'Patriotic' whistleblowers

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report for 2006 was published today. Elaine Byrne, of the University of Limerick has an article in today’s Irish Times on the report. She is also the author of the Irish section of the report.

In her Irish Times article Ms. Byrne makes the point that Irish people are reluctant to become whistleblowers because of ‘a historically entrenched foreboding of informing”. This is pure unadulterated bullshit (Excuse the language but sometimes it is necessary to make a point). Anyone who still thinks this way is an idiot.

The real reason that whistleblowers are few and far between in this Banana Republic is fear and lack of Government/legal support. There is no civil servant, bank official or politician keeping quiet because of “tradition’, because he/she thinks that spilling the beans would be “unpatriotic’.

No, they know that if they are uncovered as whistleblowers their careers are over, they will never get a job again. They also know that the Government will not help them. It is six years now since promises were made to bring in legislation to facilitate whistleblowers. Nothing has happened.

This inaction suits certain elements in the political and business community. Powerful people and organizations do not want to find themselves at the mercy of whistleblowers. This Government is more than happy to make sure that their wishes are granted.

One thought on “'Patriotic' whistleblowers”

  1. I do not understand the agression and dismissal in the response to Elaine Byrne’s article in the Irish Times on “whistleblowers and the need to set in place laws to protect them”. To dismiss her opinion as “utter bullshit” is verging on the offensive. To go on to profess that the real reason for reluctance to blow the whistle is “fear and lack of Government/legal support” displays a certain ambivolence, on behalf of the respondant, and a reluctance to grasp the point made in Miss Byrne’s article, which I usnderstand to be that a historical culture has led to this very fear and lack of support and that this needs to be faced and overcome. I may well be wrong but I understood that Miss Byrnes explanation encompassed the “real reason” given by the respondant to her article. To go on to say that anyone who agrees with her opinion is an idiot is definately offensive. So be it. If agreeing with what she wrote is idiotic. Then I confess to being an idiot. Why the aggression? In what way did what Miss Byrne offend a person’s sensibilities? I must be missing something because I am convinced that many of our nantional behavioral characteristics are cultural and have been molded by historical attitudes and events. The only way forward towards beneficial change is to define where these fears and prejudices originated and understand that the circumstances, under which they grew, no longer pertain today.

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