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Independent EU candidate wants to introduce a ‘radical’ form of democracy

TJ Fay, the oldest candidate in election, is running in the Midlands-North-West constituency.

Image: PMFC

A EUROPEAN ELECTIONS candidate wants to strengthen local democracy and to hand more power back to the public.

At 72, TJ Fay is the oldest candidate with his hat in the ring for a seat in Europe, and is running in the Midlands-North-West constituency.

He has previous experience with unions and worked for over 35 years as a photographer, but is now focusing his efforts on the People’s Movement for Change (PMFC), described as “radically different from the sham ‘democracy’ that we are used to”.

Fay’s approach in office would be to promote this form of governance, where decisions are made at local and regional level by the public, operating in “cells”.

“It’s not just another another talking shop, we are working for change,” he told TheJournal.ie, saying that the group aims to have 1 million members within two-years of holding their first convention.

Sports clubs or local credit unions

The system would function similar to sports clubs or local credit unions, he said.

“We have completely over-the-top legal  and financial systems, it all has to be restructured. The political system cannot be restructured though, it has to change, and so we have come up with this template.”

Fay added that the reaction on the doorsteps has been positive so far. He’s also avoiding handing out leaflets, instead using strips of pages from a foolscap notebook and writing down his details.

Fay has his sights set on gaining on a seat in the European Parliament – an organisation he believes the public are “fed up with”.

“There’s a lot of disquiet,” he said.

“It’s filled with bureaucrats and super-millionaires, getting involved in the affairs of other countries like the Ukraine”, where he added that Europe’s work to defuse tensions in the region has been “oil to the fire”.

“Robbed fisheries”

Fay’s policies in Europe will focus on two main areas – that private bank debt be “lifted off the back of the people”, and to demand the return of Ireland’s “robbed fisheries”.

“We will take them back if we have to,” he said, although noted that any decision on this would be taken through a PMFC group and so would be unlikely to involve “irrational actions”.

He added he would push for turf cutting to be limited to either hand-held tools or very small machines.

Fay heavily criticised sitting MEPs, saying they have not raised enough awareness of EU social enterprise grants.

“They allow the community to come together,” he said, noting that social enterprise has played a role in the recovery of other bailout countries such as Greece and Portugal.The European politics facts and figures…

As we build up to the 23 May polling day, TheJournal.ie‘s been giving each European Election candidate we interview a quick pop quiz on the institutions.

How many seats will the EU Parliament have after the election?

It’s 600, or around that. [Incorrect, it's 751, down from 766]

What year did Ireland officially join?

It was around 1970, I was involved in anti-EU campaigning, we didn’t like terms, and we were right. [Incorrect, it was 1973]

What was the last country to join EU?

Serbia, I know it was one of the Baltic states. [Incorrect, it was Croatia]

What was the last country to join Eurozone?

Latvia, one of the Balkan states, or Lithuania. [Half-point, it was Latvia]

Mairead McGuinness: ‘The notion that I’m a safe candidate for Fine Gael is bunkum’ >

‘It’s a really serious job’: Thomas Byrne on why he’d like to be an MEP and poll number ‘concerns’ >

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