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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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Column: We are registering a new political party and taking this government to task

With the National Independent Party registering with the Oireachtas tomorrow, acting party chairman Martin Critten writes that this is Ireland’s opportunity for real reform.

Martin Critten

AMONGST ALL THE continued debate and hyperbole on the airwaves, newsstands, and down the pub about whether Ireland will ever find itself with a new political party, here we are: our party registration is being delivered tomorrow and we are rearing to go, our draft manifesto and vision developed from months of discussion and contemplation.

Since taking the first tentative steps into the murky waters of politics some 18 months ago, after having walked from Limerick to Dublin under protest at the autocratic tax impositions, my steep learning curve would have impressed any roller coaster designer. I learned that what could be considered relevant to some, isn’t; that those you thought would help, didn’t; and what you never thought would hinder you, arrived. But history illustrates very well that from the fires of economic depression new beginnings arrive – it is where passion and commitment is tempered. And that’s possibly why political parties of any real standing never materialise from the comfortable ranks of people who were part of the original demise. As such, the media’s watching of the academically influential and currently famous could be a fruitless exercise.

Given this party’s achievement, I have nothing but the highest regard and admiration for all those who’ve made contact and contributed their thoughts, ideas and energy. What you see of the National Independent Party, is truly a testament to their resilience and real sense of patriotism; the very kind missing from any negotiations in Brussels as our Enda dutifully collects 32k per annum more than the French President.

Politics is not a game

To those I’ve connected with over the past 18 months, politics is not a game, a spectator sport or a career option. It’s a means of making the very necessary social adjustments to care for our vulnerable, whilst looking for ways of stimulating opportunities to reward those who excel in the support of their families and the greater common good. And, it is that sense of greater common good that has been totally destroyed these last decades, while posturing and blatant greed took precedence.

What should have been this country’s mechanism for progressive change, protection, support and prosperity has become the distant, oppressive school master once again.

Rebuilding confidence in our society is perhaps were most of our party’s attention has been focused of late. It began with creating good, workable social reform like our Citizen’s Charter followed by economic policies given the failure of the Euro experiment . Aspirational or not, our vision has had to begin somwhere in understanding where we are headed as a nation.

Much-needed reforms

Naturally everyone’s initial reaction to adversity is like the snap of a rubber band, taking back control and taking back that which was given – which, in our case, was our trust in those to lead us. The next heavy weight on our minds will always be what we give (or have taken from us) in tax from our incomes in support of the grand noble cause ‘the green jersey’. This, again, has most people frozen in bewilderment over what now amounts to daylight robbery, and worse still is the back catalogue of mismanagement with our hard-earned cash. For any real sense of confidence and harmony to find its way back in to Irish politics we only need look at reforms which drill down to the heart of basic service delivery, social equity and fairness; and meeting those all important electoral promises, to quickly find our way back.

So in just one paragraph we have benchmarked the principles which would take this Government millions in consultancy fees to achieve, yet we have managed to encompass much of this in our draft manifesto for an infinitesimal fraction. From electoral reform to sustainable jobs, health, justice and – of course – issues that are never on the airwaves like immigration and euthanasia. We are ready and willing to talk about these subjects. Why? Because our role is not just to provide answers, but also to stimulate debate; that way, we can all engage in defining our goals and move forward again. Indeed, as a new party the work really has only just begun.

Martin Critten is the founder of the National Independent Party. For more details on the party and a downloadable manifesto visit www.nationalindependentparty.ie.

Read: What ever happened to Fine Gael’s Five Point Plan?

Read: South Dublin mayor resigns from Labour party

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