Thursday, January 14, 2010

Don't Shoot the Messenger Noel!

Shoot the messenger - that is obviously what Fianna Fail’s Noel Treacy likes to do when quizzed about his high expenses.

For when asked about being the highest claimant in the Dail (last year he claimed €95,233 between expenses and allowances), the bold Noel tried to turn the tables on the journalists who simply reported the fact.

He claims there is a constant promotion through the media that politicians are getting lumps of cash, tax-free, into their back pockets.

“It is a constant incitement to public anger against politicians, which is totally unfair,” he says.

So he tried to crank up the rant machine inside him and have a go at the hacks who work out of Leinster House to bring the people of Ireland the news of what our politicians are up to.

First off he cribs about the fact that there are so many journalists accredited to Leinster House.

Well here’s a fact Noel - take it as a compliment that so many journalists are eager to cover the comings and goings of what goes on in our corridors of power.

He then goes on to say that journalists are provided with a range of free facilities at Leinster House, such as car parking, office space, phones, faxes, emails, computers and office facilities.

Well Noel, on behalf of the reporters who actually work out of Leinster House (a small fraction of those accredited) - that is not exactly true!

Let’s see: car parking - nope, not all journalists are entitled to a car parking space. In fact only a tiny minority enjoy this entitlement. I certainly don’t.

Now on to the other so-called perks that seem to irk the Deputy from East Galway. Yes we have access to email ON OUR MOBILE PHONES and faxes are an out-dated luxury enjoyed by only a handful of journalists.

And now to the crucial point - the fact that journalists have office space and computers in Leinster House.

What democratic parliament anywhere else in the world does not have press facilities for journalists? Would you rather we work out in the street? Or would you rather we ignore the goings on in Leinster House completely?

So Noel, before you start whining about the manner in which the media report on the tax-free expenses and allowances that politicians get - engage the brain a bit and maybe concentrate on ways to reform the system.

Thankfully we live in a democracy that enjoys a free press. And we will continue reporting on the expenses and allowances paid to politicians - like it or not.

And as for the reporting of TDs’ expenses and allowances being a ‘constant incitement to public anger against politicians’ - are you having a laugh?!

Some politicians are capable of doing that all by themselves!

1 comment:

kerryview said...

Catherine, this little story could have been about any of those FFers. Too long in charge. The sooner they go the better. But I'm not counting on FG/LAB being any moer co-operative with the press following the honeymoon!