I had reason to be in Wexford the other week and was party to a conversation in which a taxi driver declared his staunch support and admiration for independent TD Mick Wallace - not the only person in the locality to do so.
This was before Wallace settled - or his company settled - a sum of €2.1 million with Revenue after he had deliberately under-declared VAT payments made by the firm. A sum which Revenue is unlikely to get as the company is now in receivership.
I've always thought Ireland a strange place, even as a kid growing up in it. Where else - seriously - would you get an ex property developer socialist?
Mind you, we also have socialists who are against property taxes. We have patriotic, investor-supporting anarchists. We have (strangest of all) self-professed "socialist" teachers. Socialist in the deformed Stalinist-state sense I suppose, insofar as they would swear two-plus-two was five in order to maintain their privileges, like the most Stakhanovian apparatchik, and keep the whole rotten edifice in existence.
I do think Wallace is genuine, however. And I'd say he's an alright sort. And at least he is not that gobshite Ming Flanagan with his hick twenty-years-too-late "I smoke pot, you know" posturing. The prat who stood out in supported of a failed compulsory Irish policy when Enda Kenny talked about scrapping it. Kenny subsequently caved into the lobbyists, of course.
Wallace seems OK though. For instance, he has single-handedly provided football facilities for kids in his part of the country, where few - if any - existed previously. I mean "football" as it is understood throughout the whole world apart from the USA, where they require armour to play rugby.
"Soccer", some call it. Wallace has done a lot for the world's greatest game in that particular corner of a country cursed with the Irish establishment sports of Bogball and Stickfighting.
Several of Wallace's former employees called radio stations to support him today, and it seems he was a good bloke to work for. And I must say I found it funny to watch the feigned indignation of TDs getting all worked up about tax-compliance and morality, in a shysters' parliament that deliberately encouraged tax avoidance during the bubble, and possesses all the morality of a paedophile priest set loose in a Kindergarten.
It's difficult to see, however, how Wallace has not left himself open to easy comebacks by his political opponents should he ever speak on subjects such as public services, social welfare or the rest... all funded, of course, by taxation.
What might be interesting, I believe, would be a thorough investigation of every single Dail TDs finances. Property investments, business links, tax returns and the rest of it - even as they are serving TDs. I'm sure you would find quite a few forced to exchange sham indignation for prudent silence.
Wallace's under-payments at least date to before his election to the Irish parliament, but it's hard to see how his political career can continue - and it is finished for a fact if bankruptcy concludes his business affairs.
Back to Gombeen Nation main page