I came across the following definition of corruption on the web:
The impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle
I don’t believe there’s a corrupt bone in the body of newly appointed Senator Jillian Van Turnhout.
She does, however, work within the corrupt Irish political system and judging from a recent interview on Newstalk it seems that her allegiance is to the corrupt system and not to Ireland or its people.
Her misplaced allegiance is, I believe, based on ignorance rather than the more common motives of greed and abuse of political power.
The interview concerned the revelation that Independent senators are paid a Party Leader’s allowance of €23,000.
Here’s an edited version of Senator Turnhout’s interview where she attempts to justify this disgusting payment.
There’s never been any secret about this allowance.
Every TD and senator gets it.
Main parties get more than we do so I’m surprised that this has been singled out as an exception.
I agree with full accountability.
I’m only seven months in the job.
I’m put the vast amount of this money to one side and earmarked it for communications, developing a website and research so that I can be properly informed.
I have been given a secretarial assistant but this money will ensure that my policies are robust.
I’m very conscious that it’s public money and that I will have to account for it whether the rules are in place or not.
I now have to be an authority on many issues.
I do research but there are times when you need to pay money to get solid advice on legislation that you’re bringing forward.
I will, and have always intended, to put on public record where the money goes.
All politicians should account for all their expenses; there should be full accountability and transparency.
I’m happy to be transparent and accountable.
This is the only job I’m doing; the only income I’m taking and I will ensure it is used for the purpose for which it is intended.
I have no difficulty if the allowance is withdrawn once it’s withdrawn from all senators.
Let’s have openness and transparency.
Irish citizens have been listening to the same meaningless waffle from politicians for decades as the system became more and more unaccountable, more and more cynical, more and more corrupt.
They have witnessed the diseased political system destroy their country, destroy their lives, destroy the future hopes of their children.
It appears that Senator Turnhout has already become very comfortable within that corrupt political system as her response to angry listeners reveals.
I appreciate the public’s anger, it wasn’t such a long time ago that I was on the other side of the fence so I do understand and I do think those of us who are public representatives do need to up our game and be accountable for what we’re doing.
Clearly, Senator Turnhout sees herself as being on the other side of the fence that divides the (corrupt) political system from the mass of angry citizens.
Has she reflected, I wonder, on why the people are angry and the politicians are not, why the politicians are perfectly happy to pocket this disgusting payment which originated from a cynical political stroke designed to keep the scumbag Bertie Ahern and his cohorts in power?
I doubt if she has engaged in such reflections, perhaps it’s not too late for her to do so.
Here’s my take on how an uncontaminated, idealistic, newly appointed politician should have reacted on discovering this totally unjustified payment.
It has come to my notice that I, and all my fellow Independent senators, are entitled to a Party Leader’s allowance of €23,000 .
This payment is in addition to the already very generous allowances, expenses and resources available to all senators.
Let me state immediately and without equivocation that I will not be accepting this payment.
Furthermore, I have put on hold all my plans and intentions as a politician to focus solely on a campaign to have this totally unjustified payment withdrawn from all senators and TDs.
In good times the acceptance of this payment would be an immoral act.
In these catastrophic times, brought about by our corrupt political system, it is both immoral and an act of treason against the best interests of the Irish people
As a guide to my campaign I am adopting the definition of corruption as defined by Transparency International:
Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.
All Independent Senators in receipt of this payment as listed to me by the Department of Finance.
Fiach Mac Conghaill
Dr. Katherine Zappone
Mary Ann O Brien
Marie Louise O Donnell
Jillian Van Turnhout