Jobs and Differences

31st January, 2011

Last night’s Week in Politics saw sparks fly between the two main opposition parties over their strategies for jobs. Labour’s €500m jobs fund is too reminiscent of the old-style politics where throwing money at the problem is seen as the solution. That was Bertie Ahern’s policy- and look where it got us.

Much was made of the disagreement by Fianna Fail and no doubt many commentators will highlight the “incompatibility” of the two parties. In reality, it simply means that Labour and Fine Gael are too different parties, offering a distinct set of policies. The electorate will make up its mind on February 25th (or whenever) and the two parties will enter the negotiations and sort out a deal based on their respective strength in the new Dail. Of course if the people decide they want us on our own we’d be honoured, but, the people decide.

There are many things that Labour and Fine Gael agree on. We share a commitment to bringing down the deficit, we both believe in universal health insurance and we both believe in the benefits brought to us through playing a full part in the European Union. There are areas where we differ. But that’s fine. We can’t complain that all parties are the same and then give out when they’re not.