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(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity #83 - Justice in a corrupt society

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 23 Dec 2004 11:40:26 +0100 (CET)


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In the world we live in today, words like equality, freedom and democracy
are used so frequently and in many differing and often contradicting ways,
that the words themselves have been almost entirely stripped of meaning
and resonance. Justice is another example of a concept that has been
bastardised by the successive governments of this land, as a way to create
the illusion that we live in a healthy and 'normal' democracy. However it
has long been the case that the population of this fair isle is well aware that
there is one rule for some and another rule for the rest of us.
People intuitively feel that we live in a divided society of haves and
have-nots. It has been the role of each government of the day to dismiss,
and reject out of hand, any notion that society is structured in such a way
that exploits the great majority of the population for the benefit of the
ruling class and their business criminal friends.

We live in such times today. The structures of power and coercion over the
population are indeed so strong that the 'leaders' of this contorted
democracy can, with staggering arrogance, feel confident enough to do
away with even pretending that we live in a society based upon
fundamental concepts such as justice and equality. Michael Mc Dowell,
taking time out from reading congratulatory letters from the KKK on his
racist immigration 'policies', states openly that "..inequality is needed for
modern society to fuction." He was and still is minister for Equality,
Justice and Law Reform. When fellow PD Mary Harney was asked to
explain how someone responsible for equality and justice could even
suggest such a notion she said "The concept he tried to explain could have
been explained using different language - we don't live in a society where
everyone is the same -.its like a football team, some people are Premier
Division, and some aren't so good, unfortunately." You can only wonder
what this now means for the Dept. of Health!! Democracy, it seems, is
something we help the American and British governments kill Afghans
and Iraqis for, not something we need to apply to our own country.

So what about justice in this country? Justice is often thought of in terms
of crime and punishment. Miscarriages of justice are notoriously common
around politically motivated court proceedings, or as more recently seen in
Donegal, 'bent coppers' but they are not in any way restricted to these
types of cases. In fact the idea of singular miscarriages of justice in some
ways completely misses the point.

Ireland, like so many of industrialised 'democracies' employs a system of
justice that deliberately targets members of the working class. Basically
this is a tactic of ignoring the long established link between inequality,
poverty and crime and managing the results. Long term unemployment,
poor housing, and alienation from any meaningful decision-making
process which could improve communities combine to create an
environment in decay.

It sets up the conditions for communal decay and contributes massively to
what is called 'anti-social behaviour'. This is not an attempt to rationalise
away or ignore the very real impact that petty crime has, both to
individuals and to society as a whole, but to argue that justice can only be
achieved by tackling the causes of social decline and also by treating
everyone equally when judging their actions and resulting impact.

Why is it that there is no expensive tribunals set up to 'establish the truth'
about joyriding in Darndale. How come there isn't a ten year toothless
talking shop funded by me and you to discover what really causes inner
city decay and crime. The reason so often given for Flood, Moriarty et al is
that if these cases were heard before a court, the truth would never be
known. So, if the courts system cannot function in such a way to see
justice served to the country's biggest business criminals, because it is
unlikely to get to the truth about the institutionalised theft of our land and
money, why should the rest of us have to put up with it?.

Why also has the Criminal Assets Bureau limited its investigation to
particular types of criminals? One explanation that is proffered is that only
violent criminals need to be investigated. Again it is the state who defines
violent. I wonder if those waiting on hospital trolleys, unpaid care
assistants, under funded overworked public servants, those slaving under
job insecurity, or asylum seekers 'surviving' on 19 euros a week would
have a different interpretation of violence, knowing that this government
will do all in their power to hide the hundreds of millions of euros,
generated by us, that have lined the off shore accounts of their business
criminal friends.

Justice, like so much, will only be served when we stand up to demand it!!

by Mark Malone

===============================
This page is from the print version of the Irish
Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/paper.html
We also provide PDF files of all our publications
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/pdf.html for you
to print out and distribute locally
Print out the PDF file of this issue
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/ws/83.html


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