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The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, is a liar.

Here’s his lie.

There are serious issues around a member of An Garda Siochana liberally accessing confidential information on the Pulse system and distributing it to the general public.

Shatter made this statement in the full knowledge that what he was saying was untrue. That makes him a liar.

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On 4 March I wrote to the Minister for Justice asking a very simple question.

It is public knowledge that a number of Gardai have been punished as a result of the penalty points controversy.

I request the name, rank, location and punishment meted out to the Gardai in question.

If this is not possible I request the regulation/legislation under which it is not possible.

On 5 March I received an acknowledgement.

Dear Mr Sheridan,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 4 March, 2014.
Yours sincerely

Today, 9 days later I made the following request.

Dear Mr.
I would be grateful if you could give a rough indication of when I could expect a reply to my email of 4 March last.
Yours sincerely
Anthony Sheridan

I received the following reply.

Dear Mr Sheridan,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 13 March, 2014.
Yours sincerely

These replies to my simple question are the product of a mind of pure arrogance operating with the absolute certainty that no accountability is necessary when dealing with ordinary citizens.

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The following quotes are taken from an Oireachtas debate on October 22 2008.

The current Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, is strongly criticising the then Minister for Justice, Dermot, Ahern, after the publication of the Morris Tribunal which dealt with corruption in the Gardai.

The point to note is that when a body politic is corrupt, as ours is, it doesn’t matter who’s in power when corruption is uncovered.

The sitting minister simply waffles in defence of the corrupt system while his opposite number makes the obligatory noises about accountability and transparency.

When power changes the roles are simply reversed and the corrupt system remains firmly in place.

Everybody knows and obeys the golden rule – You may waffle all day about corruption but you must never, ever actually act on the matter as that would be damaging to the interests of all who prosper within the corrupt system.

Shatter’s comments are, effectively, comments about himself.

(My emphasis in the quotes)

My only conclusion is that the Minister is a political gurrier unfit to hold ministerial office.

The speech delivered by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform in the House this morning and the attack by him on a Member of this House and a former Member was a disgrace.

To make that his main offering on the Morris report shows the level of political stupidity to which the Minister can descend.

I was the Fine Gael spokesperson on justice in the 12-month period leading in to the formation of the Morris tribunal… and formed my own view that there was a need for a public inquiry.

I emphasised on that occasion the importance of such an inquiry… in the public interest in order to restore confidence in the force.

I said at the time that these matters should not have been left festering.

On that occasion, the then Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform kicked essentially to touch.

I then made the point in this House that a banana republic would not deal with an issue as serious as this in such a manner.

In my view, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy Dermot Ahern, is not only unfit to hold the office he holds, but he should resign.

(His) Arrogance is extraordinary.

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The Garda Inspectorate report has been published and already we’re witnessing the usual bullshit response particularly from politicians with a vested interest in defending our corrupt political/administrative system.

So for anybody out there who may be unsure of the facts surrounding this scandal here they are – without any bullshit:

Fact One: Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state. We see this fact constantly reiterated when the corrupt political/administrative regime works day and night to protect the interests of the corrupt.

Fact Two: The inspectors report confirms that there is widespread corruption within the Gardai. This fact has been publicly known since the Morris Tribunal.

Fact Three: No prosecutions were brought against any Gardai as a result of the Morris Tribunal.

Fact Four: No prosecutions will be brought against any Gardai as a result of the current spate of corruption.

Fact Five: The then Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, failed to introduce effective measures to eliminate Gardai corruption. This failure can only be because McDowell is an incompetent or the legislation was deliberately formulated to give the impression of accountability and transparency while allowing the widespread corruption to continue. I suspect the latter is the case.

Fact Six: The events in the run-up to the establishment of the Morris Tribunal are practically identical to the events in the run-up to the current spate of corruption.

That is:

Denial – secrecy – blame the whistleblowers – secrecy – attack those calling for an investigation – secrecy – refuse to apologise when the truth outs – secrecy – pretend to act as a result of the investigation – secrecy – allow the corrupt system to remain in place in order to protect the interests of those who benefit.

Fact Seven: Political/administrative corruption lies at the heart of all our problems. Corruption is so ingrained, so much a part of our culture that it’s not even recognised as a problem.

The disease of corruption will continue to inflict horrendous damage on Ireland and its people until such time as it is acknowledged and acted upon as the core reason for our failure as a state.

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Last Tuesday Pat Kenny (59 Min) interviewed an official from the Revenue Commissioners on how the organisation intended tracking down those homeowners who were suspected of cheating on their property tax obligations.

The official was very professional. Pat put question after question to him and all were answered without hesitation, without any dithering regarding the law surrounding property tax.

Listeners were left in no doubt whatsoever that unless they obeyed the law to the letter Revenue would track them down and they would pay the price for their sins.

It should be noted however that such clarity, such efficiency, such determination to enforce the law is strictly confined to ordinary citizens.

When Revenue officials are interviewed about the rich and powerful they use a completely language.

We hear about constitutional considerations, about rights, about contracts, about legitimate expectations but most of all we hear about complexity.

The taxation system in Ireland is actually quite simple.

