Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

Banking inquiry? I’d rather an almighty kick in the goolies.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 25, 2013 in Irish Politics

May the saints preserve us from a f**king parliamentary banking inquiry. Why? Let me give you two reasons:

1. Hours and hours of politicians pontificating, striking poses, crawling over each other trying to prostrate themselves in front of the Irish people, each one trying to distance himself or herself further from bankers (both morally, and in some cases, probably geographically. I can imagine a few dramatic “I will not breath the same air as these people who have inflicted so much pain on the Irish people, like a family I met in Fethard recently who told me…” walkouts) and their ilk.

It’ll be unbearable, and all on the clock. They’ll be paid for hamming it up, each one trying to look more indignant than the fella before, one horrible “A Few Good Men” re-enactment after another.

And acres and acres of media coverage and Vincent Browne sighing and “today, at the banking inquiry…” and basically a repeat of all the same shite we have been listening to since 2008. For the love of God, please, NO!

2. And for what? What do we actually do with the report the day after it is published. It can’t be used in any criminal prosecution, so what is it actually for? Are we basically holding this so that the government can say that it did something? To attempt to distract from the fact that hardly anybody will go to jail? That this is basically “something”?

But you know what the most depressing thing about this whole affair is? It’s not that we live in a country full of corrupt politicians, because we don’t. At least if we did we could choose to vote them out.

No, this is worse. See, I have no doubt that Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour would love to be able to convict a few of these guys, because it would take the pressure off them and prove that the system works.

The sad thing is that Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour just haven’t got the abilities, the skills, the brains, to have crafted the laws and equipped the Guards to deal with white collar crime at this level.

We are run by people we elected who can just about run a country in the 1950s, but are out of their depth running a hyper-complex 21st century €150 billion economy. In an age of brain surgeons and software engineers and bio-technicians, we elect well meaning used-car salesmen who first heard of Facebook last year, and call the internet a fad.

Every member of the Chinese cabinet is a university graduate. We elect people to write detailed legislation to govern everything from the ethics of bio-technology to the protection of personal identity in a global network because they’re good at hurling, and we think it’s a good idea.

That’s why nobody will go to jail.


An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The White Collar Trial.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 25, 2013 in Irish Politics, Not quite serious.
Still, at least we get to see some state funded transvestitism.

Still, at least we get to see some state funded transvestitism.

Repost: The central issue, that wealthy powerful people abuse their positon to enrich themselves, gets pushed to the back of the line very quickly. The issue becomes one of “due process” and people’s right to “their good names”. Isn’t it funny how the bigger the crime, the greater the concern about people’s “good name”? If we had tried Hitler here, learned counsel would have tried to hold back the testimony of camp survivors, instead speaking of Hitler as a pillar of the community and a member of the local Toastmasters chapter. “And as for his alleged hatred of people of the Jewish faith, m’lud, I challenge anyone to prove that these lists are not in fact to ensure that all of his Jewish friends get a nice card at Hanukkah, and anyone who says different will find a writ heading in their direction!”

Next stage is the fact that our legislators spend so much time fiddling expenses and corrupting the planning process that they have little time to pass modern corporate governance or anti-corruption legislation, so we end up prosecuting people under archaic laws like the Corrupt Practices (Cattle Rustling and Chastity Belt Tampering) Act 1889. This leads to the alleged having to be found guilty by providing documentation signed in the blood of twelve virgins and true confirming the fact.

Finally, if we are even lucky to reach that stage, the jewel in the crown of Irish judicial tomfoolery: The inability to get a fair trial. Marvel as the accused claim that they cannot get a fair trial because the media has turned the country against them, and the jury did not arrive in a sealed pod from Venus having never heard of, well, anything.

Cue collapse of trial, public outrage, questions as to why the government didn’t just pass legislation ages ago to move this stuff to the Special Criminal Court (After all, these guys have nearly brought down the state in a way the Provos could only have dreamed of) and promises of a public inquiry to investigate. Now press Reset for next trial.

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