You Won’t Fool The Children Of The Revolution

at

9040954190409532

From top: The launch of the Social Democrats youth policy yesterday, Anne Marie McNally (centre) with Soc Dem supporters Ronan Mac Giolla Rua (left) and Jack Power; Anne Marie with fellow Soc Dem candidate Gary Gannon,

Political apathy among our young has never been because of a lack of passion on their part but rather on the part of the political establishment.

Anne Marie McNally writes:

In less than 48 hours people will go to polling booths across Ireland and decide the fate of our country for the foreseeable future and beyond. Many will do so based on historical voting habits but an increasing number will cast their vote with change in mind.

They will be hopeful that their vote can make a difference and buck the almost 90 year old status-quo that has dominated Irish political life. In larger numbers than ever before, young people will get out and cast their vote.

Some will do so because they became politicised during the Marriage Equality referendum but yet more will do so because they are angry. They realise how abandoned they have been by the political establishment and they want to have their voice heard and their plight acknowledged.

Yesterday Gary Gannon [Social Democrat candidate in Dublin Central] and I launched the Social Democrats youth manifesto. We asked young party supporters to tell us what the key issues for them were and we took their responses and created the youth manifesto.

The issues weren’t surprising – housing, decent employment, climate issues, the 8th amendment, mental health – all topics of serious concern to young people. Speaking at the launch I made the point that we are the first generation of Irish people who cannot realistically aspire to own our own home.

Home ownership has become a pipe dream for far too many of us and in the meantime we are forced to rely on a rental sector that is unprofessional insecure and unreliable. In other words our housing needs are not met and the knock-on effects of this include emigration, people putting off starting families and people who simply cannot see how they will ever be in a position to settle down and start a family.

We spoke to people who had struggled with mental health issues or those whose family or friends had been impacted by mental health issues. People who understand first-hand that the services are not fit for purpose and that this is the one issue that not even enough lip-service is paid to by the establishment parties.

Young people will not be silenced on this issue nor will they be fobbed off by politicians who have sat by and watched as the #anyonesbrother hashtag trended following the death of yet another young person abandoned by a mental health service that has failed so many before.

The voices then came loud and clear on the 8th amendment – the last referendum was held in 1983, this generation has not had our say. We deserve and demand the opportunity to have our voices heard on this human rights issue.

Those who voted in 1983 have lived their lives based on their choices. Those 33 year old choices should not determine our current choices and on that the message is clear; in 2016 Ireland, we will not be silenced.

As we move into the last few hours of this campaign, Social Democrats teams across the country will be putting in the final big push to hit as many doors as possible to get the message out.

Those teams are made up of a wide demographic spread from Irish society but every team contains a significant amount of younger voters who are involved in active politics for the first time.

They are eager and they are excited because for the first time they feel their voice has a home and a party that is prepared to listen and heed the voices of young people when formulating policy.

Political apathy amongt our younger people has never been because of a lack of passion on their part but rather on the part of the political establishment. This campaign has witnessed a sea change in that regard.

The Social Democrats have ensured that is the case and I’m proud to finish out this campaign surrounded by young people who will, quite literally, rock the vote.

Anne-Marie McNally is General Election candidate for the Social Democrats in the Dublin Mid-West constituency. Follow Anne-Marie on Twitter: @amomcnally

47 thoughts on “You Won’t Fool The Children Of The Revolution

  1. Harry Molloy

    Lack of availability of housing putting people off starting families – Damn right, a lot of us will be much older parents than we would like as a result

  2. Clo

    Have to compliment the Social Democrats in Limerick east and Cork east for the campaign on the N20 ‘No motorway ahead’, pointing out the need for a new road. Very simple and eye-catching, and shows the two candidates in different constituencies working together on issues.

  3. scundered

    Really hope you gain as much ground as possible, and have more candidates next time… certainly would be getting my vote if you had a candidate in my area. Good luck.

  4. Mick Flavin

    I dunno. Soc Dems have nice, aspirational policies and sincere-sounding candidates (I have no reason to doubt that sincerity).
    …but…
    When they’ve already stated a willingness to go into coalition with FG, then what’s the point? They did say it’d be on their own terms, but the Labour tail didn’t manage to wag the FG dog very far to the left (marriage equality aside).
    In short, I can’t see much difference between their positioning and Labour’s prior to the last general election.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “Soc Dems have nice, aspirational policies and sincere-sounding candidates (I have no reason to doubt that sincerity).”

      So maybe they threaten to collapse the government when they don’t get what they want. Scarface Kelly is more concerned about power so will be more open to dumping his “principles”.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Yeah, you’re right. We should allow those incompetent clowns to continue making decisions that are ruining the country because an election cost money. Genius thinking right there.

          1. rotide

            If they get into a coalition and bring down the government at the first sign of one of their policies being sidelined, that’s not going to do anything to stop the incompetant clowns now is it Moyest?

