Given the weather, Jack O’Connor, David Begg and Fintan O’Toole must be delighted with the impressive turnout at the SIPTU protest today, and the well-stewarded peaceful outcome. However, they surely have to recognise that they speak for no one but themselves unless they are willing to take their actions to the next logical conclusion, that is, to seek an electoral mandate from the people.
There are many who say that running for election is not their job. I disagree.
Whether you agree with them or not, you have to accept that all three men, and others, are attempting to shape the direction of their society. They have espoused their platform. Surely the next step, short of openly endorsing (and possibly running for. I can think of worse phrases than the phrase Fintan O’Toole TD) an existing party that adopts the lion’s share of their agenda, is to go to the people directly seeking a mandate to implement that agenda.
How can you espouse radical change in a free society, and yet be unwilling to give that society an opportunity to cast its judgement upon that platform? We shape our society by free election, not by 50,000 people walking along the same route.