‘A Modern Iteration Of The Just Society’

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Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar TD at the 2017 Fine Gael Autumn Think- In in Clonmel , County Tipperary this morning

This morning.

At the Fine Gael think-in, Clonmel, County Tipperary

“This ambition to build the Republic of Opportunity is in many ways the modern iteration of the Just Society.  It combines the best ideas from the right with the best ideas from the left.  It is the politics of the new centre.

It is also the politics of progress and change.  So, when we say the centre must hold, we do not mean that things should stay the same. 

We mean that we will lead change not from the extremes but from the centre.  Giving people, families and businesses the certainty with which they can plan for the future.  

 

….Where we have scope in the budget, it will be used to reward work and enterprise, and will benefit those on middle incomes who pay the highest rates of tax on far too modest incomes. 

We will back business, farmers and enterprise

High taxes on the middle classes are a barrier to opportunity and to work. They are a cap on aspiration and there should be no cap on aspiration in the Republic we wish to build…”

“…You can tell a lot about a society by how it treats its most vulnerable. We have provided medical cards to all children with severe disability irrespective of their parents’ income, because we know they will need more regular access to health care, and parents shouldn’t have to worry about the costs.

And every working day, we provide housing for 80 individuals and families. There are 20,000 new tenancies a year because we believe everyone should have a home.

So when people mention style, I think of all that substance.

The Republic of Opportunity is not a slogan or empty PR. It is a way of thinking about how to improve people’s lives and we’re only getting started…”

“…Some political parties – especially those on the left – believe in a culture of dependency and victimhood. They like it when people are down and dependent. They want the system to fail so they can build influence and support.

Fine Gael will never talk down to people. We will always try to offer people a way up and way forward.

Committing to build a Republic of Opportunity means that we are proud of our ambition to create a culture of aspiration. Where people are encouraged to be the best they can possibly be. Encouraged to reach their potential and to make a better life for themselves and their children.

That is why I joined Fine Gael, and I’m sure why you did too.

For me, Fine Gael is not and has never been a party of privilege.

We are the party of aspiration.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Fight!

Full text here

Rollingnews

81 thoughts on “‘A Modern Iteration Of The Just Society’

  1. TheRealJane

    How did he read a speech about a just society without mentioning a single social issue?

    What about justice for women, taoiseach? Any help with women’s rights? Not worth a single mention…

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      A vacuous speech full of vacuous advertising slogans from a vacuous man for his vacuous followers.

      1. TheRealJane

        But he definitely said that “The Republic of Opportunity is not a slogan or empty PR”, so it’s obviously not just vacuous slogans.

        1. Donal

          Failed to reach your potential earning power? You’re a failure.
          What do you mean you enjoy your job with a healthy work/life balance and median wage? You could do so much more, you failure. Shame on you for letting everybody else down.

          That’s what I hear from him and his ilk, and I hate it

          1. martco

            Donal I think you’re not drinking your koolaid, c’mon what’s wrong with u :)

            had the radio on in background @ work this afternoon and all I’m hearing is “panic panic pleeeease don’t let there be an election….the country doesn’t need it or want it..etc”

            their spinners are up to 90 at the moment

            because they suspect the game is up and the citizenry have sussed them out and and it’s likely there’d be carnage for them in a GE

            have also noted the relative silence from all other parties, tis like their spinners have decided to leave them to it, let them protest too much & hang themselves

            I think the goose is cooked

          2. Steve

            Did you copy and paste that comment from 2015. More wishful thinking .

            If there was an election tomorrow 100 seats would fall to the establishment parties.

          3. martco

            hah
            may as well have been for all the good he and this confidence construct have actually achieved. as for he himself the dapper shiny suited white pvc window salesman what has he achieved in his held ministries? sorry it was all like that before I got there. or Coveney? or whatever other minister of the month eejits get wheeled out. that much spin going on I think they literally do watch Yes Minister for ideas

            I think Varadker is unreal. I won’t be buying any of his cheap lifestyle windows and I can’t wait for the chance to get my vote out

  2. MoyestWithExcitement

    “Fine Gael will never talk down to people.”

