• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

How much of our political discussion is based on ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and ‘faraway hills are greener’?


Evil Eco-Fascist

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
491
How much of our political discussion is based on ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and ‘faraway hills are greener’?

First of all, there is no doubt that there are many political problems in this country that need addressing as regards how our political system works.

But the commentary, be it in the media or in online discussion, seems to focus on many of them as being distinctly Irish problems, whereas if you watch/read much foreign media you gradually see them complaining about exactly the same thing i.e.

- “We’re not a proper democracy/republic, but you know who is, country X is a beacon of what we should be!”
- “X% of our electorate are dumb and will vote for X party candidates no matter what.”
- “People complain about the politicians we have, yet re-elect the bulk of them everytime.”
- “Our population is so apathetic and don’t engage in the political process enough.”
- Various other complaints about the electorate (or a large section of them) being idiots or clueless in some shape or form.

We complain about parish-pump Irish politics, yet it was an American politician who coined the phrase “All politics is local”.

Another example that springs to mind is how commentators in Ireland love to say how boring the debate and nature of discussions in the Dáil is, then one day Paul Gogarty says the word ‘f*ck’ in the chamber, it goes viral and the international media is all over Ireland saying “Wow, look at this, their parliament seems so much more lively and energetic than ours!”

[video=youtube;ouKYXMWgJzE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouKYXMWgJzE[/video]

So what do people think? Are we correct in thinking that all our political problems are distinctly ours alone?
 

ger12

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
48,255
Such a great clip.

The Aussie politician breaking into song is up there with it.

http://www.politics.ie/forum/political-humour/191868-aussie-politician-x-factor.html

Where we differ from other countries I reckon is how we react to e.g. a Minister in government appearing in Stubbs Gazette resulting from breaching a High Court order. In the States, U.K. or Germany, the politician would at the very least have stood down until personal affairs were sorted.
 

Evil Eco-Fascist

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
491
Where we differ from other countries I reckon is how we react to e.g. a Minister in government appearing in Stubbs Gazette resulting from breaching a High Court order. In the States, U.K. or Germany, the politician would at the very least have stood down until personal affairs were sorted.
But there again, an assumption is being made about other countries. While there are no doubt prominent examples from other countries of prominent politicians doing so, why do we assume they all do? Did Tony Blair/George Bush even get near resigning over starting an illegal war in Iraq based on a lie, in which hundreds of thousands of people died? Seems a hell of a lot more serious than anything John O'Donghue ever did with his expenses, over which he resigned as Ceann Comhairle. And how much did Silvio Berlusconi have to get up to before they finally gave him the push?

We tend to seize on examples that suit our world-view or agenda and assume that the individual examples we notice are always par for the course in other countries. Someone from abroad could observe, say, the resignation of Trevor Sargent as junior minister in 2010 for writing an inappropriate letter about a court case, and assume that that's how the political system works in Ireland, but it clearly doesn't to anyone living here.

Lots of people in Ireland like to assume that Ireland is the most corrupt country on earth, but a quick look at the statistics by prominent international organisations that study these things in depth give a different picture. In the 2010 corruption index by Tranparency International, Ireland was ahead of Germany! http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/ireland-14th-in-corruption-index-479185.html
 
Last edited:

ger12

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
48,255
But there again, an assumption is being made about other countries. While there are no doubt prominent examples from other countries of prominent politicians doing so, why do we assume they all do? Did Tony Blair/George Bush even get near resigning over starting an illegal war in Iraq based on a lie, in which hundreds of thousands of people died? Seems a hell of a lot more serious than anything John O'Donghue ever did with his expenses, over which he resigned as Ceann Comhairle. And how much did Silvio Berlusconi have to get up to before they finally gave him the push?

We tend to seize on examples that suit our world-view or agenda and assume that the individual examples we notice are always par for the course in other countries. Someone from abroad could observe, say, the resignation of Trevor Sargent as junior minister in 2010 for writing an inappropriate letter about a court case, and assume that that's how the political system works in Ireland, but it clearly doesn't to anyone living here.

