Our neighbouring country’s democracy has been “set aside”–Why don’t we care?

In the Irish Times of 22nd November, linked here, columnist, Fintan O’Toole describes  how his nation’s democracy has been trampled upon and destroyed in an article titled “Who is really making the decisions in Ireland?” Among the many disturbing facts I quote just a few:

IT IS obvious to everyone that ordinary government has ceased to function in Ireland. What has been less clear is that something even more profound has happened: our system of government has been set aside. This is not a rhetorical exaggeration, but a demonstrable truth….

We have a very weak parliamentary democracy but a very strong constitutional commitment to the power and authority of the cabinet. Article 28 defines the cabinet directly as “the government”. It then states, with the same absolute simplicity, that “the executive power of the State shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be exercised by or on the authority of the government”.

This power, moreover, must be exercised collectively: “The government shall meet and act as a collective authority. . .” The standard work on the Constitution, by John Kelly, glosses this as meaning that, in relation to the statutory functions of government, “the valid exercise of these functions must presuppose a formal consideration and decision at a government meeting.”

We now know that, in relation to three huge decisions in the course of the present crisis, this constitutional system of government has been set aside. Firstly, it is clear from RTÉ’s documentary series Crisis that the single most important decision in the history of the State, the blanket bank guarantee of September 2008, was made without “formal consideration and decision at a government meeting”…..

Thirdly, we have the revelations last week that details of the next two budgets have been communicated to the EU and other European governments before those decisions have actually been made by the cabinet. For all the obfuscation, two things are completely clear.

The above provides a flavour, but I recommend the entire article be read.

Why do we as a country, cast alongside the villains of this drama, not seem to care that a neighbouring island, with whom our history has been closely intertwined, is losing its democracy and freedoms, not merely with us standing idly by, but with our own Government apparently providing its assent?


9 comments for “Our neighbouring country’s democracy has been “set aside”–Why don’t we care?

  1. November 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Not sure what we are expected to do. We are a bit strapped for democracy and freedoms here at the mo’.

    Ireland has its independence (except for the top part). It has its own constitution and international recognition, courts, police force, banking, everything. It just happens to have made some bad choices, not so very different from the bad choices made here since 1945.

    On the plus side, the Irish have a recent history of direct action. I suggest they hang some of their own politicians and see if that improves attitudes.

    Invasion, I’m afraid, is out of the question. If they like they can have their travellers back, but I shouldn’t think they want them any more than the folk of Essex do.

    What exactly did you have in mind for us to do?

  2. Mintee
    November 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Because it is our ‘neighbouring country’ and not ours?

    Our ‘history has been closely intertwined’ with France as well, want to stick your nose in there too?

  3. Kevin
    November 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    The Irish political class has been totally subverted by the Bilderberg group. Their former Attorney General Paul Gallagher is a Bilderberg stooge. He turned a blind eye to Irelands Constitution being circumvented by the ECB/IMF. The UK is in an even worse state. Ken Clarke is on the Bildrrberg group steering committee along with Mario Monti ( yes the new Italian Boss) AND A certain Marcus Agius, who happens to be the senior non executive director of the BBC Board. They also have Chis Patten ( BBC chief honcho) George Osborne etc etc. We are stuffed. The only solution is to turf out the entire political establishment!!

  4. November 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Oh, well, as long as they’re still happy that they voted yes second time around. They are still happy, right?

  5. November 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    They voted for doing away with democracy. Can’t really complain about it now.

  6. sovereigntea
    November 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    You base your comments on the premise of a free and fair referendum.

    Everything else is rigged and corrupted did the Irish really vote for doing away with democracy ?

  7. LFB_uk
    November 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    As the Irish have a history of non compliance with being governed, one wonders when the people will rise as they have done in the past. They never did hand over all those pesky weapons did they?

    • November 24, 2011 at 12:19 am

      Good point, LFB_uk. As admirable as the Irish are, activists in their nation pushed to the limit. Meanwhile, history shows that they wanted — perhaps needed — their independence.

      Much violence and bloodshed has resulted over the past century between them and the British. They have what they wanted — now, their present belongs to them.

      No hard feelings — I do not have a horse in this race — I’m merely observing history (O’Connell, Purnell, De Valera).

  8. Andrew Duffin
    November 24, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I propose a new law of the Blogosphere – we could call it Higham’s Law – which states that “anyone who mentions Bilderberg has automatically lost the argument”.

    Those in favour?

Comments are closed.