On 19th May last I wrote about the passion and honesty of Fine Gael’s new TD George Lee after he suggested Seanad Eireann should be abolished.
Keeping in mind that Fine Gael, in common with all political parties, sees the Senate as a very rich gravy train I warned that it was only a matter of time before George was taken to one side and indoctrinated into the realities of Irish political life. Here’s some of what I wrote:
It’s only a matter of time before George is hauled down into the dark, damp pit of Irish politics where all new arrivals on the political scene are strapped into a seat, have a very bright light shone in their faces and ruthlessly indoctrinated into the realities of Irish political life.
And judging from a report on Newstalk 106 it seems that George has had his first session in the pit. He has denied that he called for the Seanad to be scrapped saying he meant it needed reform.
We can see from Lee’s response to the O’Donoghue expenses scandal (Irish Independent) that he is by now almost totally integrated into the mostly corrupt Irish political system.
After first expressing the usual but meaningless outrage Lee goes on to mouth the standard waffle we have come to expect from politicians who want to give the impression that action is about to be taken on an issue.
I’m going to raise a parliamentary question about this matter, it’s unacceptable behaviour in the present climate, it’s time to tighten up on the rules and I’ll be asking if there are any reforms planned in this area. This is all pure truth avoiding, playing for time waffle – Express outrage, promise reform and hope that, in time, people will forget.
According to the report in the Irish Independent:
Mr Lee said he was more interested in finding out if there had been a culture of over-spending by ministers during the reign of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern rather than pursuing an explanatory statement from Mr O’Donoghue.
This is the usual cynical strategy, put the focus on the past and restrict your comments to a narrow range of politicians, ministers in this case from a previous Fianna Fail administration.
This sly strategy allows politicians to avoid mentioning the elephant in the room – that practically all parties, including George Lee’s party, have been for decades, feeding out of the same expenses trough at huge cost to the taxpayer. Much of this greedy and unregulated feeding is nothing less than straightforward theft.