The loss of integrity-Garrett Fitzgerald in the Times 18/10/2010

the_rebubblican

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Garrett the good has just penned what I think is his most important article I've yet read in the Times. I would urge anyone interested in The Republic, it's history, it's politics and it's future to read it.

He draws a clear distinction between the generation of modern politicians who followed those former revolutionaries who helped define the state by their engagement in democratic politics.

Significantly he recounts the moment when Sean MacEntee while dying, confessed his fears for the State because of what had happened to Fianna Fáil. His concern is the lack of civic responsibility displayed by the post revolutionary generation, a generation who regaled in scoundrels such as Haughey, Burke, Lawlor, Flynn, Lowry, Ahern etc.

The cleavage between those who helped build and found this country and those who sacked it, is an important historical deduction which he thinks sets the context for a regeneration of civic morality. I hope he's right.

On watching Seachtar na Cásca over the past few weeks I marvelled at the raw idealism, sacrifice and ambition of the signatories and in comparison despaired at what is offered by our modern politicians. I hope by 2016 that we may regain a path that will restore some integrity and honour in public life. Anything else will be a travesty.

Read Fitzgerald's article here
 


Garibaldy

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I read it with great amusement - he quite forgot to mention the Irish Press business or that the selfless revolutionaries he eulogises were responsible for the clientelism and nepotism that did so much damage.
Well said Cruimh.
 

TonyB

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Read the top letter in the Times alongside it (Dublin to Perth). Makes you think.
 

oggy

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Fitzgerald is the ultimate in hypocrisy !! That man deliberately depressed and
deflated this country and never once mentioned the basic economic term deflation. He deflected his true policies by handing over the country to what was known as the National Handlers and these proceeded to spend their time digging for scandals, pointless abortion referendum, pointless divorce referendum. They would talk about anything but the essential truth of what they were doing. Of course the clowns came to power on the back of the national debt and went ahead and doubled it !! Fitzgerald wouldnt know integrity if it jumped up and hit him in the puss !
Oh, when Cowen came to power he laid it on the line about the economy. He made it clear tough times were ahead including at least a 12% drop in living standards. Cowen and FF have never shied away from the word deflation
 

conservative green

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Fitzgerald is the ultimate in hypocrisy !! That man deliberately depressed and
deflated this country and never once mentioned the basic economic term deflation. He deflected his true policies by handing over the country to what was known as the National Handlers and these proceeded to spend their time digging for scandals, pointless abortion referendum, pointless divorce referendum. They would talk about anything but the essential truth of what they were doing. Of course the clowns came to power on the back of the national debt and went ahead and doubled it !! Fitzgerald wouldnt know integrity if it jumped up and hit him in the puss !
I agree fully with your criticisms of Fitzgerald's handling of the economy. Personally, I don't think he lacks integrity. I think he is just a bad economist with a bunch of discredited and inappropriate Keynesian ideas and an enormously inflated view of his own ability.

What he can't see is that our current travails have diddly squat got to do with the misdeeds of rogues like Haughey, Lowry, Burke et al. It has a lot to do with our eurozone membership - a policy he fulsomely advocated.
 
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So will the FGers on this site who abused him a couple of months ago now love him and will Leo think he is great.
 

DeGaulle 2.0

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Fitzgerald is the ultimate in hypocrisy !! That man deliberately depressed and
deflated this country and never once mentioned the basic economic term deflation. He deflected his true policies by handing over the country to what was known as the National Handlers and these proceeded to spend their time digging for scandals, pointless abortion referendum, pointless divorce referendum. They would talk about anything but the essential truth of what they were doing. Of course the clowns came to power on the back of the national debt and went ahead and doubled it !! Fitzgerald wouldnt know integrity if it jumped up and hit him in the puss !
Oh, when Cowen came to power he laid it on the line about the economy. He made it clear tough times were ahead including at least a 12% drop in living standards. Cowen and FF have never shied away from the word deflation
You seen to think that Cowen wasn't in power when he was Minister for Finance.
 

Toland

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I read it with great amusement - he quite forgot to mention the Irish Press business or that the selfless revolutionaries he eulogises were responsible for the clientelism and nepotism that did so much damage.
I thought of that bit too. That dewy eyed selfless old revolutionary, Dev! chuckle.

But the almost explicit endorsement of Fintan O'Toole's view that the RCC gave us sexual morality instead of ethics is relatively new, as far as I know from him (and entirely correct, imo).

It will, no doubt, be entirely ignored.
 

Toland

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I agree fully with your criticisms of Fitzgerald's handling of the economy. Personally, I don't think he lacks integrity. I think he is just a bad economist with a bunch of discredited and inappropriate Keynesian ideas and an enormously inflated view of his own ability.
What FitzG did in govt was Keynesian?

Are you referring to the imposition of VAT on children's shoes, or to something else?
 

turdsl

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What I found astounding in the article was that when Sean MacEntee was on his death bed he asked to see Garret,he confided to him his deep concern for the future of the country, because what was happening to his party, Fianna Fail. He said there was a widespread lack of a tradition of civic responsibility or a sense of civic morality.Did that former Minister of Health and founding Fianna Fail member see into the distant future, Did he see a day when a Fianna Fail dominated government would vote complete confidence in a Minister of Defence
who had used an untrue smear to damage an opponent in a local election or that a Fianna Fail government would have to be brought to court to hold an election to the Dail which are long overdue or oppose that court case by defending its refusal by spending taxpayers money.
 

the_rebubblican

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Any chance of getting back on topic? Fitzgerald's point about the end of direct involvement of the one time revolutionaries in politics and the rise of a politics that has brought us to this sorry pass. I take the previous Cruimh's point on clientelism and nepotism but I think Fitzgerald has an incisive view that could open up a stale debate with new analysis.

