MANIFESTO GENERAL ELECTION 2007
The love of the land is the dearest thing to every Irish person's heart. Our 800 year struggle for national self determination was fundamentally a struggle for the ownership and control of the land. We actually had achieved this freedom and ownership after the troubles when the British had given up their grip on the people and on the land of the 26 county Free State . We were finally free to determine our own future with our own constitution and our own judiciary freed from the monarchy.
Then in 1963 at a time of economic stagnation bordering on national bankruptcy, while our youth were leaving the country in droves to seek work in England and America , our very own home grown politicians stole the lands of the Free State back from the farmers and landowners when they brought the planning laws on to the statute books. These laws effectively consigned the land owner to the role of a herdsman or crop grower and to being only a nominal owner or caretaker of the land. There was no referendum to the people.
If a land owner wished to build a house or do any business on his own land he would have to get permission first and that is costly and not easy to achieve as many an innocent person found out to his dismay.
A person who cannot build on his or her own land does not own the land .
Our own politicians stole the most valuable element of the land from the Irish people and vested it in the hands of a faceless bureaucracy who now exert absolute and total control over all land use.
These planning laws were unconstitutional in 1963 and were a recipe for bribery and corruption that the tribunals are revealing. They are equally unconstitutional today and, as a citizen of the Irish Republic I assert the constitutional right of every Irishman or woman to do what they wish on their own land without having to ask for permission from bureaucrats, politicians or planners and pay them huge fees for this.
This right was gained for us by generations of patriots who sacrificed everything, even their lives, for us.
We do need a code of planning guidelines drawn up for developers, that would ensure that a development didnt injure or obstruct other people. Guidelines such as no building closer than, say 25 yards from the centre of any road, railway, canal or river. No polluting of the waterways etc. Guidelines should be on commonsense matters.
It was not only the landowners who were mugged by the planning laws but the young landless Irish person who dreams of building a home for his/her own family.
You, whose forefathers sacrificed their liberty for the freedom of their children have been denied the liberty to buy a small piece of this supposedly Free States land and develop your own dream home in a location of your choosing by draconian legislation of our own politicians making.
Without planning laws, you could buy a small farm or an acre of land in a beautiful scenic spot of your choosing for small money and build any house you wished and do so at a fraction of the price rather than being funneled into zoned jerry built houses with paper thin walls and no view of the beautiful landscapes that are reserved for the birds by the planners. There you are saddled with a mortgage on your back for your lifetime when you could have bought an acre of land for 10 to 20 thousand Euros. God made a lot of land in Ireland for the Irish people but the planners have zoned tiny portions of it to suit their purpose and to confine and control the people. Planning controls and zoning have enriched the few well connected at the expense of the many and corrupted officialdom in the process. Now those chickens are coming home to roost in the tribunals and the courts.
Whether you are a Fianna Fail or a Fine Gael loyal supporter, please face up to the fact that these once great parties have lost their way because of the planning laws and need to get back on track.
Freedom to the land owners means freedom to the entrepreneurs who will identify the opportunity, buy the land and create developments that will provide the necessary services for all the people. Hospitals and all kinds of medical services will be developed by business people to cater for that market once freed from interference.
Would you prefer Mary Harney do it? Just as Mary O'Rourke put a tax on your talk and sold off your future for her political pension. Freedom from bureaucracy and red tape is the aim of the Planning Reform Party.
If you live in a city or town and in your own home if you wish to turn your front room into an office or a shop, or turn your basement into an apartment or use your front garden as a car park why can’t you do that? Where has your freedom gone to? Why pay huge fees to get permission from planners? We will restore your stolen rights.
Before 1963 Irish towns and cities were developed by land owners and builders without planning permission laws. The market dictated what was needed and builders and developers met that demand. They built towns and cities with infrastructure and character while todays planners have built monstrosities and are desperate to preserve that legacy of the past because they cannot compete with it.
The planners have a legacy of incompetence. They built Ballymun and many more white elephants and planned all the unfinished estates up and down the country. Quality of life was not an issue to them. The planners crammed anti social people into their own estates and destroyed the quality of life of the majority decent people who have to bring up their families in fear. Those people could have found rented houses in small private estates all over the place if there was no zoning.
