Why the establishment media is silent on O Cuiv’s rebellion

 

By Anthony Sheridan

Sinn Fein’s decision to field a candidate to challenge the current President has wrecked the cosy arrangement between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour to keep their man in the office.

But consider what would have happened if the following scenario had evolved. Imagine if Sinn Fein had decided to support the conservative centre and then, dramatically, a leading member of the party broke ranks and attempted to force the leadership to change its decision by putting himself forward as an independent candidate.

Here’s exactly what would have happened:

There would have been an immediate wall to wall, seven days a week attack on the party by the establishment media led by the government broadcaster, RTE.

Sinn Fein members from Mary Lou McDonald down to local councillors would be relentlessly paraded, harassed and questioned across the establishment media for reactions and explanations.

So here’s my question:

Why is the establishment media completely silent on the dramatic decision by Éamon Ó Cuív to challenge his party’s presidential election strategy by putting himself forward as an independent candidate which, by extension, constitutes a direct and very serious challenge to Michael Martin’s leadership?

Here’s the answer:

The establishment media does not serve the interests of Ireland or its people. Their loyalty lies entirely with the ruling political class made up of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.

The undemocratic attempt by these three parties to keep their man in the Park received strong and widespread support from the establishment media. Across radio, television and print the people were arrogantly told that they would not be getting an election, that it would be too expensive, that it would distract from Brexit and sure wasn’t ‘Michael’ doing a great job anyway.

But Sinn Fein’s strategy put a stop to all that patronising, insulting guff. Now, the establishment media has just one aim – to protect the interests of the corrupt centre of Irish politics by preventing a powerful outside force such as Sinn Fein from occupying what the ruling political class have always considered to be their personal fiefdom in the Phoenix Park.

To that end, the Irish people are about to witness the biggest, most ruthless anti-Sinn Fein propaganda campaign ever mounted by the establishment media. The campaign will, as always, be led by the cheerleader of the establishment media – the government broadcaster, RTE.

Copy to:

Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour Party, Sinn Fein

RTE/Media

Éamon Ó Cuív

Orwell’s 1984 arrives in 2018 Ireland

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

 

Here are some quotes I’ve taken from Wikipedia’s description of the George Orwell dystopian novel ‘1984′.

An environment of omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. A government invented language that replaces English. A system enforced by a privileged, elite Inner Party that persecutes individualism and independent thinking.

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. It is not interested in the good of others; it is interested solely in power.

It is in no way an exaggeration to say that the above description is fast becoming a reality in Ireland today.

A corrupt political elite made up of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour masquerading as democratic politicians as they manipulate power for their own benefit while attacking those who would challenge their privileged position.

We only have to observe the ruthless and often illegal tactics employed by the State during the water war. The manipulation of information by the Government’s Strategic Communications Unit and the unlimited funds available to elite schools while the schools of the poor fall into disrepair, to see just how close ‘1984’ resembles the Ireland of 2018.

 

 

Those who may consider this a bit over the top might consider the following headline:

Bin lorry cameras are on hunt for thousands of homeowners who break rubbish rules

Here we have private companies monitoring and imposing punishment on citizens who fail to obey instructions. Initially, the Government information machine attempted to persuade citizens that these instructions, to separate refuse into different categories, was for the benefit of the environment.

To a degree this is true but it is also true that encouraging people to separate refuse saves the collection companies an absolute fortune in having to do it themselves.

But now the days of encouraging are over, now the Government has handed over power to private companies to monitor and punish citizens who fail to do as instructed. Education (of the masses) is also a priority for the companies as this comment makes clear:

Clearly a huge challenge lies ahead and education is needed.

The state tyranny described in Orwell’s ‘1984‘ is controlled by a mysterious leader known as Big Brother. All citizens are required to give unquestioning loyalty and respect to the great leader.

Winston Smith, the rebel who challenges state power in the story, is eventually defeated and brainwashed into a feeling of intense love for Big Brother.

The Irish ‘Winston Smith’ is none other than former rebel Bono who recently sent messages of intense love to his hero Varadkar.

Dear Leo,  I am utterly proud to call you my Taoiseach. I look forward to lots of plotting and planning. Yours with respect, Bono.

 

Elaine Byrne: Not speaking full truth to power

 

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

Corruption expert Elaine Byrne and two or her colleagues, Hugh O’Connell and Barry J Whyte, recently wrote an extensive piece on the failings of the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO).

