CORRUPT & DYSFUNCTIONAL
Our local and national government is so systemically corrupt and dysfunctional nobody can get anything done. This is a fact and only blind party supporters are the ones who can’t see it.
This has gone on so long that for decades people have looked on helplessly as the usual people and more times than not families continued to run the county and country the way it has always been run. In recent years there has been a growing call for change in the way we do politics in Wicklow and in our country. That call is getting louder with each passing election.
The word corrupt has becoming synonymous with politics and politicians in this country. People are tired of the blatant pocket filling. The legal framework built up over years to protect this corruption and even make it legal has made the perpetrators in Wicklow and the Dáil openly arrogant about it.
THE CORRUPT ELITE
We have watched how the self-proclaimed elite in our society have gotten away with breath taking deals like Mulryan, Lowry and Denis O’Brien. We watched as Deputy Joe Higgins tried to question Sean Mulryan at the banking enquiry but was continually told his line of questioning was beyond the terms of reference. We watched as Catherine Murphy TD was repeatedly and blatantly stonewalled by finance minister Michael Noonan regarding Denis O’Brien and the siteserve debacle. And of course no list like this would be complete without mentioning the Charles J Haugheys trial being abandoned because he claimed he would not get a fair hearing.
Even those who have stepped beyond the protection and were found guilty by juries of ordinary people in Irish courts are being exonerated afterwards by judges without a Jury. We’ve seen this with Redmond, Burke and the Anglo three as an example.
We await the outcome of the Judge only appeal by retired Wicklow County Council official Frank O’Toole of his jury found conviction for corruption. This case is interesting as the judge announced that O’Toole had not benefited from the corruption he was found guilty of, yet the person or persons that did benefit were never brought before a court.
We also await the upcoming trials of David Drumm and Sean Fitzpatrick by Jury. But looking back at what history has shown us time and time again I wouldn’t be hopeful of a positive outcome. Indeed as with Haughey I’ll be pleasantly surprised if either of these men actually appears at a trial at all.
WHERE IS THE CHANGE?
So why hasn’t politics changed if that’s what the people are crying out for? The answer isn’t a simple one. The same political parties, politicians and family dynasties that are the problem have recognised the growing calls for change.
And what have they done? They have shifted their narrative to reflect the change. Now the very people who don’t want and will not install any meaningful change are claiming they do and they are. Even though blatant evidence in meeting minutes, votes and actions prove beyond any doubt that they don’t and they are not.
The biggest problem of all facing our local and national politicians is a time honoured one. Once these politicians have taken the corrupt greasy schilling no matter how small it is impossible to go back. The corrupt and dysfunctional system has them. They are now part of the system and can never claim honesty again. If they do and they are found out the onslaught from their own system dwellers and voters alike will be worse. So they keep quiet about themselves and admonish their fellow politicians caught in the act.
This is why honest politicians never rise up to positions of power in these legacy political parties. Those above them fear anyone clean enough to challenge them and those below them don’t trust anyone who hasn’t drank from the corrupt poisoned chalice. And so they wither away. Much loved by the public but obstacles put in their continuously by the system and their fellow politicians.
So the decades old merry-go-round continues as it always has. Regardless of the narrative in the election literature nothing meaningful ever changes. Irish politicians stay corrupt and produce legislation that will protect them. They appoint judges and Garda commissioners who have proven themselves politically safe. These judges and Commissioners then operate under a transparent veil of “independence” simply ignoring the fact that they were all appointed by politicians.
THE CORRUPT PILLARS SHAKE
But change is inevitable no matter how long it takes. In the local elections 2014 and the general election 2016 something radical has changed. It is a change which is shaking the very pillars that have kept the family dynasties in Wicklow and in the Dail safe for generations.
The very large proportion of pesky voters went and voted differently despite the usual “We’re for change” narrative coming from Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour. It wasn’t so obvious in the local elections because of the increase in the Fianna Fail vote. That was all the inbred mainstream media talked about. But the change was there.
