Friday 20 October 2017

See no evil, speak no evil Taoiseach is smothering dissent with autocratic style

Kenny has dispatched warnings to anyone who challenges the system
Kenny has dispatched warnings to anyone who challenges the system
Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

'Don't bite the hand that feeds you' is a sage adage for personal career advancement. It's the prevailing philosophy at the head of our current cute Government, but it can be inimical to the public interests of transparency and establishing the truth.

The Taoiseach, on three recent occasions, has sent out this message. Instantaneous public warnings were dispatched to diminish anyone who challenges the system. The knee-jerk reactions were all conveying the same signals to dismiss critics who weren't prepared to toe the line.

When the media and Oireachtas members claimed former NAMA officials were improperly utilising sensitive internal commercial data against a named developer, he immediately cited NAMA legislation to caution that it was a criminal offence not to report any information to the gardai, preferring to blame the messenger, rather than wrongdoers. When Garda whistleblowers sought to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to highlight maladministration of the penalty points system, Kenny's Government sought to obstruct their direct evidence. Last week, he chose to reprimand GSOC for failing to report bugging to the Justice Minister, rather than investigate the surveillance source.

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