The concept of maintaining core principles in the transition from opposition to power is completely foreign to the vast majority of Irish politicians.
Here’s Labour Senator Ivana Bacik commenting on a number of issues on Newstalk yesterday.
On government advisors:
I wouldn’t have been a huge defender of advisors until I see first hand how important it is for ministers to have people who are politically alongside.
On breaching pay caps for government advisors:
I think it’s difficult, I think also that ministers would have people who are advisors who’ve got experience, who’ve got ability but, you know, I’m not defending…interrupted.
On Minister Quinn’s expenses claims:
I heard Minister Ruari Quinn on the radio during the week robustly defending it and saying that other’s are using the car, there’s officials using it.
So I must say having known Ruari Quinn for a long time I think he’s a politician of great integrity. I find it hard to believe there’s anything in this story. No, it’s nothing.
On reform of the expenses system:
It’s all being looked at, there’s a committee in Leinster House looking at that. There’s ongoing reform of the system generally.
At first sight this might sound like pure, unadulterated Fianna Fail speak but in reality it’s the voice of any Irish politician operating within the principles free zone of power.
This principles free zone has just one law:
When in power put all principles that may in any way damage the maintenance of that power into deep freeze.
Principles may be unfrozen and cynically used again only when safely in opposition.