Paying price of political culture

I have a dirty little secret; I’ve paid the household charge.

Don’t judge me, I hate myself enough already. But let me try to explain my deviance, if you can stomach it.

I hate political corruption and all the lies that go with it, both the unchallenged and unpunished. I grew up near Charlie Haughey, in Coolock, north Dublin. But it might have been in North Cape Town, as that’s how far removed we were from the millionaire Charlie Haughey, the leader of the Soldiers of Destiny (SODS). As a child I would see that man drive past in his motorcade of Garda outriders, as he drove along the Malahide road to do ‘business’. I could see over the boundary wall at Kinseally at the mansion in which this man lived, and concluded as a child that this man was a mafia don. I was and am not a genius, but neither am I thick. I have a medium-sized brain.

So if a child with a medium-sized brain could see Haughey was a corrupt man, what does it say for the voters that returned him, and his political child Bertie Ahern voted into power so often?

All religious faiths hold the view that behaviour is ultimately judged. The Buddhists talk of ‘Instant Karma’, the Christians, ‘judgement day’. I have news for my fellow citizens; our chickens have come home to roost. We are now paying for the culture of politics we all tolerated for decades. The judgement is harsh, the punishment great, but the current state of affairs in this country is the ultimate responsibility of a lazy and detached electorate.

So, where does the household charge come in? This taxation is kindergarten for the politically ignorant. When we pay it, we then have the right and obligation to demand equitable service provision from local public officials, not politicians. We must learn how to relate to public servants in a mature manner. If we get this local interaction right, we might be able to understand how Charlie and Bertie screwed us, and demand mature representation from national politicians.

Declan Doyle



Co Kilkenny

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