Fergus Finlay: Politics is not corrupt

corruption (1)

By Anthony Sheridan

The headline of the article was not only dramatic, it was 100% true.

Politics is corrupt; public administration is corrupt, and democracy is dead

Unfortunately, the author of the article, Fergus Finlay, does not believe the truth of his own headline. He makes his real views crystal clear in the body of the article.

I’ve had correspondents who have accused me of being stupid and naïve because I should have realised years ago that politics is corrupt, public administration is corrupt, and democracy is dead.

Maybe I am stupid and naïve, but I don’t believe politics is essentially corrupt.

So Finlay believes those who have corresponded with him hold the view that politics is corrupt whereas he believes there is merely a risk of the state going corrupt.

I am absolutely convinced that the issue of accountability, and how its absence runs the risk of corrupting our state, should be a central issue in the general election campaign.

But it is obvious (and should be to Finlay) from the rest of his article that Ireland is indeed a corrupt state.

He writes about the horror inflicted on Grace by state authorities. He expresses hope that the investigation into the horror will be free from obstacles.

He is naïve in the extreme.

The scandal will be covered up or put on the slow train to nowhere until it becomes a non-memory. I can say with absolute certainty that there will be no justice whatsoever for Grace. This fact is easily proven by simply looking back on the endless stream of similar cases that have been run into the sand of unaccountability over the decades.

He then goes on to list, as if to punish himself for his naivety, other areas of public life where corruption is rampant – Banks, builders, politicians, the legal and accounting professions, charities.

Then, blinded by this close encounter with the glare of truth he, as always, makes a quick escape back into the cave of shadows.

In the comfort of the cave he talks to the shadows about how the wording of the Constitution might be used to persuade the corrupt to mend their ways.

He writes about the defeated referendum proposal to give Oireachtas Committees greater powers of investigation.

Even if (and it’s a big if) such committees successfully investigated wrongdoing and corruption the state would, as it has done with the conclusions of many investigations/tribunals, simply ignore the findings.

And it is crucial to keep in mind that the decision not to act against corruption is no accident. It is a deliberate policy, designed to protect the corrupt, faithfully adhered to by the ruling political class principally made up of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.

Again, I don’t have to argue the point here. We simply have to look at the record of non-action by the mainstream parties over the past several decades to see the truth.

In his conclusion Mr. Finlay asks:

Could a lack of accountability kill democracy?

It most certainly could, we wouldn’t be the first country to be killed off by the disease of corruption.

But I’m optimistic that the current corrupt political/administrative system, that has done so much damage to Ireland and its people will, ultimately, be defeated.

It will be defeated by the emerging power of the growing number of citizens who have rejected the old regime and are successfully challenging its culture of corruption.

This election is shaping up to deliver a major victory for those who are determined to create a functional, genuinely democratic republic.

Mr. Finlay is a loyal supporter of the old regime, not because he’s corrupt, stupid or naïve but because he has lived all his adult life too close to the core of the rotten system.

Over the years that closeness has damaged his objectivity to such a degree that he is no longer capable of recognizing that the source of his anger and puzzlement is right there in front of his eyes.

Copy to:
Fergus Finlay

Miriam Lord endorses Michael Martin


By Anthony Sheridan

Michael Martin and the Fianna Fail party will be delighted with this glowing endorsement of their leader by Irish Times columnist Miriam Lord.

Lord, in common with all establishment journalists, possesses an amazing ability of writing about Irish politics and in particular about Fianna Fail without ever mentioning the dreaded phrase – political corruption.

Michael must be delighted to have so many friendly journalists singing his praises in the comfortable realm of denial.

Copy to:
Miriam Lord

PJ Mara and speaking ill of the dead


Nauseating is the only appropriate word to describe the response to the death of PJ Mara.

Before continuing I want to make comment on one of the most ridiculous, most hypocritical of Irish cultural myths – the demand that we should never speak ill of the dead.

In the vast majority of cases this is a laudable principle. Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes in life; we all do some wrong. So when an ordinary person dies it is right that their mistakes and wrongs be forgiven and forgotten.

