The self-serving, ‘cute-hoor’ response of the Government to the High Court decision in relation to the Donegal by-election is the latest twist in the epic tale of Ireland’s spiralling democratic deficit and outrageous contempt for the electorate by a rudderless government that is incapable of reform.
Ireland has now reached the stage where two Independent T.D.’s define our short-term political destiny. Michael Lowry is de facto Taoiseach and Jackie Healy-Rae is de facto Tánaiste. The credibility of social partnership has also imploded because this undemocratic process has been dysfunctional for at least a decade, despite the hundreds of millions of euro spent directly, and without due accountability, propping it up.
It has been seamlessly replaced by a plethora of consultants who believe the can charge the State what they want for services rendered because they control the market for these services. But these people, like the social partners, carry no risk and bear no burden. Why has the Government never reformed these markets? Is it a case that there are simply too many vested interests to appease?
Most believe the cost of the bank bailout at €45 billion to be utterly obscene but when citizens realise that is cost no less than €6.43 billion to actually acquire the next-to-worthless shares in these wretched banks they will be aghast – and not a single person is held accountable for this appalling debacle. This is what happens in a State with no bargaining power and no backbone.
This state of affairs is further compounded by an implosion of leadership, sound judgement and moral authority on the part of a number of key top-level civil servants and supine advisors whose own decisions, or tolerance of the decisions of others, are having a devastating impact on the wellbeing and reputation of our country – not just in relation to public spending but also in relation to the low calibre and doubtful qualifications of certain public sector appointments
It is impossible for the electorate to discern what game the Government are playing with respect to the decision to appeal the High Court decision concerning the Donegal South West by-election. But is certainly is not motivated by their consideration of the people and they are about to face very scorned voters.
Those who intend to be in government speak loquaciously about reform. They would need to extend their horizons in this regard beyond the trivia of 27 ministerial cars to removing the deadbeats whose incumbency of top-level positions in the civil service and connected advisors has this country in a state of paralyzing ambivalence and economic decay.
If a general election is to take place sooner, rather than later, those aspiring to power will need to have explicit, credible and compelling explanation of what exactly reform means in their universe - if they too are not to be greeted with scorn and derision. No more generic waffling please!