Punishing the politicians - withdrawal of priviliges

Malbekh

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While it is only fair and proper that this government and the next one should be focussing all of its attention on plotting a course back to reality for this little state of ours, it's also apparent that only a root and branch systemic investigation over the last say, 10 years, would be able to join all the dots together.

Because we have had a systemic failure in our society on all levels, political, judicial, social, financial and environmental, you cannot just have isolated investigations on each criteria, you must have an holistic one.

Accordingly, and considering the limited scope and parameters of the existing investigations, I feel that it would be extremely likely that the next government will do such an holistic investigation, partly because it is indeed necessary, but mostly because the negatives will have a caustic effect on Fianna Fail and the Greens.

One proposal I would like to see enacted by way of legislation, is that once investigations have been completed (in the cheapest and most expedient manner possible), is that those civil servants, bankers, developers and politicians who can be proven to have acted against the national interest or acted with gross incompetency should pay a penalty.

Our ineffective white collar criminal law is unlikely to see anyone sent to prison, but I do feel the withdrawal of pension funds, the repayment of bonuses and the seizing of assets is a likely alternative. For what has been done to the nation is undoubtedly a crime, and the example of Paddy McKillen vs. NAMA has already shown that previous rights of citizens do not take precedence over the national interest.

It is imperative for the country to move on that justice is seen to be done. Furthermore, making examples of those that are supposed to serve the State will make a salient example to those that continue to serve.
 


bactrian

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One proposal I would like to see enacted by way of legislation, is that once investigations have been completed (in the cheapest and most expedient manner possible), is that those civil servants, bankers, developers and politicians who can be proven to have acted against the national interest or acted with gross incompetency should pay a penalty.
Most of the acts or omissions which got us into this mess came about through gross incompetence , stupidity, political opportunism or moral corruption. They were not Criminal. Retrospectively criminalizing these acts or omissions would go against all notions of fairness or right.

We should be able to fire them , just not send them to gaol.

Those who did commit crimes under they present laws should be sent to gaol for a long time commensurate with the damage they have done.
 

Malbekh

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Most of the acts or omissions which got us into this mess came about through gross incompetence , stupidity, political opportunism or moral corruption. They were not Criminal. Retrospectively criminalizing these acts or omissions would go against all notions of fairness or right.

We should be able to fire them , just not send them to gaol.

Those who did commit crimes under they present laws should be sent to gaol for a long time commensurate with the damage they have done.
As far as I'm aware there is no legislation that can be enacted upon to send them to jail. We won't be seeing civil servants, politicians, bankers or financiers sent to jail. The High Court in my amateur opinion, have shown a precedence whereby at least in financial terms, the State has the privilege of enacting legislation that bulldozes over the rights of the individual.

It's clear to me, anyway, that the losing of their Dáil seats (for some), the forced early retirement of others (by way of financial inducement) and the moving sideways of others will not cut it with a country that wants answers and retribution.
 

MPB

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As far as I'm aware there is no legislation that can be enacted upon to send them to jail. We won't be seeing civil servants, politicians, bankers or financiers sent to jail. The High Court in my amateur opinion, have shown a precedence whereby at least in financial terms, the State has the privilege of enacting legislation that bulldozes over the rights of the individual.

It's clear to me, anyway, that the losing of their Dáil seats (for some), the forced early retirement of others (by way of financial inducement) and the moving sideways of others will not cut it with a country that wants answers and retribution.
What do you think the chances are?

I don,t think it ever happened anywhere else. That is why rope and lamp posts were invented.
 

Cato

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A referendum needs to be put to the people to the effect that all ministers and ministers of state that served in the last ten years be striped of all state pensions, and be barred from holding any public office or state position for ten years. Cowen and Ahern should be barred from any public office or state position for life and should not be entitled to receive any state payments, pensions, tax reliefs, tax credits, welfare, etc.

I am confident that such a referendum would pass. Our politicians need to fear the people and learn that they cannot operate in a consequence free environment.
 

toratoratora

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A referendum needs to be put to the people to the effect that all ministers and ministers of state that served in the last ten years be striped of all state pensions, and be barred from holding any public office or state position for ten years. Cowen and Ahern should be barred from any public office or state position for life and should not be entitled to receive any state payments, pensions, tax reliefs, tax credits, welfare, etc.

I am confident that such a referendum would pass. Our politicians need to fear the people and learn that they cannot operate in a consequence free environment.
Where can I sign up for that?

