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Accountability Culture?


I have always been struck by the quality of a Joe Higgins performance either in a live setting or in the Dáil. He is doubtless a great representative and tenacious in his activity. He ploughs a lonely furrow both in terms of ideology and in quality. On the Week in Politics last night however he made a good point regarding the government and especially Mr Lenihan. How is it that there is no culture of accountability within this political system? How can ministers and TDs be allowed to get away scot free with the degree of malpractice and ignorance they possess? It is an amazing feat of longevity that the FF ministers manage to wangle away from every single political mess they create without a single blemish. Fair enough we don’t exactly expect much better from them but then what might happen if we did?
The complete disregard for events of malpractice in politics is lamentable. The affair with Lenihan and McDowell only underlines the Travers debacle and so many other typical government enterprises. I am not advocating a witch hunt culture where the indo or the times decides who stays and goes. But I think it reflects on what politicians think of us when they hardly deem us worthy of holding them to account. The nation hasn’t got a great record in weeding out unsavoury characters nor exacting some form of parental control on TDs. I know it sounds desperately naïve but for sure it exists. Politicians do not respect nor acknowledge the claim that we hold over their actions. They have a moral accountability for events on their watch and events they perpetrate in our name.
A more serious consideration of their democratic responsibility would ensure some respect but I fear that this is yet another sign of where the loyalty of TDs lies. It certainly is not the tax payer.
Any Minister with respect for tax payers would be gone following a Cullen-esque adventure in E-voting or a Martin-esque adventure to Angola. Alas non, we are told it’s a nothing move on and get over it. If I stop short of demanding a resignation I am certainly calling for a serious move towards accountability, it’s our government and we should be the final arbiters of their fate. If they don’t like that prospect, they should consider their action before they take it.
We can’t fire them for every mistake, we can be sure they know what we think and have learned suitably. These are the problems facing democratic politics and until we get some serious change in place alienation with the system shall only grow.
Accountability was the suitably populist pillar of the Tory campaign in the UK but I think here it’s a cause should be taken up by all with respect and desire for a healthy political system; any opposition loses interest in it within two minute of election to power. We cannot trust them, it’s our natural instinct. But they do little to make us feel like altering our assumption.
Red Rover

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