Today my first campaign as an independent candidate for the constituency of North Tipperary & South Offaly comes to an end. It’s been an amazing experience in more ways than one. Less than three weeks ago I had no plans to run in this election. I was as many of you that read this, an Irish citizen fed up and annoyed by the way this country of ours had been brought to a state of financial & economic ruin by a government that was completely disconnected from and ignorant of the wishes and needs of it’s citizens. With the election in sight I started looking around at who the candidates in my constituency were. Not a single one of them instilled much confidence. Those representing the current government parties deserved to be put behind bars or to be at least barred from politics. The rest either represented opposition parties who idly stood by while this country was ruined or did not have an agenda that I had any faith in. Every single one of them was full of lofty promises but I have not an ounce of faith in these being fulfilled once they are elected.
Because we live in unprecedented times. Forget about my policies for a moment. You can read those here. Let me just lay out the facts for you. Our country is in an economic depression, what’s more we haven’t seen the bottom yet. There is a wave of mortgage default coming down the line and the government has failed to put the buffer on the line to stop this. Instead all the effort and money has gone into paying of a debt that isn’t ours. An 85 billion euro bailout has been accepted at a punitive interest rate. We have a 15+ billion euro deficit. We have a level of unemployment that is just plain scary. We, my fellow Irish citizens, are waist deep in the poop. And we need strong people to help us get out of this. We need people who can make the right decisions, who do not have any allegiance to the “old order”, political hierarchy or any other false idols. We need people who will face the brutal light of day and who will make decisions with the interest of Ireland and it’s citizens foremost in their minds.
Those people cannot be found in any of the current parties. Every single one of them is blinded by party dogma, too tangled in the web of corrupt politics and have been flogged till they bleed by the party whip. We need a strong independent representation in the next Dail. A counterweight against the self interest of the current political incumbents. We need it to be the proverbial 800 pound gorilla in the room ready to pounce on anyone who makes a decision or tries to force a policy that is not in the interest of the Irish people.
I am appealing to you tomorrow to give your local independent candidate your first preference vote. This is the only way we will see real change. Because change is what we need. We need to reject the current IMF/EU “bailout” deal for two simple reasons; it’s not a bailout and we can never ever repay this. The current deal will bring this country to it’s knees and our children and grandchildren will still be repaying this debt without it having any benefit to the Irish economy. It’s dead money plain and simple. We also need jobs, real jobs. Not green jobs, pink jobs or mauve jobs. We need jobs that will allow people to pay their bills. No airy-fairy talk but real action. We need to stop cutting the poor and vunerable to fill this deficit hole. It does not make sense cutting welfare payment when there is a jobs deficit. You cut welfare when there are jobs for everyone *not* when there are no jobs. You do not cut child benefit and other payments when peoples income is shrinking drastically. You save when you have plenty and you use those savings when you have little. My mother taught me that and anyone who ever ran a household will know this. The FF/GP government purposely failed to do so and is now making the people at the bottom end of the society pay for that. We need a more equitable tax system (hello flat-tax) that protects the poor while at the same time not penalising the wealth creators in this society.
Please ignore all the blurb about the independents not having any power. There are 233 independent candidates running campaigns across Ireland. That is a considerable number and cannot be ignored. A lot of these independents have similar policies and will vote as a block when in government. Further down the line this could have the makings of a party. Now is the time to make a stand! We need to send a clear signal to the political establishment (who have ruined this country) that we have no faith in them. If we do not do this and continue to vote for parties that make up the current stale political system we have lost our chance to make a change for the good. You hold the power to bring along this change and I ask you, I plead with you to do so. We now not only have people emigrating because they have to, we have young smart people emigrating by choice because they have lost faith in this country. If we do not make a change now we will lose a whole generation and this will become a poor hollow country inhabited by old, grey and angry people.
Do not get me wrong however, voting for an independent is not magically going to fix all our problems. However it will make this country change course in the right direction rather than sailing straight to the end of the flat earth that the current parties seem to have based their policies on. We need a direction and policies that will rebuild this country and bring it into prosperous times again. We need forward thinking and we need people who are willing to put their shoulders under the economy in order to achieve this. We do not need career politicians who are only doing this for the money, power and pension.
Because of this I appeal to you tomorrow to vote and to vote independent!