I laughed last week when I turned on the radio and heard somebody say (yet again) that the country/economy had turned a corner.
I laughed even more when I listened to the Garda Inspectorate, Robert Olsen; tell the nation that the recent ‘problems’ within our police force was nothing more than a ‘systems failure’. (Morning Ireland, Thursday 13 March).
Clearly, Mr. Olsen is a newcomer to Ireland and is therefore completely unaware of how obnoxious that particular phrase is to the people of Ireland.
For decades we’ve heard the phrase trotted out to explain the rampant corruption within practically every department of government.
We’ve heard it used to cover up and facilitate the widespread (and still ongoing) theft by banks and other financial institutions of countless millions from the State and customers.
We’ve heard it used to explain away the child abuse holocaust and subsequent cover up perpetrated by the Catholic Church.
And now, Mr. Olsen wants us to believe that the widespread corruption within our police force is nothing more than a ‘systems failure’.
In common with all those who have used this obnoxious and insulting excuse in the past, Mr. Olsen is talking bullshit.
And although Mr. Olsen is only new to our corrupt culture it seems he has already become adept at defending those who operate within that corrupt culture.
Here’s a portion of the interview he gave on Morning Ireland in which he was clearly caught out but still managed, in the great Irish tradition of calling a spade a shovel, to wriggle out of an awkward situation.
Your report says it was mismanagement (not corruption) how did you arrive at that conclusion.
The Garda Inspectorate’s remit is not about investigating wrong doing. We did an inspection of the processes and we didn’t go into and it’s not our role to do investigations of individual incidents that may or may not have been more than mismanagement.
If it’s not your job to find out whether there was corruption or not, how can you say that there wasn’t corruption?
Well I can say it because that’s not what we had looked for.
You’re saying it’s not your job to look for it?
It was a systems failure.
If it wasn’t corruption, was it incompetence?
Well, I think it’s mismanagement, we’re very clear on mismanagement and you can take that wherever you want.
So lets’ just focus on one particular answer give my Mr. Ollsen to see if there’s any logic whatsoever to his reply
Question: If it’s not your job to find out whether there was corruption or not, how can you say that there wasn’t corruption?
Answer: Well I can say it because that’s not what we had looked for.
No, not a shred of logic to that answer; does not make sense in any manner or form. So it seems that Mr. Olsen has cottoned on to another great Irish tradition – whatever you say, say nothing and, of course, that’s exactly what Mr. Olen was saying – nothing.
And when somebody like Mr. Olsen says nothing he is, effectively, supporting his boss the Minister for Justice and Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan.
And in supporting these men, who clearly have many questions to answer, Mr. Olsen is in danger of placing himself and his office in the same place as every other so-called regulatory/advisory agency in this country – on the side of the system rather than the side of objective analysis.
Mr. Olsen’s loyalty to his boss was confirmed at the end of the interview when he was asked did he think the whistleblowers were vindicated.
He refused to give a straight answer. Now let’s be clear here, there is absolutely no problem with Mr. Olsen simply expressing what is a clear fact, what every reasonable person believes – that these brave whistleblowers are indeed vindicated men.
The fact that he refused to give a straight answer suggests that Mr. Olsen is reluctant to cause any offence to his boss, the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter.
By refusing to give a straight answer it seems that Mr. Olsen is faithful to another great Irish tradition – loyalty to the boss, to the system, above all else.
Mr. Olsen is new to his job, he’s new to this country but Irish citizens should not rest easy in their minds that he is loyal to their interests.
His use of the discredited ‘systems failure’ excuse and his loyalty to his boss make him, at the very least, suspect.