Speeches and discussions will not get the country moving again, businesses need money, leadership and investment, but most of all we need a Government. As the political parties continue talks to form a Government, let’s hope their time is well invested and will give us a successful outcome and quickly.
This week as Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party continue their negotiations to try and form a Government, the whole issue of transport is due to be discussed. It is a concern when politicians start to talk about something that they know little about from a practical point of view and particularly for those trying to make a living from it, be it freight or passenger. If the parties manage to form an administration, they will face the biggest challenge any Government has ever had to deal with. Immediately the new grouping must try to restart the economy. Anybody that has ever tried to recover a truck or bus from a rollover accident will know what I mean when I say, most of the damage is done when trying to recover the vehicle, it is a bigger challenge to remove it and get it back upwards. I hope our economy can be recovered without doing much damage.
As we try to recover the economy, there are two other problems looming, the threat of a return of the virus and of course, Brexit. Those of us of a certain age will remember our parents and grandparents talking about the “Emergency” – which was how Irish people described the period of World War II. While we did not witness the awful combat and desolation that was inflicted on the UK and Europe, rationing of some products were a feature of life in Ireland. Fortunately we are not in the same position as our elders were then, but we are still facing a crisis. It is a concern that some vested interests are putting the Government on notice that some commitments made in better times should be delivered on. Not a good start.
Road transport operators and private hire passenger carriers are part of the small to medium business sector that are the back bone of this country. The newly established Government should be aware of that and recognise that they are a competent part of the recovery. Let’s hope the new Government will be strong and fair to every sector and not yield to vested interest. A good start would be an enthusiastic Minister for Transport, Sport & Tourism, hopefully one who would see transport as important as the sports and tourism part of his/her brief.