But it is completely different when the person in question is not an ordinary person. When the deceased person’s actions and decisions had a massive impact on the lives of other humans and on their country.

I will use an extreme example to make the point. Nobody in their right mind would suggest that the actions of child killer Robert Black should be put to one side just because he died.

At the other extreme nobody would object to the avalanche of praise and respect afforded to Nobel laureate and poet Seamus Heaney when he passed away in 2013.

My point is obvious; when somebody with a significant public stature dies their lives should be honestly appraised with perhaps an emphasis on the good but certainly never a complete denial of the bad.

And that is one of the great hypocrisies of official Ireland. When a member of their class passes away the truth is immediately locked up and the doors to lies and hypocrisy are opened. Anyone who dares make even a sneaking reference to anything negative is immediately attacked as speaking ill of the dead.

One such individual was Alan Barrett, Director of ESRI on the Marian Finucane Show last Sunday.

Mr. Barrett, tentatively, made some references to the truth regarding Mara’s career but he didn’t get very far before Ms. Finucane interrupted his flow.

I found the coverage quite extraordinary and not wanting to criticise political journalists there’s an element of which it’s terribly self- indulgent by the people who are writing about it. My perspective is that this is a guy that worked with possibly the most corrupt man in Irish history, Charlie Haughey. A man who almost spawned a generation of men who behaved wrongly.

Marian Finucane had heard enough, Barrett was talking truth and that is unacceptable when referring to an honoured member of the political ruling class.

We don’t want to demonise him.

Barrett went on to make his point, all the time being very careful of his words in case he spoke too much truth.

When he suggested that a lot of Mara’s work was nothing more than facilitating access to government ministers Michael O’Regan, parliamentary correspondent for the Irish Times and probably the most captured journalist in Irish media, took him to task.

All parties do it argued O’Regan as if that was justification enough for political corruption.

The discussion, now successfully steered away from truth, reverted to the usual lies and hypocrisy.

O’Regan went on to extol the great achievement of the (corrupt) Haughey aided and abetted by his (henchman) PJ Mara.

As I said, all very nauseating but depressingly predictable.

Copy to:
Marian Finucane
Michael O’Regan

Political lies cause suffering and death. Enda Kenny is a political liar


Political lies cause suffering and death. Enda Kenny is a political liar.

War is the most obvious and most deadly consequence of political lying. Over the centuries, countless millions have died because politicians lied when they should have told the truth.

But war is not the only cause of death as a result of political lies. There was a massive increase in the suicide rate following the economic collapse in 2008 (Recession directly to blame for up to 566 suicides).

These desperate people died, at least in part, because our politicians lied to them.

In Ireland, alone among Western democracies, political lying has become a fully accepted part of political discourse. It is also common right throughout the civil and public service.

Political lying has become part of Irish political culture principally because lying politicians are rarely challenged by the media.

Here’s Pat Rabbitte casually demonstrating this truth when asked about election promises regarding child benefit:

Sean O’Rourke:

You didn’t go into all that detail before the general election, you kept it really simple – Protect child benefit, vote Labour?


Well, I mean, isn’t that what you tend to do during an election?

The criminal politician Haughey lied right through his decades long career, including lying under oath at various tribunals and investigations. Despite the enormous damage done to Ireland and its people by this criminal’s lying he was, largely, fawned upon by large segments of the media and members of the establishment.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern almost certainly lied under oath at the Mahon Tribunal. My assertion that lying is the accepted norm in Irish political and administrative goverance is confirmed by the disgraceful fact that no action has been (or ever will be) taken against Ahern by any state authority.

Political lying is the principal cause of the catastrophic economic collapse of 2008 that resulted in thousands of suicides, massive emigration and the horrific destruction of the wealth, hopes and ambitions of hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens.

And yet, a disturbingly large section of the media and most of the establishment appear to be more than happy to live in comfortable denial amidst the wreckage and suffering caused by political lying.

