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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 31, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

    Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
        The flying cloud, the frosty light:
        The year is dying in the night;
    Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

    Ring out the old, ring in the new,
        Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
        The year is going, let him go;
    Ring out the false, ring in the true.

    Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
        For those that here we see no more;
        Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
    Ring in redress to all mankind.

     Ring out a slowly dying cause,
        And ancient forms of party strife; 
        Ring in the nobler modes of life,
    With sweeter manners, purer laws.

    Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
        The faithless coldness of the times;
        Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
    But ring the fuller minstrel in.

    Ring out false pride in place and blood,
        The civic slander and the spite;
        Ring in the love of truth and right,
    Ring in the common love of good.

    Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
        Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
        Ring out the thousand wars of old,
    Ring in the thousand years of peace.

    Ring in the valiant man and free,
        The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
        Ring out the darkness of the land,
    Ring in the Christ that is to be.
     

    I heard the writer P.D. James reading Tennyson’s poem on the radio and thought it would be a fitting note to end the year. Ring out the false, ring in the true is every journalist’s watchword. Ring out the feud of rich and poor? Looks like we may have more of that in the New Year, with a strong perception “out there” that the lower-paid are bearing an unfair amount of the burden in the current economic crisis.

    Ring out the thousand wars of old,/Ring in the thousand years of peace. The war in Afghanistan is intensifying and the next 12 months will probably be decisive. British public opinion is gradually turning against it, if I’m any judge. It was supposed to be about cutting off Al-Qaeda’s water but now we see they are training people in Yemen, a place most people could hardly find on a map. And certain societies in third-level institutions in Britain seem to be a  fertile recruiting-ground. Instead of expending blood and treasure in Afghanistan, perhaps the authorities in London should reflect that terrorism begins at home.

    Ring out a slowly dying cause,/And ancient forms of party strife. I’m afraid “ancient forms of party strife” are alive and well here and in other countries. But despite the wrangling, there is at least a consensus in the Dáil on what the basic problems are, although there are differences on the solution. It would be fascinating to see what a Fine Gael-Labour coalition did on the economy that differed in a really fundamental way from the policies of the present government.

    Speaking of the economy, the political star of the last 12 months, despite the tough decisions he announced at various times, was undoubtedly Brian Lenihan, Minister for Finance. He has had some bad news on the health front and nobody of any political persuasion is withholding their sympathy and support for him. As a former cancer patient myself, I have some idea what he must be going through. Here’s wishing him and his family well at this difficult time. Whatever political differences may exist, the whole country is behind the Minister on this one.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Who doesn’t wish Lenihan well. Do I feel sympathy? Not really.

      I’m afraid I simply cannot overlook how the so-called ‘top’ four running the government have messed up, or overlook the connection they all have: getting elected in the first instance through no talent or action they took but through the craven Irish attitude to those in authority. Oh your father was a TD, well that’s ok then we’ll vote for you too despite the record of that same father.

      Look at the fathers of Cowen, Lenihan, Coughlan and Hanafin – every one of them was a crony of CJH and now we have their children running the country into the ground like they did …

      I’m sorry but cancer does not give Lenihan a free pass on his role in creating the mess as a backbencher, a junior and a cabinet minister backing Ahern and Cowen to the hilt.

      Save your sympathy for those who also were diagnosed with cancer but who have lost jobs, have negative equity and are struggling to keep their heads above water. They’ll have to fight tooth and nail for whatever scraps of support the State will grudgingly give them.

      The more things change in Ireland the more they stay the same.

      We truly are a country not fit for purpose and it’ll take a sociologist and shrink to work out why we are so pathetic when others in Iran and elsewhere risk their lives to hold their leaders to account. Irish people can barely get off a bar stool when confronted with evidence of deep political corruption infecting every pillar of society and in turn facilitating the abuse of children by deference to the Church.

    • Pomme de Pratai says:

      Thank you for sharing this Deaglan, an apt and moving tribute to the passing year…beautifully described elsewhere in the paper as ‘Tennyson’s last sob’…what a poetic people we are!
      ‘Ring out the grief that saps the mind/For those that here we see no more’ has particular resonance…benighted as ‘we’ have been by that accursed disease…I scarcely dare to welcome 2010…but take comfort in the words all the same… I defy even the most hard-boiled politico not to be moved by the sentiments expressed…

    • Deaglán says:

      Desmond: You don’t have your facts right about the politics of the fathers of the four politicians you mention. I think I made a similar point to you in a previous comment but you took no notice. And B. Lenihan Jr. was not a backer of B. Ahern “to the hilt” by any means.

