Rat Gnaws Mast Of Sinking Ship

A member of the Green Party (not me, never was and never will be) writes:

Lowest standard once again wins the day – The Irish Times – Thu, Feb 18, 2010

O’Dea has damaged our democratic process in three distinct ways: he has falsely maligned a candidate in an election; he has given false evidence to the High Court upon which it relied; and thirdly, and perhaps most damning of all, he has declared from the Dáil, the very centre of our democracy, that his conduct is perfectly acceptable and that those who would take him to task are hypocrites.

I am saddened both as a lawyer and member of the Green Party, but perhaps mostly as a citizen, that last night the Dáil supported a motion of confidence in Willie O’Dea. There was something pathetic about it all, a mean-spirited loyalty to colleague over country, a reinforcement of the sense of them and us, an overarching and deep feeling that once again the lowest standard wins the day.

Watching O’Dea in the Dáil yesterday was almost surreal, like watching an imperturbable giant rat gnaw its way through the mast of a leaking ship on troubled seas, with most of the crew lighting their own farts, calling for to let the rat get on with it as though it were their only hope.

Why does Fianna Fáil persist in such scandalous conduct, at the height of a massive economic crisis, as public trust in political institutions sinks to new lows? For the same reason that a dog licks its own bollocks: because it can. The only thing Fianna Fáil exists for is the consolidation of power in the hands of a gombeen bourgeoisie, to use Perry Anderson’s attractive term once more. It has no truck with truth, or justice, or democracy, whenever the application of such concepts conflicts with its own ends.

I used to think Fianna Fáil corruption was of secondary importance to the broader matters of class domination and corporate power in Irish society. But it is becoming fairly clear to me, somewhat belatedly, that its bare-faced corruption, with the corrosive disenchantment and apathy that it creates among vast swathes of the population, is in itself a devastatingly effective instrument for maintaining the rule of the gombeen bourgeoisie. It reduces the idea of politics to junk, to a series of farcical set-pieces in which private morality is the order of the day, electoral politics is a sham and democratic participation is kept to an absolute minimum. The role of the Green Party in this is to lend the whole corrupt exercise a patina of moral high-mindedness and disinterestedness: saying, “yes we know they’re corrupt, but we are still working with them for the good of the country”, as though by sheer force of their glowing moral character they could become the agents of Fianna Fáil’s redemption. They are Fianna Fáil’s useful idiots.

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8 Responses to “Rat Gnaws Mast Of Sinking Ship”


  1. 1 Eoin February 18, 2010 at 10:05 am

    And what are people in Castlebar protesting against? That’s right, head shops. Shops that sell pills that give you a buzz. FF corruption of democracy doesn’t make it to Joe Duffy you see.

  2. 2 Hugh Green February 18, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Apparently the ‘Four Angry Men’ are appearing on Joe Duffy this Friday. So I will call Joe Duffy today to complain about lies being spread On The Internet.

    Yes, it seems that there is a mass retreat from reality into Head Shops at the minute, no doubt egged on by local Fianna Fail representatives.

  3. 3 Twenty Major February 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    FF corruption of democracy doesn’t make it to Joe Duffy you see.

    Nor do questions about Liveline’s culpability in the arson attacks on the Head Shops.

    Anyway, here we are distracted by Head Shops. Ireland has been governed for generations by two of the most corrupt organisations, FF and the catholic church. They enable and excuse each other, their arrogance means victims of abuse, political, sexual and otherwise, are unlikely to ever obtain anything approaching justice, and yet people remain servile to them.

    It’s a sad reflection on this country.

  4. 4 Eoin February 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Try to be chipper about Twenty. At least we’ve got the Ireland team to cheer on in the Worl…….AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

    • 5 machholz February 22, 2010 at 10:24 am

      “somewhat belatedly, that its bare-faced corruption, with the corrosive disenchantment and apathy that it creates among vast swathes of the population, is in itself a devastatingly effective instrument for maintaining the rule of the gombeen bourgeoisie”

      The greens in my eyes have sold the future of the green movement down the drain and have capitulated on every moral issue
      They are drunk with power and have lost sight of who they were supposed to be serving, namely the people of Ireland
      The same people, they have sold out to international bondholders, they have enslaved our country, and our children’s right to a future in their own land as many of them will now have to emigrate to make a living.
      So you’re somewhat belated conversion is of little comfort to the many thousands who are now suffering as a result of the decisions in government the greens have helped to enforce!
      No personal snipe intended!

      • 6 Hugh Green February 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

        Seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding, possibly generated by the link from The Story: I’m not a member of the Green Party, so no personal snipe is felt.

  5. 7 Shakira March 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Try to be chipper about Twenty.


  1. 1 Digest – 21 Feb 2010 – The Story Trackback on March 21, 2014 at 3:10 pm

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