I received the following comments from Cormac Lucey in response to my recent article on the fallout from the Mahon Tribunal Report.
My response to Mr. Lucy follows below.
I’m sorry that you were disappointed by my piece. Nowhere do I suggest that Bertie is “innocent of everything that happened”.
There is no doubt that those in government at the time must accept political responsibility for what happened to the economy on their watch.
But they got precious little help from “the experts” as this piece, which I wrote a year, attempts to demonstrate.
I would argue that Bertie didn’t deserve the adulation he enjoyed at the height of his powers. But nor does he deserve the opprobrium he “enjoys” today.
The same bodies which assured Bertie’s government that everything was OK in 2007 are today reassuring Enda’s government that our debts are sustainable.
We should look behind the pantomime villains which politics throws up and examine carefully the vested interests which endure long after “the villains” have left the stage to be replaced by new pantomime figures.
Unfortunately, Mr. Lucy, the pantomime villains you speak of hold positions of power where they can do pretty much as they like.
In almost all cases they put themselves, their party, the continuation of power for as long as possible and, of course, the behind the scenes vested interests before the country or its people.
They can do pretty much as they like because our administrative system- legal, public/civil service, law enforcement, regulatory agencies etc. do not operate like those in functional democracies.
In almost all cases these so called authorities go to great lengths to protect those guilty of corrupt practices and in many cases are themselves complicit in corruption.
At any time in the last thirty or so years politicians could have prevented the banks from routinely robbing their customers, could have allowed so called regulatory agencies to actually regulate rather than protecting the thieves, could have thrown their corrupt fellow politicians in jail.
They chose not to do any of this. As we can see from the (non) response to the Mahon Tribunal Report, they are still choosing not to do this.
Furthermore, many in the media seem to be completely blind to the big picture which is right in front of them.
Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state. It is different from all other Western democracies in that it refuses to act against corrupt politicians or white- collar crime in general.
Anyone who doubts what I say need only ask themselves the following simple questions.
If a Mahon Tribunal type report were published in a functional democracy would there have been arrests by now?
The answer is, of course, a resounding yes.
Why, then, have there been no arrests in Ireland?
Because state authorities, including the body politic, put the preservation of their corrupt system before the good of the country or its people.
The evidence for this is overwhelming and obvious to anyone looking at the situation with a completely objective mind.
The article you wrote in 2011 deals with some reasons for the economic collapse in 2008. While the collapse of the economy is a catastrophic event it is only a (an inevitable) symptom of a corrupt political/administrative system.
Political/administrative/business corruption is the big picture. This is where the power lies and ordinary citizens are completely powerless to do anything about it – to date.
Bertie Ahern does deserve the opprobrium he’s getting. It’s an absolute minimum ‘punishment’ for what he has done to Ireland and its people.
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that if this low-grade politician did what he did in a functional democracy he would now be in jail.
As a victim citizen of a corrupt state I can say with absolute certainty that neither Ahern nor any of those named in the report will be brought to justice.
That fact alone confirms that Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state.