The following is just a sample of various journalists, commentators and politicians who, for whatever reason, cannot or will not make the obvious link between political lying and the infliction of great hardship.

Caroline O’Doherty: Irish Examiner:

Kenny’s lie was:

A fisherman’s tale.

O’Doherty then went to use most of her article to advise Fine Gael on how best to present their (lying) leader to best advantage in the upcoming election campaign.

Caroline O’Doherty is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Editorial: Irish Examiner:

Kenny was, while dishonest, just a Walter Mitty character using:

Folksy parables.

The editor warned that Kenny must act quickly if he wants to be re-elected and, as always, took the opportuntiy to take a swipe at Gerry Adams/Sinn Fein.

The editor of the Irish Examiner is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Eilis O’Hanlon: Sunday Independent:

Kenny ruined it by going a ‘a little bit too far’ in attempting to portray himself as the man who saved the country from anarchy and, predictably, O’Hanlon blamed the media:

So why the outcry last week? The media, having got bored with the feel-good narrative which the Government has been pushing since the Budget, saw a chance to put the Taoiseach on the back foot.

Eilis O’Hanlon is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Michael Lehane: Morning Ireland (RTE):

On being asked did the whole issue matter:

It doesn’t matter but there is a political vacuum there because the Dail isn’t sitting so the focus didn’t come off it (but) it has gone the distance now.

Michael Lehane is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Pat Rabbitte: Labour TD: (Speaking on RTE):

The Taoiseach makes the point, perhaps in a folksy, homespun way.

Pat Rabbitte is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Noel Whelan: Irish Times:

Mr. Whelan believes that Kenny is a storyteller whose utterance was no accident.

It was part of a cleverly designed but clumsily implemented strategy from Fine Gael to remind voters of how serious the crisis was so as to talk up its part in turning it around.

Noel Whelan is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Gerry Adams: Sinn Fein president:

Mr. Adams accused Kenny of being a spoof who tells tall tales. Mr. Adams said he was not accusing the Taoiseach of lying but of just getting carried away with himself.

Gerry Adams is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Fergus Finlay: Chief Executive of Barnardos and former Labour Party advisor: (Late Debate RTE):

Why are we getting our knickers in a knot about it? Mother of God, this kind of thing happens all the time. It’s a bit of craic, that’s all it is, a bit of political craic and I don’t see how it affects anything other than the gaiety of the nation for a week.

I think it shows that we don’t have a sense of humour. You know, let’s get a grip for heaven’s sake, it’s about nothing.

Fergus Finlay is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Gary Murphy: Professor of Political Science, DCU (Late Debate RTE).

The Taoiseach does have a habit of self-aggrandisement or over-egging situations. He’s guilty of guilding the lily so to speak.

Professor Murphy is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Catherine Halloran: Political Correspondent Irish Daily Star: (Ryan Tubridy Show, RTE):

I think it’s his folksy way of trying to relate to people.

It’s better than telling lies. At least we know he has his finger on the pulse he met the man or woman who told him this and I don’t doubt for a second that he has met those people, he’s a politician… The fact that Enda does take the time out to stop and talk to people and listen to their experiences means he’s in a position to make judgement on them.

Catherine Halloran is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Shaun Connolly: Irish Examiner:

Mr. Connolly believes Kenny was simply caught out telling an over-excited porkie. He was guilty of a slightly embarrassing, but ultimately harmless, comment.

Shaun Connolly is not aware or doesn’t care that political lies cause suffering and death.

Copy to:
Enda Kenny
All individuals quoted
All political parties

Why the State is targetting Sinn Fein

In recent times I have written several articles on the very obvious anti Sinn Fein propaganda campaign being conducted by the mainstream political parties and state agencies aided and abetted by a large segment of the media.

I am aware that writing such articles can be seen as supporting Sinn Fein and, by extension, supporting violence both political and criminal.

This article is to make my position crystal clear.

The core philosophy of this website is that Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state. By this I mean that, unlike functional democracies, the Irish state actively defends, supports and protects those involved in corruption.

