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We're all talk and no action over state of the country

Great news. A new political party has been set up that intends to provide opposition to both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. The party will be a vehicle to funnel the national anger at the main parties' incompetent handling of the country.

It had its inaugural meeting on Wednesday evening and you might be forgiven for imagining that the venue was packed to the rafters with Citizen Seans and Marys whom have had enough. Not quite. The inaugural meeting of Ireland's newest political party with the noble aspiration of fighting corruption and incompetence attracted some 50 souls in a pub in Kilkenny. If Ireland is angry with its politicians it has a funny way of showing it.

Leo Armstrong, the founder of the party whose provisional title is The Irish Independents Party, had written letters to newspapers to recruit members as he expected strong interest in forming a new party "if people are as angry as they appear to be when they are on The Frontline or on the Joe Duffy show".

Mr Armstrong didn't account for one thing. Irish people may be expert at talking the talk but they remain incapable of walking the walk. And don't mind what they say on the Joe Duffy Show because that's all it is: a show of verbosity, little else.

The Greeks marched on their streets and demanded action. We get cross on Joe Duffy about speculators, developers and NAMA and then have a much better idea then the sound of marching feet -- we bail them all out with our taxes. There, that'll show them. Incompetent and lying politicians get rewarded with a particularly unusual form of punishment in Ireland -- we vote then back into office.

When priests of the Catholic Church are caught sexually abusing children and their bishops found out for covering up this abuse, you might think we would at least have a little march up to Archbishop's Palace in Drumcondra. Not a bit of it. Instead we all think it really would be a much better idea that we showed our horror at their behaviour by paying their enormous legal bills.

Bad priests, bad banks, bad politicians -- you name them, we'll reward them. We're big men in the pub, tough women on Joe Duffy but when it really counts, we're nowhere to be found. We love saying 'I wouldn't vote for any of them anymore' but come election time we just can't stop ourselves. We suspend disbelief and go back in the polling stations voting for the exact same self-serving cute hoors we told Joe we despised.

The only ones who have any liathroidi are the senior citizens. Only they were bothered to act on their anger and march.

Yet in that pub in Kilkenny sat 50 souls that at least wanted to change the status quo, however misguided they may be. One has to feel sorry for Mr Armstrong. He had been expecting 500 to turn up. He said the disappointing turnout might have something to do with the weather. Sadly he's wrong. It has, however, got to do with a national conscience that is now worthy of psychiatric evaluation. For God sake, leave the pubs, put down the talk show phones, get up of your sofas and for once and for all do something. Why?

Because we're worth it.

John O'Keeffe is a Criminologist & Law Lecturer


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