Rules Of The Game


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Leinster House, Kildate Street, Dublin 2

How do you know a cover-up is in progress?

Observe the rules.

Martin McMahon writes:

There are a basic set of steps to every active cover-up. Regardless of whom is covering up what, these steps are universal:

Character Assassination – Attack the person exposing the cover-up, do it repeatedly, throw whatever shit you can in the hope that something will stick. This is a classic deflection tactic and will continue regardless of what evidence comes to light.

Internal Review – An Internal Review has a twofold purpose, firstly, it slows the pace of exposure and secondly (and infinitely more importantly), it places control of the process firmly in the hands of those covering up. Any written evidence can be ‘disappeared’ or if that proves impossible, contradictory manufactured evidence can be adduced in order to muddy the waters. This is particularly of use when combined with step 1. Those with nothing to hide have no fear of an independent outside investigation. When you hear the words ‘Internal Review’ it is a certain indicator that a cover-up is taking place.

Incomplete Label – This step has a number of names – ‘No evidence of wrongdoing‘ – ‘Not enough evidence to prosecute‘ etc. It places the onus on the person exposing the cover-up to leave no stone unturned in their exposure of a cover-up. This step is the one most often bought into by Media. A comprehensive exposure may run to hundreds or thousands of documents, not exactly convenient for editors with short attention spans. Reducing your exposure of a cover up to a convenient soundbite guarantees that an ‘Incomplete Label’ will be placed upon it.

Deny & Delay – When all else fails, deny, deny, deny. When ‘Plausible Deniability’ is no longer possible, baldfaced lies become dogma. The Justice process is so slow that continued denials may take years if not decades to reach a courtroom or tribunal. The costs involved in using the Courts are prohibitive for most individuals who will already have been beggared in their efforts to expose a cover-up.

‘Kicking’ it to the courts is the last line of attack by those who would cover-up. By the time any decision is made, the cover-up is no longer relevant to Media and the wrongdoers will have escaped any meaningful sanction regardless of a Judges decision.

In Ireland, the reward for aiding and abetting in a cover-up is promotion. It’s the ‘bung’ that just keeps giving, an increase in remuneration that spans the length of a career and on into one’s pension. Once compromised you belong to the ‘man’ – the next time you’re asked to look the other way you are compelled to do so.

Over time, a dysfunctional organisation ends up with willing compromisers in all the top positions. Even paragons of virtue are susceptible to the promotion manipulation. One can do everything by the book, cross all the T’s, dot all the I’s and dig your heels in.

In return you will get a clap on the back, an ‘attaboy, job well done’ and a move up the ranks that on the surface is a promotion but in reality is a move out of the way so that a willing compromiser can take over.

Martin blogs at RamshornRepublic


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22 thoughts on “Rules Of The Game

  1. phil

    Dont forget promotion is a tool used to ‘sanction’ an individual.
    Whatever the crime might be , the constitutional rights* of the accused and the dreadful risk of accusing an innocent of a crime are far more important than justice for the victim .

    * this is usually the accused right to their good name, mostly used for a person who does not have a good name to begin with.

  2. The Bad Ambassador

    You forgot “it would be improper of me to comment/speculate/agree that black is, in fact, black while the inquiry is ongoing” and it’s good friend “the inquiry has been tasked with completing a very important job of work and we should let it continue with that work”

    1. Mr. Camomile T

      “I will endeavour to try to do…” often comes up too. I will attempt to attempt to do something. Wow, don’t overcommit there minister, you might pull a muscle or something.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Ah yeah. Actually trying would be too much. But TRYING to try deserves a pay raise.

    2. Sheik Yahbouti

      My personal favourites are “scoping exercises”, which apparently take a very long time and cost an enormous amount of money. After the “scoping” it seems our betters can then get down to considering what should actually be investigated. Memo to self – open a “scoping” shop.

  3. Kieran NYC

    I think everyone should be made watch the entire series of Yes, (Prime) Minister at least once.

    Invaluable teaching tool for life.

    1. Cian

      Agreed. However what I learned from Yes, Minister is that either:
      a) the Minister was right, the Civil Servants wrong, but the Minister prevailed :-)
      b) the Minister was right, the Civil Servants wrong, but the Civil Servants prevailed :-(
      c) the Minister was wrong, the Civil Servants right, but the Minister prevailed :-(
      d) the Minister was wrong, the Civil Servants right, but the Civil Servants prevailed :-)

      or most often
      e) the problem is complex and there is no right or wrong solution only a blurred continuum of options any one of which will go towards solving some of the issues but will make others worse. And regardless of what option is selected it will cause happiness for some people, but grief for others.

      Unfortunately most people think that everything falls into
      f) the Minister is wrong, the Civil Servants are wrong, but some random punter on the Internet is right and has a simple fix for the problem.

  4. Murtles

    The tools of the trade of this government. Reviews, reports, enquiries, expert opinions and tribunal all delay tactics, all money spinners for the boys, all guaranteed that no one will face any consequences at the end and all reports end up gathering dust on a bookshelf while the ministers pat themselves on the back in the Dail bar (where all the important meetings happen seemingly).

  5. mildred st. meadowlark

    I have a question that will probably sound a bit… naive, but I don’t understand the protocol here.

    Is there any way for Sgt McCabe to say… sue GSOC, or the government, for slander or something like that? Is there no means by which he can take this outside of Ireland’s jurisdiction? Because it is plain that the systems in place here have clearly failed him?

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      It is bruited about that the family have commenced an action against Tesla/HSE. I believe that there is scope for further legal action, both here and before the ECHR.

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