The two main parties on the Irish radical left, the Anti-Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit, have joined forces to form a common front for the coming general election.
The new alliance has the backing of 4 TDs (Richard Boyd Barrett, Ruth Coppinger, Joe Higgins and Paul Murphy) and 27 councillors. In the election AAA-PBP will field over 30 candidates and hope to considerably increase the representation of the Left in the Dáil.
AAA-PBP will campaign to expose the sham ‘recovery’ falsely touted by the government parties and their friends in the media. The super-rich are getting even richer but there is no recovery for the vast majority of ordinary people.
Two great crises facing the country reveal the real nature of this ‘recovery’: the housing crisis and the hospital trolley crisis. If there is a recovery why is the housing shortage getting worse and the homeless still dying on the streets? If there is a recovery why is our health service descending into chaos ?(See Our Health Service in Crisis P.2 And why do our nurses have to go on strike against overcrowding? (See P.2)
The answer is clear: because this is a recovery for the 1% not the 99%.
Water Charges – Still the issue
Both the AAA and PBP fought the unfair water charges from the beginning and have campaigned strongly for non-payment. Both stand for the complete abolition of Irish Water and they urge everyone in the anti-water charges movement to support them in the election.
People Before Profit Cllr Brid Smith says,
The serious charges brought against the Jobstown 27 for a simple sit down protest and the prosecution of the Crumlin 13 for peacefully resisting water meters show that the Government is still in disarray on this issue. It is vital we all defend the right to protest and stand in solidarity.
The AAA- PBP alliance have agreed a programme of core principles on which they will campaign. These are:
- Abolish water charges and home taxes – scrap the USC for low and middle income workers.
- An emergency programme of council housing construction and rent controls.
- Reverse the cuts and increase in health, education and public transport – no to privatisation
- Decent work and a living wage
- Reverse all social protection cuts affecting lone parents, job seekers, child benefit, pensioners and the disabled
- Tax justice – make the super –wealthy and corporations pay their fair share of tax.
- Stop paying the odious debts of bankers and speculators
- Repeal the 8th Amendment – for a woman’s right to choose
- Solidarity with refugees – no to racism and fortress Europe
- US Military out of Shannon – no to war and militarism
People Before Profit and the Anti-Austerity Alliance are committed to campaigning for these principles inside and outside the Dáil. The new alliance is a highly significant development which can pave the way for a much stronger socialist left in Ireland and fight for the radical transformation of this society.