It has just been announced that the former Fine Gael TD, Lucinda Creighton, is going to found a new a political party in Ireland: it will be launched in eight weeks time. Creighton had been expelled from Fine Gael because of her opposition to the abortion bill. The party whip system in Ireland is very strict, and so when Taoiseach Enda Kenny imposed the whip on his party members as the bill passed through parliament, members were not allowed to have a conscientious objection to it and had to vote for it. Creighton couldn't accept this, she voted against the bill and so lost her junior ministerial position and her membership of the party.
In announcing the new party, Creighton has reiterated that conscience would be respected and the strict whip employed in Irish political parties up to now will not be imposed, but employed in a more liberal manner as we see in other European states and most western democracies. That is good. We have to see what other policies she will have, so we have to wait.
Already the media has started the attack, as expected. Top of the agenda for journalists in interviews with her was gay marriage and abortion, the usual elements of social revolution which are pushed as reform. I can see the media, fearful that this new party might actually find significant support among the middle ground in Ireland, will have to demonise it; business as usual for some the media, I suppose.
We shall have to see what this new party will stand for, its policies and its members. But its foundation is a hopeful, a chance we can get away from what we have now. As it stands, as citizen of this republic I have no one to vote for. The established political parties have embraced a social agenda which is anti-life and becoming more and more oppressive. Many of the independents are extreme left-wing and seek the same social revolution as the parties. Some independents are good, but the problem with independents is that there is little chance of stable government if a parliament's majority consists of individuals each pushing their own individual agenda, so we need a new party. Let's see how things turn out.