Elaine Byrne: Suffering from chronic naivety


Elaine Byrne is, allegedly, an expert on the subject of corruption. She has written a great tome on the subject that involved years of research and writing. She regularly guests on radio and television offering her expert opinion on the subject and writes regular articles in such respected newspapers as the Irish Times and Sunday Business Post.

It is therefore incredible to realise that Ms. Byrne has little or no idea of what she’s talking about. She understands and indeed is angry that corruption exists in Ireland but she has no idea whatsoever of the nature, extent or origin of the disease that is destroying our country.

Her ignorance is clearly demonstrated by the following comment in response to the latest corruption scandal as exposed by RTE.

It is a few councillors. I don’t believe that those actions are reflective of the vast majority of elected officials in Ireland who believe in public service and who believe in making Ireland better.

However, those few politicians undermine all the good work that successive government’s have done in implementing legislation because it damages public trust in the ability of public life to operate ethically.

Ms. Byrne’s claim that successive governments have implemented good anti-corruption legislation is laughable. Yes, an ocean of legislation has been introduced to, allegedly, combat corruption but it is specifically designed not to be effective. We know this because it never is.

This is no accident, it is a deliberate strategy implemented by all mainstream parties with the conscious intent of protecting the corrupt. The evidence for this is overwhelming should Ms. Byrne ever care to check it out.

That Irish anti-corruption legislation is no more than a mountain of paper gathering dust in government departments is confirmed by the news that there is very little that can be done to bring this latest nest of corrupt politicians to justice.

This proves how effective banana republic legislation is in protecting the corrupt.

In a functional democracy, well informed, objective journalists and commentators play a crucial role in educating and informing the general public of the activities of politicians and other state officials.

Influential opinion makers like Ms. Byrne, who are obviously blinded by chronic naivety or are actively supportive of corrupt regimes, do enormous damage, not only to their own credibility but also to society at large.

I suspect Ms. Byrne’s thinking, seriously flawed by chronic naivety on the issue of rampant political corruption, operates as follows:

She feels there’s something wrong with the body (politic) so she goes to the doctor for advice. The doctor tells her that the body is suffering from the very serious disease of political corruption.

If the disease is not rooted out immediately, the doctor warns, using the strongest medicine (law enforcement) available the body will be destroyed with the subsequent catastrophic consequences for every cell in the body.

Unable to face the reality of this appalling vista she retreats into the comfortable bubble of denial. When asked by family and friends (readers and listeners) how serious the condition is she replies:

Oh it’s just a few cancerous cells, the vast majority of cells in the body (politic) are fine and healthy.

On the way home I met a man who knows a man who knows a politician who said powerful new medicine (legislation) is being drafted as a matter of urgency to combat the disease, so no need to worry.

But…but…asks one of her friends anxiously, isn’t that the same man who sold you fake medicine on several previous occasions?

Yes, but this time he said he’d keep his promise.

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Elaine Byrne