Dundalk woman Topanga Bird to stand in General Election in Louth
Dundalk woman Topanga Bird has announced her decision to stand in next month’s General Election in Louth.
The social and political activist is an organising agent for the Nua Eite/New Wing ‘People-Powered Political Project’ but will be standing as an independent candidate for the election on Saturday February 8th.
Outlining why she was running in the election, Topanga said: “I believe a democratic government should be by, of and for the people.
“I am standing for TD to put us, the people, – the demos of democracy – back in charge of our own lives.”
Topanga said she stands on a platform committed to the decentralisation and devolution of Irish government. She also stands for local control of all spheres of political decision-making.
“Too much legislative power is concentrated within the M50 island,” she said.
“For too long now we’ve put essentially the same people in office and after each election we expect better from them than we’ve gotten before. As Albert Einstein is quoted: ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results’.’ That’s what we in Ireland have been doing for much too long.”
As self-professed ‘people’s representative’, Topanga said she advocates for the immediate restoration of local town councils as well as the promotion and establishment of neighbourhood councils and block clubs.
“And, to ensure that the voice of the people is actually heard and acted upon, these bodies are to be given new and real powers to represent and legislate on the local level,” she said.
“No more is government to be from Dublin down to the people. Instead, government is to flow from the block to the village/town to the county to the province to the state level.”
Once a business journalist and editor, Bird is committed to the idea of ‘living locally while acting globally’.
She said: “Let’s stop focusing on how damaging cow farts are to the climate and, instead, wake up to the much greater damage being done by shipping beef from Brazil to the European continent.
“Let’s focus on local economic and environmental sustainability, encourage and promote greater local consumption of local products, link local consumers with local producers and create a scheme of local and regional marketplaces for local and regional consumers. It’s all well and good to promote ‘Irish beef’ and ‘Irish-made’ but let’s look at promoting ‘Louth-grown’, ‘Louth-raised’, ‘Louth-made,’ ‘Louth-based’ and ‘Louth-created’ products and services, and design the same scheme in every other Irish county.”
To tackle the growing menace of drug-related crime and the hopelessness of homelessness, Bird, a psychotherapist and former social worker, advocates for establishment of locally based mental health care schemes in both rural and urban areas and greater acknowledgement of the role mental health issues play in widely perceptible social and community problems.
“Let’s look behind the headlines of our festering social problems to recognise that the virtual collapse of the Irish health care system is due to political decisions made without consulting the people impacted by them. Let’s recognise that the ever-intensifying housing problem is due to policies created by those in power, and their cronies, who place profit above market needs. Let’s understand that farmers are parking their tractors in Dublin to highlight the blatant disregard of all those living and working outside the M50 island. Let’s look behind the ‘labels’ of all our problems to uncover their actual sources.”
Weekly throughout her campaign, Topanga said she will be releasing position papers on legislative, economic, social and domestic matters on her Nua Eite sites on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and on the Nua Eite website www.nuaeite.ie. She can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Neither left wing nor right wing, Nua Eite is just that – a new political wing,” she said.
“I stand for election to represent the interests of the people of Louth, not those of stagnant political structures or self-interested political operatives, wherever they may be.
“In solidarity, people can win,” she concluded.