Lots of people in Ireland like to assume that Ireland is the most corrupt country on earth, but a quick look at the statistics by prominent international organisations that study these things in depth give a different picture. In the 2010 corruption index by Tranparency International, Ireland was ahead of Germany! Ireland 14th in corruption index | BreakingNews.ie
George and Tony got away with it as it was after the fact when their bogus rationale for war was exposed. The Bull resigned because what he did was unbecoming of his position. Same for Mr Sargent. Politicians who ride out the storm damage their political parties and their position. Yet Mr Lowery continues to be allowed stand for public office. The Italians are growing as a nation with Berlusconi having to face the consequence of his tax evasion, unable to avoid having to because of his position.

The stat you quote measures how corrupt international business leaders and academics perceive a country’s public sector. Having the Mahon and Moriarty Reports in the public domain now and judging by the current governments idea of openness and transparency, i'd say that belief was way off the mark.

Interesting info from Transparency Ireland recently.
Planning group examines potential fraud cases - RT News
 

cuiseogach

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
1,078
Which reminds me .. at least Gogarty was honest... he did say that he was 10% gay or something like that once didn't he? A couple of others have come out too, I know, but.. but but but....
 

Schomberg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
12,341
You'd be making the mistake of thinking this doesn't go on everywhere. Does it make it right? Not always, but Ireland's not unique in looking abroad. There are obviously aspects of other countries that are worth looking at and if possible trying to adopt. Like theres no reason why Irish people should be paying €50 for a two minute GP visit. There's no reason why Irish children can't expect a hot, home cooked meal in school to help combat poor eating and give the brain at that age much needed sustenance while you're learning. There's no reason one parents entire wage should be handed over to a daycare centre just so two parents can't go out and work (or study/retain) to give us a full productive and active society. There's no reason Irish politicians should have the balls to stay around after being found out of dubious practices. Et cetra.
 

Fractional Reserve

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
8,326
Irish people will vote for who ever will give them something for nothing ,Politicians know this and feed this state dependancy like a crack addict , but its starting to stall , 30-40 years of buying vote and shafting the taxpayer is going tits up.Ireland is in so much debt that they haven't a hope of paying it back and politicians and European ************************************************s are saying they can ,and the party faithfuls actually believe this crapola , but thats Ireland we hate the truth if its going take away something for nothing .
 

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,882
We are however undoubtedly upto our necks in hill billy, gombeen, self serving, toss pot Tds.
Like nowhere else..


i watched "Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter" last night - as a movie it was more credible than "Bertie Ahern - Tax Payer" or "Enda Kenny - Competant"
 

Evil Eco-Fascist

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
491
Irish people will vote for who ever will give them something for nothing ,Politicians know this and feed this state dependancy like a crack addict
Remarkably similar sentiment to this (only of course this man is talking about the US):

[video=youtube;NZZt3jPDvNQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZZt3jPDvNQ[/video]
 
B

Boggle

Irish people will vote for who ever will give them something for nothing ,Politicians know this and feed this state dependancy like a crack addict , but its starting to stall , 30-40 years of buying vote and shafting the taxpayer is going tits up.Ireland is in so much debt that they haven't a hope of paying it back and politicians and European ************************************************s are saying they can ,and the party faithfuls actually believe this crapola , but thats Ireland we hate the truth if its going take away something for nothing .
I think the OP's point is that this is not a uniquely Irish thing and that it a problem with many democracies.

However, there is very few if any that get anything for nothing as we all pay the cost of running this state through taxes (VAT, excise, duty, paye, levies, motortax, tv license). I think when people say get something for nothing they mean want a fairer slice of the pie that is the income generated through and in the state and they are perfectly entitled to want that.
 