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            If they bring down the government, it means a new government. So yes, it would. If we need another election a year after that one, so be it. ‘Waste of money!’ is a nice slogan. It doesn’t mean much though.

          3. Fergus the magic postman

            I don’t think we’re talking about labour bringing down the government at first sign of one of their policies being sidelined.
            More like the umpteenth confirmation that all of their policies were being dismissed entirely.

          4. Fergus the magic postman

            @rotide:
            Mick Flavin: When they’ve already stated a willingness to go into coalition with FG, then what’s the point? They did say it’d be on their own terms, but the Labour tail didn’t manage to wag the FG dog very far to the left (marriage equality aside).
            In short, I can’t see much difference between their positioning and Labour’s prior to the last general election.

          5. rotide

            If it wasn’t clear to you that moyest and I were talking about the SDs and the part of my comment that you quoted didn’t refer to the SDs then I’m not sure why you think you are qualified in any way to talk about politics or anything with any confidence.

          6. Fergus the magic postman

            Well I thought you were talking about how SDs would hypothetically do things differently to labour, who absolutely didn’t resign from government at the first sign of one of their policies being sidelined.

            So what’s your argument? A small party shouldn’t leave the government at the first sign of one of their policies being sidelined, they should do what Labour did?

        2. Fergus the magic postman

          That’s ridiculous rotide. Costing the taxpayer more money is seldom a concern.

          Can I remind you that if it wasn’t for the option of collapsing the government, we would have had to pay tax on children’s shoes in the 80s (under FG, surprise surprise). That would have cost the tax payer more money too.
          Dick Spring & his party rightly resigned from government when Albert Reynolds tried to appoint a paedophile protector as president of the high court. THE WAY THINGS SHOULD BE.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Usually, when right wingers can’t argue against an idea, it’ll be ‘think of the taxpayers!’. It’s completely meaningless. They’re very predictable.

          2. rotide

            Well, you sort of know your history, the shoes thing more or less did collapse the government and that was as much down to politics as childrens shoes.

            Secondly, It’s implicit when going into coalition that the junior partner can object and cause a collapse. I’m not arguing that. I’m saying that the battles should (and will if the case arsises, the SDs aren’t stupid) be picked and the threat shouldn’t be hanging over every single issue before even starting.

    2. rotide

      Mick that’s all very well but whats the alternative. The next government is going to have to be a coalition featuring FG or FF. Some sort of rainbow alliance of smaller parties might be possible, but whether its workable is another thing altogether.

      1. Owen C

        No coalition is possible with FF or FG. They will have over 50% of the seats even on the worst case scenario (ie 50+30). The only question is whether any workable coalition is even possible without FG.

          1. Same old same old

            The spin is that there are some enthusiastic people out there for either a Martin or Kenny premiership when really both have been dealt a resounding no

    3. Harry Molloy

      Real politics is about compromise, that’s how you get to implement at least some of your policies, rather than none at all.

      When we don’t have a willingness to compromise we don’t see progress – look at any authoritarian regime, any conflict (including N.I.) and right down to local politics – you compromise and you do a little good and you end the bickering and you move forward

      1. LW

        My abject fear is they’ll go in with FG, get crushed as all small parties do, and this movement will be euthanised before it ever develops

        1. Harry Molloy

          And that is a valid fear, I would think that Stephen Donnelly is too smart for that though, and Roisin Shorthall has expereicne as a junior partner which she didn’t enjoy already, so I would hope that they wouldn’t sacrifice themselves completely as I think they have a good future ahead of them.

      2. Mick Flavin

        I take that point…but are we therefore doomed to a cycle of centre-left smaller parties hoping to have some social policies enacted as a sop, being trounced at the following election for reneging on economic promises that were never likely to be implemented due to going in with a partner from the Right?
        That’s just depressing to me…

        1. Harry Molloy

          It does seem that way but I would be optimistic and hope it gives smaller parties like Soc Dems a time to shine. Sticking to the centre isn’t a bad thing imo, you don’t really marginilise any large section of the community

          I wouldn’t say we really have any parties on the right btw, apart from Renua,

          1. Mick Flavin

            We’ll have to agree to differ on that one, Harry. The centre as currently constituted is too far right for my taste (the definition of “right”…a debate for another day), and a recurring system as outlined above pretty much precludes an overall systemic move leftwards.

    4. Nigel

      I dunno. You can make all the vows about who you’ll go in with you like, but when it’s all over ad the numbers are in and the electorate have spoken, the immediate priority will be the establishment of a stale government, and until we know the numbers, we don’t know what that will be, and all those vows are hostages to fortune. If the electorate decide that FF or FG are the best situated party to form the center of a stable coalition government, then God help us all, but that’s what’ll have to happen. That junior partners end up being made the judas goat’ll have to weigh heavy on their minds, though.

Comments are closed.