Donate to Links


Click on Links masthead to clear previous query from search box

GLW Radio on 3CR



Recent comments



Syndicate

Syndicate content

Ireland: More left support for the United Left Alliance

This Irish Times reports on February 13, 2011, that a former Labour Party member of parliament, Declan Bree, has joined the United Left Alliance (ULA). Another Irish left organisation has also backed the newly formed ULA. The ULA presently consists of three political parties: the Socialist Party, the People Before Profit Alliance and the Workers and Unemployed Action Group. Socialist Democracy, the party aligned with the Fourth International has released the following statement.

* * *

Statement from Ireland’s Socialist Democracy on the February 25 general election.

February 7, 2011 -- We have been lied to, we have been cheated and we have been treated as fools. We have had our salaries cut, our pension money stolen, our taxes increased and social welfare cut. Our young people are emigrating and hundreds of thousands are unemployed. Social welfare is being slashed and our health and education services are being decimated.

And we are only into the first year of a four-year plan to make all these things even worse!

We are being told that we must pay for the economic crisis even though we had nothing to do with creating it. In fact salt is being rubbed into our wounds because all the sacrifices we are being ordered to make are to save those really responsible for the crisis. The money that is taken off us is being handed over to the bankers and developers who created this mess in the first place. The bankers continue to pay themselves bonuses and NAMA hands our money over to property developers to finish their projects.

Why?

It is not only the bankers who created this mess. The government encouraged the speculation and wants us to pay to save the banks. The Department of Finance and the Regulator failed to prevent the speculation. Every part of the establishment and the Irish State failed the ordinary people of Ireland.

Those who are supposed to defend us failed us. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) was in partnership with this government every year Fianna Fail was in power. David Begg, the leader of ICTU, sat on the board of the Central Bank when it failed to regulate the banks and failed to do anything to prevent the disaster.

The whole elite and their economic system have failed us. Their entire political system is rotten and corrupt and now we are told we must do the bidding of unelected bureaucrats from the European Union and IMF. We don’t just need a change of government. We need an entirely new state and an entirely new social and economic system.

We need a new republic, a second republic, a WORKERS' REPUBLIC! We need to return to the promise of James Connolly and the fight for our independence in 1916. It promised that the ownership of Ireland would belong to the people of Ireland and that all the children of Ireland would be cherished equally.

This promise has been betrayed. The economic crisis has torn away the veil of lies from all the main parties who want the ordinary people to pay for this crisis. From Fianna Fail to the leadership of ICTU they differ only over how long they want the cuts to be implemented and what precise cuts we will have to endure.

The alternative

There is only one group of candidates who oppose all cuts. One group that opposes us paying for the banks mistakes and who oppose sacrificing our futures and that of our children for the EU and IMF. Only the candidates of the United Left Alliance offer this. As supporters of the ULA:

  • We are opposed to all cuts. All the main parties say that there is no money but this is not the real problem. All these parties supported borrowing billions to bail out the banks. We never heard any talk of a lack of money then. If they wanted to raise money to defend working people they could propose taxing the rich, the big corporations and use the wealth from the Corrib gas field. Instead they want to protect the big corporations and save the richest in our society such as the bankers and property developers.
  • We stand for total repudiation of the debt. We cannot pay it and we will not pay it! We did not borrow this money; the bankers did and Fianna Fail did. At this election we will show what we think of both of them. After the election we should not meekly pay their bills. The next step in the EU/IMF deal is to restructure the banks but these rotten institutions should not be saved with workers’ money. We need a new bank that not only is funded by working people but is owned and run by them; a workers co-operative designed not to fund property speculation but to fund real economic and social development.
  • We stand for complete rejection of the EU and IMF deal. The EU and IMF are ordering the Irish people to bail out British and German bankers who stupidly lent to the Irish banks.

In every country workers are asked to undercut each other’s wages, services and welfare in a race to the bottom from which only the rich can win. We should not compete with other workers. We should unite with them. Our solidarity should be with those facing the same situation as us – not Irish bankers. For this we need a new Europe. A Europe of the workers not a Europe of the bankers.

We have waited a long time for this election. We all want to punish those who have threatened our future but we will be no further forward if we vote for parties which want to continue the same policies as Fianna Fail. These parties have conspired with Fianna Fail to force the Finance Bill through the Dail and impose crippling cuts. After the election they will soon tell you that the Fianna Fail way is the only way.

This is your chance to vote for an alternative. But your vote will not be enough. Just as we cannot rely on the Dail parties during the election we will have to rely on ourselves after it. We must organise in our unions and our communities to defend our livelihoods and give our children a future.

