Friday 20 October 2017

Eoghan Murphy: We need a whole new foundation to rebuild lost trust in corridors of power

Although the public seems to have lost faith in our political leaders, trust in the agents of law and order – the gardai and judges – remains steadfast
Although the public seems to have lost faith in our political leaders, trust in the agents of law and order – the gardai and judges – remains steadfast

A LEVEL of mistrust in government can be a healthy thing. In fact, it is absolutely essential. It's why we build checks and balances into the system. Former US president Ronald Reagan coined the phrase "trust but verify" when agreeing nuclear weapon reduction numbers with the Soviet Union. In political systems and in government we need to trust our leaders, but we also need proof from time to time that this trust has been rewarded.

Trust in politics in Ireland among 30- to 39-year-olds would appear to be at rock-bottom levels, with only 12pc indicating that they trust the Government.

Taking this figure to be true, this would be very worrying for a democracy were it not for the fact that both judges and the gardai receive a healthy level of trust from respondents. One pillar of the State stands firm.

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