09 | 12 | 2019

Workers’ Party President Michael Donnelly has condemned the apparent arson attack which took place targetting Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny. 

Speaking following the attacks, Donnelly said: 

“What took place at Deputy Kenny’s home appeared to be a pre-meditated and targetted attempt to silence anti-racist activists in the community. It is a sinister signal that dangerous, far right individuals and groups have begun to take hold in our communities. “

Some months ago, I was approached by an old friend with a query. A work colleague of his was exploring the option of running in the local elections on a youth mental health platform and was looking for advice on how best to run the campaign.

Why this person decided the best way to tackle the issue of mental health was through the granting of dog licenses and planning permission, is a story for another article, their main concern was whether to run as a principled independent in an area where they had no name recognition, or to sell their soul at the altar of Fianna Fáil in the hopes that the weight of their political brand would get them over the proverbial line.

For their rejection and/or indifference to the repetitive whingeing of career politicians, the youth of Ireland is often subjected to the most unforgiving of criticisms by their various political representatives. While they standing for little else other than re-election, they call the masses time and time again for yet another victory in yet another popularity contest. Enthusiasm for this procession into hell is a privilege afforded only to its profiteers, therefore the proletarian youth of Ireland has consciously and subconsciously developed an ethos of distrust and disdain for a political system that exists only as a distant spectacle, time and time again defying their interests, it must be asked, and is asked by this proletarian youth; how does any force so destructive for Ireland, have any authority to govern it?

Sinn Féin have come in for criticism for their proposal that a tax break equivalent to one month’s rent be granted to those renting from private landlords. Workers’ Party local representative Éilis Ryan today (Monday) said the tax break was a return to Celtic Tiger Fianna Fáil politics, and amounted to a public handout for greedy landlords.

Ryan said:

“Sinn Féin’s proposals to grant a tax break equivalent to one month’s rent to every individual in the private rented sector is nothing short of a handout for landlords. It is effectively accepting the right of landlords to charge exorbitant rents, and making it the state’s responsibility to close the gap between what tenants can afford and what landlord’s believe they are entitled to be paid.

In times of economic uncertainty, it is easy to lay blame at the foot of the asylum seeker, the migrant or a member of a vulnerable community and proclaim loudly that IF IT WERE NOT FOR THEM things would be better. But would they?

If we examine Irish history and take a look at a particularly excellent economic analysis of it by Dr Conor McCabe – Sins of the Father, we will see that Ireland has suffered, dramatically, from many of the same issues it suffers today. Of particular note, we can see that the first government from 1922, failed to construct houses which led to slum living conditions and a housing crisis,  they failed to properly create an indigenous economy which led to farmer subsidies and even a small famine in 1925, they failed to develop infrastructure and build up communal necessities. Why?

The Workers’ Party has called on members and supporters to join Climate Strike events tomorrow (Friday Sept. 20th) to protest inaction on the ongoing climate crisis.

“These youth and student-led demonstrations are crucial in voicing our discontent with current government policy on the environment.” said Workers’ Party Youth Secretary Eoghan Gardiner.

1. Poverty

Those struggling to put food on the table, those worried about being evicted from their homes or if their children will be safe, healthy and educated – will never put larger climate issues before their own survival. Governments that refuse to address homelessness, decreasing standards of living or wealth inequality will never be able to garner the enthusiasm or approval from the people to commit the time, resources or sacrifices needed to address the climate crisis.

It’s the poorest regions where we find the highest amount of pollution or mismanagement of wildlife, when people are forced into dog eat dog existence, don’t expect people to rally behind a hard-to-see global issue.

“Governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class.”

An important question we must ask ourselves is what are the key issues that do not affect the capitalist class, but do affect the wider working class. For a 21st century communist, there is no greater issue that highlights this class divide than Climate change and the potentially oncoming ecological collapse.

Housing has often been the arena in which class consciousness and militant action has been instilled in the hearts and minds of the Irish youth. This struggle is ever present in the North. Segregation of housing in urban centres of Derry and Belfast remains an obstacle to social cohesion and the unity of class action from both Nationalist and Unionist communities. Stormont, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) has largely excluded the working class from its benefits, with the 1998 agreement only serving to build limited cross-sectarian relations between careerist political entrepreneurs.

Ireland’s Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are 21-23% higher than the global average. Our ammonia pollution is expected to continue to increase year on year. Methane, which cows produce 70-120kg of annually, is 23 times more damaging to the climate than CO2. To put this into perspective, a steak dinner for 2 can generate the same greenhouse gas emissions as a flight from Dublin to New York. Globally, agriculture produces more greenhouse gasses than the entire transportation sector. 70% of Irish Nutrient Pollution, which harms water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to survive, is caused by Agriculture. Regardless of all of this, our livestock farming is set to grow, pushing agriculture to account for almost half of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, through Dáil Éireann initiatives; Food Harvest 2020 and Food Wise 2025.

In the past, young people were able to receive a home from the local authority which led to localized construction projects. Most people in Ireland lived in homes built by their local corporation or council, the same model existed in the United Kingdom where local authorities constructed mass local housing. Seems simple, right? Today the waiting list for housing is over 80,000 while almost 10,000 people, a third of which are children languish in homelessness. So what changed to create this horrible reality?

Real time web analytics, Heat map tracking

Your experience on this site will be improved by allowing cookies