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.