Someone who presented himself as ‘new thinking’ is actually just ‘old behaviour’.
If Wallace is feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable as you say, I think its because his values as he professes them are so clearly out of line with his actions. I wouldn’t call that hypocrisy normally because we all have values we don’t live up to. But he’s the guy putting banners on his building sites etc and raising his profile generally. The rest of us don’t do stuff like that.
I’m not following this story too closely but I think the bank are getting away far too lightly. I’d say they are the ones not releasing a portion of sales proceeds from each property to pay the VAT.
AFAIAC the pink shirts, the long hair, the football man of the people shite, its all bullshit. And it always was. He knew all along how business worked in Ireland. Generally business people are as tax compliant as they can afford to be. And by “afford” I mean they pay their essential creditors, they decide the standard of living they want for themselves and pay the Revenue after that.
Yes. Deal with him indeed. But strangely we have a political system that doesn’t allow for impeachment or any other kind of effective sanction - won’t we have to elect people who might change that?
And when it comes to ‘creating a culture of personal responsibility’ I have no answers. But I don’t think that it can be imposed. It will be one of those grassroots movements. It starts with the self, not the other. And while enough selves find Mick Wallace a fitting representative of self, or Michael Lowry, or Bertie, or buy their designer goods made by kids in sweatshops (because not to would wreck their economy), or their cheap veg harvested by ill-treated immigrants in Spanish glasshouses - whoever, then I don’t see any change is possible. Except in the bit that I control myself. I have no answers.
You forget that we’ve chosen ‘one case’ over and over again through Tribunals. Mick Wallace is nothing new. He’s everything old.
I’m far from advocating that we ‘hide behind the lack of said culture’ or make excuses because everything is so rotten. But until the man on the street has a realisation of what is rotten, very little will change. Because your neighbour will still want to be bumped up the housing list, seen before someone else in A&E, have their payments backdated because they meant to apply in time but didn’t, take a longer cigarette break, clock out for her buddy at 5 instead of when she leaves at 3.30, do a couple of grinds on the side or have some benefit in kind perk without telling the taxman, park without paying for it, shave a few grand off the price of a house because the seller is so far down on his luck she’d be a sucker not to take advantage, pass by a Eugene Maloney getting battered on Camden St…
I’m fascinated that you would quote (intentionally?) from George Herbert’s The Collar, which is all about fighting an institution, and then finding solace in it. Because he may initially have 'struck the board and cried ‘no more, I will abroad…’ but ended up by saying 'me thought I heard one crying ‘child?’ And I replied ‘my Lord.’
I agree with everything that you say with respect to personal responsibility and its lack in the majority of people in Ireland. As I have said previously, it is only when take, take, take and take again culture become socially unacceptable (much as drink driving was acceptable, but now is not), that things will change. The only thing that will change this attitude is social opprobium. That’s why ensuring that activities like Mick Wallace’s are not brushed under the carpet. The game to date has been public outrage for a few weeks, (months or even years if tribunals are involved), but nothing happens and the next outrage comes along. How many tax dodgers / corrupt politicians / crooked developers have gone to jail? The law isn’t being enforced and as long as it isn’t being enforced the culture will continue. The politicians, the people and now it appears that the press want the status quo to continue.
Its up to people like Kerrigan to keep banging on about the graft, exposing and excoriating those abusing the system. This is where we part company, as I feel that his latest article is an apologia for the status quo, which has served ireland poorly.
Actually, it starts with education (like so many things). In some other countries, kids take formal classes like Civics or Social Studies. Even American public schools (which are not exactly bastions of progressiveness) have Social Studies classes that teach how the country is governed, what taxes are used for, how elections work, etc.
It’s not exactly going to transform our messed up culture, but it would be great for kids to be exposed to this at an early age. There is a tiny bit of this in the SPHE syllabus, but the word “vote” does not even appear in the syllabus document.
It’s intolerable that Revenue refuse to make a statement condemning Mick. I know that, ordinarily, they could hardly single him out as that would be unfair, but Mick has made a public statement and that statement is not protected by client confidentiality. I’ve made the Revenue Fraud dept. aware of Micks statement… this being the statement in which he acknowledges he deliberately and criminally defrauded Revenue. I’ve asked that Revenue comment on it. They refuse to do so, incorrectly citing client confidentiality. (Micks statement is public)
I have pointed out to Revenue that Revenue’s reputation is suffering as they are seen to be either complicit in criminal activity, or else incompetent… and that their refusal to condemn lawbreaking is making things worse.
I have pointed out that Mick is one of the most high profile individuals in the State, and also that he is a role model to us all. (self evidently true). Revenue’s failure to prosecute will result in increased non-compliance. They make no comment, and seem not to care about the role model issue.
It’s a total disgrace, and Revenue should be ashamed. I’m no coward and I have said this directly to their face. I’ve also said that I have no intention of paying tax to them in the future, and I don’t. (It’s a duty of every citizen not to support corruption, and so what I’m doing is not only correct, but required of a good citizen.)
I’m sickened by this country and refuse to accept that Revenue or the government have any authority over me,… certainly no moral authority. They can enforce physical threats of course,… but so can any corrupt regime, … it doesn’t make them right.