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The Dublin Euro MEP Election Candidates
dublin | politics / elections | feature Saturday May 10, 2014 13:20 by 1 of Indymedia
Use your vote to keep the Austerity MEPs out on Friday 23rd May 2014
The Euro and local council elections take place on Fri May 23rd and nationwide there are 11 MEPs to be elected to represent Ireland Euro elections will also be taking place across Europe for a grand total of 751 seats in the European Parliament. Regrettably the European Commission which is composed of 28 non-elected and appointed commissioners and is besieged by thousands of lobbying firms working for the private sector, is probably reckoned to have more power. Yet despite this Europe matters because at least 70% of our legislation comes from there and practically most of the regulation in a diverse range of areas originates from Europe and some of the more background regulation has its origins with corporate lobbyists with the aim of using heavy regulation to put smaller competitors out of businesses by greatly increasing the relative costs for smaller businesses. The main political parties of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael constantly tell us they are pro business and for jobs and the economy. In fact they are for big business, privatisation, outsourcing of jobs, lower wages, less social safety net and their support of big business and corporations constantly results in the suffocating of small business which are the very areas that lead to most employment.
Candidate Website Links:
Since Croatia joined the EU and became a full member in 2013 they have had to redistribute the number of MEPs so that they could allocate some to Croatia. In the process Ireland looses one seat and the boundaries had to be redrawn . As a result Dublin has 3 seats, the Midlands-North-West has 4 and the 'South' has 4. In the Dublin consituency, there are 8 candidates and 3 of these are already current MEPs.
Murphy has been at the forefront of the campaign against the Household Tax and Property Tax and more recently the Water Tax. He also setup the ScamBrigde.ie website to hightlight the scam that the JobBridge scheme is which is welfare for companies. He has campaigned against the Youth Guarantee which he says is not properly funded and won't provide the training and jobs for youth that it claims and instead will drive them into the free labour scheme and the likes of JobBridge or even the new Gateway scheme which works out at %euro;1.25 per hour. He points out that these schemes really show the hollow nature of the 'recovery' in Ireland and they constitute a turning point in the strident attempts of the capitalist establishment and the state to cut wages and develop Ireland as a low wage location and economy. In contrast, Paul Murphy MEP is demanding an end to the reliance on the private sector and for major public investment, funded by not paying the debt and increased taxation on the super rich and big business, to provide the jobs we require with decent pay and conditions.
His other areas of interest are his support of the Palestinian people and in 2011 he was on the Gaza ship as part of the "Freedom Flotilla II’" in attempting to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza strip and more latterly in calling out the human abuse rights in Saudi Arabia and in Qatar where over hundreds of workers have died in building the stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and where workers are treated virtually as slaves.
Murphy was a leading campaigner in Europe against the so-called ACTA agreement that would have undermined people’s right to privacy and freedom on the internet. At the moment, he is struggling against the proposed EU-US free trade agreement, which threatens to bring more Genetically Modificed Organisms into the EU, to lower health standards in food production and to be part of a race to the bottom in workers’ conditions and rights on both sides of the Atlantic
Some of her other aims are to cancel the natioanl debt becasue the European Central Bank and their Irish allies made us responsible for the private gambling debts of bankers and by voting for her, it would send a signal that the Irish people want to unilaterally cancel EU imposed debt.
Another very important area is her call for real democracy and to end the rule of the corporate lobbyists. There are 15,000 lobbyists in Brussels who spend €1 billion a year promoting their corporate interests. She says, if elected Bríd Smith 'will shine a light on their activities and seek to drive them out'. While this would be a huge step forward, it is unlikely she could drive them out without a huge Europe wide base of support behind her, but even shining the light on how the EU is captive to corporate interests and control would be a very good step forward.
Nessa Childers is a MEP and resigned from the Labour party last year. Now that she is independent it remains to be seen which way she will go, although her resignation statement indicates she is left of the Labour party. She appears to have her heart in the right place because back in 2011 when Labour pushed the Austerity Treaty, Childers who was still in Labour at that point did not support the Austerity Treaty when the European Parliament voted on it in September 2011.
