Sutherland and McDowell et al: Safeguarding the Rights of Certain Individuals


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I’m finding the whole inquiries referendum debate rather baffling.

We’re not supposed to trust politicians to inquire into things, because they could be biased. And because the kindly misters Sutherland and McDowell tell us too.

No, we should trust the judiciary who, of course, are completely unbiased in any respect. This is a judiciary every one of whose members is a political appointee. And they don’t get that appointment unless they can show utility and fidelity to their political sponsors and an ability to unobtrusively and below the radar protect the interests of those sponsors. The judiciary is drawn exclusively from a profession – the Bar – which actively, openly and brazenly practices some of the most groteseque and obnoxious forms of social exclusion in modern Ireland (devilling?), so that the leading elements of this profession who progress to be members of the judiciary are drawn from an infintisimally narrow segment of the population. From a section where wealth, privilege and political connections are concentrated and transmitted through the generations, and where the realities of life for the vast majority of Irish citizens are completely unknown. These are the people I should trust to guard my interests more than Joe Higgins, Clare Daly, Richard Boyd Barret, Gerry Adams, Peadar Toibin, Seamus Healy etc?

The circularity at work in holding that judges are the best defence our interests is interesting. For a judge to get a position he/she must spend years stewing in some political party, picking up on the way the culture of that party works, the ways its members think, the broad outlook of that party, ingratiating him or herself into the party, socialising with its members (marrying leading members in may cases), and we’re supposed to believe that none of that influences their decision making processes once they get to occupy the bench? Anyone with a nodding acqaintance with Irish jurisprudence will know that there are areas where judges can justify X or Y decision on policy grounds (i.e. it might please the political elite, of all parties). That there are areas where judicial discretion and interpretation favours the powerful.

No-one is going to be put against a wall and shot or sent to a labour camp because of the inquiries referendum, but life might get considerably more uncomfortable for the Sean Fitzpatrick’s and Denis O’Brien’s of this world. I want TD’s hunting answers out of these people, given that we’re going to be paying for their corruption for decades. But, hey, some on the Left would appear to prefer oligarch’s clogging up the courts with judicial review cases rather than having to answer to democratically elected politicians. A strange world, indeed.

Finally, McDowell in particular is exposing his cynical hypocrisy for the umpteenth time. If he had even an iota of concern for the rights of individuals he’d be advocating free legal aid to take judicial review cases for those without means. Of course, he’d never do that, but many on the Left are willing to fall in behind him and his perverted interpretation of individual rights.

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2 Responses

  1. SOS

    October 27, 2011 1:59 pm

    Mind you, this also makes the case for why we should vote against touching judges pay.

    For aren’t these judges exactly the type who will cave into pressure at the slightest inkling of a cut in pay? Is not their inflated pay the only thing that keeps them honest, and outside the grime of politics?

    Is it?

  2. vincent wood

    October 27, 2011 2:23 pm

    If ever there was a person to fit the maxim ‘Something of the night about him.’ it is McDowell.

    He managed to close down the Centre For Public Inquiry and ‘Daily Ireland’ with his interventions and was an early participant in the stop McGuinness campaign in this election.

    Never a one to let embarrassing failure get in the way of his ego.

    To be maligned wherever possible.