    That’s either delusional or extreme arrogance which breeds complacency. This man is not going to do a good job.

  3. Mysterybeat

    “When we say ‘the centre must hold’ what we actually mean is that the right must maintain control of the centre ground”.
    The idea that cutting taxes for the middle classes at the expense of the poor is disgraceful, although entirely predictable.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Right. This idea of “centrism” is a complete lie. It’s right wing ideology with slightly less bigotry.

    2. TheRealJane

      Yes. With a massive homeless crisis which is not responding to ineffectual handwringing despite actual years of trying, the solution must be a tax break.

      That’s just obvious.

      1. Mysterybeat

        I have no idea how much tax you pay, but I’m one of those Leo is looking to give tax breaks to, and I’ll tell you for a fact that I’d be happy to pay a lot more in tax for proper public services.

        1. Barry the Hatchet

          Hear, hear Mysterybeat. I would be far happier to see better public healthcare, schools and housing provision than a few extra quid in my comfortable middle-class pocket.

          1. Mysterybeat

            No, not at all. But if you remove the excuse of lack of funding, you can work to improve delivery.
            Maybe then you can look at improving productivity and hence reducing budget (IE cut taxes).

          2. Johnad

            I think the comment above was about efficiency. For instance the Irish health system is very well funded (compared to a lot of countries) but yet we seem
            to squander it – i.e. we’re inefficient with how we use it.

        2. Twunt

          I have no faith that any extra tax I pay will deliver any extra services. My suspicion is that it would go to wages and pensions.

    1. Steve

      Good god. Reducing higher rate taxes on people who earn close to the median industrial salary.

      What horror is this!!

        1. Tony Groves

          Harry/Steve,
          Leaving aside that the Fiscal Council have said to NOT give tax cuts, any tax cuts that occur cannot yet be said to benefit median salaries.
          In fact, figures I’ve seen point to tax cuts that will benefit those earning over 75k 150% more than those on the median wage.
          All of these are speculation at present. But don’t be so gullible to think the party of the rich won’t look after its base, while throwing crumbs to the middle class.

          1. Steve

            That’s pretty disingenuous of you. The Fiscal Council don’t want tax cuts because it would impair our ability to pay down our national debt or have a balanced budget. It’s not because they see it as morally wrong in the face of other social priorities- you know that.

            In the same way that they would advise against increased social payments. Which I presume you’re for?? (As am I)

            So don’t be using the “well the fiscal council said it so…”

          2. Tony Groves

            Pointing out facts, no matter how inconvenient for your point of view, is not disingenuous. For you to deflect from the facts is.
            When the facts change I change my mind, what do you do, Steve?

          3. Steve

            I quote dead economists .

            Yes – the latest fiscal report says the government shouldn’t reduce tax rates. I’m aware of that. No deflection there. But You can’t use their recommendations as armour in your argument to say why FG shouldn’t be reducing tax rates.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            “That’s pretty disingenuous of you. The Fiscal Council don’t want tax cuts because it would impair our ability to pay down our national debt or have a balanced budget. It’s not because they see it as morally wrong in the face of other social priorities- you know that.”

            That’s pretty disingenious of you. He said that The Fiscal Council don’t want tax breaks to illustrate how bad of an idea they are. He never said they did so for moral reasons – you know that.

      1. Zaccone

        People earning €34k a year definitely need tax breaks more than the hundreds of homeless people need housing. That seems like a society with a good moral compass alright.

        1. Steve

          Homelessness isn’t a funding issue. Plenty of money to deal with it. It’s a “people/departments can’t get their s@&t together” issue. houses and supporting electricity water etc can’t be built overnight. Which is certainly something you can criticise Leo et al on.

          The corollary of your point is that if we increased marginal rates then the housing crisis would be solved.

          Incorrect.

