The first question on last weeks Questions and Answers was;
“Should the Taoiseach continue in office without a tax clearance certificate?”
Irish Times columnist John Waters answered as follows;
“I think he should. I think it’s all just a game and a fairly tedious one at that. The whole basis of all this tribunalism, all this palaver is the false idea that there is some clear line of demarcation between party political donations and personal donations to a politician.
If I’m a politician and running for public office I need money to get myself elected. So if you’re offering me ten grand it really doesn’t matter to me whether its for my party , for myself as a politician or into my own pocket because at the end of the day if you don’t give it to me I’m going to have to find it from somewhere, more than likely in my own pocket.
I think we have come from a culture in which there was no line and we should agree that that line didn’t exist until now and we should now make that line.”
John Bowman: “We have made that line.”
“Yes, but now declare a line under the past, declare an amnesty on all that, accept that there was all kinds of dodgy things going on, forget about it, wrap up the tribunals and get on with real life.”
If John Waters was editor in charge of the astrology column of the Ballymagash Herald, his stupid, uninformed and naïve opinions wouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, this man writes for the most prestigious paper in the country, regularly appears on a wide section of media outlets and is, apparently, accepted as a serious journalist by a great many people.
Is there any hope?