DURING the last general election campaign Fine Gael made much of its five-point plan to rejuvenate a battered society and an imploding economy. The fifth point promised “to stamp out cronyism and low standards” in politics.
The latest in a relentless litany showing that the war on low standards has hardly been opened much less won is the pantomime of arrogance and armour-plated disdain shown by Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy when it became known that on-duty gardaí drove him over 200km to Dublin Airport in a patrol car after his car broke down in the middle of the night in north Cork.
That he sees nothing wrong with removing, even on a “quiet night”, scarce policing resources from a community adds the charge of dreadful judgment to blind hubris. His explanation on why he could not have used a taxi is so bizarre that not even a deluded 18 year-old would use it to try to get out of a tight corner. Mr Murphy’s justification is straight out of the gubu handbook of how to abuse your position and, tragically for those who voted for real change, confirmation that every political party has members who don’t understand their responsibilities or what proper standards actually are.
Even a dime-a-dozen consultant will acknowledge that the culture of an organisation is set at the top so Mr Murphy’s commandeering of a Garda car as a hackney raises questions for his party’s leadership. Stamp out low standards indeed.
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