Fís Nua Election Launch

Fís Nua Launch 5 Feb 2011 in Buswells Hotel

Fís nua Candidates at launch 5 feb 2011 in Buswells Hotel, Dublin, Ireland

Fís Nua launched its election candidates on 5 Feb 2011 in Buswells Hotel, Dublin. Fís Nua is Ireland’s newest political party and was entered on the official Register of Political Parties on 4th Feb 2011. Fís Nua stands for an end to the bank bailout, for social justice, sustainability, a steady state economy, greater democracy with devolution of power and an end to corruption. Cordelia Níc Fhearraigh welcomed everyone to the launch and introduced Cllr. Pat Kavanagh who made an opening statement. Each of the candidates then made introductory comments about their reasons for standing for Dáil Éireann. Those candidates are (left to right): Ian Clotworthy – Dublin South East, Gerry Kinsella – Wicklow, Pat Kavanagh – Wicklow, Liam Johnston – Dublin Central, Dr. Ben Nutty – Waterford, Donal O’Riordan – Cork South West.

In this second video of the launch, the meeting was then opened to questions from the floor for response from the candidates.

Statement made by Cllr Pat Kavanagh at the LaunchFís Nua was born out of an Ireland in crisis. The bank guarantee and Nama are intended to provide a lifeline to the banks, the property developers, politicians and their friends. This is being achieved by the state guaranteeing the international bondholders so that our banks would not go to the wall. The National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) was designed to pay above market values for loan portfolios, with the assumption that this would be sufficient to recapitalise the banks. A group of us decided, about 9 months, ago that this policy was extremely dangerous and we therefore began the process of organising to reject this bailout strategy and create a new political movement through which people could counter the corruption in Irish politics.

Our current crisis was created by a spate of unbridled consumerism on the back of a property boom fuelled by the promise of ever-rising property prices. Those in a position to do so lessened the financial regulation of checks and balances on the supply of money, and the banks lent as though there was no tomorrow. Loans were secured on flimsy security and there are numerous examples of corruption and collusion between bankers and property developers and international financial institutions, which led to the effective collapse of our banking system. Now the Irish State has underwritten these banks when the extent of the bad loans is still not fully appreciated. Continuing this policy has the potential to bankrupt the state.

Did we, the majority of the Irish people, create this crisis? No.
Are we the Irish people being asked to pay for the crisis? Yes.

Is there an alternative to the bail out of the banks, the acceptance of the ECB / IMF loan? Yes

Not only is there an alternative policy, but it is also evident that to continue along the path of accepting the bank bailout strategy could lead to the total bankruptcy of the Irish state.

Our policy is founded on the need to create a groundswell of public opinion for grass roots democratic reform and to remove the opportunities for widespread corruption within the political system and public life. By reducing TDs pay and unnecessary expenses, limiting public pensions and creating a culture of democratic accountability, combined with a mechanism to recall public representatives, we can dig out the roots of corruption and patronage within our political system. We are calling for the incorporation of a whistleblowers charter into Irish law as a method to ensure that we develop an early warning system against any potential recurrence of corrupt practices.

Why would the removal of this corruption also change the economy of the country? Because it is by pulling together that we can get out of this crisis. It isn’t just about banking liquidity, it isn’t just about not being able to pay the mortgage, it isn’t just about the cuts to the health system, the education system or the introduction of the universal social charge. It is the lack of hope that we all feel. Some of us tasted the good times and they left only a sore taste in our mouths. We need to all pull together, to create our jobs, to undermine corruption and to create local democracies. It is the people that will end this crisis.

Fís Nua is a federated party. We are an umbrella movement for the layers of community and local activists who know what needs to be done on the ground to regenerate our communities. We need to develop local initiatives, school building programmes, local health centres, and encourage small and co-operative businesses in sustainable and eco-friendly industries.

Our New Vision is to create a new sustainable economy based on our natural resources (i.e. gas and oil, forestry, agriculture, solar power, wave energy), and to give a voice to Local Communities in decision making by having Aarhus Convention (Local Agenda 21) transposed into Irish Law.

Fís Nua seeks to end the recurring cycle of ‘boom or bust’ economics for a new economic system. Following an initial period of stabilisation we would aim for a steady state economy where economic activity serves the needs of society, rather than the current unsustainable model where society is shaped according to the fluctuating demands of the economy.

Fís Nua is now a registered political party and has been entered on the Register of Political Parties as from 12 noon yesterday, 4 Feb 2011. We have however been refused entry on the Register of Political Parties in force for this election. We are in consultation with our legal team about immediate action on this matter.

Fís Nua (New Vision) is aware that another political alliance has announced its intention to call itself ‘New Vision’. This Alliance does not have an association with Fís Nua, and is not registered as a political party. We are in contact with that movement with a view to co-operation and compromise to avoid any possible confusion

We welcome you to our launch today and I would now like to introduce some of our candidates who will be representing Fís Nua in the Dáil Election 2011.

Go raibh maith agaibh.