So I would ask the media. Look at all of the report. We have enough of this pervasive negativity all the time trying to take a bad interpretation of a report which in fact is supportive of what Government is doing so that we finally get the real message out there.
The message from Cowen to the media is simple – stop telling the truth.
But what is the truth? Well, David McWilliams makes a good stab at it in today’s Irish Independent when he writes that Ireland is staring down the barrel of bankruptcy.
McWilliams analyses all the figures and the brutal truth is that they just do not add up – no matter how many lies Cowen and Lenihan spout.
With a very broad brush here’s the picture I see.
Ireland has never been a real democracy; it has always operated more like a mafia organisation than a modern Western democracy. Citizens sell their votes to the local strongman in return for favours, most of which are services that the ignorant citizen has already paid for through taxes.
This selling and buying of votes eventually corrupted the entire system of politics, state administration, business and the general population. The system was, and still is, all about power, money, who you know and who you can influence.
The great bulk of Irish citizens, because of their political ignorance, were more than happy with this arrangement so long as their particular strong man delivered the goods. But a corrupt society is extremely inefficient and is thus very, very expensive.
This massive cost of corruption was never a problem until recent times, politicians simply dipped into the bottomless pocket of the taxpayer and wrote a cheque for whatever favour was required, for whatever needed to be done to ensure the rotten system trundled along.
That situation would have continued indefinitely if it wasn’t for the global financial tsunami that rocked the planet a few years ago.
Since then we have been desperately trying to convince ourselves and the international community that we are not a corrupt state; that we are, just like most other states, honestly struggling to repair the damage caused by that global crisis to a sound, accountable good quality democracy.
We will fail to convince, Ireland will default on her loans, and the situation will become critical to the point of national crisis.
The reason for this is simple – the taxpayer has no more money – the well is dry, the pocket is empty.
All talk about property tax, water charges, pensions cuts, reform of the public service and so on are nothing more than desperate and doomed to failure strategies to put off the day when denial must end.
Again, broadly speaking, there are only two roads open for the country.
Road one will see Irish citizens reduced to a standard of living/poverty similar to that of the 1950s. In addition to living in poverty Irish citizens will also sheepishly agree to the following conditions.
Continue to pay off massive mortgages and other loans at (corrupt) Celtic Tiger rates.
Continue to bail out corrupt (and still very rich) bankers and developers.
Continue to tolerate a corrupt political system that betrays them time after time in favour of power and enrichment.
Road two will see Irish citizens, after decades of ignorance, finally waking up to what Ireland really is as a country.
They will act to destroy the corrupt political system that has been responsible for the destruction of their country and they will begin the long hard job of building (for the first time in Irish history) a real democracy based on accountability, transparency and the best interests of the Irish people.