Kenny says boo – Varadkar and Coveney run away

 

By Anthony Sheridan

The liar Kenny said boo to the so-called rebels and they ran away. These are the cowards, Varadkar and Coveney, who believe they have what it takes to lead the country – Pathetic.

With Kenny back in charge and the McCabe corruption safely in tribunal deep-freeze for at least three or four years the way is clear for a full return to the political criminality that passes for democracy in Ireland.

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The cowards

Kenny says boo – Varadkar Coveney run away

 

By Anthony Sheridan

The liar Kenny said boo to the so-called rebels and they ran away. These are the cowards, Varadkar and Coveney, who believe they have what it takes to lead the country – Pathetic.

With Kenny back in charge and the McCabe corruption safely in tribunal deep-freeze for at least three or four years the way is clear for a full return to the political criminality that passes for democracy in Ireland.

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The cowards

 

Fergus Finlay: Hypocrite

 

By Anthony Sheridan

I genuinely felt like getting sick as I read Fergus Finlay’s ‘letter’ to Maurice McCabe in last Tuesday’s Irish Examiner. I have never read such a sickeningly patronising, grossly insulting attempt at excusing the diseased political/administrative system that has inflicted so much suffering and despair on the people of Ireland.

Before commenting on this disgraceful example of rank hypocrisy it will be useful to know something of Finlay’s background.

He is a loyal, unapologetic supporter of the rotten establishment that has destroyed our country, the same establishment that has destroyed the lives of Maurice McCabe and his family.

He is a loyal supporter of the Labour Party, the party that has been betraying Ireland and its people since, at least, 1992 when Dick Spring went into coalition with the criminal politician Haughey.

This was after Spring, having rightly accused Haughey of being ‘a cancer in the body politic’, promised the Irish people that he would remove the cancer of corruption. Fergus Finlay was a political advisor to Dick Spring when the decision to enter coalition with the corrupt Haughey was made.

This is the man who now has the gall to write a letter to Sgt. McCabe on behalf of the Irish people. This is a man operating under the delusion that Sgt. McCabe might be grateful for receiving some new insight into the nightmare that has consumed his life for nearly a decade.

Here’s a sample of the sickly, patronising waffle written by Finlay:

Dear Sgt. McCabe,

You deserve our gratitude.

You’ve more than earned your title of Sergeant, a title that has always earned respect in Ireland.

You’ve tried to do your job to the best of your ability.

We’ve seen how you and your wife and children have suffered.

You have spoken the truth to power…despite unbearable pressure, without flinching. You’ve tried to serve the interests of the public the best way you know how.

I sincerely hope that Maurice McCabe never gets to read this mush written by a man who is long on meaningless platitudes but zero on challenging the political corruption that is the ultimate source of Maurice McCabe’s horrific treatment.

Rank hypocrisy comes naturally to establishment figures like Finlay. This is crystal clear when we witness his nauseating defence of some of those responsible for McCabe’s nightmare.

Writing about the file that was used to destroy McCabe, Finlay is critical of the ‘system’ but not of those responsible – he writes:

The first instinct of some people (my emphasis) in the HSE is to cover up.

Having placed the blame on some vague, unidentified, unaccountable people in the HSE Finlay then strongly supports those who are actually responsible.

I have faith in the senior management of the HSE. I believe people like Tony O’Brien (Director General of HSE) have tried as hard as they could to change the culture of the organisation.

Finlay then goes on to defend Fred McBride, the CEO of Tusla, an organisation that, in a functional democracy, would be under immediate criminal investigation as a result of its actions/failures.

Fred McBride would not tolerate the sort of practice that permeates large bureaucratic systems.

So Finlay is suggesting to McCabe, the victim, that while ‘some people’ and ‘bureaucracy’ within these organisations are to blame the senior management are innocent bystanders deserving of sympathy.

Keep in mind that Finlay believes he is writing a personal/public letter of support and apology to the man whose life has been destroyed by these and other organisations.

Finlay ends his disgraceful article with a statement that bears no relationship whatsoever to the reality of how our country is misgoverned.