Obviously Ireland wasn't a great place to live under the influence of the revolutionary generation with emigration, economic failure and the huge role of the church but he points to a clear difference with the rise of self serving politicians of the modern era. I think he has a serious point here. For all their failings they cared about their country, this shower confuse what's good for their country with what's good for their party and their wallets.
 

making waves

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I think I remember something back in the recesses of my memory about Garret the Good getting the AIB to write off a loan of £200K when he took a punt on GPA shares and got his fingers burnt.

Fitzgerald is the ultimate in hypocrisy !! That man deliberately depressed and deflated this country and never once mentioned the basic economic term deflation.
True he did - and then MacSharry came in and almost collapsed it completely. If FG/LP coalition hadn't devalued before going out of office the collapse would have been on the scale that will occur when Lenihan is finished his handywork.

Cowen and FF have never shied away from the word deflation
Haven't actually ever heard him say it - but that's not important - Cowen and his buddies clearly have no understanding of the consequences of deflation.
 

Toland

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Using nostalgia for an imagined past is a recognised political tactic for getting across an argument.

But it was ever so.

However, I hope the article draws attention to the lack of civic responsibility there currently is in Ireland and I that it points to ways of doing something about it.

Whether the rot is new or old is almost immaterial.
 

fecker

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Fitzgerald is the ultimate in hypocrisy !! That man deliberately depressed and
deflated this country and never once mentioned the basic economic term deflation. He deflected his true policies by handing over the country to what was known as the National Handlers and these proceeded to spend their time digging for scandals, pointless abortion referendum, pointless divorce referendum. They would talk about anything but the essential truth of what they were doing. Of course the clowns came to power on the back of the national debt and went ahead and doubled it !! Fitzgerald wouldnt know integrity if it jumped up and hit him in the puss !
Oh, when Cowen came to power he laid it on the line about the economy. He made it clear tough times were ahead including at least a 12% drop in living standards. Cowen and FF have never shied away from the word deflation
Oh sweet Jesus!!!!
What a f*****g useless post. I left school in 1979 and the times were grim. we had Fianna Fail to blame for that I was never a fan of FG or labour for that matter but, the original fault was Fianna Fail! My further education was at my own expense and had to wait a decade. What F*****g planet do you live on? Bad as the 80's were we are now up to our nostrils in ************************e. YOU and the toe-rags in fianna fail are the very curse that plague us.

To re-use the words of your beloved bertie...Go and Die

Regards
benito
 

Toland

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Oh sweet Jesus!!!!
What a f*****g useless post. I left school in 1979 and the times were grim. we had Fianna Fail to blame for that I was never a fan of FG or labour for that matter but, the original fault was Fianna Fail! My further education was at my own expense and had to wait a decade. What F*****g planet do you live on? Bad as the 80's were we are now up to our nostrils in ************************e. YOU and the toe-rags in fianna fail are the very curse that plague us.

To re-use the words of your beloved bertie...Go and Die

Regards
benito
strongly put, but one shares the sentiments.

Exhibit A: 1977 election promises.
 

the_rebubblican

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The Republic has failed, economically, politically, morally... It's a worthy exercise to look at our current state in the wider context. Fitzgerald's article opens up a new front in that analysis. We have long lost cognizance of the original motivations of the generation that helped create the Republic so the question has to be asked why and where did it go wrong?
 

Toland

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The Republic has failed, economically, politically, morally... It's a worthy exercise to look at our current state in the wider context. Fitzgerald's article opens up a new front in that analysis. We have long lost cognizance of the original motivations of the generation that helped create the Republic so the question has to be asked why and where did it go wrong?
I don't think that's the question at all. The question is how do we kindle a sense of social responsibility amongst the decision-makers in the future.

One obvious one is to look elsewhere to religion for ethical guidance (perhaps in the enlightenment values that Irish religion has so consistently opposes).

Another not far off the mark is never again to allow a Fianna Fáil government to be elected.
 

turdsl

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Fitzgerald is the ultimate in hypocrisy !! That man deliberately depressed and
deflated this country and never once mentioned the basic economic term deflation. He deflected his true policies by handing over the country to what was known as the National Handlers and these proceeded to spend their time digging for scandals, pointless abortion referendum, pointless divorce referendum. They would talk about anything but the essential truth of what they were doing. Of course the clowns came to power on the back of the national debt and went ahead and doubled it !! Fitzgerald wouldnt know integrity if it jumped up and hit him in the puss !
Oh, when Cowen came to power he laid it on the line about the economy. He made it clear tough times were ahead including at least a 12% drop in living standards. Cowen and FF have never shied away from the word deflation

None of that answers the question that one of the founding fathers of Fianna Fail had to go to a member of the opposition to confide in about the direction Fianna Fail was taking

Sean MacEntee did not believe that his party could head the way it did
It started with the arms trial. there were years then that politicians were afraid to open their mouths. Then we had the tribunals. We had resignations of people in high office
Remember the most recent names, Haughey, Bertie, O Donohue,O Dea, Callely. The most thing that would annoy the founding fathers of Fianna Fail is that a Fianna Fail dominated government is going to court to defend a refusal of the government to hold elections to the Dail and spending taxpayers money to make their case, Democracy and the standard of government has been eroded over a long period of time. The electorate are now entitled to say what are the standards they require. There now has to be an election to restore credibility.I am sure there are senior members in Fianna Fail today who are also worried at the direction their party has taken..
 


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