought, unprincipled, unprofessional ‘journalists’ analyse how the non-existence of the IRA threatens world order.

RTE will drag in Sinn Fein members and demand answers to such pertinent questions as:

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Nazi party?

Where were you on Tuesday September 11 2001 when the Twin Towers were attacked? We have evidence, based on very reliable fantasy, that Sinn Fein/IRA organised the attacks.

Where was Gerry Adams in December 2013 when the first person died (murdered by the IRA) from the Ebola virus? We’re not, of course, saying that Sinn Fein is responsible for the disease; we just want to hear you denying any involvement.

Yes, the election propaganda machine is up and running.

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Shock news: The IRA is back

Shock news – the Provisional IRA is back. Oh, wait, scrap that, there’s an election coming up.

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Journalilst Michael O’Regan: A chapter in a history book

Here are the words of a journalist who has no idea whatsoever about reality outside the bubble that is Dail Eireann.

Michael Martin has emerged, particularly since the marriage equality referendum, as a highly successful leader of Fianna Fail. He’s extremely good in the Dail and in fact at the moment he stands head and shoulders as a parliamentary performer in terms of his own party.

Irish Times (captured) journalist Michael O’Regan.

It’s good that there are so many captured journalists like O’Regan within the media because their ignorance of reality ensures that establishment politicians like Martin also have no idea what’s happening in the real world.

By the time O’Regan and Martin wake up they will find themselves as a chapter in a history book.

Posted in Clueless journalists, Fianna Fail, Media coverage, Michael Martin | 1 Comment

Dr. Weeks: Living in the zone of denial

Here’s an absolute law that applies to all commentators writing about Irish politics.

If you write an article analysing any aspect of Irish politics without referring to political corruption or even mentioning the word ‘corruption’, you are wasting your own and your readers time because you are not addressing the raging elephant in the room.

The latest in a long line of commentators to break this law is Dr. Liam Weeks, lecturer in the Department of Government at UCC.

In an Irish Times article, Dr. Weeks repeats the well-known fact that the traditional political parties, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour, are suffering a serious loss of support from the electorate.

He gives two reasons for this development – a declining level of attachment to parties and the collapse in support for Fianna Fail.

However, he makes no attempt whatsoever to explain to his readers why citizens are rejecting mainstream politics in their droves. He could do worse than have a look at this blog where he will find any number of articles outlining the reasons for this development.

Here, for example, is what I wrote on 15 June last. Again, I was writing about the chronic inability/unwillingness of political commentators to recognise the elephant of political corruption.

The emergence of a new politics is directly related to the fact that the old regime (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour) has, over many decades, loyally served the corrupt political culture of clientelism, gombeenism and stroke politics rather than building a functional, properly accountable democracy.

I suspect Dr. Weeks is not actually aware of this truth. I suspect he operates in the same bubble in which most other political commentators operate. In this bubble he sees the Irish political system as democratic and, for the most part, functional – it is neither.

In order to keep the bubble from bursting Dr. Weeks must, consciously or unconsciously, enter what I call ‘the zone of denial’.

So, in his article Dr. Weeks states the problem – that the electorate is rejecting mainstream politics. He then enters the zone of denial where he can safely ignore the reasons for this development and instead skip to how events will affect the outcome of the approaching general election.

In other words, he describes the past and predicts the future while steadfastly ignoring the reality that connects them – political corruption.

Of course, Dr. Weeks is by no means alone in this. Read the opinion pieces in any newspaper; listen to the many discussion panels on radio/television and you will witness endless analysis surrounding corrupt events but you will never, ever witness any discussion of corruption as a subject in and of itself.

The reason for this is as simple as it is stark. If the disease of political corruption is acknowledged it will have to be acted upon and if that happens it will destroy the corrupt political system so carefully created over the decades by the mainstream political parties of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.

These parties and their many supporters in the media will not easily surrender their privileged and powerful position.

Fortunately, while commentators like Dr. Weeks operate comfortably in the zone of denial, an increasing number of ordinary citizens are taking matters into their own hands.

The days of the old regime are numbered.

Copy to:
Dr. Weeks

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National lottery: More profit, more arrogance

When Premier Lotteries CEO Dermot Griffin was asked how much extra profit his company would make from the recent massive price increase he, effectively, told the nation to feck off and mind its own business.

This letter in today’s Irish Independent is a good answer to Mr. Griffin’s arrogance.

Against all odds, it’s the lottery

There’s a chance you could win a million or two or even three!

Come September, all it will cost you is €5. Your chance of winning is 11 million to one. You might also have to share with 10 or 20 other winners.

I’m speaking about the new format for the Irish Lotto. They say it will be much better. I think what they really mean is it will be much harder and a lot dearer.

It will be like picking the winner of a 30-runner field in the English Grand National. Plus you must forecast how many horses fall, what fence each horse falls at, what the jockey said as he was falling.

What each jockey had that morning for their breakfast, what colour underpants each jockey wore.

You must also name in correct order the first 10 finishers, you must also name every punter in attendance. Also their age, how much each has in their pocket and lastly their address.

I know it’s a little hard but it’s about the same odds you have of winning the new Irish Lotto.

OK, so do you want to play the new Lotto or answer the few simple questions above?

Fred Molloy
Dublin 15

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Gender quotas: One form of discrimination to counteract another?

Letter in today’s Irish Times.

I agree with the writer’s opinion that gender quota legislation is nothing more than using one form of discrimination to counteract another.

Sir,

Emer O’Toole (“So gender quotas are sexist? What nonsense”, August 10th) bemoans gender quota legislation “which ensures that (a mere) 30 per cent of party candidates are women”. What would she suggest? A clean 50 per cent perhaps? Not only would such electoral engineering be hypocritical (the introduction of formal gender quotas to address a system of alleged informal gender quotas), but things are not as simple as that.

Emer O’Toole might consider, for example, a scenario where one of her local Dáil candidates is male, who is “pro-choice” and his rival is female, who is “pro-life”. I presume O’Toole would be inclined to vote for the latter? Perhaps we should introduce gender quotas for “pro-choice” female candidates only?

Despite Emer O’Toole’s arguments in favour of gender quotas, electoral engineering is not as discreet a science as she makes out and one must always consider the law of unintended consequence. Moreover, one cannot ride roughshod over what should (and I emphasise should) be an open, meritocratic competition in the name of what is in reality one form of discrimination to counteract another.

Candidates should be chosen on the basis of ability and merit, irrespective of gender. Gender quotas, by their very nature, facilitate and encourage sexual discrimination. Is this not precisely what advocates of gender quotas are seeking to address? They are a short-sighted and misguided solution to discrimination faced by women in running for the Dáil.

Engineering a change in the gender profile of the Dáil will, of itself, do little to remedy its well-documented deficiencies, for example the lack of ability to hold the executive to account, the whip system, the dearth of relevant expertise, groupthink and guillotining.

Yours, etc,
Rob Sadlier
Dublin 16

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