Naughty Step Again

Once again we Irish have been very, very bold.

Following this week’s kidnapping of a bank official’s wife and the subsequent robbery from the AIB branch where he worked, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern suggested charges for customers withdrawing cash at ATMs, as it’s for this reason that banks have to carry so much money. While he later backed down about the charges, he did insist that we should move more towards a cashless society.

In short, bank robberies are our fault, because we selfish feckers want access to our money. The government, to be fair to them, are doing their best to change this situation by taxing us and running our economy in such a way that we have less and less money to want access to, but still we demand what little we have, forcing the poor banks to stock money instead of carrying out proper banking functions, such as refusing credit, paying themselves bonuses and trying to find ways around the salary cap imposed on their chief executive.

Now many people would claim that the ever-increasing crime rate might be due to a police force that’s too small and under-resourced, or to backlogs in the court system, or to the revolving door system of prisons, because there are too few of them. These people might suggest that the blame lies at the feet of someone who could remedy some of those problems – a Minister for Justice, for example.

The sheer cynicism of these people is typical of what makes Ireland grate instead of great. Mr Ahern is a political and intellectual colossus. Admittedly he has not yet got to grips with the problems of drug-wars, increased paramilitary activity and a growing knife-culture, but he has brought in an inspired piece of legislation which means that grown men and women cannot buy a bottle of wine at a minute past ten on a Saturday night. If Dermo says we’re not worthy then worthy is what we are not, and if that phrase seems a little unwieldy then a shit is what I do not give.

Besides, he has a point. Housebreaking would not take place if we didn’t insist on filling our homes with TVs, laptops and small amounts of jewellery. Car theft would not happen if we didn’t all have cars. Muggings would not occur if it weren’t for our ridiculous insistence on walking the streets in broad daylight.

And what about political corruption? What about the procession of politicians, many of them from Mr A’s own party, who have been caught fiddling expenses, or committing slander, or spending money raised to help their sick friend, or presenting laughable evidence to a tribunal to explain their uxexplainable cash lodgements? Is that not the fault of the politicians themselves?

Mr Ahern would say no. He’d say that’s our fault too. And he’d be right.

We voted for them.

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