Do not be deluded by cries of (what about the common good) to justify these controls. That was the catch cry of the communist party in Russia . Our political masters have already shunted this Republic a long way down that road to instability and they have distorted the property market so much so that nobody knows the value of anything anymore. The planners have polluted the water in Galway and perhaps the whole country, they have failed to provide proper roads and car parking, they pump sewage into the seas and spread it on the land at night.
Our essential services are run by unaccountable bureaucrats rather than smart business people This is the bureaucratic nightmare that the planning laws have imposed on this Republic which could have been a model for the whole of Europe and this party is committed to reforming them as outlined.
I stood in four constituencies because I live near Athlone on the corner of three of them and I also entered in Dublin South East where Dartmouth Square was an issue. As an independent candidate I got little or no publicity or debate for my policy while that election debate was monopolized by Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowan, Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte who all feed out of the power and influence that the planning laws convey to them. As politicians, their main role has become one of national planner, a role that the repressed people of Ireland never intended to give to our elected politicians.
Rte and RTV interviewed the party leaders, ministers and shadow ministers ad nauseum and most independent candidates were ignored and refused any air time to put their views or alternative policies. The print media were equally unwilling to publish the views of independent candidates unless they were accompanied by expensive adverts.
The property bubble that we all witnessed developed since about 2000 and it was a classic pyramid scheme. Ignoring for a moment the huge stock of housing already built, one has only to think about all the houses that were on the drawing board and had secured planning permission before the collapse came and the mind boggles. Crash was inevitable and bankruptcy follows every crash.
Planners cite ribbon development as a blanket reason to refuse permission as if that were some sort of mortal sin. However ribbon development is the natural way that humans conduct their lives as they interact both in business and living. A businessman needs to have his business easily accessible and be as visible as possible. A farmer likes to have his house near the road to meet the neighbours and facilitate his movement. Ribbon development is a subject that should be debated and understood so that no bureaucrat can ever use it as a term of derision. The silk road to China was probably the best known early ribbon that laid out the cities of today.
America was opened up and developed as ribbons of civilization stretching out across the prairies from which towns and cities developed along the routes. So indeed did this country develop over centuries except that it was the land owner who laid out many of the towns and villages but apart from the narrow ownership of land, this country developed as ribbon development. The planners have perverted all normal development and you must go to an industrial estate to seek out what you need or drive down unmarked country lanes to find your friend who lives in the ubiquitous bungalow and most likely is saddled with a huge mortgage for his lifetime if he or she doesn't live in a crowded estate on the edge of a town or village where they dont know their neighbours and havent even got a corner shop.
Our freedom has been eroded and we now live in a nanny state.
The price of your freedom is toleration of your neighbour.
At this time I think that reform of the planning laws is impossible because the politicians would only tinker with them to appease us.
They need to be abolished and the evidence is abundant that they have bankrupted and perverted the freedoms of the people and the future is uncertain.
A code of planning guidelines should be drawn up by agreement and given the force of law. City and county Councils were originally designed to provide roads for the public and water and sewerage services and they have failed even to achieve those objectives. They were given responsibility for planning in 1963.
A land owner should be able to build where he chooses on his own land subject only to the legally binding guidelines to replace the planning laws.
Bigger developments such as factories and major retail units should have a simple majority of the immediate neighbours agreement and no individual should be able to hold up a development as can presently happen.
Environmental and pollution measures would be laid down in the guidelines and the waterways and the air would have to be maintained clean. With freedom restored to the people it would restore market forces and a crash such as we now have would be impossible.
If Ireland becomes bankrupt or is threatened with it, we must plan for that contingency. Failure to do that could spell disaster for all the people.
To summarise then. Ireland lost its way once our politicians took control of all the land use away from the people and land owners and started planning the lives of the people in every way.
Irish people struggled to be free to manage their own affairs and not to put them into the hands of elected representatives.
Needless to say I got only a few hundred votes because the media totally blanked me and I was never asked on radio or tv for any debate about my candidacy. Now in 2011 the media still havent faced up to the root cause of the disaster which remains as the turning a free and independent people into a bureaucracy run by dummies. People were living in million pound houses and farmland was fetching fifteen to twenty thousand euros per acre then. People who owned half an acre near a village were millionaires who dreamed about a block of flats on that land. They were drunk with the feeling of affluence and didnt want to hear from the realists like myself.