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An Election Day Road Trip; Ireland to Damascus…

May 21, 2019

…or back to business as usual in our “Grey Town“.

All aboard!

We’re on the road to the polls Friday – and just for one day – ordinary citizens are driving.

By Monday next, we’ll know if we Irish have collectively stepped up and chosen our own Road to Damascus...

…or as in C.S Lewis’ bus ride, we’ll have chosen to continue living our own divine comedy, opting to stubbornly remain in this hellish “grey town” rather than humbly choosing the work of getting to heaven.

    • In choosing the road to Damascus we will have admitted to ourselves and each other that a collective conversion is required.
    • That is nothing short of a “complete and dramatic reversal, from an enemy to an advocate” for ourselves and our fellow citizens.

Why?

Because right now 20% of us are facing the stress of housing insecurity, 25% are on HSE waiting lists, we about to enrich another private business for a major infrastructure project, the courts are available only to the rich,  as are cutting-edge cancer drugs, #Whistleblowers are still demonised enough to not come forward and 4000 children are homeless…

Road Trip

It’s time. We all need a break.

All this recovery/austerity/crisis fatigue is taking its toll. Everyone’s tetchy.

I know, you middle and upper-class types haven’t been on a bus in years. If ever. Not to worry, we’ve booked the luxury models for you.

Relax, you’re not expected to co-mingle with the hoi polloi. Opt for the upgrade and ride along with the Banker, Barrister, Politico or pseudo-Journalist convoys.

The rest of us can examine why the powers-that-be must clean up their own acts –
or have it done for them.

Bankers first

Whew, y’all really do need a rest. It’s sad to think you had simply wanted a secure, pensionable job. What happened? Now everyone is gunning for you – literally and figuratively.

Consider this nastiness:

And all poor Bernard Byrne was trying to do was “make nice” to the Finance Committee.

Where is this hostility coming from? It’s getting as bad as Iceland!

Almost as bad as Iceland – Ireland’s only jailed four bankers for less than a total of 10 years. Iceland?  They’ve put away 36 – for nearly a century!

I suppose your conclusion is that since few were punished – nothing really needs to change? Wrong.

Barristers next

Wow! That is certainly an exclusive club you belong to. Imagine! Entry is contingent upon working one whole year or more after graduation – for “free”.

Does anyone think anything good could come of a process called “devilling“?

It’s clearly not character building!

Having now attended a half dozen proceedings involving lay litigants up against your lot – I can personally speak to the haughty, condescending and patronising arrogance the litigants and the gallery face. In three of these cases, I’ve listened to barristers carry on to the judge about how bothersome it is to deal with the unqualified truth-tellers desperate enough to appear undefended in your realm.

I would empathise if any of these litigants had the option of having adequate representation via legal-aid, crowd-funding or as should be the case for tracker mortgage victims, class actions. They are an identifiable class of plaintiffs that have the same cause for claims. Such a vehicle would also have allowed a single lawsuit with the potential to provide more adequate compensation for their real losses- rather than what the regulators negotiated. The same regulators who were willfully blind to their circumstances for years.

Seriously, what kind of arms-length-transaction was that? And how much ought to be owed for destroying families and driving innocent victims to suicide?

Politicians and Journalists

Your convoy might be asked to come to terms with is how you aid and abet the King’s Inns’ crowd in silencing anyone who might have a mind to call for fairness in the legal system. Ending their monopoly requires political will – and we don’t get political will if citizens don’t know what they don’t know about how corrupt it is out there.

Or more importantly, that reform of the courts, legislature and political processes really are possible!

Would you ask the politicians some hard questions for us? Perhaps cover stories that matter?

          • Are there really judges who in spite of having had substantial debts forgiven – hear cases on bank claims?
          • Where will #accountability and #transparency come from when so many stories go untold – or the version offered is only that of Ireland’s power-elite?
          • Why is there little objective press cover for High Court Master Edmund Honohan’s experience of the legal inadequacy of procedures dictating possession orders, evictions, and summary judgments?
          • Why has there been little or no coverage of The Affordable Housing and Fair Mortgage Bill – which has been stalled for years by this government?
          • Why was a group, determined to work within the legal and political systems to advance reform, forced to rely on self-funding a trip to New York City in order to get media coverage via Irish Central for their efforts?
          • Or for the same group to have to fund-raise thousands to get any coverage in an Irish newspaper?
          • Why does coverage of activists and changemakers always involve besmirching their character first and presenting their arguments later (if at all)?
          • And why have the newspapers never admitted that “property porn” pays the bills – so there is zero chance of fair coverage when changemakers try to hold the banking, legal and political professions to account in matters of development, foreclosures and vulture funds?

If you believe that these four groups will police themselves from within – then vote for the same-old-same-old.

But Eve, there are no TDs are standing it’s “only” Council and MEP candidates.

That’s true – but there is no “only” in politics. Strike a blow to their candidates – Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will get the message.

  • Just say no to their MEP candidates.
  • Listen to the Independent candidates – few have been given press coverage and they’ve no party coffers behind them.
  • Choose carefully when you vote for Councillors. Ask them if they will stand up to their parties?
  • If they’re Fianna Fáil candidates – ask them how they intend to take back their party? How they will demand an end to confidence and supply?

The aiding and abetting must end. Fianna Fáil cannot claim any party or policy differences if they oppose nothing. Particularly, while silencing TDs of conscience trying to bring about legislative reforms from within.

The question of whether it is the institutions or our representatives that are not fit-for-purpose must be examined.

To do that we need to elect committed, representatives who value the Republic and its citizens over self-interest and party politics.

Please, #VOTE.

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