End of a week

6th February, 2011

Another weekend of campaigning and the gulf between the media coverage of the campaign and the issues of importance to voters widens further. In the papers this morning it is all polls and debate drama. On the doorsteps it is all jobs and recovery. Someone, somewhere, in the media (and particularly the new media) is going to have shout stop and ask encourage his or her colleagues to start covering and discussing policies. Of the little policy discussion there is, it is all about the economy. And that is how it should be. We desperately need to create jobs, get credit flowing and fix the banks. I am explaining Fine Gael economic policies to as many people as possible. And the reaction has, I am glad to say, very positive.

But there are other issues which are being ignored. There is a body of social policy that we need to discuss too. When in this election are going to discuss issues like equality, like the rights of older people and the need to get women more involved in politics? How, in a policy-free political discussion, will we ever get to consider what the parties are offering in the area of preventative health or policies to combat drug use?

With less that three weeks to go we need to talk about all these things.