Corruption? Not in Ireland

The manner in which the Today with Pat Kenny Show (Friday) handled the latest serious developments at the Mahon Tribunal is also a good indication of how blind we are to what we are.

Again, it was all journalists talking to each other. No Government minister to defend or explain to the people of Ireland what was going to happen as a result of the very serious allegations made by the Prime Minister and others.

The matter wasn’t even mentioned until the 53rd minute when we had yet another report from a journalist.

My point is that if Ireland was a functional democracy this story would have eclipsed all others for days and within days there would have been serious developments for the politicians who made the allegations or for the tribunal itself.

But apart from the reports from Dublin Castle all we got was yet another analysis by a cabal of journalists. There was, however, a very interesting and telling exchange during this debate which demonstrated just how far removed many Irish people are, including journalists, from admitting that Ireland is a corrupt state.

The discussion had turned to the situation in South Africa and the possible consequences for South Africa after the election of Jacob Zuma as leader of the African National Congress. Zuma is seen by many as a dodgy character and could soon be in court on corruption charges.

Pat Kenny referred to Zuma as a Dell Boy character and expressed the view that he would bring his country into disrepute and make the leadership a laughing stock.

Michael O’Regan of the Irish Times who had earlier expressed sympathy for Bertie Ahern and the difficult time he was having spoke of Zuma in an altogether different tone.

“I find him quite sinister, the fact alone that he’s facing corruption charges in the New Year I would have thought precluded him from any kind of public office. He’s quite dangerous, I would have thought.”

When RTE journalist, Katie Hannon, made the obvious connection between Zuma and Ahern O’Regan defended the Taoiseach by claiming he wasn’t facing corruption charges. Hannon replied that neither was Zuma, as yet.

The very fact that a young country like South Africa actually puts corrupt politicians on trial in a proper court of law means that they are light years ahead in their understanding and acceptance of what corruption actually is.

Many Irish people, including journalists like Michael O’Regan, exist in a world of denial where corruption is an activity that only occurs in other countries.

6 thoughts on “Corruption? Not in Ireland”

  1. Thank you Antony for your points. One thing that the whole world and some people in South Africa do not understand or refuse to is that Zuma has bot been charged with corruption, its just allegations which are still being investigated. It has taken six years for the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa, investigating whether Zuma solicited and recieved a bribe from a French company (where payment of bribes is legal and tax deductible as is in many European countries and North America), Thales. What puzzles most South Africans is the allegations themselves, which claim that Zuma solicited R500,000.00 (about £45,000.00), a smaller amount than he earned annually. BAE (British Aerospace) paid more that R1 billion (£100 m) to Thabo Mbeki’s friends for an arms contract…BAE called it ‘commissions’, which to any sane person means a ‘bribe’. Instead of the NPA pursuing this line of inquiry, it backtracked and investigated a case £45000.00. The authorities (NPA) have used KPMG for a number of years in a forensic investigation into this case. I am sure the NPA have spent millions of Rands (the South African currency) on KPMG, leaking information to the media, running a seriously damaging campaign against Zuma (a majority of South Africans think), including, many people suspect, paying a girl to say that she was raped by Zuma. Before this girl made these allegations, the first person she strangely called was the Minister of Intelligence, Mr. Ronnie Kasrils, to ask him what she should do after sleeping with Zuma. From there a criminal case which was well covered by the media, locally and abroad took place. In court she was asked why she did not call the police first, because the Minister of Intelligence was not a policeman. I guess no one remembers how she answered that question. The judge, a white Afrikaaner man, found that the rape story was manufactured and found Zuma not guilty. There is a lot of things that happened, which would require a writing of a whole book. Zuma has been used as a scapegoat, many people believe, to divert attention from the presumption that Mbeki and his friends/advisors received kickbacks of 1 billion rands from the BAE. After the Serious Organised Crime Agency in the UK said it wanted to investigate these ‘commisions’/’bribes’, Mbeki went to Davos and chastised Tony Blair for singling out South Africa out, leaving out the Oil Rich Saudi Arabia. You all know the Saudi Arabia story, the Royal Family visited Britain in October/ November this year, with a lot of pounds for the British Government and the BAE, the queen welcomed them, despite some misgivings about their human rights records, Gordon Brown was there, so was David Cameroon and the rest is history (fat pockets). I just think there is more corruption in Britain and Europe and North America than in some emerging economies, especially South Africa. That corruption is then exported to the poor countries because its a way of doing business in Europe and North America. Of course I do not mean petty corruption of underpaid policeman and traffic officers on the streets and other lowly paid government employees. I mean grand, institutional corruption which protects the interests of the industrial countries. Look at the war in Iraq and contracts that have gone to companies linked to the Bush Company (family?) and ‘Dick’ Cheney. Will the Americans ever charge Cheney and Bush one day of corruption, let alone the young lives of British and American soldiers, young boys who do not even know what they are fighting for. Some of them have just finished GCSE, looking foward to have girlfriends and a kiss, but are being condemned to death just to fatten the pockets of politicians. What kind of corruption is this? Ag Sies!!! If Zuma is charged and found guilty, then let us say he is dodgy, sinister etc, but for now South Africans have been very brave to notice things that do not add up. They trust Zuma. He ended violence in KwaZulu-Natal, Burundi and I think if he had been given Zimbabwe to handle, he would have long solved the problem.