          1. TheRealJane

            Homelessness and the lack of social housing is completely ideological. Starting from the principle that the state shouldn’t interfere with the housing market and progressing to the idea that taxation shouldn’t be used to provide housing.

            Perhaps there are infrastructure challenges, but they could have been overcome if they were the only barrier to building an adequate supply of housing.

          2. Steve

            Listen to the IT politics podcast with Damien English from yday. Very interesting. FG haven’t been in government on their own ever apart the 1920s. Other times have been with labour in coalition which you would assume have greater dispensation to social housing. The other years are FF.

            The housing crisis is about 3 years old. Let’s see how FG perform in the next 2-3 years and how numbers of planning applications, CPOs , state use of land banks go. If it’s terrible then you can say FG are ideologically driven to not build social housing.

            There are infrastructure challenges. No maybes.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Listen to the IT politics podcast with Damien English from yday. Very interesting. FG haven’t been in government on their own ever apart the 1920s. Other times have been with labour in coalition which you would assume have greater dispensation to social housing. The other years are FF.”

            Ah, so it’s not all FG’s fault. I would put money on you being a member of the party.

          4. Steve

            In gonna use a favourite point of yours moyest.

            I never said it’s not all FGs fault. Stop putting words in my mouth. Please stop interpreting my comments you horrible person. Leave me alone.

            Lol

            Yeah moyest I used to be a FG member. Got sick of Kenny so stoppedz Would fall more towards labour now, FG second and soccies will get a 3rd pref.

            You?

          5. Harry Molloy

            he’ll not tell you anything about himself, or his opinions, will leave him open to potential criticism.

            like a fox is our beloved moyest :-)

      2. Brother Barnabas

        Yes, that bit is fantastic.

        I’m actually referring to his dishonesty and inability to tell the truth.

  4. Kolmo

    The party of the insulated class, big landowners, speculators, offshore for tax reasons types, neo-unionists, historical revisionists, greasy fingered gombeens and politicians who use the gardai to intimidate those they don’t agree with.. – a party of cut-throat careerists and privateers, in their eyes the citizen is always the enemy, always a potential to mess things up for their pals profits.

    1. TheRealJane

      He makes me wonder just how hard of thinking you can be and qualify in medicine. It’s an eminent profession, for sure, but his thinking doesn’t appear to have developed beyond right wing contrarian on the internet.

      He’s literally like a walking journal.ie comment.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        I’ve long been of a mind that you can have a great brain for sciency/mathsy stuff and still be quite dim. I mean, in fairness, science is, mostly, working with absolutes. Stuff is either right or wrong. You can refer to templates for everything. You don’t have to do too much thinking for yourself, really. Relatively speaking of course. It’s perfectly feasible that a guy from a privileged background who spent his 20s learning technical names for different chromosomes and chemicals will not really have any idea how human beings think. And also be a complete “bearded oyster”. (thanks bodger)

        1. Cian

          I’ve long been of a mind that you can have a great brain for the humanities stuff and still be quite dim. I mean, in fairness, humanities is, mostly, working with opinions. You can agree with stuff or not. You can refer to templates for everything. You don’t have to do too much thinking for yourself, really. Relatively speaking of course. It’s perfectly feasible that a girl from a poor background who spent her 20s comparing and contrasting the differences between Goethe, Neisser and Dufriche will not really have any idea how human beings think.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            That was working until the last sentence, then you made a fool of yourself again. Ah well. You’ll show me what for one day. I believe in you.

          2. Brother Barnabas

            A decade spent “comparing and contrasting the differences between Goethe, Neisser and Dufriche” will give you sharp insight into how people think.

            [Although I know very little about Dufriche… I bet Janet does, though]

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Wait, sorry, I read that again. None of it worked. ” I mean, in fairness, humanities is, mostly, working with opinions. You can agree with stuff or not. You can refer to templates for everything. You don’t have to do too much thinking for yourself, really.” Truly awful.

