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

 

LT9VD8Py (1)

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

toonvectors-4481-940toonvectors-4481-940

 

 

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

toonvectors-4481-940ScaredRabbit

toonvectors-4481-940

Ship of state sails into stormy waters

 

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

MediaaSinkingShipLrg

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

1-labour-sell-out

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

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

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

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
Government

The budget reality

News headline on Denis O’Brien’s radio station today.

Today’s budget will leave us all better off.

Wrong.

Millions of words will be written and spoken analysing the budget but it’s all a complete was of time.

The budget is nothing more than a confirmation of what we are as a country.

A disturbingly dysfunctional democracy that has as its centre point, not the good of the nation and its people, but the buying of votes by a corrupt political system that is ruthless to the point of criminality.

The reality headline is:

Ordinary citizens will be bought off as a temporary measure until the corrupt political system is returned to power. When returned to power the corrupt system will resume its abuse of democracy and the people for the benefit of the ruling elite.

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