    • Pomme de Pratai says:

      Plus ca change plus ca meme chose…indeed!

    • Pomme de Pratai says:

      A thought for the New Year:

      ‘Watch your thoughts, for they become words
      Watch your words, for they become actions,
      Watch your actions,for they become habits,
      Watch your habits, for they become character,
      Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny’

      ‘Be kind for others are fighting their own battles’

      ‘Don’t let my Karma run over your Dogma’!

    • Deaglán says:

      Shouldn’t that be “c’est la meme chose”?

    • Pomme de Pratai says:

      Oui!

    • Pomme de Pratai says:

      That should have been ‘Oui…pardon, encore un fois’
      Merci…Pedantic Toi? As my inner Buddhist would say… Ommmm!

    • Pomme de Pratai says:

      That should have been ‘Ommm… :-) !

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Deaglán: Because you spend your days in the cosy comfort of Leinster House it’s perhaps unreasonalbe to expect you to be able to bite the hand that feeds you. That’s part of the problem in a small country like Ireland that those who are meant to hold others to account are often drinking buddies of the very people whose activities they are meant to report on.

      No one can possibly claim that Cowen, Lenihan, Coughlan and Hanafin Snr are an example we should follow in political terms? It’s not surprising their children have been such bad examples – no doubt great Fianna Fáil politicians – and such bad stewards of the country.

      It’s a sign of how deep in denial Irish people are about the uphill task we face in rebuilding the pillars of society we all played a part in destroying.

      Changing hundreds of years of a servile mentality will take time but the evidence of it so far is pretty slim.

      As a journalist Deaglán, to be honest I don’t want to know of your pints in the bar with politicians – in fact there shouldn’t even be a bar in Leinster House. Rather, I want to know what you have done to highlight the failings of those politicians you are so cosy with and what changes your journalistic work resulted in.

      And I’m afraid when you get so cosy and personally friendly with politicians you become unable to be objective. Guilt by association.

      So I disagree that there is anything to admire about the careers of the present crop of talentless leaders we have or their fathers and libel laws prevent me saying what I actually think of them. Some people are just not fit for public office. Most of them happen to join FF in Ireland but the real question is what is it about Irish people that they freely elect the very people they know are unfit for public office time and time again.

    • Deaglán says:

      Desmond: For your information, I do not drink. And I have not suggested there is anything to praise or blame about the individuals you mention, merely that you have your facts quite, quite wrong. You are putting people in alliances to which they did not belong, to the best of my knowledge. It’s also pretty nasty to write inaccurately and insultingly about people who are deceased, as three of the four fathers you mention happen to be. Happily the fourth is still with us and long life to him.

    • Alitig8tor says:

      As an independent observer/blogger, I am surprised to read the comments @ 10 above, that can only be described as a gratuitous attack on the professional integrity of a joint moderator of this blog. For someone allegedly familiar with libel law, you might wish to re/consider your position before the Defamation lawyers do. ‘Shocking to the world and Garret Riley’..whoever he might be!

    • Deaglán says:

      It’s not that bad, Allig8tor. He’s just letting off steam.

    • Alitig8tor says:

      Patience personified, Deaglan. A little adjustment on the pressure gauge might be appropriate to keep the lid on it…wouldn’t want him to blow a gasket…!

    • Paddy the Plastered Job seeker says:

      Very worthy of you Deaglan! Most noble and Mark Anthony of you to defend these dead Caesars of Fianna Fail! We shall not speak ill of the dead is another nice piece of Irish hypocrisy. Here Deaglán is another corpse to chew on. C.J. Haughey was a disgracefull crook and corrupt politician and he and his Fianna Fail ilk started the rot in this tiny outpost and Irish crony dynasty politics is part of that rot, so Des Fitz a merry and prosperous New Year and the same to Mr Lenihan

    • Deaglán says:

      If you are going to call somebody “disgraceful”, at least you could spell it right! CJH was the subject of a Tribunal report following prolonged hearings at Dublin Castle where he was given an opportunity to present his side of things. The report found that he had received very large sums of money from various individuals over the years.
      That kind of sober evidence-gathering and documentation of the facts is a totally different matter from factually inaccurate statements and unsubstantiated claims about other people who happen to be dead. In fact, one of them is happily still alive – DesFitz couldn’t even get that right.
      If Des has chapter and verse – I’m talking about real evidence – on the doings of any politician, let him produce it. So far he hasn’t. De mortuis nil nisi bonum is not a bad general rule, unless there is real evidence to justify abandoning it. But I suspect I might as well be talking to the wall.

