What a difference a year makes … or maybe not

I’d kind of forgotten all about this post. It was brought back to me when I had a look at my visitor stats and noticed someone with an ISP from Fianna Fáil headquarters doing a trawl for blog posts on ‘Bertiegate’. A little worried up at Mount Street, are we?

In retrospect, of course, I think I was a little easy on de Taoiseach. I’m still of the view that there isn’t – so far – hard evidence of anything beyond general sliminess and misjudgement. The inconsistencies that have arisen since then obviously strengthen the case against him, and darken the cloud over his head, to a degree that would embarrass most western leaders into stepping down. But again, this is Ireland we’re talking about, and Fianna Fáil. Even if Bertie goes – and don’t get me wrong, he should – the state is still going to be run by people to whom the going rate of a terraced house is money to be casually handed out to ‘friends’. And it’s still going to be run for those people, which to my mind is the real scandal.

I’ve been struck by this over the past couple days, with the news about Tuesday's Garda shooting in Dublin. That’s obviously a serious and newsworthy story but for God’s sake does nobody see the link between the greed that leads to that kind of behaviour, and the kind that results in fatcats having enormous sums of cash to distribute in ‘whiparounds’ for politicians, and the kind that results in stories like this one? What, apart from the social class of the participants, is the real difference? Thousands of people die in this country every year as a result of poverty, inequitable access to essential health care or other forms of government malfeasance which occur as a direct result of the privileging of the business class at the expense of everyone else - are their lives worth less than the relative handful of people killed by working class gangsters? I don’t think so.

The plain fact of the matter is that this state is controlled by people who have no regard for the law, no concern for anyone else’s well-being and no interest more pressing than stuffing their own pockets. It should hardly come as a surprise to them that some of the proles want in on the action, and are equally indifferent to the consequences of the means they have at their disposal.

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