Sunday 23 October 2016

Politicians like Alan Kelly must be 'weeded out' - Richard Boyd Barrett

Published 11/02/2016 | 16:07

Environment Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Steve Humphreys
Environment Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Steve Humphreys

Under fire Environment Minister Alan Kelly has again been criticised after People Before Profit said that politicians like him must be weeded out of Irish politics.

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TD Richard Boyd Barrett said that there is a sociopathic culture in Irish politics that is typified by Mr Kelly.

It comes after Mr Kelly told the Sunday Independent that he sees power as a drug and an attraction.

Mr Boyd Barrett said these ideas need to be eradicated.

“There are two types of politicians. One is the politician like Alan Kelly who admits that he is into the ruthless pursuit of power and for whom power is a drug,” he said.

“We think that is a sickness in politics that needs to be weeded out of the Irish political culture. We are motivated not by pursuit of power but by the pursuit of policies and issues and trying to address injustices and inequalities in our society.

“Do you want a sociopathic politics that is driven by power, which is what we heard expressed by Alan Kelly? Or do you want politics that is based on principles and policies and on the idea of people power, genuine representative democratic politics?”

The criticism comes as People Before Profit released its election manifesto calling for an overhaul of the tax system.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett

Mr Boyd Barrett said that the abolition of water charges and the property tax, as well as scrapping the Universal Social Charge for those earning less than €70,000 per year, are redline issues ahead of the general election.

“We want to lift the burden of unfair charges and the austerity which is aggressive and which deepens the gap between rich and poor,” he said.

The party said that they will also look to prioritise the creation of a free to all health service, greater investment in mental health and the promotion of alternative medical treatments if elected to the Dail.

Dublin South Central candidate Brid Smith said that repealing the eighth amendment was also an issue that needs to be tackled by the next government.

“It is shameful that during the lifetime of the last government that this was not committed to,” she said.

“Women in this country have had to live with the situation that they do not have autonomy over their own bodies.

“It is brutal and archaic that women don’t have the right to an abortion.”

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