  2. Thank you for that Bheki. I don’t know enough about the South African situation but I do agree with you that corruption is rampant in many Western countries.

    South Africa is to be admired for at least taking some action against the disease. The Irish people have yet to even acknowledge that they live in a country that is intrinsically corrupt.

  3. i dicoverd when my mother a pensioner a long with others that moved to borris court portlaoise earlier this year that she got a form telling her she had to pay 400 euros secuirty to bord gas non refundable or her gas would be cut off it was paid through the post office i belive this to be theft and reported it to the ombudsman told them that laois county council and the post office were behind it nothing but silence its not the first time i have reported them their crimes are well known in the dail

  4. The despair of silence by the not so well connected?What sort of influence does a persons environment have on them in relation to future prospects in a corrupt society.It is alleged the weak,are as important as the strong and powerful,in Michelle LaVaughn Robinsons thesis she is quoted as saying 43% of those she interviewed believe that god influences the way society is organised?God played a big part in irish society for a very very long time does that mean we can blame him for all thats wrong in irish society today?What is the purpose of gods image having a “SOCIAL”meaning in this so called modern world,or sean haughey for that matter when he opened a combat poverty agency conference,one observer is quoted as saying”He was speaking,though presumably not from personal experiance,on the theme of”SOCIAL DISADVANTAGE”.And thats exactly what michelle [miche]robinson wrote in her sociology thesis”educated blacks and the black community”.That thesis reminded me of roddy doyles COMMITMENTS,RACE like CLASS and its social structures will only allow some to remain on the periphery of irish society [NEVER BECOMING A FULL PARTICIPANT].You only have to look at those who are most vocal against the proposed new drinks law to understand that.WHAT was their previous occupation?Who are their cronies?slan

  5. Hi i have been thinking lately about the young trinity college graduate that tried to rob a bank in america and is now in prison over there.I was wondering when he started to show signs of a behavioural disorder or even delusional paranoia,is there enough been done in irish colleges to detect such problems if and when they arise.I have been posting some of my thoughts on four of “public inquirys”site,the following posts were made on “whos watching the watchers”20th augest 2007,whats new 2th,10,and 12th of febuary 2008,i feel and know there is a very serious human message in relation to peoples HEALTH and WELLBEING within those posts.Does anyone really care i think not.slan

  6. Sorry GAV,Couldnt help posting this after reading about the amount of money spent on curtains and carpets in dail eireann just on one ministers office alone[42,OOO euro]
    How to discourage people from playing a productive role in disadvantaged communities.
    Answer,The hidden cutbacks by government,example;CRIME WARNING ISSUED FOLLOWING FUNDING SETBACK, John Hobbs sectary of st.malachys football club edenmore feels that without adequate facilities young people from working class areas could fall into the trap of anti-social behaviour which in the long term will cost the state much much more to care for its citizens from marginalised estates in years to come.This social problem can also be mirrored in other working class estates like kilbarrack,coolock,darndale,etc etc,north and south of the liffey.This problem of isolation carries on into the field of education,read Tom Doorleys article in the daily mail
    12/8/08.”JUST COMPARE THE CIRCUMSTANCES”Those who have a voice and education from working class backgrounds ponder the question “why are the workingclass always first to suffer because of the incompetence and mismanagement in the public sector?not forgetting their inefficiency and wasteful practices,to boot.Another example roddy doyles greendale school was closed by the government as an educational facility,
    Because of this decision the kids from kilbarrack cant now access third level education or any other outreach programmes that were aimed at under-priveleged and under represented groups trying to access the likes of trinity college,WHO I MAY ADD DONE TROJAN WORK WITH ITS TRINITY ACCESS PROGRAMME.As Fergus Finlay[barnardos]said forgotten communities make easy targets?So stop crapping around with expensive curtains and give kilbarrack united and malacheys football clubs the funds they need to change lives.i will finish with a quote from Ross Kemp when reffering to criminal gangs”SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL ANYONE WHO FEELS ISOLATED FOR WHATEVER REASON,WILL FORM THEMSELVES INTO GROUPS.AT THE END ITS ALWAYS A CRIMINALITY BASED ON HUMAN SUFFERING OF SOME KIND”unquote.To understand this post go to “whos watching the watchers”unanswered questions”be very afraid”whats new”on this site,again sorry gavin.

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