Coupled with that is the sense of shame and disgrace at the position to which we have been brought. In the past we were not subjected to wall-to-wall TV news, websites, etc. We rightly blame our governments for our plight. We rightly blame banks and developers. But we fail to look deeper for blame — to ourselves.
For more than 40 years voters accepted creeping corruption that ultimately threatened our democracy. The Fianna Fáil fundraising machine, Taca, was established in the 1960s to maximise party funding from business. There followed situations such as a developer building an office block in Dublin knowing the state would lease it — even if it was to be left empty. Gradually we allowed ourselves to be cajoled into voting for electoral platforms that offered unrealistic vistas — people only saw something for themselves personally. The media also facilitated the lack of scrutiny of such unrealistic policies. We eventually lost any sense of wrong and accepted obvious corruption.
It is up to us to raise ourselves up again to ensure that government acts for all the people and sees the country as a society — not just an economy. We will come right again eventually. But in what condition? Will the same people who brought us down still pull the strings?
More important, will we accept it?