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We are all Marxists (Groucho) now

“Continuous Professional Development” (CPD) is an idea with a banal element. It behooves everybody to stay on top of their job, and to express that in jargon is to suggest that the work of some people is beyond accountability; otherwise, why the need to nudge them to competence?

Of course we know the work of some people is beyond accountability, but that is for another day and another subject.

The Government’s new Bill on “Surveillance” is certainly a necessary topic for a CPD seminar, not least in that the Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform, in announcing it to the media, laconically, but defiantly, remarked that it would cause upset in “human rights quarters” (or words to the same effect).

Now, to whom was he referring? We can only say with confidence that he was not referring to the Government: (the Bill is a collective product of Government, not the work of the Minister).

Implicitly he was referring to the judiciary. Each judge in Ireland is sworn (and has sworn) to defend, protect and vindicate human rights. The Minister has given clear warning that the Government’s Bill is calculated to injure, in some way, human rights in Ireland.

Keeping that in mind, it would be naïve to think that breaches of human rights under this Bill will be confined to some areas of County Limerick. No, we may expect the breaches, of which the Minister warns, to occur across the country.

So, the CPD seminar or seminars will have to cater to professionals in every county in the country. Bring it on.

Hopefully, the Government’s vandalism will run up against systemic opposition; senior Gardai are currently attending countrywide seminars on the application of human rights in policing. Perhaps the things they learn (but there will always be dunces) will permit them to do their jobs correctly and not as the latest political lifebelt dictates.