I believe that you will be vindicated Sgt. McCabe. I believe that justice will be done in the end and that we will know who did this.

Firstly, we already know exactly who did this – The corrupt political system that has infected agencies of the state like the HSE and the Garda Siochana is responsible.

Secondly, tribunals are nothing more than a mechanism created by our corrupt political system to sidetrack justice and accountability. This tribunal will be no different from any other. It will arrive at the same mealy-mouthed conclusion as Finlay does in his article – the system was to blame, bureaucracy was to blame – no individuals will be held to account, no justice will be done.

The depth of Finlay’s hypocrisy on this matter can be gauged by reading an article he wrote less than three months ago in which in lectured the people of Ireland for having the default position of demanding heads every time a controversy arose. It’s time we all got a grip of ourselves, he admonished; he goes on:

As for the rest of us, we need a break too, and some sense of proportion about all this stuff. “Off with their heads”, as the default response to every controversy — especially when it’s amplified a thousand times by the poisonous side of social media — is not just wildly disproportionate, it’s killing the kind of public discourse we need.

 

And here’s what he had to say about Garda Commissioner Noreen O’Sullivan, the individual at the heart of Maurice McCabe’s nightmare.

Maybe her main crime is that she’s a woman in a macho world. Whatever it is, I hope she withstands the pressure. She’s a breath of fresh air — and could do a lot more if she was given a break

I wonder if Finlay were to meet Maurice McCabe would he have to courage to say to his face – I think the Commissioner who has mistreated you so badly is a breath of fresh air, that she could do a lot more if only she was given a break.

Somehow I doubt it.

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Fergus Finlay

RTEs Mary Wilson: A woman with some brain…

 

buy-politicianBy Anthony Sheridan

RTEs Mary Wilson was having great difficulty extracting from Fianna Fail’s Barry Cowen exactly what his party’s position was on water charges. Eventually, he said:

We made a submission to the expert commission saying that the existing regime in relation to water charges…blah, blah, blah…has to be abolished.

So far so good but Michael Martin sticks his head out his bedroom window every morning and, depending on which way the political wind is blowing, adopts Fianna Fail’s stance on water charges for that day.

Probably realising that he had made a mistake in giving a straight answer Cowen quickly reverted to traditional gombeen talk:

We have to have an open and frank debate from this commission to the committee in order to allow the committee make recommendations to the Dail to allow an informed decision be taken thereafter about how water services are paid for into the future.

Wilson’s reply was astonishing:

That’s perfectly clear.

Feck, I thought, that woman must have some brain.

Irish journalism: Suffering from a serious malaise

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By Anthony Sheridan

 

A well-informed, objective media is one of the cornerstones of a healthy democracy. Journalists in a healthy democracy do not just report news and current affairs; they also have a duty to be rigidly impartial in their analysis of events.

Disturbingly, Irish journalism comes nowhere near the standards necessary to robustly challenge the State and its agents particularly when it comes to political corruption.

The recent publication of Hell at the Gates by journalists John Lee and Daniel McConnell is just the latest example of the disquietingly close and frequently grovelling relationship between the media and those who wield power within the Irish political system.

John Lee, writing about an interview he conducted with former Taoiseach Brian Cowen as part of his research for the book provides us with a good example of this cringing, extremely deferential type of journalism.

The (Irish Mail on Sunday) article is not available online so I have reproduced it in full below.

The headline gives a good indication of the tone of the article:

An astute, self-aware, intelligent man

Before making further comment on the article I want to express my opinion of Brian Cowen, an opinion that I believe is held by the majority of Irish people.

At best, Cowen is a political idiot. I do not say this as an insult (although it obviously is); I say it because it’s a simple fact. Cowen is nothing more than your typical Fianna Fail backwoodsman, gombeen politician who never had to do anything courageous or visionary to reach the apex of political power.

As a privileged member of one of the many political family dynasties that have plagued Irish politics since independence he was effectively handed power following the death of his father.

He was literally enthroned as Taoiseach by the disgraced Bertie Ahern who was forced to resign after his true pedigree was exposed at a tribunal.

But when Cowen, for the first and only occasion in his mediocre career, was called upon to show courage and vision in leading the nation he failed miserably.

