Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Ireland's 2016 election is off and running

Ireland’s prime minister, Enda Kenny announced that the Republic’s general election will take place on the last Friday of this month. Probably the best political pundits, the bookies, make Kenny the favourite to be returned as Taoiseach, allaying fears of a Syriza-style leftist government. The Irish Labour party, faces accusations of betraying its working class base by agreeing to austerity cuts and the implementation of water charges and resulted in the two Irish anti-austerity groups Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) and People Before Profit (PBP) joining forces to create a new left political party in Ireland with plans to run candidates in the election. The plan is to to campaign against austerity cuts, water privatization, and abolishing for low- and middle-earners an income tax known as the Universal Social Charge. Gerry Adams’ Sinn Fein have in effect stolen many of these issues. "This is a choice between whether you want a society that is fair and equal or more of the same," Gerry Adams, president of the leftist Sinn Fein party told reporters. "It's not about an economic recovery, it's about a social recovery."

People are noticing that 'the way things are' isn’t working and nobody takes the blame for letting them get so bad but the people are told that they will have to pay the cost and increasingly people are saying NO! The socialist position is that the working class need a political party to contest political power. The working class must organize politically in their own defence.

 If the ‘Shinners’ win the next election, with their anti-austerity agenda, they are going to have to make good all their promises, and that means governing within capitalism. They will find that the requirement to attract funds for all activities they want the state to fund means in some sense either accommodating to the markets or international bodies. Another party will come along and capitalise on the discontent with their policies (and, again, the advantage lies with the established parties with networks of support, it is unlikely to be a swing to the left that will follow them). Those political parties who want to keep capitalism can deliver reforms that don't destroy capitalism, and those who propose reforms that would destroy capitalism would be instantly seen to be proposing the "impossible".


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