Holding politicians to account

 

Sir, – I don’t agree with everything Una Mullally says, but some of her points are salient (Opinion, October 25th).

Politicians in power make choices. This is especially true of those who have been in power for a long time. Those choices reflect their personal belief system, or worse represent a willingness to abandon their own flimsily-held beliefs depending on what way the wind is blowing. If politicians lack principles, they simply consider politics a career choice and enjoy the fame and power.

Genuflecting in front of social media companies because they invest in Ireland, while ignoring their terrifying impact on citizens of the world, is far worse than hypocrisy. These companies have been used to attack the foundations of democracy; and their algorithms contribute to the enormous global mental health crisis in teens and young adults.

Politicians who choose to ignore these facts must have their principles questioned. We have a right to ask what kind of people govern us. Of course personalised attacks on people’s properties and families are never, ever justified. This is a universal truth. It does not mean we can consider sacrificing our right to criticise political decisions and the people who make them. Democracy needs us to question the motives of our politicians.

We need to know if they represent the majority of citizens or a lobby of small, but wealthy and powerful businesses.

Representative democracy is being stolen by big tech and those with the money and power to influence it. We must do everything in our power to halt their progress.

– Yours, etc,

ANN-MARIE HAYES,

Stoneybatter,

Dublin 7.