Thursday, June 3, 2010

Callely's two-fingered salute to Brian Cowen

Ivor Callely has a neck thicker than a rhinoceros’ rear end. If he thinks that the taxpayers of Ireland are going to stomach his mealy-mouthed explanation on his exorbitant expenses, he must be stupid as well.

When he once had a career as an elected politician, Ivor styled himself as Mr Dublin. He would swagger around his Dublin North Central constituency like the cat who got the cream.

He posed with his family on cheesy, sickly Christmas cards that he sent to his constituents and he made sure he was visible at all times - especially if there was a whiff of publicity in the air to be gained.

But all of a sudden - hey presto - it seems that Ivor is a Corkman, and a West Corkman at that when it comes to claiming his enormous and wholly unwarranted expenses.

The maths are simple - the farther away from Dublin you live, the more money can be claimed in mileage and subsistence.

The great businessman Ivor could not possibly refuse such an entrepreneurial temptation. He pounced on the money.

After getting a written roasting from Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Ivor The Engine finally agreed to break his silence yesterday in an effort to explain why - for expenses reasons - he claimed to be a Cork man and not a Dublin man.

But we got nothing. The only thing we got was unadulterated bullshit. The man from Clontarf - who nobody voted for - waffled and weaseled his way through his short statement to the Seanad.

His statement showed comtempt for the people of Ireland and was a two-finger salute to Brian Cowen

We are still at a loss to know why he managed to claim up to €81,000 over the past three years by using a West Cork address when the world and its mother knows that Clontarf is his home and always has been.

But should we really be that shocked? Our politicians have been dining out on our hard work for years. The expenses that they receive every year are mind-boggingly vulgar, not only by today's standards, but by any standards.

What we got from Ivor Callely was the 'Rody Molloy' defence - he was entitled to it.

A sense of entitlement has been borne out of the expenses regime in Leinster House - like pigs with their noses in the trough, they don’t know when to stop.

A new system of expenses introduced in March is expected to bring more transparency and accountability to the process.

But it is no longer about transparency and accountability - the sheer level of expenses such as mileage and subsistence that is paid beggars belief.

And the fact that it is tax free really rubs salt into the wounds of those who have been forced to default on their mortgages because they have no money or to those who are left languishing on a hospital trolley because of cutbacks in the health service.

Dublin TDs, for example, are given €1,000 a month in a ‘Travel and Accommodation Allowance. With no accommodation costs, just where are they going to clock up that amount in mileage? Are they driving to the moon and back every month?

If they were to spend this amount on mileage only, they would need to be driving 200 miles every day for 28 days out of the month. That's hardly happening.

It is a set amount and they get it automatically - regardless of whether they drive, cycle or walk into Leinster House.

And more so, what worker in Ireland gets paid mileage to travel to work? What worker in Ireland gets tax-free cash to feed and water themselves while they are at work?

This is a parallel universe - these wasteful creatures are living on another planet and don't even bother to try and mask it.

Expenses and allowances for politicians are a rip-off and this results in rampant greed.

Callely is a symptom of this outrage.

Was he not happy with his €65,621 a year he gets paid as a member of the useless Seanad - a Senator that was not elected by the people of Ireland but who was appointed to the job in the dying days of Bertie Ahern’s rule?

Unless Callely has a platinum explanation as to why he was claiming expenses from West Cork - the furthest point from Dublin - he should be forced to walk the plank.

He was not elected, he has no mandate.

If a proper explanation is not given by Callely, then Brian Cowen - if he is to retain a shred of credibility and authority - must cut Callely free. He will be no loss.


john said...

Well said. It's absolutely incredible that he should think he can claim expenses for travelling from his holiday home to work - that's simply shafting the tax payer.

godsong said...

Just when will Irish politicians develop a culture of resignation as we see in most other democracies?

It is truly a disgrace to watch an unelected public representative cling to power in this way.

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