    • Red Biddy says:

      ‘Mark Anthony’ ? is that a hairdresser…? Or did you mean Mark Antony…?Top marks for blog name tho’ and if you’re who I think you, make it your New Year resolution to focus your obvious talent productively…Oh! and use your spellcheck…

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      I think where Desmond is getting it wrong is, it is not the people that are the problem, and nor is it the family connections of any particular T.D. or Government Minister.

      Nor is it the Irish electorate. Our electoral system brings accountability right down to a named person on a ballot paper, and our multi-seat constituencies bring about a result roughly proportionate to the varied choices of the voters. If the voters want to vote for relatives of former politicians that is their prerogative. It is a feature of every career that people consider careers that their fathers, mothers, brothers went into before them and, as Professor Maurice Manning was reported as saying earlier this week, if politicians are not doing a good job then the voters will deal with them in an election, and family connections will not save them in that context.

      As for the wisdom of the voters when certain parties are no longer the answer I would point out that in the June local elections, 42 per cent voted other than Fianna Fail or Fine Gael, and I would wager, without having looked at the statistics for previous elections in detail, that this is a record.

      Des will probably will probably take my analysis with a grain of salt, because I am a Labour T.D. myself, but my tuppence-worth is that it is not that any of the Government members are bad at their jobs, descendants of former politicians, or lacking in integrity. It’s just that their political ideology that the free market is the answer to our needs as a people has turned out to be wrong. And they don’t know that, or are in denial, and nor does The Irish Times editorial writer (or writers). And it is up for us with a different outlook to persuade the voter in the next election that it is a time for a change in approach rather than just personnel.

    • Deaglán says:

      I suspect Desmond is not interested in the free-market versus State socialism issue, Joanna. He comes across as a member of the Get-FF-Out-At-Any-Price brigade, even though FF and FG share the same free-market-but-pragmatic ideology.
      It strikes me that Labour will want to get its “pound of flesh” in any coalition arrangement with FG. Something like the Wealth Tax of 1973-77. The third tax rate might be more problematic.

    • Red Biddy says:

      I am sometimes reminded of a bear pit when reading this blog. For some reason the alpha male contributors think it is fair game to hold the journalists, actually Deaglán, accountable for the shortcomings of their politicans. Frequently the rules of sportsmanship are abandoned and the topic degenerates into a virtual ‘blood sport’. This is usually when Joanna steps in to reminds us, that in a democracy, political accountability rests with the voter at the ballot box. At the risk of repeating myself ‘the problem with democracy is that stupid people are allowed to vote’… Comparisons with Iran are preposterous. Historically, Irish blood was spilled to secure political freedoms how the voter exercises those freedoms is a matter for him (apologies to the sisterhood). The Civil War differences have cast a long shadow in Ireland and will continue to do so in Irish politics for some time yet… If you don’t like the system change it…if you don’t like the blog don’t read it.The freedom of choice… To continue the sporting analogy ‘play the ball’…

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      It’s always interesting to see how people react to comments about accountability.

      There are those who say you can’t speak ill of the dead, retired, elderly or the ill – no matter what the consequences of their bad decisions have been. I dare say if Bertie Ahern were to drop dead or get cancer then suddenly he’d become a saint – that’s how stupid and weakminded the Irish are. You’d think 100 years into statehood we’d have got past the colonial mentality – it seems not.

      I happen to think it is essential to face up to what went on before if we are to learn from those mistakes for the future.

      I wish Brian Lenihan Snr could explain to the Irish people why he was so loyal to someone who treated him so badly.

      To make sure the same mistakes are not repeated, in politics, business, law or the church, we as a people have to face up to why those events took place, who allowed them to take place, who benefited and how we prevent them occurring again. Also people have to be held to account. Just like we demand bishops resign for what in some cases they didn’t do as much as what they did, why doesn’t this apply to politicians?

      I have listened to people claim to be shocked at the level of abuse of children in Ireland that takes place – and I mean ‘takes’ not ‘took’. Yet when I was adopted in 1972 my birth mother lived with my birth father and his wife and their children as the alternative was she would end up in a Magdalene prison. So in 1972 a women, who had been greatly wronged, had enough compassion to know it was wrong to inflict an even bigger wrong onto the younger women who had wronged her. So people knew but chose not to face up to it. Just like I hear people moan about the government and then discover they either don’t bother to vote or vote for the same person everytime and they can’t seem to make the link!

