24 February, 2007

Ullamh chun dul i mbun Rialtas

'Ready for Government' for those challenged by our mother tongue. That's the slogan we're working to today, and that's the view from the podium into the glare of the TV lights this morning.

Renate Kunast former German Agriculture, Consumer Rights and Food Minister was great. Simply put, 170,000 new jobs have been created in the renewable energy sector in Germany alone.

David Grey, our candidate in Kerry North elicited a sharp intake of breath from the audience as he took a swig from his flask of biodiesel. I was delighted with the support I got when I spoke to a motion that called for more social and affordable housing, up to one third of the floor area of developments where the need is great. Later John Gormley gave a witty speech, accusing Michael McDowell of being the Tammy Wynette of irish politics.

After lunch Eddie Hobbs stated that a green tinge wouldn't go amiss in the next Government.

Everyone seems to be dangerously on message - I'm not convinced that we've got the balance right between anarchy and the choreographed spin of new Labour.

Now it's 5 o'clock, and I'm at Seamus Sheridan's workshop, where he's giving a fantastic rant about good food, and bad-mouthing the slops that were served at the Plowing Championships. Shop local, and make sure that you know where the Irish meat is coming from apparently. I sense the vegetarians in the audience are getting a bit nervous...! Upping the quality and adding value is crucial. Oh, and be a bit careful about over-hyping bio-fuels, as it can have a knock-on affect on dairy and meat production. Finally, a dose of passion is a necessary part of the equation.

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