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Leo Varadhar: Premiership, Parity, and Poverty

4 Jun

As a fellow friend of Dorothy and descendant of immigrants, I consider Leo Varadhkar’s likely election to be the next President of the Republic of Ireland an exceptional victory for the acceptance of the LGBT community and ethnic minorities and a clear recognition of the role in into Irish society.

I also agree that it represents another significant shift in social change in attitudes and thinking, in the context of the role of religion, politics, identity, and culture generally.

What troubles me, and several of my Irish friends, is that Varadkhar is just another establishment politician. In particular, my friends tell me that he holds the same views regarding immigration, the economy, and poverty.

Two of the most contentious issues in Irish politics today are water charges and the cost of living, which is blamed on Europe, lacks and authoritarian government, and property prices.

In the past, Varadkhar has stated that the poorest in society are to blame for Ireland’s economic woes following the financial crisis, which has in fact been worsened by levies imposed by the European Commission.

Many in Ireland actually blame the government for allowing corporations to avoid tax, failing to stand up to Brussels, and forceable implementing water charges, despite the fact that access to free water is enshrined in the constitution.

In addition, homelessness in Ireland is at its highest level. Irish citizens blame the Government; and the Fine Gael party in particular, for encouraging high rents without any market controls or safety stops to help those in most need.

Varadkhar is also on the record for saying that immigrants should be repatriated and that immigrants look down and do not respect on Ireland’s culture, traditions, history, and values as a society.

So, despite the acceptance of Varadkhar’s sexual orientation and his ethnic background, it is his political views, fiscal approach, borne out by an apparent favouritism for business and cuts in public services that are most present on people’s minds.

Author: Jason Schumann

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