When she finally broke with the Labour party in July 2013, she put out this statement explaining her reasons:
Labour in government supports a policy of never-ending, pointless austerity that has failed on the issues of unemployment and emigration and is inflicting misery on hundreds of thousands of our people. It is a policy of cutting services like health, education and social protection, while bankers, big corporates and the wealthy are allowed dodge their share of the burden. This is a profoundly immoral and unfair way to run our country.
I have increasingly found myself discouraged and prevented from advocating a progressive position within the party. For example, a particularly low point for me was when I the party leadership abandoned me for taking a principled stance of opposition to the appointment to the EU Court of Auditors of Mr Kevin Cardiff, who was Secretary General of the Department of Finance when the bank bailout was decided on.
Last April, I made an initial stand against the government’s direction by resigning from the Parliamentary Labour Party. Since then, Labour’s failure in government has gone from bad to worse and the party has committed to even more austerity in the next Budget and beyond. I am following through on my earlier decision and from now on I intend to work independently for the principles and policies I believe in.
Some of the policies Nessa Childers calls for are:
The Greens in Ireland followed the same trajectory as in Germany where they started off as decentralised and very much Left wing organisations. Over the years they then moved to the centre and once in power moved further to the right and sold out on their principles and suffered a collapse in support.
In Germany there has been a weak reviable and we can expect the same here too. They do get support because they do try to address some serious environmental issues. Where they fall down is that they are too afraid to openly critise and challenge capitalism in any way in order to remain respectable with the mainstream media. Their problem then is that they have moved away for any sort of activism and are now firmly rooted in middle class sensibilities and this consitutency has too much to loose if it involves upsetting the status quo even though it should be quite clear that the extent and depth of the many environmental issues facing humanity today require a fundamental reorganisation of politics and society itself. In short, if environmental issues are important to you, you would be better of voting for one of the Left candidates and possibly Lynn Boylan of Sinn Fein, since she is an ecologist by training.
Lynn Boylan an ecologist, is a member of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle and has been an active Sinn Féin member of the party for eight years. She contested the 2007 general election and the 2009 local election in South Kerry. In 2009 she returned to Dublin where she now works in Ballymun as a community programme coordinator with an environmental NGO. This work allows her to combine her skills as an ecologist with her commitment to community activism. Whilst in Kerry she spent 10 years working in Killarney National Park (KNP) and KNP Education Centre. She is well aquainted with environmental law.
Unlike FF and FG politicians who say they have Ireland agriculture and image at heart and then sell out to the interests of corporate GM food companies and the interests of industrial agriculture, Lynn Boylan understands the environment and cares for it and so she is likely to promote and protect what are the true assets of Ireland which are its green image in terms of the environment and the quality of our food. Ireland should be going all out to turn the agriculture system around to be fully organic and keeping the country GM free because this would build on our existing image and we could really build on the high quality, high value of this area. Instead successive governments have done the opposite and there is almost zero government support in Ireland for organic agriculture.
Lynn has also real interest in EU Policy and politics, particularly in the areas of employment, public transport, environment and food regulation. On the subject matter of food regulation this is becoming increasing important as an epidemic of obesity sweeps the country, largely fueled by large food companies promoting sugar laden and saturated fat laden food that is unhealthy costing the country billions and leading to depression and lowered quality of life but at the same time leading to higher revenues for these firms. Wholesome food and food education starting early in life is needed but needs to be backed up with regulation to control these large coporate entities.
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There are a few in this list that are merely using the opportunity to gain some fame and be in a better position to contest a Dail seat next time out.
- Eamon Ryan of the Green Party
- Mary Fitzpatrick of FF
Eamon Ryan hasn’t a snowflake’s hope in hell of getting elected to Strasbourg, and he knows it. He has the dosh to spurge on a Euro election campaign, and get media time, people chatting about the election and so on. He may not even contest his old Dail constituency of Dublin South next time. This kinda of fame makes him known around the city.
What a better way to remind people of a Green party that is not associated with FF, the IMF, selling out on Shannon Warport and Rossport (the list goes on) than to link the Green Party in the minds of the plebes with the European Parliament. Ah the glory days, Patricia McKenna, political principles, international agreements, ahhh !
Mary Fitzpatrick equally doesn’t have a chance and she also equally knows it. She intends to be the first FF TD in Dublin to be re-elected in the next Gen El. There is a vacuum within FF at the moment and she wants to make her mark on the future of the party.
