Monday, February 22, 2016

The article the Sunday Indo refused to publish

On Sunday February 14th the Sunday Independent carried an article from Labour Leader Joan Burton in which she claimed that I didn’t understand this state. I wrote a response. The Sunday Independent refused to carry it yesterday.
So, for those who are interested in what I said this is the response the Independent refused to publish.

Hope over fear by Gerry Adams TD

I was disappointed but not surprised by Joan Burton’s opinion piece in last week’s Sunday Independent, which highlighted a deeply partitionist, ‘little Irelander’ attitude on the part of the Tánaiste.

Despite what Joan Burton claims I never used the phrase ‘'them others' during last week’s TV3 Leaders Debate or at any other time for that matter.

However, she is correct when she says that I differentiate Sinn Féin from the establishment parties of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour.

She is also correct in stating that those parties have a shared history and experience in Government. But it is not a history to be proud of.

Like the Unionists in the North, these establishment  parties have dominated Irish politics since Partition and have been responsible for the deeply conservative political culture which has been to the disadvantage of the vast majority of citizens.

The legacy of the Labour Party in Government over the past five years is a litany of broken promises and failing to stand up for working people or vulnerable citizens.

Labour claimed it would stand up to the European Central Bank but instead of ‘Labour’s way’, we got ‘Frankfurt’s way’.

Labour claimed it was going into Government to protect citizens from the ravages of Fine Gael. Remember the infamous Tesco-like ad? Instead, Labour Ministers were the most enthusiastic in imposing vicious cuts to the living standards of average families.

As a senior Cabinet member, Joan Burton oversaw the implementation of Water Charges, the Family Home Tax, cuts to child benefit, removal of medical cards, cuts to health and welfare, and a succession of stealth taxes.

Joan Burton's attacks on Sinn Féin and her personalised and offensive invective against me are getting increasingly desperate as each day of the election campaign passes.

That is hardly surprising as the Labour Party is facing the imminent wrath of the electorate for its litany of broken promises in Government.

But citizens see through this. They look at the leadership provided by Sinn Féin.

They look at the type of change that we helped deliver in the peace process.

They look at things that they never believed were possible – a power sharing government in the north. If we had listened to the Dublin parties including Labour there would be no political institutions at this time.

As Joan Burton openly admits, a vote for Labour in this election is a vote for another Fine Gael-led Government with all the attendant hardship that entails for citizens. James Connolly would never countenance that.

Labour’s time is up. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour
have alternated the Government since the foundation of the State.

There is a widespread desire for change. The establishment parties know this. In desperation the government has resorted to trying to scare the electorate. Just like Fianna Fáil in 2007.

Fine Gael and Labour are promoting the entirely spurious position that a progressive government will undermine the two tier recovery.

People are sick of the old politics of the establishment parties and have a desire and a hunger to see something new. For the first time ever, that’s now possible and it is incumbent on all of us who share that desire to seize the opportunity for change in this, the centenary year of the 1916 Rising.

The choice is simple - a new Government backed by costed, comprehensive, and deliverable policies and the Right2Change principles that will deliver a fair recovery than benefits all of our citizens, or a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil/Labour  carve-up, backed by the politics of fear.

Citizens know the only choice next Friday is between a Fine Gael-led Government or a progressive, Sinn Féin-led Government committed to ending austerity and implementing fairer policies based on equality and social justice.

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