21 November 2009

The other Swine Flu

Two headlines that caught my eye in this morning's news feeds, from today's Irish Independent: "Gardai will turn blind eye to traffic offences", and from this morning's Examiner: "Garda arrested in trafficking probe".

To explain, one headline describes how our overworked and underpaid police force are going on strike on Tuesday and have publicly stated that they will not fine or arrest people for minor infractions of the law, the other tells how an upstanding and long-serving member of this resolute and noble institution has been arrested in Mayo for (allegedly) facilitating and participating in the trafficking of underage sex-slaves into this country from Nigeria.

Can you tell which is which?

Back in August the head of the Garda Representative Association said that “cutting the pay of young guards would make bribes from criminals more tempting.” Yes indeed, that was the leader of the police union threatening that his members would become even more corrupt if the government attempted to reduce their take-home pay. Before you start to feel too much sympathy for the hard working men and women in blue consider this, when a garda is on vacation they get an allowance to make up for the overtime they are not getting by being on holiday. This was just one of the perks recommended for abolition by An Bord Snip, and apparently the only thing preventing the police from falling lock, stock and two smoking barrels under the sway of our nation's master criminals.

If the holiday-pay allowance, rent allowance, uniform allowance, plain-clothes allowance, speaking-Irish allowance, working-at-Croke-Park allowance, embracing-change allowance and doing-paper-work-so-you-can't-claim-other-allowances allowance aren't enough to stop our police from (allegedly) engaging in acts of moral turpitude along the lines of, lets say, facilitating and profiting from the abduction of human beings and their enslavement and forced prostitution, then I say we must all support them in their day of action and call for the introduction of even more perks and bonuses.

How about a "not-participating-in-human-trafficking" allowance? I think we can all agree on that.

Yes, I know that there are many dedicated gardai that are in the job for the right reasons and genuinely risk life and limb every day on behalf of their fellow citizens, but seriously, every single day there are more and more revelations of ignorance, ineptitude and outright corruption and it is beyond a joke at this stage. Its not just one bad apple, its more a case of a few good apples in a rotten and festering orchard. Not even Bulmers could make anything with the pitifully manky fruit of these trees. This isn't expecting a free burger and chips from the local Super Macs, this is under-age prostitution and human trafficking. This is slavery, members of our police force (allegedly) facilitating actual honest-to-god slavery.

Every day as I better understand how this country of ours really works I die a little more inside.

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