TIME FOR A GREAT PUBLIC MEETING OF THE NATION – CREED

Cork North West, Fine Gael T.D. Michael Creed has assured constituents that there is hope for the future, and that Ireland will recover from the economic turmoil of the past two years. Reacting to recent developments which have seen the IMF/ECB/European Commission enter discussions on a bailout for Ireland, Deputy Creed said;

“These are dark times indeed for all proud citizens of this Country. Having reached the heights of the Celtic Tiger era, it is sobering to see the grim reality of our State’s destiny being dependent on the financial assistance of International entities. While there is a shared sense of anger and bitterness about what has happened – it is now important to accept the challenge and turn to the future with determination. The darkest hour comes just before the dawn”.

“In order to restore confidence in our economy we need to firstly accept the situation we are in. This is made increasingly difficult by the constant procrastination by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance to tell the cold harsh truth. The age of cute hoor politics must end. The public want straight hard facts on where we are and where we are going. Sadly the Government don’t want to admit where we are – and certainly don’t know where we are going”.

“This is why a general election is so important. Politics is important. Politics is the mechanism with which this Country will get back on its feet. Honest politics. This Country needs a conversation with itself – and a General election is the way to begin this national discourse. It can act as a national public meeting of sorts where each and every citizen can have their say about what has happened, and where we are going”.

“Politics and politicians as well as the political system have failed this Country – that is fact. But the public must too acknowledge that they are complicit in creating a political culture which has eroded the very moral fabric of the State. Honesty and integrity are values which have been slighted over “me feinism” and the art of the stroke. The very fact our current Government are supported by two Independents who are holding the State hostage in order to secure ransom for their fiefdoms, illustrates how the interest in self, prevails over the interest of state”.

“I would welcome the debate a General election would bring. I want to tell each and every constituent I meet that we have ideas – and I believe they will work. We in Fine Gael want to create jobs – in a very simple way. We have identified areas in our infrastructure which need development – namely in broadband water and energy. We believe we can put people to work by building this infrastructure. And while improving our infrastructure we make our economy a more attractive prospect for investment”.

“We want to fix our health care sector. Again – the process isn’t rocket science. We have looked at how other countries deliver healthcare – and we have identified the Dutch model as one worth replicating. It is not a case of re-inventing the wheel. We believe that waiting lists can be slashed and that every citizen can be assured and affordable service that is efficient and fair”.

“We want to reform the public service. We have to. The IMF is going to demand as much. Our reforms will deliver for the public as well as the public servant. We want to change politics. Fine Gael will put it to the people whether they wish to retain the Seanad or not. We intend to reduce the number of TD’s by 20. More importantly we want to change the culture of politics in this Country”.

“One might ask why all this hasn’t been achieved previously. Well the answer is that our old ways of doing business would not permit it. The politician that dared utter the word reform in any of the areas such as in health or in the public service would be scorned upon. The fear of the lost first preference vote has stifled reform. But now that we have reached the abyss there can be no more fear of the influence of vested interests. The social partners are in the dock next to the Government and the bankers and are as guilty of economic treason as the latter and former”.

“The balance sheet of Ireland Inc. isn’t as bad as we think. We have formidable assets. We have natural resources inland and off shore with huge potential for development. We have an educated work force and a good education system. We have a reputation for hard work and enterprise that will not be diminished despite the current crisis. We have a natural landscape, a history and unique culture that will continue to attract the attention of the world. All the liabilities on our balance sheet are on the Government side. They are the bad debt, the non-performing asset”.

“Added to all we have to offer as a State, we also have the support of our European family. It is in the interests of all member states in the EU and in particular those in the Eurozone, to ensure that Ireland not only survives – but prospers. It is reassuring to know in these times that we are not isolated on the edge of Europe without support from others. The mission statement in Brussels is clear – Ireland must not fail”.

“Every cloud has a silver lining. The silver lining associated with the arrival of the IMF & Co will I hope be the demise of the old politics of wink and nudge. I am ready for the great public meeting of the nation. I just hope the Taoiseach does the honourable things and sets a date”.

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