Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan to stand in European election

Independent TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim announces intention to stand via twitter

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan who declared today that he is planning to run the  European elections.  Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan who declared today that he is planning to run the European elections. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fri, Mar 21, 2014, 09:46

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has announced his intention to stand in May’s European Parliament elections.

Mr Flanagan, who is an Independent TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim, made the announcement via his twitter account this morning.

“I have made the decision to contest the European election constituency of Midlands North West, ” Mr Flanagan tweeted.

Linking to a statement, Mr Flanagan continued: “ I am doing so because I believe Ireland needs to elect people to the European Parliament that carry with them the message that we have gone too far with this ‘European project’.

He said he also wished to build on the voter base that elected him in the last election.

“I also, if elected, plan to build on that potential voter base and to create a political environment whereby we could see another 10 independents elected from this region to Dáil Éireann in the spring of 2016.”

Mr Flanagan said he was in favour of being part of a European Community but not in its current form.

“However we are now no longer a member of a community, we are a member of a Union. A Union which kicked us when we were down. A Union that took the side of the bond holders and left us with a bill of €70billion.

“We need the EU to go back to being a community. It must be a community which puts people before bankers. A Community which foots the bill for the calamitous mistake that the project of monetary union has been. A community which treats small nations equally. Certainly not a community led by the leaders of Germany and France as is currently happening,” he said.

“We need to build a coalition of peoples from across Europe who see through the Eurozone project for what it is. It is a project,if taken to its logical conclusion, which will wipe out any meaningful capacity for individual countries to exercise sovereignty over their affairs.

“We constantly hear how the EU has been of financial benefit to Ireland. The evidence does not exist to back this up. Europhiles tell us how we have gained massively through cohesion funds aswell as farmers gaining from the Common Agricultural Policy,” he said.

“ In total we have received €72 billion & we have given €31billion. We have however contributed fish stocks with an estimated commercial value of €201 Billion while only receiving €17 billion in return. When one includes the massive debt imposed on us by the Eurozone banking system we are actually at a loss of €213 billion or in other words €46,000 for every man woman a child in this country.”

Mr Flanagan said he was looking forward to debating “the issue of our relationship with Europe” in the coming weeks.

He said: “ I hope to convince people that Ireland is capable of standing on its own two feet and to get the message out there that we are the givers rather than the takers.”