Similar articles on the issue of poor or non-existent state regulation have been penned by a long line of journalists in a long line of newspapers over a timescale of many decades.

They all have one thing in common – they fail, for various reasons, to speak the full truth.

So here’s the full truth in just four sentences:

One:       Those who wield power are responsible for enacting and enforcing anti-corruption laws that are critical to the proper functioning of a state.

Two:     When those in power fail in their duty to confront corruption, the state and its people suffer.

Three:   Ireland and its people have suffered enormously from the disease of corruption over the decades as a direct result of this failure.

Four:     The people who are directly and indisputably responsible for this failure are the three mainstream political parties – Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Labour Party.

These four points should form the basis for every single article written by Irish journalists when they are addressing the issue of political and state corruption.

Unfortunately, Irish journalists have a very poor record of speaking truth to power. Instead, we get articles like that written by Ms. Byrne that pulls punches all over the place out of fear, ignorance or support for those who corruptly wield power.

For example, Ms. Byrne speaks of ‘governance failures’, ‘mistakes’, ‘shortcomings’ and ‘blunders

Here’s the truth: Those who wield power strip all regulatory authorities of power in a deliberate strategy that is specifically designed to protect the corrupt. The evidence for this truth is overwhelming and indisputable.

Ms. Byrne also uses the royal ‘we’ instead of precisely identifying those who facilitate political and state corruption. For example, she tells us that:

We excel at the disease of implementation deficit.

Here’s the truth: The ‘we’ Ms. Byrne speaks of consists of the three mainstream political parties who have wielded power since independence. The evidence for this truth is overwhelming and indisputable.

Ms. Byrne also writes about the ‘national addiction to reports’. There is no national addiction to reports. Irish citizens are fed up to their back teeth with reports and reports on reports that result in zero accountability.

Here’s the truth: The establishment of reports, reviews and tribunals is a strategy specifically designed by those who wield power to protect the corrupt.

So, as Mary and Joe soap make their case before an empowered judge the politically protected corrupt casually perjure themselves in front of a disempowered judge at a tribunal. The evidence for this truth is overwhelming and indisputable.

To her credit Ms. Byrne is one of the very few commentators who have come even close to speaking truth to power.

Here’s how she wrote about a speech she made at the McGill Summer School in July 2012. She was speaking to an audience that would have included many of those responsible for protecting the corrupt.

Official Ireland is predominantly male, predominantly over 50 and predominantly people who earn over €100,000. For the most part, it includes the speakers at this MacGill summer school and those that attend it.

That didn’t go down too well. That part of my speech was greeted with an audible murmur of disapproval (my emphasis) at MacGill in Donegal last week.

Yet every single inquiry into public life that we have had in this country over the past 15 years has come down to one singular thing, the operation of power by Official Ireland. The political tribunals, the church scandals, the police inquiries, the hospital failures and the banking crisis were ultimately about the abuse of power.

She ended her article with this:

These mostly male, middle-aged decision makers are responsible for the (economic) collapse in the first place because they never shouted stop.

This is an example of what I mentioned at the beginning of this article – a failure to speak the full truth to power.

Here’s what needs to be said to the powers that protect the corrupt:

The three mainstream political parties of this country, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Labour Party are directly responsible for infecting the political and administrative systems of our country with the disease of corruption.

The evidence for this is overwhelming and indisputable. These are the parties that have wielded power since independence. These are the parties that have consistently and intentionally failed, power swop after power swop, to challenge the disease of corruption.

These are the parties that must be permanently removed from power if the people of Ireland are ever to enjoy the benefits of living in a functional democracy free of rampant political corruption.

Copy to:

Elaine Byrne

 

 

Elaine Byrne: Failing to join up the dots on state corruption

 

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

State corruption is rampant in Ireland and does enormous damage to the country and its people. The disease of corruption originated from and still thrives within the political system. In 1979, with the coming to power of the criminal politician Haughey, the disease became malignant and spread to most areas of governance and then to the private sector.

Ireland is not, and never has been, governed by a political party or a coalition of parties. It is ruled by a corrupt political class who simply take turns in plundering the state.

That corrupt political class is made up of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour (now nearly extinct) with willing support, when unavoidable, from smaller parties such as the Progressive Democrats (now extinct), the Green Party and currently the Independent Alliance.

