Joe Higgins: Last honest politician to join Gombeen land

There was some guy by the name of Paul Murphy on Liveline today claiming that the title MEP had been bestowed on him by Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins.

An angry caller to the show accused Higgins of gross hypocrisy for doing something he is constantly condemning other political parties for doing – handing out lucrative jobs to his own supporters.

Murphy, whoever he is, defended himself by making the following points:

He would use his position to help the people he represents.

If Higgins didn’t apppoint a successor the Government would appoint one of their own.

On the question of salary and expenses Mr. Murphy, whoever he is, said that if he didn’t take it the EU would. He said that most of the money would go to help his party’s cause.

The angry caller (rightly) said that this defence was beside the point, that all political parties could make the same case.

He suggested that Joe Higgins, if he wanted to remain true to his principles, should have let the job go altogether.

I agree with the angry caller.

5 thoughts on “Joe Higgins: Last honest politician to join Gombeen land”

  1. I didnt hear this but to the best of my knowledge, MEPs normally have a relacement ready. As far as i recall, Joe Higgins’ was Clare Daly who is now a TD as well. I think its theEU at fault here for not allowing byelections… Much as I disagree with Joe Higgins, i doubt he has a choice here thanks to the heros of ddmocracy in the EU….

  2. To be fair to the Socialist Party (of which I am not a member), the elected representative takes the average industrial wage. The remainder goes to developing the party. It is a principled decision far removed from the politics of the gombeen parties.
    The rules for EU elections means that candidates are required to list substitute candidates. If the Socialist Party does not adhere to this, can you imagine Enda @ Co appointing a socialist representative to represent those who voted socialist.
    Fat chance!
    The rules is the rules. Until they are changed they apply to all. So stop bitching about Joe and save your ire for those who deserve it!

  3. So do you think giving the seat up to Fine Gael, who by the way wouldn’t be elected either, would serve the Socialist Party’s voters better?

  4. You put your finger on the core point Kim when you ask – Would giving up the seat to Fine Gael serve the Socialist Party’s voters better?

    The answer is, of course it wouldn’t but the caller to Liveline wasn’t talking about party members, he was talking about the entire nation.

    Nothing will change until some politician/political party is prepared to stand up and make very real sacrifices (even if that means defeat) in the interests of the nation and not just party/business/personal ambition interests.

    I admire Joe Higgins but I think in this case he has diluted his principles to some degree.

  5. Anthony, Kim didn’t mention socialist “party members”, she was talking about their voters: they have a right to continued representation in the European parliament. There are no by-elections to the European parliament: this wasn’t a secret at the time of the election, and Higgins never disguised the fact that he would be running for the dail at the first opportunity and using the substitute system. So there is no transparency issue here.

    Joe Higgins can’t unilaterally declare a by-election to the EP, so what do you suggest he do? Hand over the seat to anyone except a member of his own party? Leave the seat vacant, depriving Dublin of a third of its representation in parliament? What ‘principle’ would either of these options be defending? Can you please spell out the benefit that would accrue to ‘the entire nation’?

    ‘Callers to Liveline’, by the way, do not have some automatic right to salt-of-the-earth status: Alan Kelly of Labour also used the substitute system, but he didn’t seem to be an issue. Do you think the singling out of a socialist might not have had something to do with the caller’s political agenda?

    And do you not think Joe Duffy’s decision to focus on this ridiculous side-issue one day after the publication of the Moriarity tribunal is the bigger story here?

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