UnitedPeople (UP) was founded after listening and seeing people from all over Ireland, looking for better in our Irish political arena. There has been a constant, increasing call for better representation, transparency and accountability in our democratic system.
People in Ireland, a lot suffering through poor representation, are seeking a new and fresh alternative after being subject to years of being let down and used as someone else's 'means to an end'. Sadly, time and again, elected representatives at local and national level continue to let down the electorate without any accountability for their actions - or sometimes in-action!
It has become very clear that people, young, old and in great numbers, are expressing they had enough of the negative political antics from 'stuck in their way' Irish political parties. Those same parties have lost their moral compass, changing policy directions - sometimes monthly - just to suit party vote winning chances. Rather than stick on a direction they core believe in and try to see successful concluded, they have position jumped back and forth, all too repeatedly for self-gain instead. At times, they have even left their own core members confused to where they stand on a matter. The public has been then left even more frustrated by it all.
After I discovered a process called Participatory Democracy, I again looked around at the old established political parties. I still repeatedly saw that their core ways of operating, proved their unwillingness to change and unwilling to genuinely hold their own poor elected party representatives accountable. The few that were held to minor account, still managed to wander off with massive pensions for life including perks and additional bonuses. Others that frankly, should be behind bars, also still escape being held to account. Why? Many suspect that political parties are afraid to tackle such individuals due to the recognised 'rotten few' knowing too much about the rest who could be also involved in other quiet, similar off camera antics!
I got tired of it all very fast - as did many others across Ireland. If such poor elected was not willing to what was right, then such matters I concluded, must be taken back to the people, for they to instigate the accountability that is needed and for positive change to be created.
The final straw that really re-lit my once youthful enthusiasm, was when consecutive poor governments not only financially struck out at an unwell brother, my wife and I repeatedly, but at our children also. They too with poor elected representation became additional targets for exploitation. Even more suffering, was inflicted upon them through more poor government actions. Instead of just constantly waiting for someone else to try do something, I decided with similar thinking others, to take up the challenge, for creating greater improvements in the country we all love.
I am proud to say that many people have joined myself in this task. They are not just doing it for themselves but for future generations to come. The poor political parties from the past have to be reined in as to their undemocratic and poor representations. UnitedPeople is now attempting to improve the ways which Ireland can be better governed and I hope you will give it your support along with its endeavours. I hope also that you will consider joining via our registration form which you can find HERE.
Ireland is a beautiful country and it's people residing within, deserve to be better treated in rights and respect. UnitedPeople is seeking to make that happen and more.
Drogheda, Co Louth.
Transport, Agriculture & Fisheries
Public Transport in Ireland
UnitedPeople seeks to create a functional public transport system in Ireland including an underground carrier system. We also seek a better extended commuter train service to the major cities in Ireland.
We would like to see if it is possible to create subsidised or free travel for students depending on how much family disposable income is left over after basic living needs have been met.
We would like to see motor tax ring-fenced and used for road infrastructure. In the past this revenue has been directed towards other government departments despite elected representatives promising this would not happen.
Those breaking their word at local or national level would be held more accountable through the Recall process.
This Participatory Democracy process (also applicable to other departmental sectors) will no doubt be fiercely resisted by current elected representatives. The thought of the elected being more accountable to the public for their misdeeds or broken word, would have them create a litany of possible polished excuses as to why it shouldn't happen.
This is expected but UnitedPeople is determined to make all elected representatives more accountable to the public.
UnitedPeople would see an end to paying private companies financial compensation due to lack of traffic flow. It's a ridiculous situation.
Such private companies were willing to contract commit to the management of the nation's roadways when they smelled huge profits - but when they suffer a drop in profits, they cry foul - and expect the Irish state compensate them for it.
SME's and other large scale private operations in the country are not rewarded for lack of customers. Why should essential state revenue be wasted in such an unfair fashion toward one sector? Besides the cost to the taxpayer, it's business model is discriminatory.
UnitedPeople would see that all the road toll revenues would be returned to public ownership for the benefit of the state.