My call for the election is thus
1 FG (alas)
with a hell of a dog-fight between Paul Murphy and Nessa Childers with Ms Childers clinching it in the end
As these elections go, this will be interested to watch
As an emigrant I won't be able to vote in the Euro election, but thanks to the writer for the succinct background information on those left-leaning candidates in Dublin. Maybe other writers could do something similar for the other, spread out, constituencies.
Whats the story with NIP, the irish version of UKIP, imagine they will quickly get support, plenty of willingness for such a racist platform in ireland... NIP IT IN THE BUD!
Like many, I'm worried about the growth, AGAIN, of the ultra right, neo fascists in Europe. Last night the Irish public watched the RTE debate, where we saw the newest attempt at such a group in Ireland, a group of racists who want to get rid of migrants from Europe. We saw Peter O'Loughlin, of the National Independent Party, he sees himself as the front of an Irish UKIP. Worrying!
- RTÉ Radio 1: National Independent Party (radio discussion)
- National Independent Party: Ireland’s UKIP? Exposing far-right’s ‘start-up’ contradictions | Memet Uludag
Peter O’Loughlin of NIP stated that the party’s position on immigration is “simply a question of numbers, not of ethnicity”.
Soon, Mr. O’Loughlin will possibly discover it himself but, in politics surely nothing is just ‘simply’ one thing or the other. The bottom line for UKIP is its far-right, anti-immigrant, race based (aka ‘racist’) politics and the bottom line for NIP seems to be the same.
- Discussion on thumped.com about NIP, Irish fascists
+ a funny fellows comment:
Tonight RTE aired a prime time special on debates by the European Election candidates. It was divided into two segments with those who are already MEPs and or have at least 10% of the poll as determined by opinion polls. It seems their speaking time was related to the percentages too. The first group therefore consisted of: Paul Murphy (MEP SP), Lynn Boylan (SF), Brian Hayes (FG), Emer Costello (MEP Lab), Nessa Childers (MEP, Ind) and Mary Fitzpatrick (FF).
Murphy was asked the first question and started off very well making good points, followed by Boylan who had similar arguments, although Murphy being already an MEP seemed to know the issues a bit better. Then it was onto Labour and Costello seemed unsure and on the defensive carefully avoiding any mention of the Water Charges. But when that issue arose and it was put to her, she tried to dodge the issue. Hayes as expected try to put down both Murphy and Boylan but he came across as a bit too slick and appeared to be at best distorting facts in a spat with Boylan over a costing budget by SF. Overall it came across that as FG and FF in the past, have done, they cave into big business and it always winds up that the rich do very well whenever these two main capitalist parties are in. A bit later Childers had her chance to speak and she came out very good and very strong. When asked about why she left the Labour party, she stated that they left her as she still had her values but they didn't have theirs. She was doing well until Murphy pointed out that she did promote the Austerity Treaty. This was after all the candidates each in turn went on about jobs and bank debt. Hayes of course used this to rattle on about how FG had to bail out the banks to help business but as pointed out by some else, that is not quite the case, because the banks are still not lending to business despite being given billions to do so.
So if I had to pick out who came out looking like the best candidate, it would have to be Paul Murphy followed by Boylan and then Childers.
The second half of the Prime Time focused on the other candidates with less than 10% of the poll and this consisted of Brid Smith (PBP), Eamon Ryan (GP) and Damien Wise (FisNua) and two candidates from Direct Democracy Ireland, Tom Darcy and Raymond Whitehead. They were realistic that they weren't going to get it, but it was clever that they ran two candidates, since it may have given them a bit more air time and the whole process seems to have brought their party the public attention that they require to highlight what they are about.
In this debate Brid Smith came out as an able speaker and campaigner and was more convincing their Eamon Ryan. The problem with Ryan is that there is still a lot of people out there would like the Green Party to succeed and do things along green and ecological lines, but Ryan is far too much to the right and into the market. He hardly ever mentions anything about zero growth or steady-state economy. As a representative of the green movement, he is not giving any voice to their real core concerns of that movement. In fact Damien Wise, who it would appear has perhaps little TV or speaking experience made more references to the true spirit of what sustainability is actually about, although he fell down in other places due to lack of clarity.
