Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lucinda Creighton Speech at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties-Analysis

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Lucinda Creighton said that it was not a good image for Fine Gael to have NAMA developers and bankers photographed playing golf with the party leader, as happened at a recent fund raising event in the K-Club.

Ms Creighton said: “There can be no room in Fine Gael for cute-hoor politics. These are the politics which have defined and tainted Irish public life like an incurable cancer.

“We cannot be satisfied with low standards in high places. Fine Gael in government must be much, much more than simply ‘Fianna Fáil Light’.

“We cannot, on the one hand, condemn Fianna Fáil for entertaining developers in the Galway tent, while on the other hand extend the biscuit tin for contributions from high-profile developers, who are beholden to Nama. The Irish people expect more from Fine Gael; they demand more, and they are right," she said.

“Fine Gael cannot equivocate about the standards we wish to bring to the running of our great Republic. We need a real ‘New Politics’ - of substance rather than sound-bites.

“We need a politics that is about serving the people of Ireland, not simply about replacing Fianna Fáil," she told the summer school...
As the Law stands it is perfectly legal for Irish political parties to fund raise from business. FF, FG and Labour do so. So the FG party fund raising event broke no law. Of course it would be much better if political parties did not source funds from business. However the alternative is for the State to FULLY fund political parties. Now the hard pressed taxpayer might not be amused if such a scenario were to unfold. It is time for people such as Lucinda Creighton to outline an alternative to the current system. It is pointless making a mountain out of a molehill.

Creighton's speech has dominated RTE News bulletins today. Yet her criticism refers one person--Michael O'Flynn- paying for a round of golf. This is a storm in a teacup compared to the economic problems besetting the country. Yet it is the principal focus of attention from RTE and the media in general today. No doubt FF will be eternally grateful for the distraction. However this serves to deflect attention from the ECONOMIC issues on which the next general election will be won and lost.

Much more important for the country is the news that today the NTMA which borrows money on behalf of the State, raised another €1.5bn through the sale of Government bonds on international markets. Yields on Irish bonds have been climbing recently. So in essence the cost of government borrowing has risen. This should be the main story today as it will impinge on the government's calculations in the forthcoming budget. Also today came news that financial institutions are raising interest rates for people on the standard variable rate.
The key issues facing the country are:
  • The National Debt of €85 Billion
  • Unemployment 445,000
  • The Deficit of €21 Billion
  • Nama
  • Emigration 60,000 per annum
  • Cost of Government Borrowing
It is time for the media to focus on the real issues. Quite frankly I am sick and tired of politicians from all parties going on solo runs. The parliamentary party meeting is the proper forum to debate such issues. I am not aware that Lucinda Creighton has done this.
In recent months we have had a plethora of politicians coming out and sniping at their own parties
For FF we have had people such as John McGuinness, Mattie McGrath, Noel O'Flynn and Sean Power. For FG in recent days we have had John Deasy, Brian Hayes and Lucinda Creighton. Even the Labour party is not immune. Tommy Broughan absented himself on the vote in the Dail on stag hunting. He has lost the Party whip.
In all probability we can expect more of this in the run in to the general election as jittery TDs seek to fireproof themselves. However a weary electorate is beginning to tire of this attention seeking. It has lost its novelty value. Incidents of disloyalty to political parties are now ten a penny. A bored electorate increasingly yawns and moves on. Now the media and the chattering classes may be preoccupied by these shenanigans but by and large the electorate is more concerned with the ECONOMY.
Increasingly there is a disconnect between the political class and the electorate.
As Bill Clinton once stated :"Its the economy stupid". Hopefully people such as Lucina Creighton will now focus on what really matters to the voter. Bread and Butter issues will decide the next general election.

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