Tom Lyons is the business editor of the Sunday Business Post so you would think he would know more than most about what goes on in our corrupt state.
But judging from the questions he asks in a recent article regarding the ongoing Siteserv scandal it seems that Mr. Lyons is, in common with most Irish journalists, almost totally ignorant of the political corruption that lies at the heart of our failed state.
The problem with journalists like Mr. Lyons is that they fly at a very comfortable height above the deep dark sewer of political corruption. They only see the surface, they have little interest in probing the depths to see what lies beneath. They see a flat, calm surface surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers. For these journalists all is well within the world of Irish politics and business.
Of course, from time to time a blob of pus surfaces giving off an obnoxious stench. On such occasions the journalists get all excited and head for their keyboards to analyse and speculate about the origin of the stench.
But because they have little knowledge of the rot beneath the surface they end up asking silly/naive questions similar to those asked by Mr. Lyons in his article.
Lyons, seemingly puzzled and angry that the Commission of Investigation into the the former Anglo Irish Bank is on the brink of collapse asks:
Did the Attorney General provide advice? If so, what advice? if not, why on earth not?
Can the commission legally carry out its job?
Did anyone ask that question? And if so, why did they get it so wrong?
Here’s the answer which I suspect will shock Mr. Lyons.
Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state ruled by an elite group of people who enjoy the full support of all state agencies including the civil service and Gardai. There is a corrupt nexus between the political system and practically every state agency.
This corrupt nexus facilitates and protects the interests of the corrupt ruling elite at the expense of Ireland, its people and democracy.
Over the past several decades Irish citizens have witnessed, to their utter despair, an avalanche of corruption that has destroyed everything they value.
And yet there has been no accountability whatsoever and there never will be until the current corrupt political/administrative system is removed from power and influence.
And that is unlikely to happen without informed and objective journalism leading the way.
Instead of flittering about over the sewer of corruption journalists like Mr. Lyons should be asking tough, relevant questions such as:
Why is there so much white-collar crime/corruption in Ireland?
Why do white-collar criminals almost always get away with their crimes?
Why does the State resolutely refuse to act to stamp out white-collar crime?
Why is it that the media/journalists seldom, if ever, deal with political/business corruption as a subject in and of itself rather than just responding to the latest incident of corruption?
Why is there almost always a close link between white-collar crime and the political system?
Why is Ireland governed under a cloak of Soviet style secrecy?
Why are they so many legal bars to accountability?
Why is it that Ireland, despite decades of rampant corruption, has still to establish a powerful, independent and efficient anti-corruption agency similar to those in many other countries?
Judging by Mr. Lyons’ concluding point in his article it is unlikely that he will be the journalist asking such tough questions.
The collapse of Anglo Irish Bank cost the state billions, destroyed the wealth, hopes and ambitions forever of thousands of Irish citizens and almost certainly led to many deaths by suicide.
Yet Mr. Lyons can only find room in his article to express sympathy for the former management of the rotten bank.
The management that received lotto sized salaries, the management that can rest easy in the absolute certainity that, if they did any wrong, will find comfort and protection within our corrupt political/administrative system.