New Vision tells of public anger

Thu, Feb 10, 2011, 00:00

INDEPENDENTS:A GROUP of Independents standing under the banner of New Vision says they could win seats if the anger expressed by people on doorsteps translates into votes.

Eamon Blaney, spokesman for the group, said 19 Independent candidates had so far committed to the alliance, but more could come on board in the coming week.

New Vision candidates have committed to vote en bloc on four issues: the separation of bank debt and sovereign debt; a viable strategy to create jobs; the overhaul of politics and the public service; and “a better deal” for the country’s natural resources.

“We are of the collective opinion that without these four fundamental changes to how our country is run and governed, Ireland will become financially, economically and morally bankrupt in the very near future,” Mr Blaney said. Outside these issues supporters, if elected, would be free to pursue whatever policies they felt were in the interests of their constituents.

Mr Blaney, a son of former Fianna Fáil minister Neil Blaney, is standing in Dublin North East and his brother Macdara is standing in Donegal North East.

Also in the alliance is Luke “Ming” Flanagan, who is standing in Longford-Roscommon, who has campaigned for many years for the legalisation of cannabis.

Mr Blaney said he had been in contact with economic commentator David McWilliams about setting up a new political movement and was disappointed Mr McWilliams had not gone ahead with his plans. “Ten days ago, we had no money and no candidates, but now we have 19 and we have an organisation.”

One of the first challenges for the new organisation will be to distinguish itself from another new political grouping, Fís Nua (“new vision” in Irish). Fís Nua, which is fielding six candidates, registered last week as a political party but this was too late to have its name included on the ballot paper. New Vision’s name will not appear on the ballot paper either because it is a loose alliance rather than a party.

Fís Nua, which has links to former Green Party members, said yesterday it had been in touch with New Vision and had asked that group to meet with a view to joining forces or changing its name to avoid confusion.

However, Mr Blaney said last night he had registered the name New Vision and was previously unaware of the existence of the other group. Both groups acknowledge they have a lot in common but Fís Nua claims it has a wider agenda covering social justice, sustainability and an end to corruption.

Macdara Blaney (40), an IT consultant living in Artane, confirmed yesterday a Blaney would be on the ticket in Donegal North East after all.Their cousin Niall Blaney, a sitting Fianna Fáil TD, announced that for personal reasons he would not be running.

Mr Blaney is also one of five Independent candidates in the constituency and hopes “to agree a transfer pact between us” in a bid to elect an Independent in the constituency. He said that if elected he would move to Donegal where he had lived and he considered himself “a Donegal man”.

Of his family connection, he said: “I am called Blaney and am son of Neil T Blaney” but “I am not running because there is no Blaney on the ticket”.

He said his father stood for “independence, integrity and honesty and they were straight talkers”.

Meanwhile, a late addition to candidates in the Wexford constituency was Ruairí de Valera, grandson of former taoiseach and President. Living in Moneytucker, Davidstown, outside Enniscorthy, he is standing as an Independent.