The continuing ways in which motor insurance is hiked in favour of private profit over the customer's ability to pay, would be investigated. Fairer means would be found to balance out the costs to vehicle owners.
UnitedPeople would look into the creation of possible inducements for motor insurance companies to allow lower driver/owner costs. These could be introduced in novel ways such as advanced driving courses taken or the self-imposition of third party utilities to restrict driving when under the possible influence or speed restriction devises installed - for simple example.
This could all be investigated with consultation between the public and businesses and could eventually not only save money for citizens but have a positive effect on the numbers of lives saved through road traffic accidents.
UnitedPeople, here as in other areas, welcomes fresh thinking and a re-evaluation of methods used in the past. More positive and fairer methods for both citizens and businesses should be sought.
We welcome this unique challenge.
Agriculture & Fisheries
UnitedPeople would like to see animal welfare a priority in law reform. The introduction of a greater involvement, departmental position for animal welfare, advising ministerial elected - if not allocated to a sub-ministerial position on their own, would be greater sought to be created.
Without question, as soon as possible, a ban on over-usage of super trawlers in Irish waters would instigated or if tried halted, be sought firstly through greater international consultation before if necessary, moving to the European Court with a legal challenge that could be initiated based on particular related aspects. UnitedPeople feels strongly that Ireland should regain fairer fishing rights at European level. This must be more done to greater ensure the social and economic survival of Ireland's local and national fishing industry. It's not a question of "If" it should be done - it MUST be done. The sooner, the better...
Readdress the huge imbalance and protects Ireland shores from the over-fishing by super-trawlers against the far less amount Ireland's smaller fishing boats can capture within any one period. Addressing the imbalance between the two categories will help ensure employment and increase the home fishing market sector. The knock-on from this, toward other businesses (able to lower their customer food costs) could increase such areas as tourism and food hospitality industry. Leading on from this again, it all could be of further national economic benefit in many ways.
Through the IFA, ICSA (Irish Cattle & Sheep farmers Association), etc. UnitedPeople would seek to create better economic price stability at European level regarding exports to foreign markets.
Dairy expansion needs again to be looked at and enhanced for both existing farmers and potential incoming new ones. It's much less become an areas of economic interest for younger citizens wishing to enter the agriculture sector in some way. More would sought to be done in this area by UnitedPeople. The benefits would help at local and national level.
Ireland is facing further upcoming problems regarding availability of land for rent or purchase. To try head this off, UnitedPeople would like to instigate a rental/purchase scheme for start-up or experienced trained farmers to allow them to expand their business and home stability.
UnitedPeople would like to instigate new state policies and practices allowing greater opportunity for farmers to gain greater use out of solar power to run their machinery. This could not only save farmers money but also make some back by feeding any excess created into the national grid. the current lack of resources including advice and financial assistance, is simply deplorable. Help in fact, should be available both to farmers and anyone wishing to avail of the new possibilities of solar energy.
At a time when the state is charging a 'green tax' with an excuse related to emissions, it is not acting in the best interests of citizens to ease their burdens in this area. The government in fact is crying out for new sources of new energy to be created - but when it comes to close to home ability to do so, little or no help is available whatsoever. UnitedPeople recognises this and would turn this around.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is in the areas of land Commonage. Acting in a free intermediary capacity, UnitedPeople would seek to create better farm Commange policies. as agriculture land at times has now become more scare, its without doubt necessary to better define better legislation regarding land rights and the use of same between people.
Crime, Legal & Finance
UnitedPeople would like to increase Garda rural numbers and further look to re-opening some rural stations. Providing safety to citizens has boiled down at too many times, to just financial reasoning above practicality. Lives should be considered priceless and precious. Sadly, our government says different all too often. UnitedPeople would like to re-address the imbalance in favour of the citizen.
There has to be increased procurement of what on the ground, is needed by Garda to tackle burglaries and other serious crimes. Upon a concise report compiled from all levels of Garda operations and reviewed, UnitedPeople would increase procurement and installation of those additional requirements, to create greater successes for Garda in rural and urban crime roles.