Corruption, to one degree or another is, of course, present in every country on the planet. Corrupt behaviour is an intrinsic aspect of human nature, it will always be with us.

But there is a huge difference between a country that suffers from a degree of corruption and a country that is, in and of itself, intrinscially corrupt.

A state is corrupt when its powers and resources are principally utilised for the benefit of a tiny but very powerful minority of individuals and organisations at the expense of the people and the greater good.

This is overwhemingly and indisputably the case in Ireland.

The corrupt regime is made up, principally, of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour with the unquestioning support of most state agencies and a disturbingly large section of the media.

Family dynasties constitute the core of the corrupt political system. Over the decades the corrupting influence of these families has spread the disease of corruption right through the influential pillars of the state and society such as the legal system, higher civil servants, the police and so on.

At some critical point, which I believe was during the 1980s when the criminal politician Haughey was at the height of his powers, the state flipped from being a democracy with some corruption to a state that that had become corrupt in and of itself.

From that moment right up to today state power does not, for the most part, operate for the good of the people. It works to maintain, protect and enhance the power of the corrupt elite.

This corrupt political/administrative regime is directly and wholly responsible for the economic catastrophe that has wreaked so much damage and loss on Ireland and its people since 2008.

And this is where Sinn Fein enters the picture.

The 2008 economic catastrophe caused serious panic within the corrupt regime. For a short period it was feared that the power, influence and wealth built up over many decades would be lost as the people began to transfer their alligience to political forces outside its power base.

Sinn Fein is being targeted because it poses the greatest threat to the power of the corrupt regime. It is the best organised, best financed, most powerful political force outside the mainstream. It is united, focused and led by a cohort of articulate and committed politicians.

It is for this reason and this reason alone that the corrupt political/administrative system, in cooperation with its many friends in the media, has targeted Sinn Fein.

The corrupt regime knows very well that if Sinn Fein gains power, even partial power in a coalition, the game is up. The cosy golden circle that has abused Irish democracy and its people for the last several decades will no longer hold sway.

People from outside the ruling elite, dangerous people with principles, people who will actually do what’s right for the country rather than vested interests will be exercising power within the corrupt citadel.

It is therefore absolutely crucial, from the corrupt regime’s point of view, that Sinn Fein’s power is destroyed or, at least, damaged to such an extent that it becomes an irrelevant political force.

It is this black propaganda campaign that I write about. It has nothing to do with Sinn Fein’s politics/policies per se but rather to challenge and expose the continuing efforts of a ruthless and diseased political system that will do anything, even commit criminal acts, to preserve its power and influence.

Copy to:
All political parties

Journalilst Michael O’Regan: A chapter in a history book

Here are the words of a journalist who has no idea whatsoever about reality outside the bubble that is Dail Eireann.

Michael Martin has emerged, particularly since the marriage equality referendum, as a highly successful leader of Fianna Fail. He’s extremely good in the Dail and in fact at the moment he stands head and shoulders as a parliamentary performer in terms of his own party.

Irish Times (captured) journalist Michael O’Regan.

It’s good that there are so many captured journalists like O’Regan within the media because their ignorance of reality ensures that establishment politicians like Martin also have no idea what’s happening in the real world.

By the time O’Regan and Martin wake up they will find themselves as a chapter in a history book.

Dr. Weeks: Living in the zone of denial

Here’s an absolute law that applies to all commentators writing about Irish politics.

If you write an article analysing any aspect of Irish politics without referring to political corruption or even mentioning the word ‘corruption’, you are wasting your own and your readers time because you are not addressing the raging elephant in the room.

The latest in a long line of commentators to break this law is Dr. Liam Weeks, lecturer in the Department of Government at UCC.

In an Irish Times article, Dr. Weeks repeats the well-known fact that the traditional political parties, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour, are suffering a serious loss of support from the electorate.

He gives two reasons for this development – a declining level of attachment to parties and the collapse in support for Fianna Fail.

