Dáil debates

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Advice to Dissolve Dáil: Announcement


2:30 pm

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)

-----or we can say enough of that and that we want real change.

Only Labour can lead that change. I am talking about change of Government, and in the way it works and thinks, a change that brings the real concerns of the people to the heart of Government. Labour will fight this election on three issues, jobs, reform, and fairness. Throughout this crisis, Labour has insisted that jobs must be at the heart of what Government is doing. Labour is the party of work, and a Labour-led Government will have jobs at the top of its agenda. We will work to provide skills and work experience opportunities for those without work. We will work to develop new opportunities through trade and innovation, finding new markets, and new goods and services to sell in them and promoting the knowledge economy. We will work on the basis that every job counts. Labour is the party of reform. For generations, in and out of government, Labour has championed progressive change in Ireland. Now, once again, we are determined to lead a new wave of change and to fix a broken system, a system that has failed the Irish people. Labour is the party to reform politics because it has the best track record on reform. Labour is the party to reform our public services because it believes in public services, respects public servants and has the plan to bring about reform. Labour is the party of fairness. We have led the way in showing how the two-tier health system is bad for all of us and how it can be fixed. We have lead the way in demanding fair taxation. Alone among the political parties, we will make literacy, not just a policy objective but a national cause. Labour's vision is the vision of one Ireland, where we are driven by what unites us, not what divides us. Our country is too small, and our problems too great, to indulge in divisions, solo runs or sectional interests. This is not a time for division or the politics of pitting one group of Irish people against another. This is the moment when we must come together, and move forward together – le chéile. Government is not a hospitality tent, roped off for VIPs. Government is not a big house shielded from the people by high walls. Government is not the business of the insiders, it is the business of us all. It is time to roll up the tent and put the concerns of the people at the heart of Government. That is what Labour is all about. That is why Connolly and Larkin founded the Labour Party and now its time has come. One Ireland, public sector and private sector, those with jobs and those looking for work, employers and employees, rural and urban, women and men, gay and straight. Now is the time to pull down the walls that stand between the people and their Government. Now is the time for change. Today, 1 February, let us leave our winter behind. Anois teacht an earraigh.


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