Views expressed by economist Moore McDowell, Journalist Declan Lynch and politician Mary O’Rourke on Today FM last Sunday paint a depressing picture of how little we have matured as a people and a nation.
On allegations that UK MPs including Sinn Fein members may have claimed unjustified expenses.
O’Rourke (in outraged tone):
“Of course you can’t take money you’re not entitled to.”
Let’s see – Haughey, Ahern, Burke, Collins, Lawlor, Flynn, Foley are just some of a long list of Fianna Fail politicians who have taken money to which they weren’t entitled to.
And these are just the more serious cases; fiddling expenses is a national pastime for practically every TD, Senator and Councillor in the country. I have yet to witness O’Rourke show outrage when a Fianna Fail politician robs the state.
When corrupt activity is uncovered in the UK and other real democracies there is outrage, proper investigations, resignations and apologies. In Ireland it’s an integral and unnoticed part of our corrupt culture.
“The goings on in the papers about Irish politicians pales beside this. You can get saunas in your home, drinks cabinets, curtains.”
So, according to O’Rourke no Irish politician has ever done anything worse than over claim for the odd sauna or drinks cabinet?
“A lot of Irish people would think that any Irishman is entitled to any money he can get from the British treasury under any circumstances.”
“The Republican family always did everything in its power to drain her majesty’s treasury and undermining the crown in whatever way they can and I see this as merely part of that.”
The suggestion here from these two gentlemen is that it’s ok for Irish citizens to steal from the British people. This attitude reflects the old, immature, anti British mindset that still runs deep in Irish society coupled with an easy acceptance of criminality.
This easy acceptance of criminality within the Irish body politic is so ingrained in our culture that people like McDowell seem to be completely unaware of its existence as the following incredible quote demonstrates.
“You do hear of quote ‘scandals’ unquote in Irish politics, you do hear them and the truth of the matter is that with a couple of exceptions going back over the 90 years since the Free State was set up and now the Republic Irish politics in the terms of venal corruption has been peculiarly free of it.”
O’Rourke, a long serving member of the most intrinsically corrupt party in the country immediately added
“I agree with you fully.”
We can only surmise that McDowell’s incredible ignorance of the reality of Irish political corruption is a result of spending too many years with his head buried in lecture notes.
Safely ensconced within the walls of academia McDowell never noticed the long and corrupt career of Haughey as he plundered the state’s finances while accepting large payments from businessmen who were allegedly ‘acting in the interests of democracy’.
He never noticed that Haughey spawned a whole pack of like minded thieves like Burke, Foley and Lawlor.
He never noticed the avalanche of rot that poured from the various tribunals revealing how deeply the disease of corruption had eaten into the very fabric of Irish society.
He never noticed that Irish banks and other financial institutions have always enjoyed a free hand, courtesy of politicians and a so called regulatory system, to rob citizens at will with no worries whatsoever of being brought to account.
He never noticed that people like Jim Flavin can defraud the stock market of €83 million and walk away a free man, no questions asked.
Most of all Mr. McDowell never noticed that Ireland, alone among all Western democracies, never, ever takes any effective action against white collar crime.
On Ronan O’Gara’s insult to the Queen of England.
When I saw the picture of Ronan O’Gara insulting the Queen of England I felt ashamed of my nationality.
O’Rourke’s reaction was like that of a giggling school girl witnessing a fellow student being cheeky to a teacher.
O’Gara is certainly a legend in the field of sport but his behaviour sent out a clear message to the world – ‘I’m a typical bog Irishman who has yet to learn the basics in courtesy and good manners’.
There has been much talk of the Queen paying a visit to our country but judging from this incident and O’Rourke’s reaction it might be better to defer such an event for a few more decades.
On the troubles besetting the Italian Prime Minister, Berlusconi.
When it was put to McDowell (a great admirer of Berlusconi) that he was loathed by lots of people he replied.
“He is but that’s always been the problem for great men think of Charlie Haughey, think of De Valera.”
There’s no nice way to say this – Anyone who believes that the corrupt Haughey was a great man is a deluded fool.
On the entry of George Lee into politics.
“It’s interesting now that we know because I heard him saying to Sean O’Rourke that he had been asked in 2002 and he dallied with the idea so it’s good to know that all he said since 2002 to now was in fact Fine Gael talk.”
Ah yes, Fianna Fail hypocrisy – a bottomless pit.