It could be seen in Wicklow with the larger amount of real Independent and real left politicians that were voted on to the council. Yes there were still political party backed independents Fake independents some of which had their election expenses paid for secretly by parties. These fake independents have been there for some time to give the voters an illusion of choice. But they were finally outnumbered by real independents in the Local Elections in 2014.
This was visible in Wicklow as the once dominating inner sanctum that has ruled Wicklow County Council had to rely on these so called independents coming out of the shadows to support them. The needed them to hold on tenuously to the majority they had easily enjoyed for decades before this.
The same coalition of fake independents and the parties was reflected in the county councils all over the country.
THE REAL STORY
The amount of real independents and real new political parties was the real story of the general election 2016. The main stream media saw it but chose to focus on just how big the Fianna Fail vote would grow over the weeks leading up to the election.
Even after the election when the numbers came in and it was clear that Ireland had voted for new politics, new political parties and new politicians the main stream media failed again. Instead it brushed off this huge swing away from corrupt politics and tried to dismiss it with the “We’ve been here before” commentary. With that done they again focused on Fianna Fails vote all but ignoring the fact that it hadn’t grown since the locals but diminished.
THE CORRUPT SCRAMBLE
Now the so called leaders of Ireland 2016 are scrambling to put the old corrupt system round peg into the voter created new politics square hole. And it just will not fit.
For the first time in the history of the state Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour together cannot control both the Government side of the house and the opposition side of the house. They can have one but they can’t have both. They can do deals until they are blue in the face with fake independents as the Councillors colleagues did in 2014 but there simply isn’t enough of the corrupt legacy parties to control both sides of the Dáil.
THE PALPABLE PANIC
The panic is palpable among the legacy grouping. We’ve had the Healy-Rae brothers out in the main stream media to castigate the real independents, new and smaller parties for not joining with them to form “a stable government”. This is the new name for the old corrupt system it seems.
As if the Healy Raes had any credibility. They have two County Councillors for Kerry and two TDs in the Dáil for Kerry all from one direct family. They have two million euro worth of family contracts with Kerry County Council. They turn up to courts to support families being evicted while buying up the distressed properties at the auctions a few weeks later. They claim to be against Irish Water charges but they hold contracts with Irish Water itself. This is what passes for democracy in this legacy corrupt system. This is what passes for honesty. And yes funny enough it is all legal and above board. I wonder how that happened?
SO WHERE TO NOW?
So what happens now? Another election seems to be the only option. If Fianna Fail goes into coalition with Fine Gael they will have to break the two biggest promises they made to their electorate.
- The swore to replace Fine Gael in government and not prop them up
- They promised to abolish Irish Water and the charges
That’s not the worst part of that unholy union or axis of evil. The worst part is that will leave the left and radical left as the largest group in opposition. Under no circumstance can that be allowed to happen.
The only other option is some sort of half-baked deal to support the government while pretending to hold it to account in opposition. This would mean voting for every austerity measure and breaking every promise they swore to get the vote they did.
So when all is said and done there is only two options that are palatable to the corrupt legacy politicians.
- All of the real independents and smaller parties break all of their election promises to prop up either a Fine Gael or Fianna Fail government.
- Another general election.
The first one will never happen.
So another general election it seems awaits us on the horizon. However if this is to happen the corrupt legacy parties must have enough time to vilify the real Independents and smaller parties for not forming a “stable government” so maybe just maybe the electorate will go back to the voting see saw that we’ve always had. Fianna Fail in, Fine Gael out and vice versa with Labour giving the illusion of a left opposition but always there like the fake independents in the council to prop up one or the other.
So now we wait to see if the Irish electorate will continue down the path to honesty and political reform? Will we continue down the path that castigates the corruption and jails the corrupt? Will we finally bury the cronyism and the corrupt state & council contracts going to the chosen few? Will we finally grow up as a country and throw off the cute hoor flat cap?