Dear Mr. Ryan,
It is highly unlikely that you will understand never mind actually act on what I’m about to say. This is because, in common with most of your political colleagues, you live in a political bubble of delusion.
Created over many decades of corruption, arrogance and incompetence this bubble of delusion causes a complete blindness to what citizens are desperately looking for from the body politic/State.
What they are looking for is very simple – a political/administrative system they can trust.
But they never get what they want because the political/administrative system is corrupt beyond reform.
This is not to say that every politician/political party is corrupt. It is to say, however, that every politician/political party operates within a corrupt system particularly when wielding political power.
Every politician who enters the gates of Leinster House must make a decision, consciously or subconsciously – to challenge corruption or go along with the rotten system that has blighted the body politic for decades.
To date, most politicians have gone along with the system and by so doing have betrayed the people’s trust. The very few who challenge the system, like Roisin Shortall, are immediately and ruthlessly ejected from the club.
The system will not tolerate a threat from its most dangerous enemy – a politician with principles.
A brief look at recent political history over the last three decades proves the point.
The people trusted the Progressive Democrats because they promised accountability and reform in response to corruption within Fianna Fail.
Ultimately, the PDs betrayed the people when they abandoned their integrity and principles in exchange for power and influence.
The people rejected the PDs for their betrayal.
Dick Spring gained the trust of the people in the run up to the 1992 election on the basis that he would deal with what he called the cancer of political corruption that was doing so much damage to Ireland and its people. He immediately betrayed that trust when he went into coalition with the very cancer he had just condemned.
The people rejected Dick Spring for his betrayal.
In opposition, the Green Party gained the trust of the people by promising to reform politics, to challenge corruption. Once in power however, the party abandoned the responsibilities of power/government and instead focused entirely on getting its own green agenda enacted. The party looked the other way as political corruption continued to wreak havoc on the lives of Irish citizens.
Here’s John Gormley in response to political corruption:
We’re not the moral watchdog of any political party…we look after our probity and our standards…we cannot be responsible for events that took place before our entry into government.
The people rejected the Green Party for its betrayal.
The Labour Party (again) and Fine Gael gained the trust, of a by now desperate people, in the run up to the 2011 election by promising to take immediate action to counter political corruption, by promising to urgently introduce the political reform the people have been desperately seeking for more than thirty years. But once again the body politic betrayed the people.
The people will reject this government for its betrayal.
But, on this occasion, there is a difference in the people’s response. They have finally rejected the system itself that has betrayed them. Our country is now in a transition period that will ultimately see the end of the old regime and the beginning of a new type of politics.
Recent polls have clearly demonstrated that the people have lost all faith in the political system as currently constituted. This fact is most clearly seen in the form of hundreds of thousands of citizens on the streets in protest against oppressive taxes. These people are not on the streets primarily to protest against taxes, they are, effectively, in rebellion against the political/administrative system that has betrayed them for decades.
Your comment that the people must re-engage with politics is symptomatic of a political mindset that is in the process of passing into history. I would invite you to wake up and look around you.
A significant percentage of the people are in open rebellion against the political system that you represent, they have taken to the streets in rebellion, they have begun voting in their droves for Sinn Fein and independents for just one principal reason – they no longer trust you, your party or the political system that you represent.
Not since 1916 have the Irish people been so politically energised, not since 1916 have the people been so radically politicised, not since 1916 has the ruling power been so blind to what’s been happening on the streets and in the minds of the people.
Not since 1916 has the governing power been so disengaged from politics and the people.