Wise Up Journal
By Benjamin Smith-Kavanagh
A worrying trend by our government and media recently is the constant attempts to convince everyone that we need to introduce more draconian laws to deal with the problems we as a society face daily. What most people fail to realise is the serious pattern of manipulation and control in place. This is done through the sensating of isolated incidents to make us believe we need to give up our rights in order to stop serious criminals, but by doing so we all lose freedoms which were supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution.
Politicians have used some of the tragic events over the last few months, for example the death of Irish model Katie French following a drug overdose and the murder of Polish men Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwijkos allegedly by teenagers with a screwdriver, to mislead the public. They have manipulated the events to say that Gardai should have the right to raid anyone’s home without a warrant and that the low price of drink was the reason why Mr. Kalite and Mr. Szwijkos were murdered.
‘Raid house parties’, Ahern tells Gardai
““Gardai should raid house parties to search for cocaine“, the Taoiseach told the Dail.
Reacting to public outrage at the growing cocaine culture, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern today told the Dail he would like to see gardai raiding house parties to search for drugs. “The question I have asked more than once in the past week is why don’t gardai go into house parties where people are using cocaine“, he said.
“The gardai have strong powers in this area and I would like to see them enforced more strongly. I want to be frank about that.””
As the Taoiseach of the country he should be upholding the law of the Constitution and indeed quoted it recently with regard to not having a bank account. Perhaps he should familiarise himself with other articles of the Constitution:
Article 40.5 The dwelling of every citizen is inviolable and shall not be forcibly entered save in accordance with law.
Gardai are not allowed to forcibly enter and search someone’s home without a valid warrant, but the Taoiseach said it’s okay for the Gardai to search anyone’s home without such a warrant. This means that private homes can be searched because the Gardai say they believe drugs are being used without any proof or a valid warrant, anybody can be targeted. It would be naive to think this trend will end with the departure of Ahern in May and we should be alert to the use of these tactics by all politicians. The Taoiseach used the Death of Katie French to try and manipulate us into believing we need to accept warrant-less searches to deal with the widespread drug culture in our society.
If these measures were actually introduced the only thing it would do is to further alienate us from the Gardai who would be “just doing their job”, perhaps not realising that in the past this has been one trademark of police controlled by oppressive governments, which these trends show us to be in the embryonic stages. This would ultimately breed corruption in the force by having a free reign to do what they want. Law enforcement with personal grudges against citizens could harass individuals with impunity. While the majority of Gardai are outstanding men and women, in every organisation there are always a few corrupt people, if these were given a free pass to do what they want when they want to, it would make the majority of the public fear and disrespect the all of the Gardai.
Yet again when another tragic event happened, our politicians and the media were ready to exploit it to serve their own agenda. This being the murder of two Polish men after allegedly refusing to buy drinks for teenagers who were not able to buy it themselves. If the events happened as reported surely this means the laws we already have in place stop people who are under age from buying alcohol. But the way our Taoiseach and the media spun it, you would believe these teenagers were drunk and anybody is able to go into a shop and buy alcohol regardless of their age which is just not true.
Here is part of the Irish Independent article by Ronald Quinlan to highlight this point:
Bertie’s drink war in wake of murders
“Mr Ahern has been ‘saddened and shocked’ by a number of recent events. The brutal murder of two Polish men : Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwijkos , following their refusal to purchase alcohol for underage youths in the Dublin suburb of Drimnagh, The ready availability of alcohol in supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations across the nation, as well as the growing incidence of cheap drink promotions targeting young people, are just two of the issues the Taoiseach wants to see dealt with as a matter of urgency. Below-cost selling of alcohol and special offers in supermarkets and shops are also set to come in for special attention from the Government, with Mr Ahern pledging to bring an end to these practices, which he believes have had an adverse impact on people’s attitudes to drinking.
