White on George Lee’s prospective candidacy

The announcement by Fine Gael that George Lee is to be its candidate in the Dublin South By-Election is intriguing, given his repeated denials up to the weekend that this was to be the case.

However, I welcome his entry into the field. George Lee has made a significant contribution to economic debate over recent years and has been a forthright critic of government policy. I have no doubt that he will be a formidable candidate.

The real challenge now is not just to describe or explain our economic crisis and its causes, but also to bring forward solutions. We are facing a deep economic crisis, but we also have a crisis in the ability of our political system to respond. People are crying out for radical new ideas and also for a clean break with the past. I honestly believe that we will never achieve that if our politics continues to be dominated by two parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, whose differences are based on an old and forgotten controversy from the 1920s.

This is truly a time for change and not for more of the same.

I look forward to debating these issues with George Lee and with other candidates in the Dublin South By-Election. I am confident that my work over the years on the ground in Dublin South will be a significant factor in ensuring that Labour wins this crucial election on June 5th.