Reforming Pakistani politician Imran Khan was interviewed by Pay Kenny today and what he had to say was very interesting when compared to the political situation in Ireland.
For me there was a realisation in the 1990s that unless people who were clean came into politics we were condemned to be ruled by criminals and corruption was the number one issue in the country.
Ireland is still waiting for someone clean to come into politics, someone who will actually dismantle the corrupt system that has destroyed the country.
Pakistan is ahead of Ireland in that corruption is recognised as a major issue that has to be tackled if the country is to progress in any meaningful way.
While individual incidences of political and business corruption are reported and analysed in Ireland there has been no acknowledgement whatsoever of the fact that corruption is at the centre of everything that is rotten in the country.
Pakistani politicians use politics to benefit themselves, to make money out of politics. I decided to form my own party and become an anti-status quo party to bring about genuine democracy as opposed to a kleptocracy.
Ireland is well on the way to becoming a kleptocracy. Rampant theft and fraud within the financial sector, for example, is actively facilitated by politicians and government officials.
Politicians have honed the theft of expenses into a fine art, even managing to enact laws that allow them to legally rob the state.
Nobody is held accountable because both main parties who are responsible for massive corruption take turns in ruling and therefore do not hold each other accountable (paraphrased).
The same situation pertains in Ireland. The interests of all the major parties are dependent on protecting the corrupt system that allows them to gain power and influence.
It is only when a (revolutionary) party or individual smashes that cosy political cartel of corruption that we will see real reform in Ireland.
They (political parties) could not allow institutions that would hold them accountable.
Criminal politicians like Haughey were allowed to live out long corrupt careers without the slightest worry that they might be held to account by any state agency.
No state authority, not even the police; is allowed (or willing) to act independently of the political system when it comes to political or white collar crime.
Corruption and crime is rampant within large sectors of the financial, legal and business sectors in Ireland yet no so called regulatory authority has ever made any serious attempt to root out the criminality.
No bank or bank official, for example, has ever been prosecuted for fraud or corruption despite the theft of countless millions from consumers over the decades.
The reason we have to beg is that the rich don’t pay tax in Pakistan the political leadership doesn’t pay taxes so the entire tax burden falls on the common man so the poor subsidise the rich.
Part of the reason why Ireland has to ‘beg’ from the EU/IMF is because those with power and influence only pay minimum taxes.
Over the decades a privileged golden circle, which still exists, was allowed to grow rich off the fat of the land without making any contribution whatsoever.
I accept that the degree and depth of corruption in Pakistan is more serious but Ireland is on the same road.
It is, essentially, governed under the same principles of greed, corruption and injustice as Pakistan.