The disturbingly low standard of Irish journalism is one of the major contributing factors in not just allowing political corruption to exist but to flourish without any serious challenge.

The great majority of journalists are either willing participants, state captured, in denial or are simply ignorant of the brutal reality regarding the extent and source of state corruption in Ireland.

Corruption expert Elaine Byrne appears to be one of those who are completely ignorant of the source of corruption.

Writing recently [Sub. required] about the ineffectiveness of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) Ms. Byrne finished her article with this question:

Does the Government actually want the GSOC to do its job?

That a person whose job it is to analyse corruption and who has been writing and commentating on corruption for many years has to even ask this question is a disturbing indication of the abject failure of Irish journalism to even acknowledge the disease of state corruption never mind actually expose those responsible.

To answer Ms. Byrne’s question – no, the Government does not want the GSOC to do its job. That’s why the Commission is chronically underfunded and understaffed. The strategy of underfunding regulatory agencies is just one of a long list of well established tactics utilised by parties of the ruling political class to prevent any threat to their power.

Ms. Byrne goes on to ask another question the answer to which is right in front of her eyes should she ever choose to open them.

Why was it necessary for a tribunal and all its costs to be deployed when GSOC should have done the job?

This question relates to the political decision to instruct the Disclosures Tribunal to investigate a matter surrounding allegations made by Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe, allegations that should have been properly dealt with by GSOC.

The answer to Ms. Byrnes question is:  The ruling political class enacted laws that strips tribunals of any power to bring to account those found guilty of corruption. This guarantees that any corruption exposed during the course of a tribunal is merely recorded in the final report and deposited on a government shelf to gather dust.

This deliberate strategy provides the ruling political class with a powerful tool with which to permanently sidetrack any scandal that may pose a threat to their power. The strategy has been immensely successful in protecting the corrupt and the Disclosures Tribunal will be no different.

Commentators and journalists like Ms. Byrne spend much of their time and energy analysing the never-ending stream of corruption that inflicts so much damage on Ireland and its people but, for a number of reasons, are incapable of joining up the dots that are lying all over the corrupt political landscape.

Here is a list of just some of those dots that may be of some help to puzzled commentators such as Ms. Byrne.

Tribunals have just one function – to protect the corrupt.

Dail Committees (all of which are deliberately powerless) have just one function – to endlessly jump up and down in futile anger while the corrupt walk free.

So called state regulatory bodies such as GSOC, Central Bank, SIPO, An Garda Siochana, Charities Regulator to name just some are all deliberately underfunded, understaffed, willing participants in corrupt practices or act out of justified fear of state reprisal if they enforce the law.

Laws are frequently written with the deliberate intention of protecting the corrupt. For example, laws governing the operation of GSOC are drafted in such a manner as to make it almost impossible to properly investigate complaints. (I’ll be writing about this particular scandal soon).

Irish journalists are constantly writing and talking about corruption scandal after corruption scandal but studiously avoid joining up the dots – why?

Because when the dots are joined up they point straight at those responsible for infecting our country with the disease of corruption – the corrupt political class made up of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.

And therein lies one of the greatest barriers to eradicating the disease of political corruption that has inflicted so much suffering on the Irish people – the total loyalty and support afforded to the corrupt centre of Irish politics by a disturbingly large percentage of journalists.

Copy to:

Elaine Byrne

Vincent Browne: Blind to what’s coming down the road

 

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By Anthony Sheridan

Vincent Browne caused a bit of a stir the other day with his claim that the country is suffering from the worst possible outcome of a general election.

From an establishment point of view this is an accurate assessment. The last thing the old regime parties of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour want is political instability and Browne, as an establishment journalist, is simply reflecting that fear.

From the point of view of those of us who are working to bring down the old corrupt regime, the regime that destroyed our country, the current political instability is great news.

Browne tells us that the first casualty of the election is ‘new politics’; this is hilarious.

There is no new politics emerging from within the old regime. The political system that has misruled our country since independence is hopelessly corrupt and beyond any possibility of redemption or reform.

The fractured outcome of the election is simply the latest and most dramatic indication that the old corrupt regime is crumbling.

The panicked scramble between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to glue together a patchwork government is nothing more than a stop-gap strategy to hold onto as much power for as long as possible within a political system that’s melting away into history.

