Wednesday, February 14, 2007

But, are you happy?

WELL, I am certainly happy about the response from the Labour Party one day conference last week. It was obviously the last opportunity to gather all the party together for a serious rallying of the troops! There was a great atmosphere in around the Helix in DCU where it was held, with a very varied crowd, young and old, from all around the country. Check out the pictures on Flickr.

Ireland can do better with Labour
Addressing the conference on health reform

Ireland can do better with Labour
Welcoming Gerry 'Ginger' McLaughlin to the Labour team after enjoying footage of his famous try

Yesterday we launched the "But, are you happy ?" campaign and are really trying to modernise the way we're getting our message across. Of course the policy documents and press releases are all still available on the website but maybe they don't excite everyone in the same way!

To see how high tech we've become watch this clip !

and see the campaign website here

On the eve of the conference itself, Labour TDs and new candidates met in the Helix for a talk on climate change by Duncan Stewart. Eamon Gilmore also spoke of Labour's environment polices. Since last September, Labour has been working on a Blueprint for Action on Climate Change. What in practical terms do we need to do, as a country, as a community, and as individuals to significantly reduce carbon emissions? We intend to publish that Blueprint in the near future and to use it as the basis for action on climate by Labour in Government after the General Election.
  • We will commit ourselves to new, National targets, as follows
  • To meet our existing Kyoto target of 13% + by the due date in 2012.
  • To reduce Greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 level by 2016
  • To bring greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below the 1990 level by 2020 and
To make Ireland a carbon neutral economy by 2030.
Targets alone are meaningless, unless we understand what they mean, and are acted upon. I think many people now realise that scale of the climate change problem but there are not enough yet who fully grasp the enormous scale of the response which is required.

Ireland can do better with Labour
Duncan Stewart, myself and Pat chatting before the Friday night opening of the conference

As Eamon explained, to get to the 2020 target (and this is likely to be a mandatory EU target), Ireland will need to cut its Carbon Emissions by 25 million tonnes. But what is 25 million tonnes of Carbon? Take all of the emissions from transport i.e. every car, truck, bus and train in the country - that comes to 12.5 million tonnes - so even if in the morning we could stop every emission from every mode of transport - we would still be only half way to the target!!

To reduce our carbon emissions to the levels which are necessary will require enormous courage, leadership and new thinking from the next Government. It will require the understanding, and the cooperation of individuals, and especially of those who are active in the economy.


Anonymous said...

Liz - do you realise that "But are you happy" sounds desperatly like "are you happy with your wash?", don't you? So is this the trick - Labour is the washing powder that'll clean up the country?

You also realise - of course - that the most likely response you're going to get is "am I bovvered"?

Seán Ó hArgáin said...

Well done on the new look blog Liz-far prefer it to the embedded type. Agree we had a grest conference and are back where we belong-setting the agenda. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

But are my happy?

Record economic growth since 1997. Happy.

Economically defined zero uneployment. Happy

Relative peace in NI and a positive working relationship with UK government. Happy

Income tax down from 26% to 20%. Happy (irelands "labour" party dropped the standrd rate by 1% while they held the finance ministry)

Minimum wage introduced (by this government not the "labour" party) Happy.

Record increases in socail welfare and pensions. Happy.

Record spending on infastructure/ roads. Happy.

One of the most sucessful reigns as EU presidents raising Irelands profile accross Europe. Happy.

So - yes I am very happy. Thanks for asking. And going on your record Id be happier without labour anywhere near government.

Also - Pats 5 promises....takes me back to 2002 and your 5 key promises then! Try something new and original besides the same old promises and just being anti-finna fail.