Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Principles of my Campaign

Below I list some of my core principles and beliefs about the Party and the role of Chairperson, and I outline some broad aims I would hope to achieve during my tenure if elected.

On Members
I believe the Labour Party must become more democratic and involve members in policymaking, campaign strategy and other party activities. By harnessing the experience and expertise of our grassroots we can strengthen the Labour Party.

If elected, I will bring proposals to the Executive Board for increasing democratic participation of members through the establishment of policy groups and campaign groups to involve members, to ensure that Labour is the leading and most dynamic member driven party in Ireland.

On Trade Unions
I believe the Labour Party must strengthen its links with Trade Unions, who have been a central part of our movement since the foundation of the Party.

If elected, I will organise regular meetings between affiliated unions and the party leadership and spokespeople. I will also propose a strategy for closer co-operation to the Executive Board and work towards getting other Trade Unions to affiliate to the Party.

On Party Sections
I believe we must make greater use of the Party sections, who by their very nature, are organised by members especially dedicated to a particular issue in society, whether women, equality or youth; and who often have specialist knowledge, as with Labour Lawyers and Labour LGBT.
If elected, I will work to ensure that Sections are more involved in formulating Party policy; and I would coordinate meetings between the relevant Party spokesperson and the Sections; and allocate speaking time to the Sections at Party Conference in the relevant debates. We also need to find new ways to harness the energy of these members in building the Party throughout Ireland.

On the Regions
I believe the Labour Party must be active throughout the entire country and ensure we do not appear Dublin-centric. As the Party continues to build membership and public support in rural areas, the Chairperson needs to be directly available to, and in contact with these members.
If elected, I will travel to meet members, to listen to their views and act on their concerns and worries - communicating with Head Office and getting Head Office to act on the issues raised. I will ensure that the Central Council and Executive Board conduct a reasonable proportion of their meetings outside of Dublin, and when doing this, also set time aside to meet with the members of the party in that area. This will aid communication and a sense of connection between Head Office and membership, and vice versa. I will also advocate for regional conferences and policy meetings.

On Socialism
I believe in the power of democratic socialism to bring about positive change in Ireland and it's central importance to our Party and how it functions.
If elected, I will fulfill my duties with particular emphasis on the core principles of our Party: equality, freedom, democracy and community. Our Party has never been more united in its goals and I believe by working together and increasing the involvement of the grassroots we will bring about the change that Ireland so badly needs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Little Bit about Me

A little bit about me, and why I believe I am qualified to run for Chairperson of the Labour Party.

  • Born and raised in Crumlin, Dublin.
  • Educated at Crumlin CBS, Rathmines College and Trinity College Dublin.
  • Historian of the Labour Party, writing a forensic analysis of the Labour Party in Government from 1973-77.
  • Active member of the Hugh Geraghty (Crumlin, Drimnagh, Walkinstown) Branch for nearly a decade.
  • Member of Labour Party Finance Sub-Committee.
  • Chairperson of Labour Youth 2008-2009.
  • Organised and co-ordinated the "Gilmore for Taoiseach" Campaign over two separate Labour Party conferences.
  • During his tenure as Chairperson of Labour Youth, saw one of the most significant recruitment drives in the history of Labour Youth in which the membership doubled, a feat not seen since the "Spring Tide".
  • Member of Executive of the Hugh Geraghty (Crumlin, Drimnagh, Walkinstown) Branch since 2005.
  • Member of Trinity Access Program Steering Committee.
  • Member of Dublin South Central Constituency Executive.
  • Chairperson of Thornley Branch (TCD) 2008.
  • Vice-Chairperson of Labour Youth 2007-2008, running many successful campaigns including: 'Cut AIDs, Cut VAT' resulting in a reduction in VAT on condoms from 21% to 13.5%; re-organising the Anti-Fees Campaign and calling for 'an end to recruitment ban in the HSE'.
  • Currently working in the retail sector
  • Supporter of Shelbourne Athletic Football Club.
  • Bank of Ireland Millennial Scholar.
  • Regular contributor to media through radio and print.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My 5 Immediate Goals as Chairperson

If elected Chair I will strive to do the following immediately:

1. At Party Conference ensure more time is provided for ordinary members to speak on motions so that your voice is heard.

2. Make sure the Party sends a Quarterly Newsletter to all members outlining news and views.

3. A monthly email (along with letter to those without internet) communicating major decisions taken within the party, political strategy and new policy documents to keep you informed of what is happening in the Party.

4. Ensure motions passed at Conference are acted upon, with progress updates in the monthly email. I would also produce an Annual Report to Conference on how motions have been implemented and what has been ignored.

5. Work towards setting up policy forums for members to contribute to Party Policy, beginning with Economics. We need clear left wing alternatives in these challenging times.

My Reasons for Running for Chairperson

I intend to put my name forward for Chairperson of the Labour Party at this year's party conference. In these challenging times for Ireland I think the Labour Party needs a new voice at the highest table.

I want to be a Chairperson for the ordinary member, acting as a bridge to the leadership for ideas and concerns.Central to this is building a grass roots movement where every member feels valued and included in the direction and future of the party.

The core principles of the Labour movement are under attack in Irish society on a daily basis- from Workers Rights, to State services, to the social agenda, to the role of the State in the economy.

As a Party we must communicate a clear alternative on policy and the future of Ireland- that begins with informing you, the members, of our positions, going around the media and communicating directly with the grassroots, you who are in a position to put forward our vision for a new, progressive Ireland to friends and family and most importantly, the voters.

A movement requires a message and we as a Party are too often silenced by the media so we must find a way around that by communicating more directly with you.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments