Author Archives: Bronwen

the damaged democrat

Government BuildingsToday’s Sunday Independent Poll shows once again, that there is a lack of confidence in government.

This is not surprising as one of the dangers of economic depression, and an austerity agenda, is that trust is severely damaged.

We should use the opportunity in public discussions about reforming the Seanad to also discuss how we need to revitalise democracy in Ireland! Continue reading

budget 2013

This is the text of my speech delivered at Campaign for Labour Policies ‘Post Budget 2013’ meeting in Liberty Hall, on Saturday 8 December 2012.

“While we are here today to discuss Budget 2013, we are really discussing what Labour can achieve in Government.  To be able to say with confidence that Labour has a role in Government, other than being effective administrators, the party has to bring about real reform. Continue reading

but why did so many not bother to vote?

Yes for ChildrenOnly 30% voted, although the referendum on chidren’s rights was passed, what does the low turn-out tell us.  Were people happy with the referendum and not too worried that it wouldn’t pass.  Or is there a disconnect between the NGO/political consensus and real Ireland?

There was a substantial number of voters who were very unhappy with the change, not trusting establishment Ireland on the issue – and the Yes campaign failed to engage properly with these fears.

But when we canvassed we found many people were not too exercised about the subject, and were happy to have it included in the constitution, so perhaps they just stayed at home.  In the end the Irish people voted 60/40 to change the constitution to recognise the rights of the child, the average percentage result in Irish referenda.

the flourishing society

175px-Michael_d_higgins (1)President Michael D. Higgins’ speech at the launch of Task’s The Flourishing Society, expresses with clarity how the commitment to equality has been slowly eroded from the EU.

He said “Previous discourse about the future of the European Union that balanced ‘competitiveness’ and ‘cohesion’ has been systematically discarded with ‘cohesion’ rarely occurring in major statements from those who speak of the future of Europe.”

He developed this theme in his address ‘Towards a European Union of the Citizens’ delivered in the European Parliament, Strasbourg, Wednesday, 17th April, 2013.  The speech was responded with both pride and discomfort amongst media commentators and pundits!