      There are consequence to the actions of bad politicians.

      Maurice M is only right only up to a point. The problem is the Irish electorate don’t ‘deal’ with bad politicians – if only they did.

      I don’t think it is a free market or socialism question either. It is getting the right balance from both – which by copying every mistake the UK makes Ireland has failed to do. If we learnt from best practice in countries with more similar demographics to us like in Austria, Denmark, Israel or the Netherlands then we might get more equality.

      When it comes to policy I can agree that politicans in FG, Lab, Ind and even new SF sit around and develop policy on its merits. The Green party won’t exist after the next election. But I simply can not conceive of a single FF politican doing likewise.

      FF has never produced a Just Society document, it has never had intellects like John Kelly or Justin Keating or Frank Cluskey (Dr Mans from Tipp – gimme a break!) and many others who genuinely tried to do their best for everyone fairly based on a policy. FF doesn’t have that mindset – it never had given it was not founded on any policy issue but on one person’s ego who couldn’t accept he was wrong and accept the majority opinion.

      While I would support FG in many ways I’d actually be quite happy with a wealth tax or property tax or whatever is needed as long as it goes toward helping lift up those who need to be lifted up. I am happy to pay more if it goes to the right people, i.e., to those less well-off. I don’t want any of my tax going to people like me or those richer than me or to banks.

      I want to see people going to jail, I want to see rich people losing their homes too, I want FOI to cover everything and every piece of information within the government available. Knowing that every decision taken by senior civil servants and politicians is accessible will do more to tackle the culture of cronyism than any number of tribunals.

      There’s no such thing as a perfect country but if somewhere like Sweden or Norway can be close then so can Ireland.

      That means having that unpleasant debate that actually not every TD is fit for office, some are liars and crooks, some are frauds and those who are need to be identified and held to account. Those who are not need to prove it and then get on with showing they are fit to govern.

      FF has shown it is not fit to govern but FG and L have a long way to go to show they are fully fit. Fitter than FF sure. But a good start might be each providing honest proper accounts of where they get money from, what it gets spent on and all their public reps publishing receipts for every cent they claim in expenses and allowances – whether they have to or not. That would be a start.

    • Deaglán says:

      Thanks Red Biddy but I am able to look after myself! I have no problem with Desmond’s point of view. His latest comment shows very clearly where he is coming from. But I have a consistent concern to ensure that anything written about persons living or dead is factually-based. Even politicians are entitled to the presumption of innocence!

    • Red Biddy says:

      I have no doubt you are able to ‘look after yourself’ Deaglán. I am merely commenting on the frequency of ‘personal’ rather than political points. For some reason Harry does not come in for the same vitriolic criticism. If it has taken this and Joanna to restore some semblance of civility to this debate so be it. Perhaps if your critics spent their energy organising in their communities holding their representatives to account in meetings rather than putting the world to rights in this blog they might be more effective. Happily I am back at work tomorrow so I will leave this ‘discussion’ to what is essentially a male club as I think I may have intimated elsewhere.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Given what we know about how politics is done in Ireland – given what politicans have done in Ireland I rather think they have lost the presumption of innocence.

      Think of all the people who were shushed up years ago when they mentioned low standards in high places – look how right they were.

      As you like factual evidence Deaglán, where is the evidence that politics is carried out in Ireland any differently to the way it was 30 years ago?

      I await the Tribunal report with interest to see how the establishment balance the pretence of seeming to hold people to account without actually doing so.

    • Deaglán says:

      Red Biddy: It is not a male club, thanks to contributors like yourself and Joanna. Thanks for your comments on the rather nasty tinge that some of the contributions take on from time to time. It is a distasteful feature of the Blogosphere. I hope you will continue to bring your special note of civility and good humour to the proceedings. And don’t forget the occasional smiley :-)

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Was it not a fair point that it’s not credible for an Irish pol corr (Deaglán in this case as it’s his blog) to be subjective about the same politicans they are meant to report on and hold to account when they are all so pally.

      I don’t think my low opinion of politicans and some pol corrs is unjustified because people like you know what politicians get up (ie the whole cancer thing) but self-censor. Lenihan’s illness was ‘leaked’ by a close associate after calculating that others wouldn’t run with it but one would break cover to get the scoop and in the process that reporter will get a blasting and Lenihan gets the sympathy vote and the cancer issue will be thrown back in the face of anyone who tries to tackle Lenihan on his failings as Minister and all the steps he has taken to protect the golden circle of cronies who bankroll his party. Like father like son.

