Posted by Jason O on Aug 5, 2012 in Irish Politics
Most Irish politicians are liars. The curious thing is that only some of them actually know it. I have met elected officials who have genuinely not been aware that they were lying. “But we didn’t bring in a local tax. We promised not to. We brought in a local charge!” Some of them actually believe it themselves when they say stuff like this to you. Then there are others who do know they are lying and just don’t care. Of course, it’s questionable as to who are the biggest liars, the government or the opposition? One thing is certain, the opposition have a lot more to lose, because they aren’t in power, and getting caught lying can keep them out, whereas if you lie whilst in power and get caught, you’re still in power.
When I was in boarding school (yes, I was) we had a system at dinner of carving up an apple tart. One guy would cut it, and it would be passed around, with him getting the last slice, the idea being that he had a self-interest in making sure the slices were cut fairly. Here’s a thought: Why not let the opposition set Oireachtas salaries and pensions and holidays, once a year? They decide, in full public view, what politicians get paid. They also get to demonstrate to the public what they are really like with power, whether they are different, or just like the same fellas we have on the government benches.
Of course, all that assumes that the Irish public have the attention span to notice stuff like this.