Mick Wallace The #US and #EU are increasingly using #sanctions as a weapon against countries that don't bow to their financial i… https://t.co/qMbVI1XYfc
Mick Wallace How bad that the #EU of the so called 'European Values' has supported this Terrorism against the people of #Syriahttps://t.co/wRXMSubfYi
Mick Wallace Western Colonialism never really stopped, it just got a make over - It's now called 'Financial Imperialism'. Are we… https://t.co/KoMpQ69bBw
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: Would mean something for Irish people and the notion of 'Irish Neutrality' if Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs @simoncov

mwMick Wallace TD has called for all donations to politicians and political parties over €100 to be declared. In his speech in the Dáil on Friday November 18th he also suggested that donations should not exceed €1000. The discussion occured during the second stage debate of the twenty ninth amendment to the constitution brought before the Dáil by Fianna Fail. Mick's speech takes examples of the corruption money causes and the problems associated with it in the outcome of elections and distribution of power. You can watch the address here.

There is probably no one here who will argue in favour of corporate donations, and rightly so. We have learned the damage that can be done. I am actually wary of any donations. I know it is difficult to organise an election campaign and it could probably prevent a person from standing for election if he or she could not get a dig-out somewhere to start up. However, political donations should be confined to sums of less than €1,000, and anything over €100 should be declared. If somebody wants to give a politician or someone standing for election €100, we should know who he is. Sometimes a political donation can be genuine, and that is fine; if it is genuine, one should have no problem putting one’s name to it. However, much of the time, as we know from our history, people who give money to politicians expect something in return. The maddest example of this in today’s world is America, where it can cost €700 million to run for election - it certainly costs that much to get elected. It is hardly surprising that the individual elected shows great favour to the arms industry, for example, which is one of the biggest providers of donations. The amount of money the arms industry puts into election campaigns, and how it picks a side, is frightening. The industry actually supports both sides, but in the last US presidential election it gave more money to Barack Obama than to the Republican candidate, which is interesting. We probably should not be surprised that troop numbers in Afghanistan have increased since then, as has the number of drone attacks in Pakistan. Some things just do not change. Palestine’s attempt to gain UN recognition and membership was scuppered by America principally because of its alliance with Israel. That is still a bit frightening. We would have expected a lot more from Obama, but the fact that he had to accept so many millions of dollars to win his election campaign has had a major impact on how he behaves once in office. Money creates major problems in how our society is organised. Money buys privilege in every way. It privileges people in terms of health, education and job opportunities. If one can afford to send one’s kids to a private school, one can be sure the number of pupils in the class will not be as large as in the State school down the road. It is certain that when writing one’s CV in later life, it does not do any harm to mention that one went to a private school. Sometimes it does one no harm in the courts if one is wearing the right school tie. It goes to the core of our society when people can buy into the political process by giving donations. We imagine that among the principal aims of any Government should be to fight the inequalities that exist in our society and to work towards re-balancing that deficiency. It is difficult to achieve these aims when those with money can buy their way into the favour of a political party and it separates the ordinary people from the Legislature because money makes such a difference. Let us consider a simple example. If a person comes from Darndale it is not especially easy to get into a Minister’s office no more than it is likely that the same person would be invited to a golf classic, where there might be the opportunity to rub shoulders with people of influence in the political arena. Inequality is deep-rooted and the opportunity to give donations to political parties drives this on and enhances it. We should seriously consider a complete ban on donations or, at a minimum, a limit of €1,000 should be the maximum that anyone is allowed to give. Anyone who gives more than €100 should put their name to it.

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Namaleaks is a project that seeks to uncover possible injustice and poor practice related to NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) and financial institutions in Ireland.


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