Fractional Reserve

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
8,326
There are people who believe the state should nurture them from the cradle to the grave and its getting worse .
What slice of the pie are you on about .When you are born you are entitled to Jack , you grow up and get on with it .The vote buying crap has wrecked havoc on this country and Western welfarist states , but its getting the hi ho , in a couple of years time these countries will not be able to sell their bonds .
I think the OP's point is that this is not a uniquely Irish thing and that it a problem with many democracies.

However, there is very few if any that get anything for nothing as we all pay the cost of running this state through taxes (VAT, excise, duty, paye, levies, motortax, tv license). I think when people say get something for nothing they mean want a fairer slice of the pie that is the income generated through and in the state and they are perfectly entitled to want that.
 
B

Boggle

There are people who believe the state should nurture them from the cradle to the grave and its getting worse .
What slice of the pie are you on about .When you are born you are entitled to Jack , you grow up and get on with it .The vote buying crap has wrecked havoc on this country and Western welfarist states , but its getting the hi ho , in a couple of years time these countries will not be able to sell their bonds .
If your entitled to jack then your obligations to the state are nil.
That includes no vat, no laws, no taxes.

As it is you are entitled to quite a bit and so we all have obligations in return. What you refer to as vote buying is not necesarily a bad thing but can just as likely be redressing the balance to allow people have a better standard of life.

As for the pie, it's the income generated in and by the state with the support and protection of state laws.


Anyway, I'm more concerned with politician buying by private companies than vote buying.
 

Fractional Reserve

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
8,326
Vote buying is the same no matter if it is welfarism vote buying or cronyism vote buying is wrecks havoc .
The Western welfare states are in shyte because of the ineptocrats in power
Entitlements and bullshyte is whats was wrecking havoc on economies plus the fact that private banksters own the monetary system and the politicians that run the welfare states .
If your entitled to jack then your obligations to the state are nil.
That includes no vat, no laws, no taxes.

As it is you are entitled to quite a bit and so we all have obligations in return. What you refer to as vote buying is not necesarily a bad thing but can just as likely be redressing the balance to allow people have a better standard of life.

As for the pie, it's the income generated in and by the state with the support and protection of state laws.


Anyway, I'm more concerned with politician buying by private companies than vote buying.
 
B

Boggle

Vote buying is the same no matter if it is welfarism vote buying or cronyism vote buying is wrecks havoc .
The Western welfare states are in shyte because of the ineptocrats in power
Entitlements and bullshyte is whats was wrecking havoc on economies plus the fact that private banksters own the monetary system and the politicians that run the welfare states .
Is it entitlements or is it corruption which has allowed private companies to sway politicians which has us in this mess?

Although I do concede that there was an extraordinary amount of vote buying over the past while which was disgraceful (SSIA, benchmarking to a degree) but there was also steps like rent allowance and rent relief which helped bring the price of property above sustainable levels which can be considered as both corrupt and vote buying.
 

Fractional Reserve

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
8,326
The mess we are into day was cause by both politicians, high paid civil servants and off course rotten banksters .Who now feel they are entitled to taxpayers money because they are the system ,own the sytem , game the system and above politicians and the general public. Until you seperate the government from banksters , the bankers will always have the upper hand .Money was create by people for people and societies good but it has been corrupted and abused by governments and banks , until this is changed nothing will change .
Is it entitlements or is it corruption which has allowed private companies to sway politicians which has us in this mess?

Although I do concede that there was an extraordinary amount of vote buying over the past while which was disgraceful (SSIA, benchmarking to a degree) but there was also steps like rent allowance and rent relief which helped bring the price of property above sustainable levels which can be considered as both corrupt and vote buying.
 

The OD

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
11,435
So what do people think? Are we correct in thinking that all our political problems are distinctly ours alone?
Not at all, the vast majority of those in politics, irrespective of where they are, are extremely similar in that they are usually extreme egotists, are dishonest and prone to criminality, many are borderline, if not complete sociopaths, they are pathological liars and usually show no evidence of any sort of conscience.

The only difference is scale and opportunity when it comes to their corruption. History has thought us that the uncorrupted politician is the rarity, corruption is the default mode for the majority.
 
Top