Long live the (corrupt) republic

Sunday Independent business correspondent Brian Keenan is a conservative.

He’s one of those people who sincerely believe he lives in a functional democracy where accountability is, if not the norm, at least possible. It must, therefore, have been difficult for him to admit the following.

The truth is that Ireland is an ill-governed country, and has been for some time.

Yes, I know, it’s a mild almost sheepish description of the horrific reality that Ireland is facing but it’s a start for a journalist who, to date, has lived in a lovely, warm and comfortable cocoon of denial.

He goes on:

Time is now running out, not just to fix the public finances, but to fix the body politic.

You see here, it’s beginning to dawn on this conservative that there’s something wrong with our political system. Yes, he’s about 30 years too late with his tiny and timid insight but it’s a start for a journalist who has always been comfortable in his denial.

He goes on:

Fianna Fail, of course, will have to fix itself. For most of the past 30 years, it has been part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Like much of the country’s other difficulties, this is fundamentally due to an unwillingness to change.

Wow, this is incredible insight – Fianna Fail is part of the problem.

Let’s see, around 1982 I realised that Fianna Fail was rotten to the core with corruption. The party that still supports and admires the criminal Haughey is the single greatest factor in the destruction of our country.

The solution is not for Fianna Fail to fix itself; the solution is for Fianna Fail to be destroyed as a power in the land.

The question that Mr. Keenan grapples with in his article is whether Ireland should default on its debts and it is here that we see he has learned nothing; that he’s still living in his comfortable but deadly denial.

It cannot just be economic calculations, though. No rich country has defaulted since World War II. Twenty years ago, rugby captain Ciaran Fitzgerald had not yet uttered what remains my instinctive response to the idea: “Where’s your f**king pride?”

Here Keenan looks out from the cesspit of corruption that Ireland has become and shouts at the world.

We are Irish, we’re proud and we will defeat this terrible disaster not by facing uncomfortable realities, not be putting the corrupt in jail, not by radically reforming our corrupt political, regulatory and business sectors.

No, we will solve our problems by appealing to a false, naïve and totally misplaced nationalism.

Long live the (corrupt) republic.