Higgins says Coalition's programme is betrayal of revolution
A DIVERSE group of Independent TDs opposed Enda Kenny's election as Taoiseach yesterday, as members of the new 'technical group' spoke in the Dail for the first time.
Sixteen of the 19 Independent and United Left Alliance TDs in the 31st Dail joined the group to gain speaking rights during Leaders' Questions and other debates.
And yesterday many of its members criticised Mr Kenny, with the group's leader, Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins, claiming the Coalition's Programme for Government presented a "grotesque betrayal" of the people's democratic revolution.
The new administration would implement "almost to the letter" the plans of "the late and unlamented" Fianna Fail/Green regime, he said.
And as a result of this, a vote for Mr Kenny's nomination as Taoiseach would be a vote for monstrous cuts in the living standards of workers and the unemployed, he insisted.
"The poisonous cocktail of austerity, concocted by the witch doctors in Brussels and Frankfurt because of the sickness of the European financial system, is to continue to be force-fed to the Irish people by this new Government," he said.
Independent TD for Dublin South Shane Ross said he was dispirited when he read the Programme for Government.
He said there was no vision in the deal and pointed out that a promised renegotiation of burden sharing had been dropped before the ink was dry on the programme.
"I understand why Fianna Fail will support Mr Kenny for Taoiseach, namely, because the new Government, according to its programme, will implement the policies Fianna Fail imposed upon the country," he said.
Independent TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim Luke 'Ming' Flanagan said he could not support Mr Kenny.
"I wish him the best of luck on behalf of my two children because if he has good luck and he does well then they will not have to take the boat or the airplane to London like 19 out of the 20 members of my family and my wife's family," he said.
The nomination was also criticised by Wexford TD Mick Wallace.
"We must get to a stage where decisions at Dail level are made in the best interests of the people and not just in the interests of big business," he said.