The two candidates from DDI used their time well and Whitehead just came across better although he didn't elaborate clearly enough on some of the key issues of the party which is about re-introducing Swiss style means of referenda by collecting enough signatures. It seems we had something like this in our constitution but one of FF / FG removed it very early on in the early days of the state.
Mairead McGuniness spent years building up her green and farming image through the Ear to the Ground programme. She portrays herself as that, but she is in the pocket of the GM crop and biotech industry. She has supported introduction of GM animal feed into Ireland and the introduction of 'Low Level Presence' of GMOs. This allows for the widespread contamination of non GM crops by GM crops and opens the door to the whole thing.
Boot her out!
Here's another case from 2006 http://www.gmfreeireland.org/politics/index.php
Boylan (SF) in Dublin sure to get in.
Ming Flanagan in Midlands North West also looks to take a seat.
Overall as in the Locals, Sinn Fein and Independents are taking all the gains.
Regrettably some people have very short memories and FF's vote has gone up about 5%.
Lynn Boylan (SF) 83,264 -elected
Brian Hayes FG) 63,591 -elected
Eamon Ryan (GP) 53,179
Mary Fitzpatrick (FF) 44,283
Nessa Childers (Ind) 35,939
Paul Murphy (SP) 29,953
Emer Costello (Lab) 25,961
Brid Smith (PBP) 23,875
Raymond White Whitehead (DDI) 3,133
Tom Darcy (DDI) 4,022
Jim Tallon (Ind) 2,244
Damon Wise (FN) 1,147
Battle for the 3rd seat is between Ryan and Childers with recount called for.
Looks like Left vote was split badly because combined vote of SP and PBP would be greater than GPs.
"Regrettably some people have very short memories and FF's vote has gone up about 5%." All I can say is that conservative economic thinking hasn't gone away. People who vote FF and FG constitute the majority in Irish society. They hope "things will pick up" and that good old capitalist-mixed economy Ireland can revert to normal. Some gloomily think it may take several more years. Many middle class mortgage holders are cash strapped and fed up with claptrap announcements from mainstream politicians. So my guess is that they have used the Euros and the locals to "send them a message". They don't think the parliament in Strasbourg is so important, and they will revert (many of them) to the FF/FG consensus in the general election. A sea change has taken place in Dublin and elsewhere - the Labour Party has been transhed into fourth place in parliamentary politics; it has been shoved aside decisively in Dublin areas by the radical Left and by Sinn Fein. How long will Sinn Fein continue its upward swing on the pendulum? I don't venture a guess.
The centre in Irish politics has moved to the right, and the left has moved with it.
The Irish electorate moans about right wing policies but vote for right wing parties.
Those on the left have little real vision, besides, correctly, opposing the various charges.
There is no ecological/environmental element to the debate.
Global Warming, Peak Oil and so on do not exist as far as RTE et al are concerned.
Overpopulation x consumption =impact, dare not even be mentioned.
It's a game and a distraction.
The normal left/right analysis no longer applies, especially in Eire.
I GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!
No I don't!
perhaps the whole problem with politics is, as with economics, the assumption that the
"investor" / "voter" is actually rational.
Maybe we need a new left wing / eco politics based on the assumption that at least 40% of the electorate
(the FF/FG voters this time around) are pathologically stupid and easily manipulated time and time again.
Certainly seems that way to me at this stage.
And yes it does make you just want to give up in exasperation
Fred may sound cynical but I've been saying the same thing for ages .What's the point in elections when so many voters are plain duh stupid ? Elections are just cosmetic exercises put on every four years to distract the gullible and make them believe they have some input into a "democratic" process .Strong leadership is what we really need at the moment for this country and you ain't gonna get that by consulting sheeple whose main interest is the price of a can of beer at the local Centra.
The civic non-event of the year;
Here is a map of europe with the rates of abstention
And here in France:
And another graph giving the results and the difference between the last ones and this one.
So nothing has changed. We shall see buisness as usual
Best thing about the Dublin EU vote was seeing Eamon Ryan celebrate his impending victory after the first tallies. The Greens smug assumption that they were "transfer friendly" did not take account of peoples memories of their Labour-like betrayal when they propped up FF, betraying issues like Rossport and Tara in return for a few Ministries. Hence the left vote transferred to Childers at 2:1.
On another note, cannot understand why less than one third of Brid Smiths no.2s went to Paul Murphy, so much for the pact.
This is worth a look