Fine Gael moving to the right? I don’t think so.

19th April, 2009

Some have claimed that Fine Gael has moved to the right since the last election. I have always disagreed with such a criticism strongly. However in the last few weeks there has been ample evidence to rebut this claim.

This week we advocated that the state take an active interest in Eircom to manage that business in the best interests of the country. Prior to this we advocated that our state bodies be recapitalised to become engines of economic growth. Finally, our party is now advocating a form of universal health insurance to deliver a health service that is fit for purpose.

None of this is the stuff of right wing economics or politics. This sits very well with my views on economics and the role of the state.

I do not believe that competitiveness is the same thing as relentless tax cutting. I strongly believe that free markets only work when embedded in strong public institutions with the right checks and balances provided by government and non market organisations. Having worked in the private sector for a decade I know that business can get it as badly wrong as the public sector (don’t we all know that now).