Joe Higgins and his Socialist Party: Just another part of the rotten political system

Joe Higgins and his Socialist Party have lost all credibility and seriously damaged their integrity as a result of the Wallace and expenses scandals.

Their support for the tax cheat Wallace and their dishonest response to the ripping off of taxpayer’s money in expenses puts them in the same camp as the other zero ethical standard parties.

Joe Higgins in particular has been exposed, mostly by his own words, as a gombeen politician, equal in low standards as any Fianna Fail backwoodsman.

Let’s have a look at some of his mealy mouthed excuses.

This is a completely manufactured controversy designed to damage left wing TDs and those who are campaigning against the baleful effects of austerity on ordinary working class people.

It’s an attempt particularly by Independent Newspapers to damage us, to try to suggest impropriety in the most disgusting and underhand fashion.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with so-called conspiracies against left wing TDs, nothing to do with a so-called conspiracy by Independent Newspapers against the Socialist Party.

It’s about one simple but (to use Mr. Higgins’ word) disgusting matter – the ripping off of hard earned taxpayer’s money.

Most politicians are involved in this rip off; it’s been going on for years and is costing ordinary Irish citizens millions every year.

The rotten system was deliberately set up by politicians to make it as convenient as possible for them to rip off struggling and impoverished citizens.

The shock of this particular scandal is that supporters of Joe Higgins (and I was one them until this) expected more of him and his party.

Hypocritical quote of the week from Joe Higgins:

I despise hypocrisy.

What a joke, let’s look at some more of Mr. Higgins’ hypocritical comments/excuses.

When asked: Is it appropriate to use travel expenses to pay for the household tax campaign? (Reply edited for clarity).

I think any TD, who is in a minority in the Dail, supporting taxpayers who are fighting the tax is absolutely justified in taking expenses from travel allowance.

Translation: Because we’re a small party with limited influence it’s ok for us to rip off taxpayer’s money.

Have you used your own travel expenses to attend these meetings around the country? (Reply edited for clarity).

Yes I have. I believe that those who are opposed to the burden of austerity would be very comfortable with this modest use of expenses.

No Mr. Higgins, we are not comfortable with your so-called ‘modest’ (mis) use of our money. We demand you repay every penny and apologise for your dishonest behaviour.

Mr. Higgins has admitted that he could have paid his travel costs from the €120,000 he already gets from the party leader’s allowance which, of course, also comes from the pockets of hard pressed taxpayers.

But Joe and his party, in typical gombeen fashion, decided to plunder the travel allowance pot and use the leader’s allowance to fund party structures and policy development.

Well, that’s what they claim. Given their exposure as standard bog Irish gombeen politicians, they could have used the money for anything.

But the greatest hypocrisy came when Mr. Higgins was asked did he think he was acting within the rules?

The regulation that covers travel allowance that every TD gets is Statutory Instrument 84/2010 and it refers to travel expenses which the members, obliged to incur, in the performance of his or her duties as a member of Dail Eireann.

In other words Mr. Higgins is claiming that Oireachtas regulations back up his assertion that he and his party have acted honestly.

This in incorrect; the regulations are crystal clear and condemn Mr. Higgins for what he is – a dishonest gombeen politician, just like the rest of them.

4. (1) The amount specified in a particular column of the Table to this paragraph is determined as the amount payable to a member of Dáil Éireann as part of the parliamentary standard allowance for the relevant period in respect of travelling facilities for distances, from the member’s normal place of residence in respect of the distance referred to in that column, to and from Leinster House.

The people of Ireland can only cry in despair at the complete lack of honesty, vision and courage within our corrupt political system.

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Joe Higgins

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