Seriously though, absolutely agree with the sentiment of this thread. It is important on so many different levels that some sort of process happens that punishes the people who bear the lions share of the responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in. And not another f&cking tribunal, because that's another cash cow for these people. The country demands that some sort of justice be meted out - we have to carry the can for this ************************storm, and I for one am not prepared to let the politicians/senior civil servants/bankers/developers disappear to the South of France on their golden handshakes/multiple pensions/money-they-have-salted-away-from-creditors. The politicians would have you believe that "************************ happens". Well it does happen alright, but not without the help of criminal incompetence and wholesale corruption. Like you say Cato if a referendum like you describe were to be put to the people it would be passed with a huge majority.

It will be one of the things I will be grilling election candidates on if they call to my door.
 

Cato

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A referendum needs to be put to the people to the effect that all ministers and ministers of state that served in the last ten years be striped of all state pensions, and be barred from holding any public office or state position for ten years. Cowen and Ahern should be barred from any public office or state position for life and should not be entitled to receive any state payments, pensions, tax reliefs, tax credits, welfare, etc.

I am confident that such a referendum would pass. Our politicians need to fear the people and learn that they cannot operate in a consequence free environment.
Just to add to the above; it should be done in the name of justice and also to allow the people to pass sentence on the government of the last decade. There is a huge amount of anger out there and it has to be given some legitimate outlet to be expressed. This is it.
 

Oppenheimer

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As you point out, our criminal law is severely lacking and toothless when it comes to imposing itself proactively and inducing sanctions retroactively. IMO the first place to start is the law - enact laws that make it impossible for the kinds of behaviour witnessed to happen again. The law is still definitely an ass in this country.
 

Franzoni

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Anyone who watched Scannall last night on RTE 1 about the AIB/ICI debacle will see how the bankers get 'punished'...

there is a lot of merit in what you say Malbekh ..the problem as i see it,is a complete inability and unwillingness by the Gardai and the DPP to push the pursuit of white collar crime forward,probably due to politicial pressure and sympathies to FF who have dominated all aspects of irish life for so long...

Make the DPP an electable position like in the states and then when he or she knows their neck and career are on the line over results you will see action....

Recruit outside the state for the top positions in the Gardai for the next few years and break the cycle of gombeenism that prevades that organisation and start the reform it so badly needs....
 

anons

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I was with you up until "rights of citizens do not take precedence over the national interest".

But it would be good to have some kind of reconcile on this, perhaps the removal of ministerial pensions for those found guilty of deceit/fraud.
 

ONQ

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Most of the acts or omissions which got us into this mess came about through gross incompetence , stupidity, political opportunism or moral corruption. They were not Criminal. Retrospectively criminalizing these acts or omissions would go against all notions of fairness or right.

We should be able to fire them , just not send them to gaol.

Those who did commit crimes under they present laws should be sent to gaol for a long time commensurate with the damage they have done.
Tort and Negligence are well established principles of law.

Harder to prove in other circumstances, but the consequences are clear.

All we need do now is apportion the blame and decide on the punishments - revocation of contractual or state benefits seems like a good brach of law to start up.

But equally it must be proportionate - we canot beggar their children or spouses, should they be found not to have been complicit or benefited - decided that will be the rthorny issue...

ONQ.
 

Cato

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But equally it must be proportionate - we canot beggar their children or spouses, should they be found not to have been complicit or benefited - decided that will be the rthorny issue...
Why should their families avoid the consequences of their actions? Our families cannot avoid the consequences, they should share the pain.

They have miserably failed the country. We do not owe them a cent. Their pensions have to be stripped off them and they need to be forbidden to hold any political or state position for at least 10 years, and life for Cowen and Ahern.
 

Malbekh

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I was with you up until "rights of citizens do not take precedence over the national interest".

But it would be good to have some kind of reconcile on this, perhaps the removal of ministerial pensions for those found guilty of deceit/fraud.
I agree. In fact I think the judges were wrong in the High Court when they found against McKillen, we'll have to see what happens when it reaches the Supreme Court. The rights of the individual in the state needs to be protected, but where does the cost become unacceptable.

The resident legal eagle corelli has opined that retrospective legislation is illegal in national and international law. He's almost certainly right, so I think the only option open to the State is financial redress. The idea put forward whereby politicians and civil servants would be deemed ineligible for future public service is an excellent one.

Why should their families avoid the consequences of their actions? Our families cannot avoid the consequences, they should share the pain.

