Responding to the large Conservative win in yesterday’s UK Elections, Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats, highlighted the risks for Ireland in not tackling underlying inequality in society and not safeguarding democracy.

Róisín Shortall TD said:

“The election of a very right-wing Conservative government in the UK heralds a very uncertain future for many people in the UK, in particular the most vulnerable in society.

Almost everyone in the UK is going to be impacted by the continuing debasement of politics by this new Tory Government.

“The UK election highlighted some serious issues that are threats to democracy: a populism that has strong tones of xenophobia; a media which is tightly controlled by a few billionaires who aggressively promote hard-right policies; the blatant dishonesty of some politicians; and a political system that allows rich donors to purchase inappropriate influence in government. However, one of the most important issues that is apparent is how the Tory right offer voters seemingly easy solutions to the hopelessness that arises from the increase in gross inequality in society.

“This increase in inequality is a feature of the growing neo-liberalism in the modern world and we need to learn lessons from what is happening in the UK and further afield, including in the US.”

“As social democrats, we believe that the underlying inequalities in our society can and must be tackled urgently. It is a matter of political will and political priorities. As a relatively rich country, we must set bold and ambitious targets in areas such as homelessness, affordable housing and accessible healthcare.

“We must aggressively tackle the structural attempts to undermine democracy. We have promoted restrictions on media ownership and measures on anti-corruption, both of which are crucial safeguards to democracy. These were not accepted by the current government, but we will continue to pursue these policies.”


13th December 2019

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