And the relentless seeping away of political power from the old regime parties is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on since 1992 when Labour under Dick Spring betrayed its promise to tackle political corruption by going into coalition with the corrupt Haughey.

And Labour’s betrayal is nothing new either. For decades the party has been nothing more than a political prostitute selling its principles to the highest bidder in return for a ticket to plunder the states resources.

Inevitably Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will merge into single right wing party that will find itself under increasing pressure from what is the most dramatic political development since independence – the rise of genuine left wing politics led by ordinary people for the benefit of ordinary people.

This new political movement is visible in the water protests, in the increasing number of independents, in the formation of new parties like the Social Democrats and in the continuing rise of Sinn Fein

The inevitable outcome of this political turbulence will see the replacement of what is, effectively, a one party system comprised of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour, with a genuine Left/Right political divide which is the norm in functional democracies.

The major flaw in Browne’s analysis is his own position in the scheme of things. While he regularly castigates the corruption and injustices of the ruling regime he is, ultimately, a loyal member of that regime.

His analysis therefore will always be that of an insider; will always be that of someone who believes the current political system is sound and not in any serious danger of collapse.

He is, in common with most establishment journalists, blind to what’s coming down the road.

Copy to:

Vincent Browne

Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour

 

 

Colette Browne chases Rabbitte back down his burrow

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By Anthony Sheridan

Pat Rabbitte, despite a long and winding political career ranging from apprentice Trotskyite to passionate Capitalist, has always remained true to his unique form of debate.

Cuttingly witty, contemptuously sarcastic and capable of reducing an opponent to tears with rapier like ridicule, Rabbitte never held back when defending his changing political colours.

And like all good debaters Rabbitte could take it when it was handed out. When the heat was turned up he simply took off his jacket and got sweating with everybody else in the debating kitchen.

But alas, time and events have caught up with the Rabbitte. Fired from his much loved ministerial job and effectively forced to resign from politics and power the Rabbitte has turned bitter and as a consequence has developed a sensitivity to any challenge particularly a challenge that contains a great big dollop of truth.

During a recent debate on RTE, Irish Independent columnist Colette Browne chased the Rabbitte back down his burrow after he tried to chastise her for daring to challenge his exalted opinion.

Under discussion was the Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail mantra of fairness for all during the election

Rabbitte: I’m listening to mantras and slogans for the last eight years but mantras and slogans don’t do government.

Browne: (intervenes, laughing) Labour’s way or Frankfurt’s way anyone, what about that for a slogan?

Rabbitte: (Very angry). Fine Colette, it’s a very good slogan and it’s just like the sneering that you did at the fiscal space as well.

Browne: I did a lot of sneering at the fiscal space because Michael Noonan’s figures were all wrong.

Rabbitte: Colette, in so far as I can see you sneer everyday you write a column in the Irish Independent. I mean you are addicted to negativity.

Browne: I have to laugh when I hear members of the last government, the current caretaker government Fine Gael and Labour coming out and saying, as if Sinn Fein has invented populist opposition politics.

Now I’m old enough to remember when Labour was in opposition back in 2010 and yourself and Fine Gael were pretty populist in opposition to everything Fianna Fail was trying to do when the Troika was coming in.

The Rabbitte, caught in the glare of truth, scuttled back down into the safety of his political waffle burrow.

Copy to:

Colette Browne

The Rabbitte

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Ship of state sails into stormy waters

 

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

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The party on the bridge of the ship of state was in full swing. The captain, his officers, first class passengers and the bulk of the media were celebrating the epic achievements of their great and glorious ship.

Servants scurried about frantically filling glasses, restocking food trays and cleaning up the mess made by some of the more over-indulgent partygoers.

Meanwhile, deep in the bowels of the ship the steerage passengers, who could only barely hear the sound of good times high on the bridge, chatted among themselves about their hopes that the ship would also take them to a better place.

Then, at 2008, a mild but distinct shudder knocked over some of the more precariously balanced drinks and food trays on the bridge as it rippled its way down the entire length of the ship.

What the hell was that, one annoyed journalist demanded to know as she ordered a refill of her gin and tonic from a cowering waiter.

