"What in the world you thinking of, laughing in the face of love", is my favourite line from John Lennon's 'Instant Karma'. However, karmic retribution hasn't been quite so instant in our national accounting process? If I had to put a finger on the starting point of our payback, I'd say we need look no further than those blank cheques Bertie Ahern wrote for Charlie Haughey. How many times over are we going to have to pay for them? Of course, the blank cheques were merely a symbol, but what a potent symbol. Not just for the obvious reasons that we are now unable to stand over our national cheques, but for the more potent reality that we never accounted for the dirty politics, inherent in the blank cheque-writing that dominated Irish politics.

This, for me, has been the greatest tragedy of all; the total and complete lack of good example from our political leaders. I have absolutely no doubt that if Charles Haughey and Bertie Ahern were moral and decent people then we would not be in the position we are in today. We have been failed by the culture of corruption that has flourished in our public sector for decades.

For every job given to a daughter or son of a friend, for every policy decision made on a golf course, for every bribe received in Galway, we are going to pay, over and over. 'Instant Karma' even catches up with 'Irish Liars'.

Declan Doyle