However, he makes no attempt whatsoever to explain to his readers why citizens are rejecting mainstream politics in their droves. He could do worse than have a look at this blog where he will find any number of articles outlining the reasons for this development.

Here, for example, is what I wrote on 15 June last. Again, I was writing about the chronic inability/unwillingness of political commentators to recognise the elephant of political corruption.

The emergence of a new politics is directly related to the fact that the old regime (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour) has, over many decades, loyally served the corrupt political culture of clientelism, gombeenism and stroke politics rather than building a functional, properly accountable democracy.

I suspect Dr. Weeks is not actually aware of this truth. I suspect he operates in the same bubble in which most other political commentators operate. In this bubble he sees the Irish political system as democratic and, for the most part, functional – it is neither.

In order to keep the bubble from bursting Dr. Weeks must, consciously or unconsciously, enter what I call ‘the zone of denial’.

So, in his article Dr. Weeks states the problem – that the electorate is rejecting mainstream politics. He then enters the zone of denial where he can safely ignore the reasons for this development and instead skip to how events will affect the outcome of the approaching general election.

In other words, he describes the past and predicts the future while steadfastly ignoring the reality that connects them – political corruption.

Of course, Dr. Weeks is by no means alone in this. Read the opinion pieces in any newspaper; listen to the many discussion panels on radio/television and you will witness endless analysis surrounding corrupt events but you will never, ever witness any discussion of corruption as a subject in and of itself.

The reason for this is as simple as it is stark. If the disease of political corruption is acknowledged it will have to be acted upon and if that happens it will destroy the corrupt political system so carefully created over the decades by the mainstream political parties of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.

These parties and their many supporters in the media will not easily surrender their privileged and powerful position.

Fortunately, while commentators like Dr. Weeks operate comfortably in the zone of denial, an increasing number of ordinary citizens are taking matters into their own hands.

The days of the old regime are numbered.

Copy to:
Dr. Weeks

Brian Lenihan documentary: A ruling elite propaganda exercise

I’ve just watched the RTE documentary on the late Brian Lenihan and it was difficult going. It was difficult because the production was little more than a propaganda broadcast on behalf of the Lenihan family and those who see themselves as the ruling elite in Ireland.

On a personal basis Brian Lenihan seems to have been a likeable and intelligent man, an intellectual. But he was also a traitor to his country.

When I say ‘traitor’ I don’t mean in the strong sense as when somebody provides information to an enemy that results in severe and immediate consequences for fellow citizens, including death.

Lenihan was a traitor in the sense that loyalty to his country was the least of his priorities. As a member of the ruling elite his priorities were as follows:

Himself and his family dynasty.
Himself and his social class.
Himself and his political party.
Himself and his country on the condition that the financial and political interests of the above were not in any way undermined.

Lenihan was a leading member of what is, in effect, an Irish aristocracy. Practically all other politicians are either members of this ruling elite, court followers or parasites endlessly kowtowing to their ‘betters’ in the hope of being thrown a few crumbs.

The churches, the legal community, big business and super-rich moguls, among others, support this ruling elite. They are also loyally supported and defended by a disturbingly large percentage of the media.

The first and most important principle of the ruling elite is – loyalty to each other. Severe consequences are imposed on anyone who betrays this principle. Former junior minister Roisin Shortall, for example, was immediately ejected from the club when she had the temerity to put personal integrity before loyalty to the ruling political class.

When a member of the elite dies, retires or resigns, all sins, crimes and betrayals are wiped from the record and, with unstinting support from a loyal mainstream media, their political careers are rewritten and manipulated to a point where any questioning of their pedigree is seen as vulgar and extreme.

Bertie Ahern, for example, was forced to resign in disgrace when he was caught lying under oath at the tribunal but the mainstream media rarely mentions this uncomfortable fact. Instead, we are subjected to a constant stream of drivel about the Peace Process and Ahern’s ‘courage’ in returning to the talks after his mother died.

The corrupt politician Haughey is another example. When the criminal died he was given a state funeral at which the liar Ahern told us that Haughey was a patriot to his fingertips. A liar politician stating that a criminal politician is a patriot is not at all seen as bizarre in the insulated bubble inhabited by the ruling elite and their media supporters.