Don’t you worry your pretty little head said Captain Cowen. I’m in charge of this ship; a ship bestowed upon me by my good friend Captain Bertie and navigated by generations of great Fianna Fail leaders with the occasional input from our ruling elite colleagues in Fine Gael and Labour.

Oh Captain Cowen, I’m so impressed, cooed the journalist. I’m going to write a glowing article about your legendary intelligence and political wisdom.

Deep in the bowels there was no such assurance as the steerage passengers struggled in vain to save themselves from the catastrophic flood that had finally breached the hull as a result of decades of corrosion from the disease of corruption.

They looked on in horror as the lives and dreams of their families and friends were swept away in the putrid waters of cronyism, nepotism and gombeenism.

As they waded past the bodies and lost possession of their kind, they began to move upwards to look for assistance, guidance and sympathy from those steering the ship of state.

All through 2009 and 2010 the party continued unabated on the bridge.

Bankers surrounded by their good friends in the Financial Regulator’s Office. Property developers feeding in the trough of endless profit constantly topped up by the captain and his officers. Journalists eagerly assisting their political masters in exchange for a bottle of hooch and a cheap headline.

But some were beginning to suspect that all was not well.

Tell me, said Noel Whelan from the Irish Times to senior officer Brian. The ship seems to have slowed down considerably and, while I’m no expert, the bow appears to be an awful lot lower in the water than it was before the party began.

There’s absolutely nothing to worry about Noel, whispered Brian soothingly. There’s been a bit of a storm in international waters which resulted in some moderate turbulence for the ship.

But the captain is worried that the ordinary, uneducated people down on the lower decks might not understand what’s happening.

Of course, of course, replied Noel in sympathetic agreement. Is there anything we in the media can do to help?

Well, now that you mention it, there is something you could do. The captain would be forever grateful if you and your colleagues could man the broadcast system to the lower decks. You’ll be working with your good friends at RTE who have already agreed to do everything they are ordered,…er, I mean, asked to do to calm the masses.

Of course Brian, what are your instructions?

Just keep on broadcasting the term ‘Lehman Brothers’, over and over again. It’s crucial that you never stop and never question the wisdom of Captain Cowen’s brilliant navigation of our great and glorious ship.

Now, now Brian, you know we in the mainstream media never question the amazing intelligence and courage of our great leaders but this Lehman Brothers thing, what does it mean?

Well, just between you and me Noel, it doesn’t mean anything. We have legal advice, which of course must remain secret, that the term has a mysterious calming effect on the lower classes, but; to be fully effective it must be repeated endlessly.

You can rely on us in the mainstream media to remain loyal to the captain said Noel as he grabbed a Bloody Mary from the tray of a passing waiter.

By 2010 the people’s struggle upwards to freedom was blocked by a series of iron gates that had been firmly shut by agents of the state.

The police ordered the protesters:

Get back down to your own level, nothing to see here; no way through.

Behind the police, social welfare agents shouted:

We’re cutting your allowances to make sure those on the bridge have enough resources to live in the comfort they’re accustomed to as they plan the mass burial of your dreams and ambitions.

At another gate, a politicians announced:

Don’t worry, although many of you are doomed we promise, going forward, to reform the way our great and glorious ship is navigated.

As you suffer and die we are planning to replace the officers on the bridge with another group of officers who have really, really, really promised to work in the interests of those of you who are lucky enough to survive.

Through all the shouting and bedlam an endless media drone could be heard – Lehman Brothers…Lehman Brothers…Lehman Brothers…Lehman Brothers

ooo

Initially, the people were downcast when their path to freedom was blocked. But as more and more of their kind drowned in the dark waters of despair they became angry and began to organise.

Rejecting the authority of those on the bridge the people elected new leaders and began to rattle the iron gates demanding to be let through, to know who was responsible for the catastrophe that was playing out on the lower decks.

But the gates were strong and the agents of the state were steadfast in their determination to keep the unruly masses in their proper place.

Meanwhile, back on the bridge an approaching ship interrupted the party.

Hello SS Ireland, this is the SS EU, what the hell is going on over there; your ship is way down at the bow, you appear to be sinking.

Not at all, slurred back Captain Cowen. We’re jush, hiccup, I mean, just having a party to celebrate the success of our great little nation, now feck off unlesh, hic, you have some more money to give us.

Standby SS Ireland, we’re sending over a three-man boarding party.

