How far is far enough?

10 11 2008

In relation to the chasing down and murder of an innocent man in Limerick over the weekend, I have a few thoughts I would like to put to you regarding the state of our country and criminal justice system.

We live in a civilised society. We live in a nation in which we contribute to the well being of the state in general by spending our lives working and paying a considerable sum of what we earn in direct and indirect taxation to a government mandated by the will of the majority to take the fruit of our hard work and distribute it in a fair manner and for the benefit of us all. We live in a country governed by certain rules and obligations carried by us all to the best of our ability to ensure the safety and comfort of our neighbours who in turn carry the responsibility in kind in a perfect circle.

We have given our mandate  to a group of people who have pledged to uphold all of the above in the interests of a fair, just and above all secure society in which we all have, through or rights, taken the responsibilities inherent in those rights on our shoulders and held, for the most part, our obligations in this social contract.

In the last number of weeks it has become apparent that in doing so we have given our mandate to a group of people who have utterly failed in every aspect of their duty to us.

First, we had the arrogance shown by the minister for finance in targeting the most venerable in society in a series of cuts aimed at tackling a budget deficit the likes of which haven’t been seen in Ireland for twenty five years. A deficit caused by corrupt planning, ineffectual financial regulation and what can only be described as cronyism of the highest order between the government and the construction sector is now to be paid for by the elderly, schoolchildren and the sick in a pathetic attempt to recapitalise the system that brought itself down in the first place, giving more money to the people who lost it all in the first place. A fool’s errand indeed.

Second, our minister for health removes funding for a vaccine that would immunise schoolgirls against Cervical Cancer in later life, effectively and completely unnecessarily sentencing a percentage of 12-14 year olds just home from school as I type this to an early and completely avoidable death.

And now, this weekend a completely innocent man, in a case of mistaken identity, is chased down and brutally murdered meters from his home by gang members attempting to kill a rival drug dealer who, as would be expected of most vermin, already survived several attempts on his life. I find it hard to blame the guy who pulled the trigger in this case. After all, he is a product of the society we have entrusted the government to run and when push comes to shove, scumbags will be scumbags and will operate within the parameters they are allowed to operate in by the wider society. The fault has to lie with the system that has allowed people like this to roam the streets of the country that we all work to sustain. This is ours and its being commandeered by the lowest of filth, who are allowed to murder and rampage with impunity while the rest of us live in fear of who the health board is going to put next door to us next. Incompetence, inaction and plain old fashioned laziness on the parts of the gardai and government have led us to a state where a fine, upstanding member of society is murdered on his way home from obeying the rules we all adhere to so some scumbag somewhere can sell a few more pills.

Remove the right to silence. Start putting people away for fifty years, effectively taking scum off the streets for the rest of their lives and in doing so, maybe, just maybe causing some of them to think twice and if they don’t, well at least they won’t have the chance to act twice.

A change is due. It is apparrent that Brian Cowen, Mary Harney, Willie O’Dea and all their colleagues are no good at what they do. We entrusted them with something very delicate.

Now its broken.

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