We recognise that the pay and conditions of Garda, especially at the lower levels, is poor. This should and would, be improved. They have been previous taken advantage of, used as political fodder by elected acting poorly. A watchdog section with real 'teeth' to investigate and question, would be created to oversee that political interference to affect operations, instigate them or use them to underhand advantage, is not operating covertly or by proxy. This body would report bi-annually to the public directly, not to their elected representatives. Taking into standard considerations where secrecy is needed to maintain ongoing operations, the Garda should be free to public report any questionable situations arising in their day to day operations.
The Garda exist to protect people, their livelihood and their property first – not be used by through actions of elected, to bias aid big business toward further profit potential - as in through their usage, in order to back-up elected legislated bullying, example; water meter installations. Lets get our Garda back to what they signed up to do as new recruits - tackle crime and prevent it - not be used by others elected, as a business means to a profitable end!
We would instigate greater legal clarity to cease any undue political interference towards Garda in their day to day duties that also might involve their duty to detect and prevent white and blue collar crime. Like SIPO (Standards In Public Office) who's powers would also be legislation increased, the Garda would be greater empowered to investigate matters of concern, when their awareness of such matter could be inspired through information gained during day to day operations.
Through increased, constant, all level, Garda communication in Ireland and other successful foreign institution of similar nature, UnitedPeople would further instigate what’s needed to tackle gangland crime. Further legislation changes would be looked at where needed, to also make this happen.
UnitedPeople recognise that Garda moral, for one reason or other, has been devastated. This has got to change. We would look at ways to turn this undercurrent tide. A poor motivated Garda service, is not one that can operate at needed higher levels of success. By helping our Garda, in the end, we also help ourselves. We are talking here about further job assistance where needed including legal clarifications regarding tort law - not just criminal law. We would see to it that further financial assistance for individuals struggling, is available. In short, we would create new and other tested successful methods, to assist those putting their lives on the line for the nation, every day.
Greater legal powers for the Standards In Public Office (SIPO) would be provided (possibly with increased Garda cross participation). Their ability to investigate political related crime or questionable activity would be more enhanced. Those that might also have something to hide, would fear such abilities being improved.
The increased usage of imposed curfews and area restrictions would more looked at - along with stiffer penalties for those that would break such court mandated restrictions. Where there is clear justifiable suspicion of individuals or groups operating against an area or person, both can be court ordered to adhere to time (to be assessed) restrictions, away from said area or people.
Criminal law would be enhanced to include more secondary knock-on consequences of culprit actions. For example if a victim later dies (test case: from heart attack later due to culprit created stress - where otherwise it can be shown none would have higher existed under normal victim living circumstances), becomes injured or their rights are also violated as outlined under the Non-fatal Offences Against The Persons Act 1997.
The task of updating fathers rights (still unequal with women's rights) is an aim of UnitedPeople to balance out. There must be equality constitution enshrined in every aspect. Anything less, is legalised unfair discrimination.
The constitution has to be updated also in regard to basic rights access, to internet access and the ability to seek out alternative information sources. This currently not a major issue in Ireland at the moment. UnitedPeople is aware however, when dictatorial governments worldwide attempt to silence or fool populations through their own propaganda media, same governments attempt to deny to its citizens, internet access in total or in extreme censored form (Twitter, Facebook, news sites and more denied). To safeguard Ireland citizen rights, UnitedPeople, thinking ahead of future possibilities, to protect citizens further, would instigate further fair constitutional safeguards in favour of guaranteed open access to alternative opinion and news.
Further constitutional clarification that the citizens presently retain ownership over Ireland natural resources and ownership of town/county services involved in their distribution, is needed. Through public bodies, UnitedPeople would seek to solidify legally as having the primary right to maintain control in the public interest. Safeguards would be put in place to ensure that quite state tendering would not become a back-door route to sly privatisation of same services and resources.
UnitedPeople would seek to create and then pass by Dail Bill, further clearer and stronger legislation. We would do this also in regard to the protection of Ireland's natural environment. A precautionary principle, default position would be stronger legal affirmed over demands and lobbying of private business, including industrialisation and construction industry.