As Captain Cowen joined ex Captain Ahern in the luxury stateroom where they argued over who had the biggest pension the new captain, Captain Kenny, was assuring the Troika and the unruly masses that the ship of state was now on a new course, a course to paradise.

Already, he claimed, his crew had repaired the breached hull. There was no need to worry about the dangers posed by leaking water and certainly no need to cancel the party on the bridge. The ship, he declared, would be safe under his captaincy.

But Captain Kenny, like his predecessors, was lying.

He was lying to the desperate citizens trapped below decks when he promised democratic revolution. He was lying to the Troika when he promised to carry out reforms. He was lying when he said the ship of state was secure. The hull wasn’t repaired, the water was still flooding in and the ship was still sinking.

As time moved on into 2013 and 2014 the ship became unstable and began to tilt at an alarming angle.

Captain Kenny, with unquestioned support from his media partygoers, blamed the surging masses and their leaders for the instability as they finally escaped onto the decks where they could see, for the first time, just how and who was steering their ship of state.

At 2015 the bankers, property developers, financial regulators and politicians, including former captains Ahern and Cowen, began to take to the lifeboats.

Many journalists, loyally standing by their political masters, helped them rescue their credibility, political legacies and justifications for decisions made in office.

Other journalists, on witnessing reality for the first time, went into deep shock. One of them, Fergus Finlay of the Irish Examiner, approached Captain Ahern who was loading up several lifeboats with family, friends and loot.

Captain Ahern, what are you doing? If you take all those lifeboats for yourself you will be condemning ordinary citizens to drown in the depths of despair.

Jazus, will you look at that eejit of a journalist, Captain Ahern replied contemptuously. No wonder we were able to fool the people when we had half the media in our pockets and the other half believing everything we said.

Just as civil servants gently lowered Captain Ahern and his loot safely onto calm waters, Finlay turned and, for the first time, noticed the massive iceberg that had struck the ship.

The giant neon sign atop the iceberg that read – POLITICAL CORRUPTION – finally shocked him out of his denial as to who was responsible for the catastrophe.

You Maniacs! You’ve sunk the country, Damn you! God damn you all to hell the befuddled journalist howled as he pounded the heaving deck with his fist.

ooo

At 2016 the steerage passengers finally broke down the doors to the bridge. What they witnessed shocked even the most hardened of water protesters.

Captain Kenny was engaged in a vicious fistfight with wannabe captain Martin for control of the ships wheel.

Ah ha, crowed Martin: You thought the people had thrown us overboard, well….we’re baaaccck. Now step aside, it’s our turn to steer.

Feck off said Captain Kenny punching Martin in the eye: We got more votes than you, so there.

Yes replied Martin but you ignored the dangers posed by water and now you’re sinking.

Nearby, a group of establishment journalists led by John Downing of Independent Newspapers huddled together insanely muttering the same mantra over and over again:

This has nothing to do with water; this has nothing to do with the people’s anger at political corruption. Everything will be all right so long as we keep assuring ourselves that Sinn Fein is to blame for everything.

Amid the bedlam the government broadcaster RTE launched its latest deny reality TV show – ‘Let’s Get Back To The Good Old days’ presented by soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy and featuring such stars as Mary Coughlan, Alan Dukes and Noel Dempsey.

But by now the people had seen enough. Brushing aside the huddled group of journalists they rushed towards the bickering twosome at the wheel of state intent on taking control themselves.

And so, as we celebrate the centenary of the rebellion that launched the ship of state we wonder will the current conflict result in a change of course to the left or to the right or are we about to witness a final plunge into the dark depths of political despair.

Tune in for the next episode but be sure to bring a lifejacket – just in case.

 

Labour: In the same political sewer as Fianna Fail

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By Anthony Sheridan

I see ex Labour TD/Minister Kathleen Lynch is claiming that her party was punished for putting the country first.

This puts her in the same camp as Brian Cowen and his gang of incompetents who also claimed they were punished for doing the right thing by the country.

It’s pathetic but not at all surprising that Labour, because of its betrayal, finds itself in the same political sewer as Fianna Fail.

Fergus Finlay: Politics is not corrupt

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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

Fergus Finlay: Living in the cave of shadows

Fight Corruption in Politics-by-Elkwaet
Fight Corruption in Politics-by-Elkwaet

We have betrayed one of our fellow citizens. We need to feel a sense of shame about that.

