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Friday night - Tom Johnson Summer School 2014

Posted on June 20, 2014 at 08:57 PM

Tom Johnson 2014 Friday evening

Over the weekend we'll be posting updates from the Tom Johnson Summer School which is being held in Portlaoise and organised by Labour Youth. You can keep up-to-date with the weekend's events by following Labour Youth on Twitter

In this post Rachel Walsh posts about the first session which saw Senator John Whelan welcome participants to Portlaoise followed by a panel which discussed the Importance of Equality in the current political landscape. The panelists were Deputy Anne Ferris, Tom Healy from the Nevin Economic Research Institute, Dan O'Neill from the Young Workers Network and Ian Power from Spun Out.

This was a fantastic start to the Tom Johnson Summer School. The seminar was kicked off by Senator John Whelan. John spoke about the importance of how that we are all in fact socialists, and that we should really encourage all of our friends to take a leap and join Labour!

He also addressed the issue of ageism in Irish society, he mention many of the criticisms that were level at Michael D in particular.

Deputy Anne Ferris who is Vice Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality was up next and she spoke mainly on issues relating to women, she used the example of a young woman who is being criminalised for wearing a red scarf which was deemed to be a sign she was a Socialist and this was seen as a crime. She went on to discuss the achievements of the government in legislating for the X case.

Next speaker was Dan O’Neill Young Workers Network and ICTU Youth, spoke on why equality is important, Dan mentioned in particul how important unionisation is in terms of creating a more fair and equal society. This is key in tackling inequality in Ireland, because high levels of Union membership leads to a more fair and equal society.

Ian Power from spunout.ie, discussed the importance of creating jobs for young people and the creation of a Ministerial position for this purpose. Ian highlight that young people do in fact deserve better than what they get and I agree with this.

Tom Healy from the Nevin Economic Research Institute, spoke at length about the importance of Thomas Piketty’s work in the compilation of data of inequality and what we can learn from this. In order to challenge the inequality in Irish society we need to change the political and social culture in Ireland and this can take a lot of time to change and the vision that we go forward with has to be strong and coherent.

This was a great start to the Tom Johnson Summer School, it addressed the core issues that Labour Youth consider to be of paramount importance. All and all a fantastic experience!

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