[Sinn Fein]

1st May 2002

Election being reduced to a lottery of public finances

Speaking at the launch of the party's candidates for the General Election at the Mansion House in Dublin today the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP attacked the other parties for reducing this election to a lottery of public finances. He said that it was time to get back to politics and the type of society that we want to create.'' Mr. Adams said:

``The election campaign so far reminds me of what some people go through when you try to get an estimate for a job of work. You get estimates. Many times you will be told that one person can do it cheaper than the other person. But what you are all the time mindful of is that it is your money that is being spent and what is important is whether the people involved can do the job you want, at the quality you want it. So you judge them on the other work that they have done.

It is the same in this election campaign. When you get beyond the `I can do it cheaper than anyone else nonsense' that has dominated the media agenda so far, you have to ask whether the conservative parties can do the job that the majority of people want? In other words do you believe them? I don't!

Of course, on this May Day we have to be mindful that many people don't have the luxury of getting estimates for jobs of work because they don't have homes to be refurbished or redecorated or cars to be fixed, or even if they do they can't afford any improvements.

What we do know, when we get beyond all of the dodgy arithmetic is that it was the lack of political will on the part of these conservative parties that has led to the health and housing crisis, despite a booming economy.

The big question is do they want a real health service, do they want real public services, do they want equality and are they prepared to shape government and administrative policy to bring this about? On their record the answer to that is No.

We do know that Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Labour Party and the PDs all want the same type of society. We do know that they want a continuation of what has gone on up to now, with perhaps a little bit of tweaking here and there. A little bit of cutting corners or using cheaper materials.

So what the election campaign has been about so far is about trying to baffle people with figures and projections. Whether it is deliberate or it is by accident, they have spent the last six days talking to the movers and shakers in Irish society, to those who are well off and who they think will vote for them on the basis of the price is right.

But the vast majority of people want a society which is egalitarian and just. None of the conservative parties can deliver that. They have all been in power lots of times. They have all made lots of promises - lots of times, and they have broken these promises - lots of times.

Sinn Fein brings a different set of ideas to this election. We believe the economy should serve the people and not the other way round. We are an all-Ireland party with a vision of a society based on equality. And on this, May Day, we want to put James Connolly's vision on the political agenda.''

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