Also Sprach Zarathustra

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A letter to the editor of the Irish Independent, published August 16, 2010. Full text reproduced below for posterity.

with regards to the comments made by Senator Liam Twomey regarding Brian Lenihan’s illness, and his ability to manage the finances of the State (‘Lenihan should resign because of ill health, says FG senator, Irish Independent, August 13), I am not a medical professional or a doctor like the senator, so I will not disagree with his diagnosis.

The point that irked me most about the senator’s comments is the increasingly disturbing trend by politicians, journalists and commentators to refer or compare the country we live in as a business, a corporation or a private limited company.

Mr Twomey’s remark that “Brian Lenihan is essentially managing a €50bn enterprise” is becoming typical of the way politicians see how this State runs and how they view the voting, but silent, majority of the public.

I do not live in Mussolini’s Italy.

This attitude of senior politicians is highly offensive to someone who has paid tax all through his career, who has avoided breaking the law and who has always supported the democratic process.

I have done all of the above — not due to fear of imprisonment or threats but because I believe in a State as an institution designed for the betterment of all; and via my taxes, good citizenship and sweat off my back, I am contributing to the country’s advancement.

When I work my eight- plus hours a day and finish for the evening, the moment I leave my office I am a free man. I am not a 24-hour worker in EireCorp. I resent being seen as taxable-income source in the good times and an overvalued asset in the bad.

The taxes I pay, I expect to go to works of public importance or high-priority facilities. I do not think that Mr Lenihan or Brian Cowen is my superior, or employer, for that matter.

I never got a wage packet from the State.

Mr Twomey, we the people are not workers in the great Ireland PLC: we will pay our taxes.

We will even pay more taxes, if required.

But we will not be told we are bottom-of-the-ladder workers in the fantasy corporation you live in.

Do not take your party’s victory in the next election as a sure thing.


Freddy Nietzy