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2 February 2014 Edition

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Make 2014 the year of change

• Sinn Féin stand for core republican values which are about defending public services

Why should gender be the basis for the exclusion of anyone? Or disability? Why should race or class or skin colour or creed give one group of human beings the ability to deny other human beings their full rights or entitlements as citizens?

THE Central Remedial Clinic and Irish Water scandals are part of a toxic political culture marked by ‘jobs for the boys’ and contracts for a small group of consultants and insiders who are closely linked to the Establishment.

It is part of a culture of greed and cronyism that came to dominance after partition and the defeat of the revolutionary fervour of 1916. It is the outworking of the coming to power of conservative right-wing elements within Irish society. It is classic neo-colonialism: the colonial power leaves and is replaced by an indigenous elite that seeks to advance its own narrow interests.

The Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil parties (occasionally supported by Labour, the Greens or the PDs) created and oversaw a culture of corruption and of ‘Golden Circles’ involving bankers and developers and politicians who looked after each other to the detriment of ordinary citizens. These are the people who collapsed the Irish economy five years ago.

There is an alternative to this toxic culture.

Sinn Féin is for a realignment of Irish politics across the island.

We believe that fairness and equality must be central to government policy.

We are for core republican values which are about defending public services.

Sinn Féin believes that citizens have fundamental rights, including the right to a wraparound health service; to a decent education free and accessible to third level; to a home; to a clean environment; to a fair wage and to a job.

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• Society must be shaped around people – around citizens, not elites or hierarchies

Why should gender be the basis for the exclusion of anyone? Or disability? Why should race or class or skin colour or creed give one group of human beings the ability to deny other human beings their full rights or entitlements as citizens?

Society must be shaped around these rights. Society must be shaped around people – around citizens, not elites or hierarchies.

In May, there will be local and European elections in both parts of the island. Sinn Féin will be the only significant  party contesting these in both parts of the island. We will have candidates standing in all of the European constituencies and – for the first time since 1918 – there will be Sinn Féin candidates in every local council on the island, North and South.

For those who want to look to a different, better future, who want hope for themselves and for their families, then the choice is obvious. In May, make 2014 the year of change and vote for Sinn Féin candidates.

Read more from Gerry Adams at : leargas.blogspot.ie

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