The only thing new about FF/FG ‘new politics’ is the illusion of novelty – McDonald

Speaking today at the JFK Summer School Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald called out Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s confidence and supply agreement describing it as an “an insiders’ formula to preserve the old political order to suit the establishment; to colonise government and opposition all at once. It does not answer the needs of the people; it does not serve the public interest.”

The Dublin Central TD said:

“When the term ‘new politics’ is uttered from the mouths of opinion formers and decision makers the eyes of the ‘ordinary’ people everywhere roll in despair.  Those caught in the political bubble may choose to buy into the propaganda du mode but the people on the outside breathing the oxygen of life on the ground don’t swallow it.

“There is little new about a Taoiseach standing by a Garda Commissioner who has lost the confidence of the public and who presides over a service that is increasingly and desperately demoralised and directionless. Or Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s crocodile tears for the marginalised and the coping classes whilst standing over the advantages, perks and breaks for the entitled insider class.

“There is nothing new, only the illusion of novelty.

“Confidence and supply is an accommodation between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to see off any impertinent challengers. Like us in Sinn Féin. Confidence and supply denies the people decisive government and authentic opposition.

“Sinn Féin wants to be in government – north and south. It is our ambition to be in government, to be the lead party of a government that delivers for the many, that is grounded in equality. We are on the peoples side. Of course we can only be part of a government if we have a sufficient, mandate from the people.  

“The arrogant posturing of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael gives a foretaste of what is to come in any electoral contest. They say Sinn Féin will not be in government, is not ‘fit for’ government. We say that will be the peoples decision.  Both parties with the assistance of their independent colleagues have created and perpetuated a housing and homeless crisis, they are inert in the face of a health care crisis, and are indifferent to insecure and low paid workers. Both parties will find that it is their fitness to govern that will be in question.” CRIOCH

 

Full text of speech below:

Better politics my eye

When the term ‘new politics’ is uttered from the mouths of opinion formers and decision makers the eyes of the ‘ordinary’ people everywhere roll in despair.

Those caught in the political bubble may choose to buy into the propaganda du mode but the ‘ordinary people’ on the outside breathing the oxygen of life on the ground don’t swallow it.

Exactly what is new, they might ask, about a Taoiseach standing by a Garda Commissioner who has lost the confidence of the public and who presides over a service that is increasingly and desperately demoralised and directionless?

What is new about crocodile tears for the marginalised and the coping classes? What is new about advantages, perks and breaks for the entitled insider class?

There is nothing new, only the illusion of novelty.

Confidence and supply as it’s called is an accommodation between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil driven by a desire to cling to power, to have their own way, to see off any impertinent challengers. Like us in Sinn Féin.

Confidence and supply is the insiders’ formula to preserve the old political order to suit the establishment; to colonise government and opposition all at once.

To describe this as ‘new politics’ is beyond irony.

The current arrangement is designed to serve the interests of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. It does not answer the needs of the people; it does not serve the public interest.

Confidence and supply denies the people decisive government and authentic opposition.

Sinn Féin wants to be in government – north and south.

We will fight the next election on that basis. Of course we can only be part of a government if we have a sufficient, mandate from the people.

The arrogant posturing of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael gives a foretaste of what is to come in any electoral contest.

They say Sinn Féin will not be in government, is not ‘fit for’ government.

We say that will be the peoples decision.

These  parties that have created and perpetuated a housing and homeless crisis, that are inert in the face of a health care crisis, that are indifferent to insecure and low paid workers, those parties will find that their fitness to govern is in question

It is our ambition to be in government, to be the lead party of a government that delivers for the many, that is grounded in equality.

Our alternative budget will demonstrate how we will tackle the crises in housing and homelessness, fairly and in a manner that delivers secure homes for the long-term.

Decades of bad public housing policy are coming home to roost, that’s the crux of the crisis before us today. Responsibility for housing was handed over to the bankers, developers, landlords and vulture funds. They each took a slice and we all paid the price. Bewilderingly Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are still looking for a market solution to a problem rooted in and sustained by the market. It is as if no one is to blame, no one is held to account and still no real change in policy. There is a solution, and it’s not rocket science. Enable local authorities’ to build significantly more social and affordable homes.

Homelessness, housing and health are just some of the immediate crises in front of us. Another is of course Brexit.

Let’s be crystal clear. Brexit is not compatible with the Good Friday agreement.

It is as simple and stark as that.

Every strand of the Good Friday Agreement is undermined by Brexit. The EU know that. The Irish Government know that. The British government know than, but British government just do not care. And that is the problem. They can impose this against the will of the people and the best interests of our nation.

The economic and social life of Ireland is threatened by Brexit. That’s the reality and import of Brexit for the people of this island.

Ireland desperately needs a change of course. The people need a government that’s on their side.