“In a democracy.. the greatest veneration one can show the rule of law is to keep a watch on it, and to reserve the right to judge unjust laws and the subversion of the function of the law by the power of the state. That vigilance is the most important proof of respect for the law.”
Nadine Gordimer, South African author
The tactics of injustice and suppression
SOME TYPICAL DISINGENUOUS TACTICS used against citizens
Ignoring your correspondence
Ignoring issues or otherwise not properly responding to legitimate questions
Sending multiple overlapping responses from different departments
Failing to adhere to their own code of ethics or codes of conduct
Prevaricating / running down the clock / declaring issues ‘out -of-time’
Making contradictory, inaccurate, misleading or deceptive statements
Claiming to ‘have already dealt with the matter in previous correspondence’
Telling you they will ‘be in touch in due course’.. (but then all goes silent..)
Referring you to another agency or department.. (who never contacts you again)
Stating ‘this matter is now closed!’.. (despite your ardent protestations)
Misquoting the contents of your own letters back to you
Arrogance, rudeness, dismissiveness and/or general contempt
Forgery, backdating documents, altering websites etc
Threats or intimidation.. (often veiled or anonymous)
Failing or refusing to turn up at Court.. (yet no-one is held accountable etc)
Deception, forgery, perjury, conspiracy to pervert justice or other criminal acts
The golden rule is ‘the rule of three’. If anyone you deal with is unreasonable, unprofessional or incompetent - or otherwise repeatedly fails to adhere to their own declared code(s) of conduct, you have every right to cease communicating with them. No-one but a fool would do otherwise. No statutory authority can reasonably expect a citizen to continue to indulge in inept, circuitous, offensive or disingenuous exchanges when the other party does not respect the rules - especially when the other party is being paid by the taxpayer! Don’t forget, that officially they are there to serve the public - i.e. us.
So, develop your own ‘Rules of Correspondence’ (available in the secure members’ area) and use it as a footnote on all formal correspondence. This establishes an agreement between corresponding parties. Then, if the contempt and abuse continues, fill out a complaint form and send it to us for our public catalogue. It’s time to let these agencies know they are being held accountable!
When they ignore, delay, frustrate and obstruct you..
Most people are surprised at first by the circuitous, intimidatory and obstructive tactics deployed against them by supposed ‘authority figures’, and the honest citizen - usually acting alone - quickly becomes exasperated and frustrated. This is because the powers-that-be rely chiefly on the fact that you are an isolated individual with little or no understanding of the way ‘the system’ protects itself.
There are multiple layers of bureaucracy staffed by often-anonymous individuals who, if challenged, can either redirect you to nebulous ‘statutory authorities’ or quote (often inaccurately) supposed ‘legislation’ that apparently prevents them from being forthcoming / honest / transparent or accountable to you, the tax-paying citizen who is ultimately paying their wages.
The sad fact is that a culture of protectionism and ‘jobs-for-the-boys’ exists in most Irish institutions, and anyone who directly challenges this culture will receive little if any cooperation, regardless of what the respective rules, regulations or codes of ethics state in public forums.
So take the initiative. Don’t let them bully, frustrate or intimidate you into silence. Anticipate some of the usual disingenuous tactics being used against law-abiding citizens, and use some of those very same tactics - in a principled way - in your own defence and in defence of our fundamental rights!
Act - don’t react!
1. Construct your own ‘rules of correspondence’ that lets others know that you expect to be treated properly and respectfully,and insert it as a footnote on all formal or official correspondence. This establishes a ‘contract’ between corresponding parties, much like the terms and conditions we sign up to before availing of online services. Make it clear right from the start that any improper, illegal or unconstitutional activities, or any deviation from ‘best practice’ will be noted, recorded and documented, and reported to the respective authorities, the media, and published on this I-I website.
2. Your time is valuable too. Why is it that lawyers for example can bill citizens (often via the State) for tens of thousands of euros without any formal evidence of the work that has supposedly been done? If you receive annoying, improper or otherwise time-wasting letters - then simply bill the source personally for wasting your time. If they refuse to pay up, then take them to the small claims Court and at least shame them and expose the dirty tricks being deployed against you.
It appears that the standard strategy for dealing with complaints - especially when they concern important or ‘connected persons’ is to target the complainant regardless of the complainant’s personal integrity - or of the legitimacy of their complaint. In the course of I-I members’ collective experiences with particular agencies and institutions, certain tactical patterns have emerged that are clearly designed to wear down, exhaust and intimidate the citizen, and thereby suppress the truth and frustrate justice. By naming and exposing these disingenuous tactics - and by suggesting proactive ways in which the law-abiding citizen can protect themselves - we hope to empower the Irish public into standing up to these systemic abuses which are by definition; unjust, dishonourable, immoral, illegal and unconstitutional.