This week the love him or loathe him Libertarian Lefty rural hero-villain Luke Ming Flanagan came a cropper. Seemingly hoist by his own petard, after being exposed as having committed the very same corrupt act that he himself had railed against. His excuses ringing hollow and naive at best. Serves him right is fair comment and he was quite rightly exposed for his hypocrisy. Off with his hypocritical little head, came the cry from the establishment and media. Of course what they really meant was, get that little mouthy git and get him good. Not for the crime of having his points wiped. For them, Luke’s biggest crime was telling on the system, naming names and breaking the conspiracy of silence.
There are 60,000 or so more cases of point wiping, all potentially as bad or worse than Ming’s offence. When these were brought up, the desire to shoot the messenger was palpable and there was ZERO official outrage at the implications of those 60,000 wipings. Comparing the muted establishment reaction that greeted the new Lowry revelations to the hysteria over Ming tells you all you need to know.
Ming has been taken out and shot with outrage by those who couldn’t have cared less about the other cases or about the identites of other not-named Oireachtas members. Ming’s fall from grace has proven that points can be improperly wiped and are wiped. The outrage is that Ming is a hypocrite and not that there are thousands of others in the same boat that everyone in authority wants to forget about. No calls for any other heads were issued, only sympathy that they’d been associated with the rat was forthcoming.
Independent TD Luke Ming Flanagan commented:“This country should protect whistleblowers, it never has and it’s one of the reasons we’re in the hole we are in. We need to protect whistleblowers.”
So the flawed hypocritical whistleblower is to be reviled and to be cast out and all is to go back to normal. Exposed and disposed of, by a paper with an agenda of returning FF to power, the party whose leader they backed to the hilt when he was in the tribunals, rubbishing whistleblowers and witnesses, and pleading for understanding for human failings.
Their mission in taking out Ming was to say “ ah sure they’re all the same, FF are not so bad after all”. Their rehab mission on FF is working, as they are now up to 29% in today’s opinion poll. A party who has increased the National Debt to a figure approaching the cost of building 2m houses and handing them out for free, but of course there are no free houses, just enormous mortgages.
NAMA, secrecy, payoffs and pensions, a culture of impunity for the powerful combined with shooting the whistleblowers. We never stood a chance of finding out where the money went and we are left with the 2 ½ parties that run the country this way playing musical chairs in perpetuity.
The media advises against voting in radicals who might try and change things, preferring instead to trust a leaderless disinterested and frustrated public to just do what they’re told by the same actors again and again, and that somehow the great unwashed will have reformed themselves which will somehow reform the body politic by osmosis. They the powerful corrupt and their corrupting media set the agenda, they control the message and their message is things are fine the way they are, so they won’t set a reform agenda that threatens their backer’s interests and the status-quo.
Reform without change is impossible. People are led, by the media, by giants like Dev and Collins, by idealism. This country won’t willingly be reformed by those who benefit from it the way it is. To capture the public’s imagination will require new actors and new players.
I’m not naive enough to think that SF/Others would be radically different, but they are different, they’re a threat to the hegemony of the established parties and they’re quite brave about how they vote in Parliaments. Taking on the conservative block on abortion both north and south, while the cute-hoors prevaricate and wring their hands.
They are useful and expendable and crucially they are diluting the power of conservatism and cronyism in the South. To achieve their goal of reunification, they have to do more than get re-elected, they have to produce a country fit for reunification, something that requires the radical reform that the 2 1/2 parties and the Irish establishment and their media don’t want at all.