UnitedPeople would create the necessary legislation to ensure that workers are not involuntary forced to accept government work schemes that leads to a situation where their hourly work earnings rate,, does not fall below minimum wage levels. We seek a legal end to any considered exploitive state work schemes where any or all conditions is not on par with standard employer/employee accepted status.
The party would seek to guarantee a persons right to dispose of their eventual deceased remains by way of a professional burial or cremation service without any undue influence being allowed to sway their decision in this matter.
In the case of a person's ashes, citizens would have the basic right to see their cremated remains cared for by living relatives in accordance with deceased or living wishes, within current national safety guidelines. No undue influence would be permitted upon relatives of a deceased, as to how their loved ones remains should be treated or placed, as long as they remain within legal state safety guidelines.
Create a state "Savings Investment Deposit Account" to encourage people to save for retirement (account to be treated the same way a pension plan is treated). UnitedPeople would look into creating a national bank service for the public, to further this direction. The bank’s network could be built on the current existing post office/credit union networks. This in turn, could further safeguard current employed within state sectors and further increase employment numbers. All savings would be further state guaranteed.
When it comes to creating further honesty through transparency, greater ease of access by the public to recorded department details, relating to state expenditure would be increased.
During 2009 and 2014, not one cent in corporation tax was collected on earnings amounting to almost €17 billion. In 2014, 68% of companies paid no corporation tax at all. Part of the reason for this is genuine tax relief available to companies. However, it's suspected that a proportion of these companies are exploiting the tax system still, despite reportedly (they claim on paper) making no taxable profits. its is unfair on SME's to be further suffering tax burden when larger companies have the powers and skill to possible evade possible more due, tax payments. UnitedPeople would like to re-address this possible unfair imbalance through enacted legislation to close more current tax loop-holes.
To enhance better oversight of national bodies such as NAMA, UnitedPeople seeks the instigation of stronger legal protections against possible questionable trading. This includes covert and open under-selling and any actions akin to insider trading by elected ministers and those possible working for them in any departmental capacity. all would be far more accountable through improved defined legislation.
As with other areas that poor governments has interfered with, to the advantage of private individuals connected to elected and private companies, legislation would be enacted in protection toward successful pension schemes. Greater legal ring-fencing would be enacted to ensure greater state protections from undue political interference. A higher state of emergency would be defined in order to see that such funds could only then be re-directed after open and rigours democratic procedures are followed through with. Absolute guarantees of reimbursement and within a definite time-line, must be adhered to or any involved individuals, could be held further accountable.
UnitedPeople would like to address the still ongoing SME issues surrounding insurance, business rents and over-bearing wage inflation. These continue to hamper local community business growth - which in turn could aid Ireland young (and older) into staying within Ireland's borders in attempt to seek work.
UnitedPeople would enact legislation as soon as possible to end the sale of products which contain plastic, non-bio degradable microbeads. Microbeads are lumps of plastic (usually less than 5mm) which are most found in soaps, shower gels and facial scrubs. They can also be found in some toothpastes and abrasive cleaners. To quote Mary Creagh of Britain’s Environmental Audit Committee:
“Trillions of tiny pieces of plastic are accumulating in the world’s oceans, lakes and estuaries, harming marine life and entering the food chain. A single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean."
As microbeads are non-biodegradable, this makes them harmful to all forms of wildlife and ecosystems.
Other countries have already banned them or are at stages of phasing them out. UnitedPeople believes that Ireland should for good reason, take a similar action as soon as possible. Environmentally, it's the right thing to do for future generations.
UnitedPeople fully support the Simon Communities of Ireland aim, to see that heavy governmental 'red tape' is phased out in order to help solve Ireland's housing crises. We would call upon such charitable organisation to show where in government operation it would be better to urgently remove such red tape. There is a growing widespread belief that this hurdle prevents homeless people from securing a more permanent place to live. with more than 6,500 people currently living in emergency accommodation, this matter needs to be quickly addressed. state bureaucracy continues to create substantial barriers for people to find a way out of homelessness. This is simply not good enough, during any economic crises or not.