Ok, I'll try this take on it jt
Irish people have a MAJOR problem with taking personal responsibility, and like to complain an awful lot about things rather than trying to change things.
While I kind of agree, I think the real problem in this country is the absolute non-existence of accountability, right across the board. In both business and political life it's like a cancer. It's absolutely shameful.
I could write a thesis on it. Even if you only look at the past few months you have Mick Wallace. A man who admitted on national radio that he KNOWINGLY underpaid VAT (committed fraud), because if he declared the correct rates, he would have gone out of of business. Yeah Mick, that's how business works! Nothing is done. Stays in his position, retains his salary and future pension rights. Wallace was a story in the media for a week. Then it's forgotten about. The man is a criminal. This is just a crazy, crazy scenario.
Then you have Joe Higgins, a man I used to have complete respect for, and he's defending Wallace. Saying it's the people (voters) of Wexford that Wallace is accountable to, not the nation. And Joe Higgins then, about a week later admits to fraudulently using govt. expenses to travel to events around the country. He tries to claim that he was within his rights as his party is a small party and he couldn't go otherwise. When it's pointed out that this use of the expenses is clearly NOT covered by Dail legislation, again, nothing gets done. It's almost a non-story. And again, he's stealing from the State - nothing gets done.
And that's before I even mention Denis O'Brien, Michael Lowry, Ivor Callely or Bertie. This is just the last couple of months.
Or going further back..... any of the banking related figures, the law firms or audit firms who acted completely incompetently without ever having to face an examination of their practices. Those same audit firms are now advising NAMA and getting paid enormous sums of money. (BTW, the average salary in NAMA is over €100,000. AVERAGE salary for ~200 people is €100,000.)
If you look across the Irish Sea at Britain. If you get caught there, you're out. Diamond got bombed as soon as the sh1t hit the fan over the LIBOR rates. Politicians are regularly bombed for getting caught up in any scandal. And when you compare that to the complete disregard for the rule of law and absence of any sort of ethical standards in Ireland it becomes rage inducing. The mainstream media in this country have to take a HUGE part of the blame. The lack of reporting is mind boggling at times.
There's an acceptance in this country of shockingly poor standards in all walks of life, media, sports, health services, transport etc etc etc.
And as for trying to effect change, it is virtually impossible. There is widespread acceptance that this is just the way things are.