The government announced that the drink-driving limit was going to be reduced, and there was a huge backbench revolt. Local representatives raised hell about some old bachelor farmers not being able to drive home drunk any more and then what?
Well guess what? It turns out that the breath-testing machines in the police stations can’t handle the thing anyway. It will be 2011 before they can enforce the new rules because they have to replace all the machines.
So why didn’t they ask someone before they made the announcement? Is it because they’re a crowd of incompetent gobshites?
Wait one minute while I check in the ether …
… checking …
… checking …
Yep! Confirmed. They’re a crowd of incompetent gobshites.
The government made a decision before asking if it would work. They made an announcement with no facts because it’s all about appearances and nothing whatever to do with substance.
How quintessentially Irish. How closely it defines the problem with this country and how accurately it mirrors the malaise now afflicting us.
This is a country full of highly competent people, and yet we allow bullshitters to run the place. We permit absolute fools to take control of power even though they have no substance whatever, while the genuinely capable people take a back seat.
Why is this?
I was very impressed with cancer-specialist Professor John Crown last year as he railed against the administrators in the Health Service Executive. Crown, in a passionate outburst of frustration and rage, pointed out that the HSE is controlled by people who have only one skill: the ability to do well at interviews.
Instead of professionals with clinical experience running the health service, we have people who never did anything more complex than processing a dog licence, and these are the people we call managers.
Why? I don’t know. It’s a disaster, and it isn’t confined to health. It invades every corner of our country.
We have no public management in this country – just administrators – even though the public service is full of capable professionals, but unfortunately, it seems the culture in Ireland doesn’t value professional skills as highly as it values time-serving file-jockeys.
And therefore we have now arrived at a situation where the people think a fireman or a surgeon or a nurse or a street cleaner are in the same category as some gobshite with no discernible skills apart from wearing a straight tie.
These are the people advising government, not those who understand the front line. These are who who make the big policy decisions.
The dog-licence people.
On top of that, we have politicians drawn from a pool of complete idiots, due to a defective electoral system that elects glorified county councillors instead of mature legislators.
If Ireland is to survive the disaster we currently face, we have to make radical changes in the structure of our public service and in the structure of our political leadership.
We have to actively promote to the very top people with discernible, verifiable skills in business and technology. We have to return the current civil service leaders to their appropriate place: processing dog licences. And we have to revise our electoral system so that our parliament is no longer populated by gobshites looking over their shoulders in case some irate family in south Kerry vote against them for missing a funeral.
This means getting rid of the single transferable vote as soon as possible so that we get some semblance of leadership, instead of the tyranny of the ignorant, and it means replacing the dog-licence people with professionals who know how things should be done.
It’s not that complicated.