Senator Turnhout: 'We' are to blame for the horror

Senator Jillian van Turnhout tweeted the following in response to the nightmare conditions under which asylum seekers are subjected to by the State.

We cannot say we didn’t know how bad it was!

On the reasonable assumption that the ‘we’ Ms. Turnhout speaks of includes ordinary (powerless) citizens as opposed to those who wield power, my response is as follows:

Dear Ms. Turnhout,

You are a member of the body politic of this country. You were (allegedly) put there to serve the best interests of Ireland and its people. You and your fellow politicians created and sustains the political/administrative environment within which such injustices occur.

You can, at any time of your choosing, act to relieve the horror of Direct Provision.

You could, for example, begin a campaign among your fellow politicians; you could stand outside Dail Eireann with a placard demanding justice. You could, if all else fails, resign in protest.

You will not, of course, take any of these actions for one simple but disgraceful reason – your principal loyalty is to yourself and the government that bestowed upon you the power and privileges of public office.

The only action you are prepared to take, apparently, is to turn on those you claim to serve and blame them for the horror.

Such cowardly responses are the mainstay for what passes as political responsibility in our dysfunctional democracy.

Copy to:
Senator Turnhout

2 thoughts on “Senator Turnhout: 'We' are to blame for the horror”

  1. Dear Anthony,

    I refer you to the extensive work I have done on Direct Provision as an Independent Senator, Member of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children and the Co-Founder of the Seanad Cross Party Group on Direct Provision:

    You will see I use every opportunity to raise my concerns through my Parliamentary work: Seanad Order of Business; Seanad Debates; Private Members Motions; Adjournment Motion. I have visited Direct Provision accommodation centres and written extensively in media and online blogs in an effort to raise public awareness. I also participate in demonstrations and have walked to both the gates of Leinster House and the Department of Justice in solidarity with Direct Provision residents.

    To clarify, by “we” in my tweet I mean we as a society-Irish society-and the sum of all of its parts. Us all.

    Best regards,

    Jillian van Turnhout, Senator and citizen.

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