They have miserably failed the country. We do not owe them a cent. Their pensions have to be stripped off them and they need to be forbidden to hold any political or state position for at least 10 years, and life for Cowen and Ahern.
Cato, there has to be a balance of sorts. I don't recall any politicians living in trophy homes (OK I do know two that do), retaining the family home and a modest income is acceptable, or better still, go out into the private sector and hold down a job based on your merits.
 

anons

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Maybe the best thing to do is even just to move on but cut out abuses of the system in general. Keep high salaries to attract good candidates but significantly reduce pensions while the recipient is still in employment, make expenses and general use of government facilities fully transparent and tone down over the top perks in the current climate.

This would effect to a punishment while allowing us to move forward and let democracy confine them to insignificance.
 

bagel

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I don't believe the incoming govt have any intention whatsoever of pursuing accountabilty/justice.
These guys don't break ranks.
Remember Pat Carey's initial reaction to Pat Rabbitte's personal attack?
Carey showed, in his words & demeanour, his disdain for & intolerance of Rabbitte's breaking of one of the unwritten rules of their cosy little club, ie thy shalt not piss down each others backs.
The crooks have had more than two years now to cover their tracks & rest assured they've excelled at it.
Passwords for PC's will be 'lost', files will have been 'accidentally' erased when the poor ould divil of a minimum-waged foreign-speaking non-national slipped on a wet floor and banged her head on the keyboard.
However, a spokesperson for the HSE stated that she received excellent care from their highly qualified staff in one of their renowned centres of excellence and made a full recovery.
The lady in question relocated to her home country shortly thereafter, having received an undisclosed sum in damages, and is currently believed to be uncontactable.
The former Taoiseach regrets the unfortunate incident but is satisfied that there was nothing sinister in the destruction of the PC that brought about the fatal crashing of the other 5000 computers in the network.
The providers of the IT system have assured the Attorney General that the network was state of the art, stress-tested at the highest levels & guaranteed by the company who had previously supplied e-voting machines to the State.
The former Taoiseach also stated that the crashing of the system was, like the banking collapse, completely unforeseeable.
The leaders of the coalition parties have accepted the explanation & have decided that the matter is closed & its now time to move on with the task of bringing about a recovery in the economy.
Meantime, the suppliers of the crashed system have been commissioned to install a new network, based on the previous hardware & software, without the contract going to tender.
A govt spokesperson said the State's longstanding relationship with the company has been a tremendous success, with the minor exceptions of PPARS & the E-Voting Machines.

Whats that line in the David Byrne/Talking Heads song?
Same as it ever was.
 

The Field Marshal

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While it is only fair and proper that this government and the next one should be focussing all of its attention on plotting a course back to reality for this little state of ours, it's also apparent that only a root and branch systemic investigation over the last say, 10 years, would be able to join all the dots together.
Really,sounds just like like all the other paranoid conspiracy theories.
Because we have had a systemic failure in our society on all levels, political, judicial, social, financial and environmental, you cannot just have isolated investigations on each criteria, you must have an holistic one.
Systemic failure?
Wow.
Holistic investigations?
Wow again.
Accordingly, and considering the limited scope and parameters of the existing investigations, I feel that it would be extremely likely that the next government will do such an holistic investigation, partly because it is indeed necessary, but mostly because the negatives will have a caustic effect on Fianna Fail and the Greens.
More holistic investigations.Wow
Plus caustic effects ! It gets better all the time
One proposal I would like to see enacted by way of legislation, is that once investigations have been completed (in the cheapest and most expedient manner possible), is that those civil servants, bankers, developers and politicians who can be proven to have acted against the national interest or acted with gross incompetency should pay a penalty.
Dantonesque in its breathtaking originality.
Committee of public safety bring it on.
Our ineffective white collar criminal law is unlikely to see anyone sent to prison, but I do feel the withdrawal of pension funds, the repayment of bonuses and the seizing of assets is a likely alternative. For what has been done to the nation is undoubtedly a crime, and the example of Paddy McKillen vs. NAMA has already shown that previous rights of citizens do not take precedence over the national interest.
National interest again. Hmmm.
Quite a lot of that in this post.Poster Malbekh understands the national interest better than anybody else
It is imperative for the country to move on that justice is seen to be done. Furthermore, making examples of those that are supposed to serve the State will make a salient example to those that continue to serve.
We move now from Danton to Robbespierre mode as this avenging angel calls for his star chamber courts:rolleyes:
 

TonyBird

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Hey Field Marshal , dont you know sarcasm is the lowest form of humour ?
And sarcastic FFers are the lowest form of life .
 

The Field Marshal

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Hey Field Marshal , dont you know sarcasm is the lowest form of humour ?
And sarcastic FFers are the lowest form of life .
Yawn
 


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