They say Ireland is in recovery. They say we should vote for stability and not risk chaos.
They say that after eight years of austerity, eight years of pain, everything is coming good – just in time for the election. And just in time for election they have promises to make and crumbs to give out, so long as we don’t rock the boat.
Now there’s an election coming they’re going to abolish the Universal Social Charge for low and middle incomes. Now there’s an election they’re going to find something for the pensioners. Just vote Labour again and they will abolish the 8th Amendment that they’ve spent the last five years defending.
We say what sort of recovery is it where the rich are getting richer but the housing crisis is getting worse than ever with 90,000 households on the waiting list? What sort of a recovery is it where the Health Service is in bits and nurses have to threaten to go on strike to try to get something done about the crisis in the A&Es.? [See Nurses fight Overcrowding p.2]
Recovery for 1%
We say that’s a recovery for the 1% not a recovery for the people. We say do they really expect us to forget what they’ve done to the ordinary people of this country over the last 5 years?
Do they really expect us to be grateful that now, with the election only weeks away they are trying to bribe us with our own money, with the money robbed from us during all the austerity years?
Do they expect us to forget the massive wage cuts and the long wage freeze? Do they expect us to forget the extra unfair charges and taxes, the USC, the household tax, the property tax and the hated water charges? Extra taxes imposed on the people while the giant corporations – the likes of Google and Starbucks – got away virtually scot free and in the case of Apple are protected by the government from having to pay back the €19 billion – yes €19 thousand million! – that they owe this country.
Do they expect us to forget the endless vicious cuts to essential services: to SNAs, to Home Helps, to DEIS schools, to child benefit, to unemployment benefit, to the community services, to Travellers’ accommodation, to all the basic needs of the people, while the bankers got bailed out and the Denis O’Briens and Dermot Desmonds got an ever larger slice of the cake?
We say this is not going to happen. Even on the most favourable opinion poll predictions Fine Gael and Labour will not be returned with an overall majority. Some of the better off classes are rallying round Fine Gael but Labour are going to be decimated in working class areas. They will need numerous ‘independents’ to form a government. That is not stability.
Besides what they call a ‘stable’ government is one that cannot be held to account or pressurized by the people and is ‘free’ to break all its promises as Labour did last time.
We say that in this election we need three main things to happen
- The anti-water charges and anti-austerity movement has to be seen on the streets in big numbers. People are not paying the charges but we need to make the water charges a central issue in the election. All out for the Right2Water demonstrations on 23 January and the Saturday before the election
- Clear out the Establishment parties: no votes for Fine Gael, Labour or Fianna Fail. Voting Labour won’t restrain FG, it will just strengthen them and don’t forget Fianna Fail wrecked the country and brought us austerity in the first place. They haven’t changed their spots.
- Vote for the radical left, first and foremost People Before Profit and the Anti-Austerity Alliance, as a strong voice for people power and a real challenge to the system.