Commenting on this, Mr Ahern said: ‘It is my belief that the way in which alcohol is sold nowadays has had an impact on our attitudes towards consumption. The fact that beer is now as easily accessible as bread or milk, and in many cases more prominently displayed, has undoubtedly led to an increase in consumption’. The Government is also increasingly concerned about the growing number of licensed premises choosing to avail of special exemption orders which allow for longer opening hours. Under the terms of such orders, licensed premises are allowed to serve alcohol until 2.30am with a further 30 minutes drinking-up time permitted. With large numbers of drink-fuelled revellers pouring out of the nation’s pubs from 3am onwards, several nights a week, Mr Ahern expressed his belief that this was now contributing ‘significantly to the downward spiral of behaviour on the streets’.”
We already have strict laws on the sale of alcohol, including the need for a valid ID confirming you’re old enough to purchase alcohol or you cannot buy it. The government’s response to the murders is that we need to increase the price of alcohol, even though the price of alcohol has nothing to do with why these two men lost their lives, but the public must be sold on anything that sounds “creditable” so the government can confiscate more taxes, while the majority of people who drink responsively will feel the sting in their pockets.
Ahern has tried to say that the murder of Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwijkos were because of the ready availability of alcohol in supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations across the nation. When it was reported that it the teenagers took the lives of two men because they refused to buy them alcohol that they were unable to buy themselves.
According to Ahern the government is also increasingly concerned about the growing number of licensed premises choosing to avail of special exemption orders which allow for longer opening hours. Under the terms of such orders licensed premises are allowed to serve alcohol until 2.30am with a further 30 minutes drinking-up time permitted. With large numbers of drink-fuelled revellers pouring out of the nation’s pubs from 3am onwards, several nights a week, Mr Ahern expressed his belief that this was now contributing ‘significantly to the downward spiral of behaviour on the streets’.
If anyone was actually serious about sorting out this problem, they would know that it is because the government says that premises have to stop selling alcohol at certain times, that once people hear last orders they try to drink as much as possible as soon as possible and are then sent out on to the streets en mass. This is the same government which stopped the licensing of cafe bars a few years ago which would have allowed people to drink sensibly leaving in their own time, and would have eliminated so many people pouring out onto the streets at the same time.
The media have continued this trend of trying to convince the public that we need to give up more of our rights and pay higher prices for goods and services (by adding more tax) because a small percentage of the population engage in serious crime. As was the case with the outbreak of violence in Finglas on Saint Patrick’s Day. Anyone can pick up a main stream paper and see for themselves the attempts to sell the public on solving problems with even more restrictions on their freedoms.
By Maeve Sheehan and Niamh Horan
“Drink- and drug-fuelled assaults by teenagers are leading to a crime wave, which the authorities accept is now out of control. As well as random assaults with knives and screwdrivers, children as young as 12 are being groomed to move drugs, cash and, in some cases, weapons for crime gangs.
Last week’s rioting in parts of Dublin involved gangs of youths who hijacked and burned cars at random.
Gardai have also called for new laws to reduce loitering around burger joints, which they believe act as a magnate for anti-social behaviour, particularly at the weekends. One senior garda officer also said the State needed to examine its approach to juvenile crime. Only a tiny proportion of children and teenagers who are involved in violent crime end up before the courts — and when they do there is no place to put them.” [emphasis mine]
Let’s get something straight, there is an epidemic of youth crime and the proposals to solve it is to say that loitering is the main reason it is happening, so if we introduce more laws against loitering the crime wave will end. Did the public actually forget what loitering means?
To stand about without any aim or purpose; to stand about idly; to linger; to hang around.
Loitering on the street outside the stores is discourage , but encourage inside.
The very act of loitering is to do nothing so how can you logically say that the crime wave is because people are doing nothing. In a supposedly free society it is now against the law to sit on a park bench, or talk to your friends at the shops. Not everyone will feel the affects of these laws as enforcers can use the power as they please, against teenagers, against people protesting trying to protect everyone else’s freedoms, and so on. These loitering laws are in direct conflict with our Constitution: Article 40.3.1, The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen.
It is everyone’s personal right to stand on public ground dong nothing or talking about government corruption if they choose to do so. By examining all of the above we can see an emerging pattern, the government and media are using tragic events and isolated incidents as a means to manipulate people into believing that we are not entitled to the rights afforded to us by our Constitution. An informed public can better protect it’s freedom, inform who ever you can.