If only we could 'unvote' those who said they'd change things
Published 15/07/2015 | 02:30
Some time ago I and many others voted for quality leadership of our country. We voted for open democracy and to burn bondholders and a whole host of other goodies, and Enda Kenny and Fine Gael emerged as the largest party with a little over one in three supporting them at the ballot box.
Since then, both Fine Gael and their chosen partners in Government have plummeted in the polls.
Those who believed they would deliver a fairer society have either changed their minds or passed away.
Then we have all the people who may have voted for them and who have since emigrated.
We see referenda defeated, a clear sign that the people are "pulling away" from the current groupthink of the Government.
Or to put it simply, the authority to order the State's affairs according to the Irish Constitution gained in the ballot box, a most peaceful method, seems to have been stripped away under Enda Kenny's leadership.
When one considers the fact that we can pump billions into infrastructure, at Europe's request one presumes, while at the same time funding is cut to housing, health and the Rape Crisis Centre, then serious questions have to be asked by all of us.
Not only of the handful of politicians who make these decisions but also of ourselves.
Do we wish to live in a country where women, the young and the most needy are subjected to unnecessary pain?
Do we want to live in a society which passes judgements through its court system that would not only discourage victims from coming forward but at the same time release people who are often described as a "threat to society"?
I know I don't.
What a shame I can't unvote those I trusted to do what they said they would do!
And the irony of it all is that it seems that those who talk so much about reputation seem to have no shame.
The phrase 'Children of a Lesser God' springs to mind for some reason.
Athenry, Co Galway
We'll soon be following Greeks
Reading so much about the behaviour of the EU and the US governments in regard to the countries they control and/or wish to control, I am continually reminded of the comment by Fredric Bastiat nearly 200 years ago: "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in a society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it."
He was correct not to mention the slightest interest, except at election time, in the long-term well-being of the people they plunder.
It is entirely because of that total lack of interest that the plundering just increases as the leaders move further from the reality of taxpayers' lives and completely waste our money on such absurdities as outer space and literally hundreds of pointless committees and departments.
Our Government is no better, which is why potentially wonderful Ireland will be following Greece in the not-too-distant future.
Government is a terrible sickness masquerading as a cure.
Tinahely, Co. Wicklow
Vindictive deal a lesson to all
The manner in which Greece and its people have been treated by the EU and the IMF is nothing short of disgraceful. What has happened is not just the imposition of extreme austerity but an attempt at a coup. The democratic wishes of the people of Greece and their election of a government that represents them, Syriza, have been totally ignored by the bureaucrats in the EU. In fact, Greece has been humiliated and bullied. This is the way Margaret Thatcher treated the coal miners.
Thatcher was determined to destroy the coal miners in order to warn other unions. I see a similarity in Angela Merkel's approach to Greece. The bailout conditions imposed on Greece reminds me of the Versailles Treaty of 1919.
The hardship inflicted on Greece will prevent the possibility of any growth and it will lead to the destitution of the Greek people. The Greek Prime Minister, Mr Tsipras, was given an ultimatum, accept the cruel terms or leave the Euro and suffer economic meltdown. I have no doubt that the effect of these awful terms will result in weakening Syriza and Mr Tsipras. The Greek people will feel betrayed and their anger will not only be directed towards Germany and the EU but towards Mr Tsipras. The former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is a highly intelligent man and he could see exactly what the EU was up to. The referendum in Greece was ignored by Germany and the rest of the bureaucratic club. Is Greece to become little more than a German protectorate? Is this to be the fate of any country in the EU which runs into financial difficulty in future?
Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, wrote: "This goes beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, complete destruction of national sovereignty, and no hope of relief. In a way, the economics have almost become secondary. But still, let's be clear: what we've learned these past couple of weeks is that being a member of the eurozone means that the creditors can destroy your economy if you step out of line."
Proof we should go it alone
So we are forced now to hand the Greeks more than one billion and if they come back in a year or two and we do it all again. Or we borrow a billion and give it to them in "solidarity" or we aid them with a billion now and again and as a result we close another hospital or school and we ignore that environmental problem or we allow another piece of our heritage disappear.
Then if Italy or Portugal goes bust we step in and do the same (it's duty apparently) and funny in all this is that no one did this for us.
We alone shouldered the burden and we still do. So I think its urgent that we leave this cancer-cell model of economics as soon as possible and that we finally tell its malignant doctors, the Euro group, that we have finally awoken; that from now on we look after ourselves and let the rest do likewise - perhaps the only sane model of sustainability that life offers us all.
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