The European Elections


I am utterly sick of people thinking I am completely stupid. They may not think that they think I am completely stupid but.

Paul Murphy is fighting his European campaign on water charges. You can see this all over his poster campaign.

Water charges – at most – are a Dail issue. In the grand scheme of things, Irish Water aside, they should almost even be a municipal issue. What they are not is an issue for the European Parliament. Almost every other country in Europe has arrangements for water payments and to be frank, I want my local MEP standing up matters at a European level and not water charges which is a local to Ireland issue right now.

Today, Mary Fitzpatrick of Fianna Fail’s campaign dropped a leaflet in my door.

As an MEP, Mary will continue to campaign against unfair taxes such as the anti-Dublin property tax which takes no account of the ability to pay.

Against budgets that target the old and the young alike

Against a universal health scheme that will cost every family more

For an adequate water supply for the capital before water charges are imposed.

Lyn Boylan, Sinn Fein. More or less the same. A pile of policies that are essentially local issues and the business of the Dail and not the European Parliament. She’s also against the Poolbeg Incinerator, and in favour of protecting Liffey Valley. They are interesting objectives, laudable but local council issues and not European Parliament problems.

Brid Smith is against, variously, water charges, privatisation and in favour of writing off the Irish national debt. These are again, to a great extent, matters for the Dail.

Not only that, she points out that the EU is large undemocratic and removed from the public. Campaigning for a seat on what is effectively a Dail campaign really isn’t helping there.

This is my big absolute bugbear. The absence of Brian Hayes and Eamon Ryan does not mean I’m going to vote for them either – I have different issues with elements of their campaign.

When I see documentation for European parliament candidates coming in, I do not want them to suggest to me that they are angling to distance the country from Europe. As a woman, it is thanks to the European Economic Community that I have the right to equal pay for equal work. If they want to work against the interests of integration, then it is hypocritical to be seeking election to a European level forum.

Likewise, when I see documentation for European parliament candidates coming in, I want to know that they understand the question of subsidiarity and why the European Parliament is not the place to be fighting Irish Water and the introduction of direct charges.

I’ve looked at all the candidates in my constituency for the European Parliament. I do not want to vote for any of them.

Not one candidate has provided me with any evidence that they should represent my interests at a European level.

Here are the issues I want to see them addressing up front:

  • Data protection
  • Energy resourcing
  • Transnational environmental issues
  • Foreign policy issues particularly, for example, in the face of issues of disagreement
  • Pan European food supply
  • Pan European trade for individuals. I cannot order stuff from the Apple iTunes stores in any other European country and I have similar issues with Amazon’s Kindle publications. Given Free Movement of Goods, how on earth can this be allowed to happen?
  • Greater contact and integration internally to the European Union.
  • Limiting the damage that national governments can inflict on things like, oh workers’ rights and support for the poorer in society (We may not live in the UK but you can be sure that some of our politicians would like to try some of the Tory Party’s policies on social welfare). Focus heavily on the Acquis Communautaire.

These are issues that are the business of a European representative where water and property taxes in Dublin are not.

Not one of the candidates in Dublin has given me any indication that they have any interest in pan-European matters and Ireland’s position within pan-European matters.