In a corrupt state reality must be avoided at all costs.

Last weekend the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern and the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey lied to the nation regarding negotiations on the IMF bailout.

In a functional democracy these liars would be swiftly dealt with and the nation would move on.

In Ireland this cannot happen because we are an intrinsically corrupt state. In such a country the truth must never even be acknowledged because to do so would mean having to actually act and to act would mean accepting that we are an intrinsically corrupt state.

To avoid facing reality we regularly engage in bizarre analysis of events.

The following discussion is taken from the Sunday Supplement in which presenter Sam Smyth, Fianna Fail’s Mary O’Rourke, and other panelists engage in an Alice in Wonderland analysis of what exactly a lie is as opposed to the truth.

As a member of the most corrupt political party in the country and therefore the party with the greatest number of liars Mary O’Rourke’s responses are particularly interesting and bizarre.

Panelist: We had this comical situation with Dempsey and Ahern standing at a platform and saying it was completely ludicrous the notion that we were dealing with the IMF.

Smyth: Do you think they were deliberately lying or did they not know…a lie is worse than being mislead. There’s no question about that, it’s a deliberate untruth.

Panelist: It’s morally worse but is it worse in the sense that the insight into how this government works or rather doesn’t work.

Smyth: I take that point but somebody maliciously lying or telling an untruth is a serious…

Panelist: well if you take it that they were lying then that will stand on its own. If they weren’t lying and they didn’t know what was going on that’s even worse if they’re two members of the Cabinet.

Smyth: Mary (O’Rourke) do you think those Ministers were lying or do you think they didn’t know what was going on?

O’Rourke: I believe that they didn’t realise the extent of what they knew if you follow me.

That if they sat at the Cabinet table they had to know what was happening therefore if they inquired and didn’t seem to realise of what was going to happen well then that’s what led them…

I do think that genuinely they didn’t realise the extent of the vastness of what was about to happen.

Smyth: Would that (their ignorance) not frighten you Mary?

O’Rourke: I would feel they knew but did not realise the awfulness of the extent of what they knew, that’s what I feel.

Now, nobody has told me, I just figured that.

Dermot Ahern wouldn’t be known for his nuancing, shall we say. He said it was a book of fiction.

Panelist: If he used the expression ‘a book of fiction’ then either he’s outside the loop or he absolutely and utterly lied.

Dermot Ahern is very emphatic in the language he uses and to say something was a work of fiction…

Smyth: Yes, when you’re going to be found out so quickly it’s hard to believe that someone would deliberately say that.

Panelist: It makes a mockery of the whole thing. It was laughable for ordinary decent citizens who were listening to the shenanigans that were going on.

Incredibly, the whole matter came up again later in the programme and again the panel engaged in a bizarre discussion on when is a lie not a lie while completely ignoring the fact that we live in a country where the Minister for Justice can casually lie to the nation regarding a very serious matter that will impact on every citizen for generations to come.

The disturbing aspect of such off the wall analysis is that these are well educated, intelligent people who wield a good degree of influence on ordinary citizens.