Dec 31, 2009

State of the nation

It is a sad and sobering event when a senior Minister in charge of Education comes out and proceeds to spout his confidence in a dying leader. Cowen is a ghost. He looks like he has given up and Batt O'Keeffe's words are so at odds with the mood of the country that it would be laughable if these people were not in charge of running the country.

"This fellow has bottle and has a fabulous vision. He has a virtuous vision of Ireland. It’s unsullied by selfishness or any other machination. His approach is for the common good which he’ll put before anything personal.

There’s no leader who is closer to Fianna Fáil as a party and has the interest of the party at heart more than he has. It would hurt him very much if the party suffered under his leadership. And come the next elections, I believe we can come good."

Oh yes, St Biffo. The incapable leader. The man who was minister for Finance and did nothing to check government spending. The man who has fumbling every through, has vested interests in Anglo Irish, property developments, the catholic church and maintaining a stranglehold on the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Brian Cowen missed two press conferences on his latest trip to China (around the time of Lisbon 2) because he was hungover. The man was asked on national television whether he had a drinking problem.

O Keeffe

believes no one has examined how a government and a taoiseach with historically low popularity ratings has managed to survive one of the biggest political crises to have occurred since the foundation of the State.

He is wrong. People have asked that question every day. The fact is that the whip system ensures party support on pain of explusion. When threats don't work then Healy Rae gets a new hospital of Kenmare and other bribes are dispensed.

The role of the Whip is primarily that of the disciplinarian for all Government Parties i.e. to ensure that all deputies, including Ministers, attend for Dáil Business and follow the Government line on all issues.

This is why the opposition cannot win a vote of no confidence. No appeals to sense, reason or rationality works because deputies vote whatever way they are told to. Why lose the support of the party on an issue that only affects the "plain people of Ireland"?

The only way to get rid of the government is social unrest or violent action. Historically neither has been particularly effective. Of course, it would help if people did not vote for the boy from around the corner. Parochialism is one of the most corrupting influences in Ireland today. Add cronyism into the bargain and the result is a failed state. On the surface it may look ok but underneath it is rotten to the core.

I applied for disability allowance. I have a condition that is debilitating and covered in the documentation on disability. I had the testimony and reports from five doctors. I did not go to my local TD. It took twelve months and three rejections before I received the allowance. I know that I could have probably got it in three if I had asked my TD to put pressure on the Department of Social and Family Affairs. But I don't want to live in that kind of country.

The institutions of the state are corrupt and confused. The Minister for Education flaunts his feigned ignorance of the ability of the electorate to with their consent to be governed by this shower of gombeen men and women.

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