As one editorial put it:

The worst Taoiseach in the history of the State.

And yet a stranger reading John Lee’s article could easily conclude that Brian Cowen was a politically intelligent, insightful and courageous man whose overriding mission in life was to promote the best interests of the Irish people.

A stranger reading the article would not see what most Irish people see.

That Cowen is a loyal member of the most corrupt political party in Ireland, the party that promotes the interests of property developers, bankers and other members of the golden circle that feed off the wealth of the Irish people.

A stranger reading the article would not see that Cowen is a loyal member of the party principally responsible for the economic disaster of 2008 that destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens.

However, a stranger who informed himself of Irish history over the past several decades would immediately recognise the rampaging elephant in the room – which is:

The Irish political system is seriously corrupt. In reaction to this political corruption a significant percentage of Irish citizens have rejected the legitimacy of the State and are in open rebellion.

A disturbingly large proportion of Irish journalists are either blissfully unaware of this dramatic shift in the political landscape or are willing collaborators in defence of the corrupt system.

Either way Irish journalism is suffering from a serious malaise that is not only bad for the profession but is having a very serious negative impact on Ireland and its people.

Copy to:

John Lee

Daniel McConnell

 

John Lee’s article – judge for yourself:

When Brian Cowen agreed to meet me for an interview for the book my colleague Daniel McConnell and I were writing, I didn’t really expect him to give anything away.

We sat on straight-back chairs at a table in a quiet corner of the Tullamore Court Hotel. I drank tea he drank mineral water. We discussed family (his brother Barry Cowen had been pivotal in securing the interview for me), mutual friends in politics, and a shared interest in golf.

When the iPhone recorder went on, he was ready. What followed was an insightful, forthright and considered summing up of his years at the top of Irish politics.

It’s said of Lyndon Johnson, that he was at his best with an audience of one. I think this applies to Cowen. He uses your first name, looks you in the eye, is exceptionally articulate and sharp. In the fog of war that engulfed Ireland during his years at the top, much of this was forgotten. Yet he understands why that is.

He spoke about how he felt the day he became Taoiseach, the enjoyment of appointing a cabinet and the brief summer of calm before all hell broke loose.

Bright man that he is, he knew there were claims about him that he had to confront. As the interview progressed I merely pointed to where we were in the chronology, and without pause he would take on the issues that he has been given so much time to think about over those preceding four years. He happily accepted he had made a mistake in not addressing the nation.

When we got to the incident at the Ardilaun Hotel in Galway in 2010, dubbed Garglegate, Mr. Cowen was also ready. He’s been crucified for it, and knew exactly what had happened – and was happy to tell his version of it, which was by no means self-serving. I had been at the Ardilaun too, and the press only asked questions about the previous night’s social session because Simon Coveney had tweeted critical remarks about Mr. Cowen’s performance on Morning Ireland.

Mr. Cowen blames Coveney for that debacle. But he proceeded for almost 10 minutes (a long time in an interview like this) to discuss his PR failures.

He revealed himself to an astute, self-aware and intelligent man.

The great pity is, perhaps, that when he was in charge he couldn’t find a way to reveal more of this side of himself to the Irish public.

 

Brian Cowen: A political idiot

By Anthony Sheridan

tricks-and-treachery

 

 

The almost complete lack of understanding of the reality of Irish politics by Irish journalists never ceases to amaze me.

Here’s Irish Independent journalist Gerard O’Regan’s take on the drinking habits of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

Cowen, according to O’Regan, decided to give two fingers to those who suggested he should have been more careful of his public image.

Cowen is not and never has been somebody who rebels against the expectations of society. He’s a chronically conservative Fianna Fail backwoodsman with no notion whatsoever of how to behave while holding high office. In other words, Cowen is a political idiot.

O’Regan goes on to expresses sympathy for Cowen’s political downfall as if the former Taoiseach was an innocent victim of events totally outside of his control. As if the corrupt Fianna Fail party was not the principal reason for the catastrophic events inflicted on the Irish people in 2008.

A political career which was brutally cut off mid-stream, owing to a confluence of unforeseen and almost unimaginable events.