          4. TheRealJane

            A girl in her twenties is a woman. An actual adult.

            And yes, if she spent her twenties studying Goethe, Neisser and Dufriche she will probably have a better idea of how humans think.

            Combined with probably being a human, of course. Adult women are humans and can think.

    2. Adama

      It’s like a rerun of a Thatcher speech. Don’t expect anything more from this idealogue. All spin and spoof.

  5. MKG985

    Fine Gael is and always was the party of the haves. They believe themselves better than and above others. The party of manifest destiny, as my granddad called them.
    The greedy ba$tard party as my dad called them.

  6. Walter Ego

    ‘Republic of Opportunity’ For vulture Funds, Developers, Bankers, Corrupt Politicians, Unscrupulous Landlords, Apple etc…. A great little Country to do Business in,

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Thank God you’re here. Everyone would be lost if it wasn’t for your Very Important Contribution and this comment section of some blog would be completely pointless! And we all know that’s not true. Our comments are read out in government think ins to help them shape policy.

        1. Walter Ego

          Ah, go on then, i like to tease…….
          Garda Commissioners and their Husbands, Bank Regulators, etc…….

  7. Sheik Yahbouti

    Those of us who are older will remember the “Just Society” speeches of the Thatcher era and subsequent. I can only conclude that language has lost all meaning in this era of hyper-spin and in fact mean the opposite to their generally understood meanings. That this man has the chutzpah to deliver this speech, given his personal and political policies, bodes very ill for our future. ‘a future of opportunity’ for exploitation and a further widening of the gap between the haves and the ever increasing have nots, more like.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “The Government I lead will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives. When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws, we’ll listen not to the mighty, but to you. When it comes to taxes, we’ll prioritise not the wealthy, but you. When it comes to opportunity, we won’t entrench the advantages of the fortunate few, we will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you.”

      Theresa May – 2016

    2. martco

      nailed it right there!

      does anyone on here know who his speech writer is out of curiosity?

      ex-UK spinner I’m wondering? It’s almost like something Sir Humphrey would come up with

  8. Barry the Hatchet

    There are many things about this speech that irk me, but one in particular is this absurd notion that taxes somehow crush aspiration, as though we are all motivated only by the lust for more money. I have never once met a single person who genuinely aspired to have a better job or a promotion or a pay rise, and who was willing to work for it, but just couldn’t be bothered to because of the tax rates.

    1. Donal

      +1
      I doubt there is anyone in the country who would choose an extra 500 euro in the pocket over a year above government building 30k houses per year.
      It shows the priorities of the government, nothing else

      1. Cian

        We reduce the dole, State Pensions and children’s allowance by €10/week; and also increase income tax by €10/week – €500 for every person in the country;
        this would save/raise €2.4 billion/year… that would contribute €80K for each of 30,000 houses.

        Would this be a runner?

      2. Steve

        To repeat. The housing crisis isn’t a funding issue. We have money. See comment above.

        Raising taxes will not fix the housing crisis.

      3. Otis Blue

        I used fervently believe this. Now I’m not at all sure. From where I’m standing it seems like it’s every man/woman for himself/herself. Things have changed and politics in Ireland has a lot to answer for. No conviction, vision, responsibility or accountability.

        A fish rots from the head down.

        We’ve long been taken for fools

  9. painkiller

    I’d say the bar was all energy after that! If it had substance, this announcement would have been accompanied by a policy plan. These are the gents who gave us the Five Point Plan at our lowest point, the details of which were soon forgotten and had no mention of the ways they would lure vulture funds to profit from the crisis that disproportionately cost the tax-payer.

    A great little country to do business in where you have the Opportunity to become a landlord if your shade of green and gold matches that of the tacky Fine Gael badge. Neoliberal to the core.

  10. Sheik Yahbouti

    I understand Jacob Rees Mogg will be attending later to extol the benefits of Food Banks, which he finds “uplifting” – mainly because the charities and people fund them and not the State.

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