This is the opinion expressed by Fergus Finlay in an article about a woman who suffered unspeakable and degrading cruelty at the hands of the state.

On the assumption that the ‘we’ Mr. Finlay speaks of includes me I want to make my position crystal clear.

I am in no way responsible for the horrors inflicted on this woman by the state.

I strongly believe, however, that Mr. Finlay is responsible, at least to some extent, for what happened to her and that he should indeed hang his head in shame for the part he has played in her suffering.

I am in no way responsible because I have been campaigning against political/administrative corruption in Ireland since 1982 when I first realised that I lived in an intrinsically corrupt state.

If influential political operators/opinion makers like Mr. Finlay arrived at the same conclusion at the same time it is highly likely that this woman would never have suffered because she would have been living in a functional democracy where justice and accountability were an ingrained aspect of governance.

But this woman did not and does not live in a functional democracy.

She lives in a state where politicians can be filmed openly asking for bribes and not only are they not arrested and charged but are allowed to continue in office. Political corruption is to blame for this.

She lives in a country where corrupt politicians are allowed to sit in our parliament as if they were individuals of principle and integrity. Political corruption is to blame for this.

She lives in a country where politicians regularly manipulate the law to help their friends or spy on journalists and ordinary citizens to protect their own corrupt interests. Political corruption is to blame for this.

She lives in a country where bankers, property developers and other powerful groups receive massive financial, political and legal support at the expense of the state and its people. Political corruption is to blame for this.

But most of all she lives in a country where the state frequently intervenes, sometimes illegally, to protect the powerful and the corrupt. Political corruption is to blame for this.

Mr. Finlay is, of course, in no way corrupt himself. Indeed, he is a man of passionate anger when it comes to the many injustices that are frequently exposed in our state. But in addition to anger Mr. Finlay frequently expresses puzzlement about the endless stream of corruption that has blighted our country since independence.

Here’s why he is puzzled.

Corruption-Saturates-Asia-Stifling-Economic-Growth

Mr. Finlay lives in Plato’s cave of shadows. He firmly believes that the mainstream political parties are real. Trapped within his cave he does not see that they are merely shadows masquerading as democratic entities.

He does not see that Ireland, unique among Western democracies, is ruled by a single political class made up principally of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour. He does not see that these fake entities play a game of election musical chairs as each in turn, or together in coalition, plunder the nation’s resources.

He does not see that this corrupt political class has spread the disease of corruption throughout the land but particularly within the civil and public service where loyalty to the state and its people has been, largely, abandoned.

He does not seem to be aware that since the catastrophe of 2008 this corrupt political regime has been engaged in a life or death struggle with a significant and growing percentage of the population who have been politically radicalised and are determined to rid their country of the disease of political corruption.

Mr. Finlay does not see all this because he lives in the cave with the shadows. All he sees are shadows posing as democratic politicians, shadows that pose as law enforcement agencies, shadows that pose as accountable government departments but in reality are nothing more than obedient lapdogs to their corrupt political masters.

Blinding flashes of truth from outside the cave increasingly encroach on Mr. Finlay’s comfortable existence in the cave of shadows. His anger and puzzlement continues to grow as he witnesses the ever increasing incidence of abuse and corruption

The recent brutal treatment of Grace by the state is just one of countless cases of abuse and corruption that has triggered his anger over many, many years.

And yet, Mr. Finlay has never once stopped to take a hard look at the shadows and ask the most obvious question – are they real, have I been wasting my entire life shouting at shadows?

I have never lived in the cave of shadows. That’s why I could see I was living in an intrinsically corrupt state in 1982. That’s why I’m not to blame for the horror visited upon Grace by the state.

My anger is, and has always been, directed at the true source of Grace’s suffering, the corrupt political/administrative system that continues to inflict so much damage and suffering on the people of our state.

I’m sure Mr. Finlay will strongly disagree with my analysis but to do so with any credibility he must answer the following question.

Why is it that decade after decade after decade we witness the same horrors, the same corruption originating from the same political/administrative system without ever witnessing accountability or justice?

How many more Grace’s have to suffer unspeakable cruelty before Mr. Finlay walks out of the cave of shadows into the light of reality?

I hope it’s not too many.

Copy to:
Fergus Finlay

culture-of-corruption