All that was missing was a Presidential candidate

9th March, 2009

Anyone strolling through Phibsborough or Stoneybatter this morning would have met a formidable team. Gay Mitchell (candidate for the European Parliament), Ray mcAdam (local election candidate) and myself were out meeting constituents. The only elected office not represented was the Presidency.

During the morning we met constituents who raised a variety of issues with us. A frequently raised issue was the murder of the British soldiers over the weekend. Front page articles about cabinet budget discussions prompted many to ask if we are sliding back to the 80s.

The answer is that we are not, but not for altogether good reasons. The first hopeful note is that the consensus amongst virtually all players in Irish politics is that these murders are to be utterly condemned. Thank God for this.

The other reason why we are not in the 80s (far less positive) is because the economic issues are now global and not just local. We may have made things a lot worse for ourselves at home but there is still a global recession taking place.

That is why I am delighted to see the front page of the FT today. Larry Summers (Barack Obama’s top economic advisor) is calling for global demand to be boosted by pumping public money into the economy. The previous consensus was that the responsibility for kick starting demand lay with
China and the emerging economies.

This has now changed, everybody must play a part in it. To see this spelled out so clearly, along with the Quantitative Easing measures from the Bank of England last week is a cause of hope.

We had a great morning. Too good, perhaps. Gay just called to say he missed his flight to Strasbourg. Hope this won’t stop him coming out to us again.