Enough waffle, Ming. You're not a 'victim of corruption'
on 14/03/2013 00:00:00
This is obviously what we are supposed to take from his righteous statement in the Dáil this week on the quashing of his penalty points which he got for driving while using his mobile phone.
For days, the Roscommon TD dodged media calls and requests for information about a report that he used Dáil privilege to wipe two points clean off his driving record.
His admission of guilt on Tuesday night in the chamber surprised many. Not only did Ming have two points cancelled by gardaí, but another two were prevented from going on his record by a senior county council official, he alleged.
It seems everyone else is to blame for Ming's (mis)fortune.
The independent TD joined other TDs recently in calling for an inquiry into the alleged mass cancellation of penalty points by gardaí. He was preaching from inside Leinster House to other TDs and the public.
On Feb 6, Ming made a number of statements surrounding the expunging of penalty points in general. Looking back on them, it is impossible to believe that Ming said those words with a straight face knowing full well that his fines and points had been cancelled because he was, in his own words, an "important person".
On that day in February, he told Justice Minister Alan Shatter: "For justice and for policing to work, people must be fully assured that everyone is treated equally. There is one thing better than an apology, which is to make sure that corruption does not happen in the first place."
It's like he was predicting the moral dilemma he would be facing down the line. His apology to voters leaves the same question as to why he used his position as a TD to quash his own points. That would have prevented the "corrupt" act, which he finally yesterday admitted it was, from happening in the first place.
Another statement he made on that same day last month beggars belief: "It is shocking to think that people are scared to tell the truth about justice and the law in this country."
The complete hypocrisy of his position, against the background of his sanctimonious lecturing, has now been exposed.
More importantly, the revelation that he did not tell the truth about points on his record to a newspaper or to an inquiry on Twitter in December has done no favours to politicians in Leinster House. His cover-up has damaged politics - and it has angered fellow politicians. Ming will be isolated in the coming weeks and months as an elected representative, and some have even suggested he should resign.
Ming says he was planning to wait until after Shatter unveiled a Garda report on the cancelling of penalty points before revealing all. But that's not what his office told the Irish Examiner this week.
When contacted, one of his staff said the TD had planned to reveal his quashed points last week, but that the discussion on legislation on spent convictions had been delayed until this week, when Ming used the opportunity to speak about it.
His claim that a senior Roscommon local authority official said his points would be "sorted out" was dismissed by the county manager Frank Dawson yesterday. Dawson even went as far as referring his version of events to senior gardaí.
Ming has put himself forward as a victim of circumstance, blaming gardaí and others for his cancelled points. Enough waffle. A full and detailed explanation is now needed.