For peasants its: Pay up or suffer immediate consequences.

For the rich and powerful its: We will do our very best to minimise your tax and we will protect you on the rare occasions when you are actually caught stealing from the State.

Former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners and current chairman of NAMA, Frank Daly provides a perfect example of how the State treats the rich and powerful and how it treats the peasants.

Here are his views regarding the bogus accounts scandal of some years ago.

On ordinary bank holders (The peasants who broke the law):

Bogus account holders must be held answerable for their actions regardless of any encouragement given by the banks.

They had knowingly concealed earnings from Revenue and must pay for their actions.

On banks and bankers (The rich and powerful):

For reasons of practicality, it had been decided to seek the repayments of DIRT from the banks rather than to attempt to apportion blame.

Aggressively pursuing the banks would have resulted in a stand-off and a lengthy legal battle.

We had to go about this in a pragmatic way. Had we done otherwise, the shutters would have come down.

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The world approaches disaster, the Cold War has been re-ignited, nations are in despair.

And then, in the nick of time, a knight in shining armour, astride a golden steed sweeps across the horizon – and saves the day.

Eamon Gilmore has summoned the Russian ambassador and is sure to demand a complete withdrawal from Ukraine and an abject apology for giving the citizens of the world such a fright.

Ha, I hear you say. Gilmore has no power, what can little Ireland do to frighten the Russian bear?

Well, it’s simple. They will threaten Russia with the Irish political/administrative system, the most deadly, most frightening weapon of war ever invented.

The Russian monolith will surely wilt, their forces will abandon their positions and flee for home when faced with such a weapon of mass destruction – Ask any Irish citizen.

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Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty represents all that is depressing about Irish politics.

Here’s some things she had to say during a recent radio discussion (Newstalk, Sunday 23 Feb).

On Michael Noonan’s disgraceful and dishonest attempt to blame Fianna Fail for the current Garda scandal.

I’m certainly not going to criticise Michael Noonan for his opinions. He’s a very long standing politician and as you well know I’m not.

Two things here:

Firstly, Doherty is the kind of politician who lacks the courage to question members of her own party. Such cowardice, while beneficial to her and her party’s interests, is extremely damaging to Ireland and its people.

Secondly, she sees age and experience as the defining factor in how a fellow politician should be treated. We can assume, therefore, that she strongly disapproves of Barack Obama, who assumed power at 47.

We can also assume that Ms. Doherty is prepared to allow ‘senior’ and more ‘experienced’ politicians to act in a ruthless and callous manner simply because they are senior.

When politicians like Doherty lack confidence in their own political principles they invariably seek political security within the embrace of a stronger politician, no matter how ruthless or unprincipled that politician is.

This abdication of a principled stance inevitably results in the increased empowerment of the ‘senior’ politician with disastrous consequences for ordinary citizens.

Indeed, we can see this attitude at work today as Fine Gael TDs, including Ms. Doherty, coldly stand by as Mr. Noonan exposes thousands of citizens to ruthless vulture capitalists.

Fianna Fail and the media seem to think they have a political witch hunt going on here on Alan Shatter and it’s not on. To call for his resignation is absolutely a witch hunt.

If Doherty really believes this then she is nothing but a political moron, someone who has no inkling whatsoever of what’s actually happening around her. Someone who exists in just one reality – support the party at all costs no matter how damaging to Ireland and its people.

If she doesn’t believe her own words, if she’s just saying them to avoid having to admit the truth then she’s just one more gombeen politician in a long line of gombeen politicians going back many decades who have sucked the blood out of Irish democracy and destroyed the future prospects of millions of Irish citizens.

I strongly suspect that Ms. Doherty is just another cowardly, self-serving, gombeen politician.

And in truth, the Irish people have had enough of such inferior representatives.

Copy to:
Regina Doherty

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Enda pointedly sought out the hand of his Justice Minister to hoist in solidarity. Earlier, in a lull as the countdown to the live coverage took place, the audience launched into an impromptu three cheers for Mr Shatter (Irish Independent).

Kenny’s action demonstrates that his first loyalty is to Shatter and not to Ireland and its people. Such betrayal is the default position of most Irish politicians.

The impromptu three cheers by the audience demonstrates how far Irish citizens have to go before they even begin to recognise the depth of betrayal they have suffered at the hands of the body politic.

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I see Alan Shatter received a nice round of support from RTEs news reporter David Davin Power over the ongoing Garda scandal.

But Alan Shatter won’t be heeding calls to resign least of all from Mick Wallace and despite the Wexford TDs emotional intervention much of the heat seems to be going out of this issue.

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The following quote was emailed to the Pat Kenny Show yesterday by a garda.

The email gets right to the core of the most recent Garda/political scandal – The corrupt connection between the Gardai and the political system.

A comment made yesterday that the misbehaviour in the Gardai possibly being done by rogue elements within the force. Since all of this scandal is down to senior management, the altering of crime figures, the wiping of penalty points, the granting of bail, the threatening of whistleblowers I think it’s ironically hilarious that the rogue element within the job is actually its own management. Since all promotions above the rank of inspector are political maybe future governments will be a bit more careful as to who they promote.

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