      You think I’m wrong or too cynical? I’m pretty sure my source is watertight and my assessment of why the info was leaked is 100% correct.

      I’ll remind you of this in 20 years – just like those who had the courage to mention what was known about the CJH-Lenihan crony group 20 years ago were proven right.

    • Deaglán says:

      Your theory about the Lenihan leak is NUTS. And I didn’t know about his illness so did not have the luxury of deciding to report or not to report it. As usual your comments have little or no relation to the facts nor do you seem prepared to make any effort to accumulate facts.

    • Mark says:

      Fair play for keeping the lid on this one, Deaglán.

      In my opinion Des Fitz’s stance is typical of a growing number of people who see politics in a very maximal sort of way. As if everyone in Fianna Fáil is a crook, everyone is Sinn Féin is a terrorist and everyone in Labour a socialist-sell-out. It’s a lazy way to view the world and does nothing for the development of discourse or discussion in the country.

      Of course, as the current political climate would suggest, Fianna Fail and the Greens are getting most of the vitriol from this type at the moment. Some, perhaps, deservedly so. One would guess however that this would be slightly more tilted in the FG direction had they won in 2007, that type doesn’t do nuance or informed debate.

      It’s worrying however when one cannot distinguish between sympathising with a person and a politician. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, which some may forget. A lazy standpoint, Des.

      Deaglán,
      calling the type of person rhetoric Des spews “a distasteful feature of the Blogosphere”, equates to calling people who read the Daily Mail a “distastful feature of the media”.

      Des isn’t a blogger as far as I can tell – at least not a respected one – he just reads your blog. I’d read most of the prominent Irish blogs and have never seen his name appear. Big media tend to attract that type of comment, lesser known media – like the better known Irish blogs – more civil comments, in my opinion, though that’s likely a post for another day.

    • Deaglán says:

      Thanks for that interesting contribution, Mark. I actually rather like Des. He’s a straight shooter although he tends to miss the target. A technical point: as a commentator on a blog, he is part of the Blogosphere. Since I started contributing to this blog about 18 months ago, I have been surprised at the nastiness and vehemence of many comments. Nobody seems to care about a disinterested pursuit of the truth, they only want to get in getting their point of view across and win the argument, without too much concern for civility. Sad, really. :-(

    • barbera O'Shokenzy says:

      Get well soon Brian Lenihan who is obviously doing the best job he can, along with the Taoiseach. Ring out the Desmond FitzGeralds and ignorance of every kind.

    • Mark says:

      Sad indeed that that is your experience. I’d disagree with your opinion that people leaving comments here would be members of the blogosphere, as you’d probably suspect.

      I’d put someone who doesn’t blog but leaves comments in the same category as someone who read newspapers and writes letters to the editor. The only difference being a hell of a lot more letters are published and less are filtered by a letters page editor. Calling a commenter and member of the blogosphere the same as calling a letter-to-the-editor writer a member of the media, no?

    • Deaglán says:

      Letter-writers are part of the newspaper sphere! In fact the Letters Page is often the first page I read after Page One. Anyway it’s a minor detail. The real issue is, why do so many people who write comments sound like members of the Moody Loners with Handguns Association? There are others, of course, who have very interesting and well-thought-out views.

    • Brían says:

      “Ring out the false, ring in the true is every journalist’s watchword.” It’s interesting that there was nothing added at the end of that quote. I think most would agree that the media holds a highly influential position in society. On that note I am not surprised that there is little self analysis coming from the media on the part that they most undoubtedly played in creating and sustaining the boom that led to the current bust. “Ring in the hype” he should have written.

    • Deaglán says:

      Can u be more specific? Sweeping allegations are not of much value. D

    • Brían says:

      Are you denying it?

    • Deaglán says:

      I think you are generalising too much. There was an excellent programme on RTE, presented by Richard Curran, which warned about the property boom and its dangers. There may have been other elements of the media who were less alert. You will have to be specific, sweeping generalisations get us nowhere. I know Harry has written about a certain academic who was singing a particular tune and appeared to sing a different one when the recession started. Sorry, Brian, you will have to be specific!

    • Anna Livia Plurabelle says:

      Fitz’s disclosures about his antecedents are, to say the least ‘interesting’…and maybe not that unusual in repressed Ireland.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Re 27: Why is it nuts? I’ll record the next chat I have exchanging political gossip.

      I wish I had recorded my grandfather telling me in the early 90s that Bertie Ahern cashed his pay cheque in his local pub – my gramps lived on Botanic Avenue.