A vicious recession, banks on the point of collapse, the arrival of the so-called Troika in Dublin, and the imposition of draconian bailout terms for the Irish economy by Brussels bureaucrats, saw Mr Cowen depart the political centre stage.

The message here is – Cowen could have been a great Taoiseach if only all those nasty people in Brussels and other completely unforeseen events hadn’t conspired to bring his career to a tragic end.

Here’s the truth:

Cowen is a political idiot. He was a disgrace and an embarrassment as Taoiseach. He was reared in the arrogant, we have a divine right to rule, mindset of the most corrupt political party in Irish history.

He’s one of those people who thrive as an obedient, unthinking foot soldier but immediately morphs into a political imbecile when promoted to high office. People of such low level intelligence frequently take to drink as a crutch for their failings.

Well-informed, objective journalism is one of the most crucial pillars of a healthy democracy.

Disturbingly, such high quality journalism is practically non-existent in Ireland.

Copy to:

Gerard O’Regan

 

 

 

Hell at the Gates: A propaganda exercise

 

1truth

By Anthony Sheridan

The first step in rewriting the history of Ireland’s political and economic collapse has been taken with the publication of Hell at the Gates by journalists Daniel McConnell and John Lee.

John Lee is political editor at the Mail on Sunday.  Daniel McConnell is political editor of the Irish Examiner.

If we are to judge by the long extracts from the book (6, 472 words) published in the Irish Examiner the rewriting has just one aim – to create a lie that the corrupt political system that destroyed our country is completely innocent of any blame for the catastrophe.

An editorial in the same issue backs up the book’s rewriting of history by attacking ordinary citizens for having the gall to demand a restoration of their pay scales that were so ruthlessly cut by the corrupt ruling elite.

Our enthusiastic, lemming-like demands for the restoration of indulgences funded by borrowing that led to the loss of our economic sovereignty less than a decade ago.

So according to this writer (I wonder who?) corrupt politicians, bankers, property developers and so-called regulators had nothing to do with the country’s downfall, it was all down to the peasants losing the run of themselves.

At first impression this book appears to be nothing more than a disgraceful propaganda exercise.

I will be analysing the publication in greater detail in the near future.

 

Breaking: New minister for investigative judges to be appointed

 

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By Anthony Sheridan

Letter in today’s Irish Times regarding the latest Garda scandal.

 

Sir,

Surely the time has now come to appoint a minister for investigative judges. The said minister would be responsible for keeping us informed of the progress being made by the growing legions of such judges and, crucially, would create yet another firewall for politicians to hide behind.

Otherwise the consequences could be an extremely serious outbreak of democratic accountability.

Yours etc,

Anthony Sheridan

Cobh, Co Cork.

Michael O’Regan: A ‘surface’ journalist

 

 

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By Anthony Sheridan

The following comments by Irish Times journalist Michael O’Regan confirms that he has no understanding whatsoever about what motivates those involved in the water protest movement.

The whole water charges thing will fade away. I can totally understand how people took to the streets after the way Irish Water was set up, the salaries and bonuses and the rest.

I can’t understand, today, how people are marching on water charges when you have this dreadful situation relating to homelessness and to health. The water charges should be way down the agenda now and health and homelessness should take precedence.

In common with most establishment journalists O’Regan only sees events on the surface. He seems to be completely ignorant of what’s going on underneath particularly since the economic collapse of 2008.

I say ‘underneath’ to emphasis O’Regan’s ignorance because what’s happening is not just right in front of his face but right in the face of this state.

What’s happening is nothing less than a rebellion against the state triggered by decades of political corruption. A significant and growing number of citizens have rejected the legitimacy and authority of the state.

The water protest movement is the cutting edge of that rebellion and O’Regan’s ‘The whole water thing will fade away” and “I can’t understand…” mindset accurately reflects the disturbing denial factor that pervades the establishment media.

Sooner rather than later, O’Regan and his comfortable colleagues will wake up to the realisation that the country they see as a stable, well run democracy is in the process of being dismantled and consigned to the dustbin of history.

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Michael O’Regan