Liamy Mac Nally
We are in a moral dilemma more than an economic recession. We face a huge moral question. History will define it as such. We allow cuts to be implemented that affect elderly people, sick children and people with disabilities while we pump billions of euro into banks. Most of these banks have been tarnished by greed and corruptibility. Why are these banks taking moral precedence over the needs of the citizens of the state? This is not the world of economics but the world of morality. That is the only question leaders of the state have to answer.
For too long we have reduced morality to the sphere of sexuality. Whether it has been Church influence and the prevalence of Catholic guilt or not, the reality facing Irish citizens today is less about sexual morality and more about economic morality. Why are we pumping billions of euro into propping up banks while citizens of the state are being denied services? Telling us that the diktats of the EU and the IMF must be adhered to makes us into nothing more than a hind-tit democracy. No one who fought and died for this country did so on that basis. A republic that cowers before fiscal masters is not a republic but a puppet state.
A letter writer to the Irish Times recently posed a simple question: “Why not use the money that we are pumping into the banks to write off the debt of people who are in arrears?” It would solve two problems – the banks would still get their money and have healthier balance sheets while many people who face ruination would have their bank debt resolved. Instead we pour money into the banks to ensure that their French, German and British ‘supporters’ are paid off the backs of the Irish taxpayer. Where is the morality is this? Where is the morality in taking bank debt that stemmed from bank greed and making Irish taxpayers responsible for it? This is being done by an out of control loan shark EU, dominated by Germany, France and Britain.
The question for our Government is simple – is it moral to burden taxpayers with a debt that is not of their making? In allowing that debt to be subsumed by Irish taxpayers is it moral to cut services to people in need to service that debt? The current Government will have to answer those questions. We know that the last outfit - Fianna Fáil and the Green Party – lost the plot when it came to morality and the use of reason. Fine Gael and Labour have no excuse to continue down that road of moral cowardice. People demand a leadership of moral integrity. Enda Kenny is gifted on so many fronts, with the attributes needed to lead this country to a new dawn. He has no baggage just a record that speaks of honesty and honour. He will have to use these gifts to tackle the moral vacuum that masquerades as ‘economic recession.’
It brings to mind a wonderful book by one of Ireland’s greatest statesmen, Seán MacBride. In A Message To The Irish People he gives his views and proposals on: The Slave Mentality, Unemployment, Partition, Hunger Strikes and Afforestation, among other issues. Too often today we hear references to Merkel and Sarkozy instead of hearing about our own great leaders and thinkers. For the record, Seán MacBride, SC, was a former Irish Foreign Minister, a founder of Amnesty International, a Signatory to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Commissioner for Namibia, President of the International Peace Bureau (Geneva) and Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974, the Lenin Prize for Peace in 1977, the American Medal of Justice in 1978 (the only non-American to receive it at the time. This is something that President Obama should be told), the Medal of the International Institute for Human Rights in 1978, the UNESCO Medal of Merit in 1980, and the Dag Hammerskjoeld Award in 1981.
This week and next we touch cheeks with the British monarchy and the American President. Have we a better example of Irish leadership than that of Seán MacBride? His father, Westport native, Major John MacBride, gave his life in the foundation of this state and his mother, Maud Gonne, was selfless in her pursuit of justice for Ireland. We need people in this country today who not only believe in principles but who also act on them. Major John, Maud Gonne and Seán MacBride were fitting examples.
The morality of governing a state centres on duties to citizens not banks. Morality demands that we stand up and be counted, even if we face the EU firing squad.