As Tunisia and now Egypt writhe in political and social revolution, the world looks on and the powers that be brace themselves for economic and societal chaos.
Ireland and its people could learn from the Tunisians and Egyptians.
In both these countries a dictatorship has ruled with repression for 30 years. In Ireland, although we have no military dictatorship, we have had a bunch of parochial clowns ruling the country for decades, a golden circle that has ensured its own preservation no matter what the cost to ordinary Irish people, the taxpayers!
The recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) charade will gradually impact the economy in a negative way, forcing taxes to increase and government services to decline. Why pay taxes to prop up a corrupt regime that is beholden to banks and the IMF?
What is the purpose of government? And what of banks -- should they be allowed to gamble the deposits of the ordinary taxpayer?
These are the critical questions that Irish people need to ask. How long will the political charade in the Dail (Parliament) continue? Shouldn’t the ordinary people demand change by going into the streets and blockading Dail Eireann and forcing these charlatans to resign?
In Cairo today, neighborhoods have been organized on the basis of groups of people protecting their property from looters, police and military thugs. Will such a scenario occur in Dublin in the next few years?
How much pain will Irish people endure economically before they cannot take anymore of the weak leadership that has dominated the interests of the golden circle of decades?
On a recent vacation to Dublin over Christmas I observed the current social and economic landscape, and it seems the anger is palpable. But the direction of that anger needs to be re-directed toward real change.
In Egypt the population is 80 million, 50% of whom are under 20 years old. Ireland has one-twentieth of that population and many of its young, strong and dynamic people have emigrated. This “safety valve” has protected the golden circle for generations.
No longer -- Irish immigrants here in the U.S. and elsewhere should be granted the right to vote. We are one if the few countries in the world that denies our immigrants the right to vote. This is an outrage!
Ireland has massive potential. But first let’s clean house and kick these clowns out, tell the IMF to take a hike and build upon the foundations of sustainable local businesses, not an orgy of investing in multi-national corporations that have two short term goals: profit at all costs and minimum tax payments.
A.P. Ó Máille
New York, New York