      My other gramps lived long enough to have expressed his opinion on Dev and CJH – he was also proven right both times and he his opinion of both wasn’t high – to put it mildly.

      Of course both were nuts – not so much as history has proven. The point being most people know exactly what goes on but they don’t have a daily newspaper opinion piece to draw the actions of politicans to the public’s attention.

      They can only mention it to their grandson whiling away a Sunday afternoon.

      I don’t think my comments are ill informed or personal for the sake of it.

      In order for things to change Ireland requires a massive change in attitude and practices. That requires being blunt and telling lots of people ‘this is how it is from now on, so tough’. No one likes change or being made face up to their role in creating a mess ie those who vote FF/PD or who were cheerleaders for the golden circle.

      It doesn’t mean the rest of us should spare their feelings.

    • Red Bidser says:

      Thanks for 25 above…however after just one day back I no longer know if I’m animal vegetable or mineral…is there a smiley with ‘gone to bed eyes’ as someone once said…? If the above ‘discussion’ was taking place in a bar there’d be an unjasus row… manana…zzzzzz

    • Paddy the plastered Job seeker says:

      Red Biddy takes me to task for my spelling and then proceeds to spell though as tho? and seems to think she knows me ? whats that lunacy about,Biddy? She says”If you are who I think you” ? and shes the one who takes me to task for my spelling?
      (Deaglan I hope you are still waiting for the return of Bertie,Now theres a man who couldnt spell or even speak the english language.)

      ***

      The corruption at the heart of Fianna Fail and the endless tribunals which everyone knows are expensive and endless means that CJ and Burkes legacy have not been curtailed and that is Disgraceful

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      In relation to Mark’s comment, I keep up to date with a few political blogs and I don’t think the comments on this one are particularly uncivil. The debates are about politics (and religion) after all and this blog gets a lot of comments, which is a good thing, and the debates that ensue are interesting, including often the comments that step over the mark in terms of civility.

      When you are a politician you get to learn that there is a widely-held view that politicians are seen as fair game for insults and sweeping statements and you to try not to take it personally. There is often a touch of that in relation to people’s view of the media and those that work in it. I am even guilty of that myself.

    • kynos says:

      Perhaps, Ms Tuffy, if politicians in this country were to behave differently, perhaps start accepting reasonable criticism instead of ducking and covering and making excuses, or more commonly refusing to say anything at all, heads down say nothing. Perhaps if the good ones were a bit more vocal in calling bad behaviour in their peers and in their own parties, as well as opposition parties. Perhaps if there was just a touch more honesty about the whole Irish political paradigm we would not feel it fair game to shower our contumely on ye. Being powerless as we are in this ossified system to do anything other. Right now my trust in Irish politics is completely dead, or good as. In the past 15 years (certainly the last 8 in which I’ve meself been paying attention) Irish politics and Irish politicians have done very little other than betray this country to the three Deadlies the Proclamation warns us about. Cowardice. Inhumanity. Rapine. Wasn’t it Pearse who warned also that Ireland’s leaders always betray Her in time of need? Change that and you’ll change our view of ye.

    • Joanna Tuffy says:

      Kynos,
      I’m not complaining about the fair game view of politicians. You don’t waste your time worrying if you have been slandered or not when people accuse you of being corrupt etc.

      I love being a politician and the flip side is how people are so thankful when you do the smallest task on their behalf or raise some issue they feel strongly about.

    • ? says:

      I rest my case….

    • kynos (I beg yer pardon. John O'Driscoll) says:

      Some judge was lately at pains to point out that corrupt doesn’t necessarily mean dishonest, Ms Tuffy. Corrupt might just mean failing to perform one’s appointed tasks properly. Don’t think being called corrupt is any sort of grounds for an action in slander (tho’ not a lawyer). Wouldn’t worry about it on that basis solely. Anyway, you can’t be sued for what you say in the Dáil, which must be lovely. But surprisingly, very few seem to say very much of note at all. Whether we call it The Golden Circle, the Tentizens (after the wigwam in Ballybrit), the Elites, the Banksters, Fianna Fail, or a hellish combination of all of the above, gangsters is what the lot of them are, in my honest opinion and they’re more than welcome to sue me. Though an expression involving “knickers” and “bare ar..bottom” springs to mind.

    • John O'Driscoll) says:

      Nice to meet you and glad you love your work. Must be very frustrating and at the same time gratifying, as you say. It’s all local so it is.


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