Irish Times: Dublin Socialist European candidate urges voters to ‘wipe out Labour Party’


Irish Times today (20/5/14)

People Before Profit’s Bríd Smith spent yesterday morning canvassing workers as they came on and off shifts in An Post, CIÉ and Cadbury’s.

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll put Smith and Murphy within one percentage point of each other, on seven and six respectively. They both reckon it might be enough to get one of them over the line, if they transfer strongly to each other.

Smith’s canvassing style is chattier and lighter than Murphy’s as she works for votes outside the CIÉ/Dublin Bus canteen at Earl Place, behind Clerys on O’Connell Street.

Her 10am canvass is timed to meet as many drivers as possible as they take a break after the morning rush hour. Many know of her from her time as a shop steward in Dublin Bus and her long association with trade unions.

Martin Christie from Finglas, who left Sinn Féin a decade ago, says he’ll vote for her, and they chat about the left in Dublin. Smith, who is also seeking re-election as a city councillor for the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh ward, believes she and Murphy complement each other.

Policy difference
When asked if only one of them should have stood in the election, Smith not unreasonably points out there is as much policy difference between her and Murphy as there is between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

“Why don’t you ask Brian Hayes why he is running against Mary Fitzpatrick? They’re the feckin’ same,” she says. “I’ve got sick of listening to Mary Fitzpatrick, Brian Hayes,Eamon Ryan, Emer Costello saying the same feckin’ thing night after night. I often wonder do any of them have an independent thought.”

While praising the progress of the aforementioned Shinners, their rise is not without concern. “You’d never hear them mention socialism now. They are going more mainstream, they’re nowhere near the 32-county sovereignty they used to be,” she says. “They are doing brilliantly, and I won’t take that away from them, but there are concerns at activist level.”