Political lies cause suffering and death. Enda Kenny is a political liar.
War is the most obvious and most deadly consequence of political lying. Over the centuries, countless millions have died because politicians lied when they should have told the truth.
But war is not the only cause of death as a result of political lies. There was a massive increase in the suicide rate following the economic collapse in 2008 (Recession directly to blame for up to 566 suicides).
These desperate people died, at least in part, because our politicians lied to them.
In Ireland, alone among Western democracies, political lying has become a fully accepted part of political discourse. It is also common right throughout the civil and public service.
Political lying has become part of Irish political culture principally because lying politicians are rarely challenged by the media.
Here’s Pat Rabbitte casually demonstrating this truth when asked about election promises regarding child benefit:
You didn’t go into all that detail before the general election, you kept it really simple – Protect child benefit, vote Labour?
Well, I mean, isn’t that what you tend to do during an election?
The criminal politician Haughey lied right through his decades long career, including lying under oath at various tribunals and investigations. Despite the enormous damage done to Ireland and its people by this criminal’s lying he was, largely, fawned upon by large segments of the media and members of the establishment.
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern almost certainly lied under oath at the Mahon Tribunal. My assertion that lying is the accepted norm in Irish political and administrative goverance is confirmed by the disgraceful fact that no action has been (or ever will be) taken against Ahern by any state authority.
Political lying is the principal cause of the catastrophic economic collapse of 2008 that resulted in thousands of suicides, massive emigration and the horrific destruction of the wealth, hopes and ambitions of hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens.
And yet, a disturbingly large section of the media and most of the establishment appear to be more than happy to live in comfortable denial amidst the wreckage and suffering caused by political lying.
The following is just a sample of various journalists, commentators and politicians who, for whatever reason, cannot or will not make the obvious link between political lying and the infliction of great hardship.
Caroline O’Doherty: Irish Examiner:
Kenny’s lie was:
A fisherman’s tale.
O’Doherty then went to use most of her article to advise Fine Gael on how best to present their (lying) leader to best advantage in the upcoming election campaign.
Caroline O’Doherty is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Editorial: Irish Examiner:
Kenny was, while dishonest, just a Walter Mitty character using:
The editor warned that Kenny must act quickly if he wants to be re-elected and, as always, took the opportuntiy to take a swipe at Gerry Adams/Sinn Fein.
The editor of the Irish Examiner is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Eilis O’Hanlon: Sunday Independent:
Kenny ruined it by going a ‘a little bit too far’ in attempting to portray himself as the man who saved the country from anarchy and, predictably, O’Hanlon blamed the media:
So why the outcry last week? The media, having got bored with the feel-good narrative which the Government has been pushing since the Budget, saw a chance to put the Taoiseach on the back foot.
Eilis O’Hanlon is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Michael Lehane: Morning Ireland (RTE):
On being asked did the whole issue matter:
It doesn’t matter but there is a political vacuum there because the Dail isn’t sitting so the focus didn’t come off it (but) it has gone the distance now.
Michael Lehane is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Pat Rabbitte: Labour TD: (Speaking on RTE):
The Taoiseach makes the point, perhaps in a folksy, homespun way.
Pat Rabbitte is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Noel Whelan: Irish Times:
Mr. Whelan believes that Kenny is a storyteller whose utterance was no accident.
It was part of a cleverly designed but clumsily implemented strategy from Fine Gael to remind voters of how serious the crisis was so as to talk up its part in turning it around.
Noel Whelan is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Gerry Adams: Sinn Fein president:
Mr. Adams accused Kenny of being a spoof who tells tall tales. Mr. Adams said he was not accusing the Taoiseach of lying but of just getting carried away with himself.
Gerry Adams is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Fergus Finlay: Chief Executive of Barnardos and former Labour Party advisor: (Late Debate RTE):
Why are we getting our knickers in a knot about it? Mother of God, this kind of thing happens all the time. It’s a bit of craic, that’s all it is, a bit of political craic and I don’t see how it affects anything other than the gaiety of the nation for a week.
I think it shows that we don’t have a sense of humour. You know, let’s get a grip for heaven’s sake, it’s about nothing.
Fergus Finlay is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Gary Murphy: Professor of Political Science, DCU (Late Debate RTE).
The Taoiseach does have a habit of self-aggrandisement or over-egging situations. He’s guilty of guilding the lily so to speak.
Professor Murphy is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Catherine Halloran: Political Correspondent Irish Daily Star: (Ryan Tubridy Show, RTE):
I think it’s his folksy way of trying to relate to people.
It’s better than telling lies. At least we know he has his finger on the pulse he met the man or woman who told him this and I don’t doubt for a second that he has met those people, he’s a politician… The fact that Enda does take the time out to stop and talk to people and listen to their experiences means he’s in a position to make judgement on them.
Catherine Halloran is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
Shaun Connolly: Irish Examiner:
Mr. Connolly believes Kenny was simply caught out telling an over-excited porkie. He was guilty of a slightly embarrassing, but ultimately harmless, comment.
Shaun Connolly is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.
All individuals quoted
All political parties