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The Insiders

An overview of the pensions drawn by ex politicians published this week, has proved that now more than ever, Ireland is a holiday resort for insiders and the truly delusional.In the past number of weeks and months, much has been spoken of the great progress of the Irish EU/IMF programme, of how the Irish nation have taken a "mature" approach to the pain dished out and the inevitability of more to come. I will admit to having taken such a "mature" approach initially. Bigger fool me, I was under the impression that we were all equals in this supposed democracy and that no citizen, other than a common criminal, would pilfer their fellow, hard stretched people, so they can dine out on the fruits of cosy cartel relationships and self avoiding but dictatorially imposed austerity.

Just this week an extensive piece appeared in a number of media publications on the ministerial pensions paid out by the hard pressed Irish citizen. I gazed upon column inches of mind boggling annual pension payments, gulping intensively to ensure the nausea I was experiencing remained metaphorical. John Bruton, a self announced Charlatan, the head of the IFSC, receives €141,849 in pension payments at the same time as he continues to earn handsomely from daily activities, at a time where he insists on the need for all of society to experience pain, yet continually lobbies to ensure our financial services sector and corporate sector remain protected. The delusion and arrogance certainly does not stop there. You have the likes of Peter Sutherland drawing his pension, while simultaneously leading the charge of the biggest criminal empire on the planet, Goldman Sachs, all at a time he insists our €188 a week social welfare payments are too "lavish". Dick Spring, the "cute houre" socialist seems to take no issue in drawing nearly €90,000 in ministerial pension payments alone while 6 young people in his own ex constituency commited suicide due to unemployment and mental health cuts in one week just recently. The list goes on and on, with some of the biggest failures in Irish political history earning the most money in pension payments. One has to ask oneself, why do we continue to stand for it? Why are we not out ramming the gates of the houses of the insiders, Leinster House. I would never encourage violence of any means, however, with the exception of the "Ballyhea/Charleville" group of protesters it seems that Ireland cannot even whimper a verbal response to the gross abuse of her people. Why?

How come the GAA fraternity and the people of Cavan can rally around a family who made their businesses fork out (no pun intended) €100,000 for a wedding cake? How come they can rustle up a mere €2,000,000 to protect the interests of a former billionaire family still with extensive assets and cash who blatantly disregard the court of this very state, yet, these same people pay scant regard to €1,000,000,000 in a bond payment paid for by the Irish people, though not incurred by them, at the same time as their "protest rally". Young men and women in their fellow counties emigrate and commit suicide and receive no such support or displays of solidarity. People in the west can mobilise over turf cutting yet pensioners get robbed and murdered in their own home in the same region and no such anger is vented. 

Have we become extremely passive as a society due to centuries of plundering at the hands of other nations, religious orders and now vested interests and banks? That argument doesn't stand up, because as illustrated above, we can mobilise when we want to. If I am perfectly honest I think we are an enormously immature society, as was prevalent this week more than ever. A politician genuinely interested in reform and working diligently has had to resign due to the inadequacy and frankly borderline corrupt actions, of a senior colleague. What have a huge percentage of Irish society and media done? Rather than embrace and encourage the actions of this brave woman, they have questioned her motives. This same week a minister has grabbed the headlines for acting like a bigot and writing letters, encouraging a county council discriminate. Just this morning, members of a "societal representative" panel on Newstalk claimed that none of us would like to live next to travellers. Sorry folks, I don't want to live next to trouble makers, this quiet traveller family can come live next to me anytime. But most illustrative of our immaturity has been the reaction to the Pro Choice march which took place in Dublin yesterday. I have always been pro choice, I believe a woman should be left decide what to do with her own body, but only up to a certain stage in a pregnancy, however I would hope that would never cloud my wider judgement of the facts. Last night, after this march, the opposing factions didn't seem to possess such clarity. They weren't debating the morality or immorality of abortion nor the rights of the unborn child versus the rights of the woman, last nights debate centred around who had more people at their representative marches. At stages it appeared that this enormously important topic was being debated by a group of children in a creche, such was the level of intelligence of discussion being heralded. All these events and our reactions go to prove our immaturity. 

Every day we complain or listen to cribbing about inequality, bond holder payments, the public service inefficiency and private sector greed and lack of integrity. We love to shout and scream amongst close friends but leave the protests and implementation of change to someone else. Our own minister for public sector REFORM cannot even carry out the role his entire department was assembled to do. While he fobs the tough decisions, we accept that yet again nothing has changed, public servants starting out their careers get squeezed and bashed by the media, yet the whole time top level public servants, unions and politicians continue the gorging aboard the gravy train, happy in the knowledge that Irish people are too dim to kick up a real fuss. Yet modern Ireland rolls on, young people commit suicide every day, families are torn apart every day through emigration and discrimination and now with the exception of a small few media commentators and journalists like Carol Hunt, Constantin Gurdiev, Harry McGee, Stephen Donnelly TD and Vincent Browne, the media circle their wagons around their own crowd to create their own positive spin. It makes me sick. Next time you complain about that bond payment or cut in some vital service, just remember, it's time to stop the blame game, because your and my immaturity have led us to this point. Our passive nature is to blame. We elected these people, we accept the corruption, discrimination and inequality with open arms, time to face up to that reality.


  1. Thank you Diarmaid for above post.

    Most regrettable, but all so true, - passivity being our middle name.

    btw - Very much appreciate your positive ref to Dr. Gurdgiev!




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