My hope/wish/prayer for 2018 is that Ireland will be a safe place for a #Whistleblower and an increasingly unsafe place for politicians who take cover with “it’s what’s legal” vs. “it’s what is ethical, proactive and kind”.
A government that is far more congruent with Irish values.
To create that Ireland, we need to find our voices. We need to speak up, shout out and demand better leadership. Our silence serves only those who would lie to us, steal from us, and oppress. That individual and collective behaviour in law it is called ‘willful blindness’ and it is actionable.
Action requires embracing our entitlement to a ‘legitimate sense of outrage’. Or call it ‘righteous indignation’ over our leadership’s major failures and small slights.
Major failures among which are:
- a government that via the 2013 The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act gave the banks the power to evict people into homelessness
- a government that has failed to heed warnings about the state of social housing for over a decade*- rendering 8000+ homeless – over 3000 of whom are children
- a citizenry that took to the streets to protest water charges but accepts and remains silent as the government that gave away assets to vulture funds with charitable status – allowing them to rob us twice over. Imagine giving tax exemptions to profiteers!
- a Health Service that sends a dying baby home in a taxi, in spite of a purpose built Children’s Ambulance Service
- a citizenry that has allowed a Dublin-centric approach to prioritising citizen services’ delivery. Over 40% of Ireland’s population is rural (the European average is 27%). Dublin-centric results in government exacting efficiencies by:
- closing rural Post Offices and locating a new Children’s Hospital in the centre of Dublin (a 5 hour drive from Donegal, 4 hrs from Kerry)
- ignoring a tri-city/county regional economic development approach to Cork/Limerick/Galway by continuing to drive Foreign Direct Investment primarily to Dublin
- failing to gear up for the additional housing required by post Brexit growth of financial service sector jobs relocating from London – creating more upward pressure on housing costs
…and only one of many small slights
- a citizenry that accepts that it’s okay for taxpayer-funded RTE to make you wait over 1 minute through advertising to hear an RTE Player broadcast of newsmakers interviewed on all the above
The bold texts links to articles or videos of interest; for more information on the work of ordinary citizen activists –
Homelessness – @Right2Homes; Website; Founder, Brian J Reilly
Healthcare – @Bumbleance; Website; Founders, Mary & Tony Heffernan
Transparency & Accountability; @I_S_B_A, Seamus Maye, Ireland, Democracy or Corpocracy
Corruption in Banking – @WhistleIrl; Website; Jonathan Sugarman
Legislative Oversight & Abuse of Powers – @ChangeisUptoYou; Website, Founder, Tom Darcy
For perspective and an insight into how things get so bad – and what we can change – I encourage you to consider –Willful Blindness – @M_Heffernan In her book and TED talk
Not one person here is in it for the glory! Most are reluctant activists, they have worked individually and collectively, doggedly determined, while cajoled, undermined, harassed and in some cases bankrupted, to speak up and give voice to others.
Pick a cause, focus and support their efforts. Each has made great strides, advanced new agendas and empowered change. Follow, engage and if it resonates, support their efforts. Or bring forward your own.
*David McWilliams’ testimony references findings published in his 2005 book The Pope’s Children.