And that’s what the Lenihan documentary was all about. It’s part of the now well-established strategy of rewriting the history of those who gave life-long loyalty to themselves and their class at the expense of Ireland and its people.

Happily, we are living through the dying days of this corrupt ruling elite.

Copy to:

Fianna Fail

Martin Mansergh: Chronically deluded

Fianna Fail just keeps on giving in its continuing destruction under the (non) leadership of Michael Martin.

The latest development is the announcement by former junior minister Martin Mansergh that he hopes to stand in the next election.

Mansergh, who loyally served the corrupt/criminal politician Haughey, enlightened the nation with his scintillating analysis of the upcoming election.

The alternative to a Fine Gael-led coalition, is a Fianna Fáil-led coalition.

We can see from this that Fianna Fail is still populated by those who really should be in a home for the chronically deluded.

Asked how he voted in the referendum Mansergh said it was ‘a private matter’. The hilarious aspect of this cowardly Sean Haughey type reply is that everybody knows he voted no and yet he doesn’t have the political intelligence to avoid public ridicule by just being honest and upfront.

The following exchange between Mansergh and Marian Finucane (June 30, 2013) concerning the economic catastrophe inflicted on the nation by Fianna Fail provides a good measure of this individual’s questionable courage and honesty.

At the time in question Mansergh was Minister of State at the Department of Finance.

Marian Finucane: You were working in the Dept. and presumably in contact with the Minister for Finance throughout that period.

Mansergh: Well, I was in a separate building. My main job was the office of public works.

Finucane: Was there a sense around the place of the kind of pressure that was going on?

Mansergh: Well, as I say, I wasn’t in the building, I was in a separate building about 500 metres away. I was not in the loop. My job in Finance was basically to relieve the Minister of some of his parliamentary responsibilities.

Sean Haughey’s double-speak: His corrupt father would be proud

How true is Averil Power’s claim that Fianna Fail lacks vision, courage and leadership?

We can get a good idea by analysing how Sean Haughey replied to a very simple question – Did he vote Yes or No in the marriage referendum?

Like many people this has been a long journey, for this one I felt I couldn’t canvass with conviction. I wanted to listen to all the arguments and I listened to all the arguments right up to polling day. I discussed it with my family, I’m passionate about my country and our society and the how it should develop but at the end of the day it’s a secret ballot.

Fair enough, it is a secret ballot and everybody has the right to refuse to say how he or she voted. But Haughey is a public representative, he intends standing for election to parliament. He could become a powerful minister or even Taoiseach. At minimum citizens have a right to know where he stands on the main issues of the day.

They have a right to know, before voting, what kind of man they are being asked to support. For example, a liberal constituent will want to know if Haughey supports the repeal of the Eight Amendment of the Constitution regarding abortion. Similarly, a conservative will want to know if he’s pro life.

It’s cowardly to say, on the one hand, I’m passionate about my country and how our society develops but I’m keeping my opinions secret.

So you’re not answering that question but you are saying you didn’t go out canvassing on the issue?

I want to be perfectly honest about this. I feel if you’re going to people’s doors and ask them you need to have the conviction and for me I wanted the luxury of sitting back and listening to all the arguments and I listened passionately to every debate right up to polling day.

Honesty is the last thing we’re getting here.

Is Haughey saying he has no conviction on the issue one way or the other? Hardly, since he admits that he ‘passionately’ listened to every debate. As a private citizen Haughey has the ‘luxury’ of sitting back and listening to all the arguments before casting his secret vote. But as an aspiring public representative he has an obligation to be open and honest with those who may consider giving him a vote.

And the fact that your party was supporting the issue?

Well I don’t think I let my party down in any way.

Unwittingly, Haughey is being honest here. His cowardly double-speak, his failure to step up to the plate and openly say what he believes fits in seamlessly with the long established Fianna Fail gombeen mindset.

His corrupt father would be proud.