Because corruption is so widespread in Ireland, so much part of our culture, it can crop up anywhere and hardly be noticed. Take for example the Progressive Democrats’ proposal to abolish residential stamp duty.
In an interview on RTE’s News at One, the PD’s deputy leader, Liz O’Donnell was asked did her party cost the proposal. She replied vaguely,
“There’s an exercise going on in the Department of Finance”.
When further pressed,
“Is this exercise at the behest of the Progressive Democrats?” She replied, even more vaguely, “I’m not sure whether it’s at our behest”
This is where the interviewer should have politely asked Ms. O’Donnell that perhaps she could find out and get back to the RTE newsroom so that citizens would know who was paying for this ‘exercise’ – the taxpayer or her party.
Unfortunately, it is not in our culture to demand answers from our politicians so they know that they can give any old answer because nobody will ever bring them to account.
Here’s what I think. The ‘exercise’ going on in the Dept. of Finance is a PD initiated exercise but it is being paid for by Irish taxpayers’, hence Ms. O’Donnell’s vagueness.
I simply do not believe that a politician of her experience, serving in a party that has been in power for nearly ten years does not know this simple but important detail. I could, of course, be wrong.
Meanwhile, over in Hungary there was a major riot when citizens learned that their Prime Minister, Mr. Ferenc Gyurcsany had lied to them. One placard read “We will bury the government of Gyurcsany”. Another angry protester demanded that the PM should resign and that “He and his ‘friends’ should leave this county for good.”
Ah, if only Irish citizens could generate such anger at the skullduggery of their politicians.