Only ONE group stand opposed to ALL cuts, to paying the debts of the BANKERS and opposing the bullying of the EU and IMF. Vote for and sign up to the United Left Alliance!

This leaflet has been produced by supporters of the United Left Alliance who are members and supporters of Socialist Democracy. You can contact us: Socialist Democracy or contact the United Left Alliance.

Comments

Return of the Left-Wing?

Here's my analysis, for what it's worth

Sunday, 6 February 2011
Return of the Left-Wing?
With the Irish General election confirmed for the end of February and the Celtic Elections set for May 5th, an old force hopes to make a comeback.

United Left Alliance and Sinn Fein

In Ireland Fianna Fail looks guaranteed to haemorrhage seats in the Dail, while this spells good news for the Labour Party and Fine Gael it is the parties of the Hard-Left that look set to make gains.

Sinn Fein currently sitting with 5 seats in the Dail hope to at least double their seat numbers with the presence of Baron Gerry Adams and a disenfranchised electorate. Pointing to Northern Ireland to show that they can deal with handling budgets which limits are dictated by an external force, Sinn Fein will hope that if they make enough gain the other parties will have to consider them a viable coalition partner. Baron Adams has been firm in stating that coalition negotiations should wait till after the election, though stating he would not work with as a junior partner to the right wing parties of Fianna fail and Fine Gael. It can only be assumed that Baron Adams envisions a Labour-Led coalition of the Left to deal with the EU/IMF and the Irish financial situation. To do this however would require a bit more help however...

United Left Alliance

The ULA, featuring the Socialist Party, the People Before Profit Alliance, and the Workers and Unemployed Action Group and a few former Labour Party members will be fielding 19 candidates. They hope to establish enough seats to alter the assumed Fine Gael-Labour government in March. Much like Sinn Fein they do not wish to see the continuation of Irish politics being headed by either Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

The potential Left wing government in Ireland would be historic, however it does suffer from several flaws in the theory. Firstly, the Labour Party are not keen on working with Sinn Fein, so unless Labour and the ULA gain enough seats to form a Coalition Labour may have to make a decision, the Hard-Left Republican Sinn Fein, Headed by Baron Adams or the battered Fianna Fail, led by former Foreign minister Michael Martin (could easily ask for his old job then). Both choice difficult, with Sinn Fein being seen as Radical and Fianna Fail being seen as the cause of a lot of the problems facing the Republic.

There is one scenario a Left-Labour Government could come about;

1) Labour become Largest/Second Largest party against Fine Gael
2) ULA makes some gains (first election for ULA)
3) Green Party maintains it seats
4) Independents (who do better than in British elections) make gains
5) Deal struck with either Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein

Depending on seat wins Gilmore could come out as Taoiseach with either Michael Martin or Baron Adams as Deputy

Look Left: Left Unity?

http://www.lookleftonline.org/2011/02/left-unity/

February 7, 2011

A way forward?

On Saturday February 5 around one hundred Left activists gathered in the Gresham Hotel Dublin to discuss the possibilities of co-operation of the broad Left, Paul Dillon reports.

The “left unity conference” heard calls for a transfer pact in the general election and for long term co-operation between activists from all parties and none.

However, there was some disagreement among speakers at the event. Socialist Party MEP for Dublin Joe Higgins told attendees that the Labour party could take no part in left unity and recommended that left wingers within that party breakaway.

Councillors Cian O’Callaghan and Dermot Looney from the Labour Party told the conference that they would oppose any coalition arrangements with Fine Gael. They both argued that a left government was within reach for the first time in Irish history.

Sinn Fein’s Eoin O’Broin and Aongus O’Snoadaigh TD insisted that their party was opposed to any coalition with right wing parties. O’Broin went on to outline the historic problems with co-operation among the Irish left which he saw as devided into three distinct strands, the social democratic Left, revolutionary Marxist and republican Left.

Mick Finnegan of the Workers Party called for left wingers to actively campaign for transfers to each other, as he was doing in Dublin Mid West.

A session on coalition building within trade unions and the community sector, heard contributions from SIPTU leader Jack O’Connor and UNITE’s regional secretary Jimmy Kelly. O’Connor told the conference that the Croke Park deal was better than the alternatives that were on offer and that he had tried, but failed, to make a national strike happen.

He said his position, leading a union of over 200,000 members meant he had to make decisions with his “head rather than his heart” adding that the main focus of the left at this moment in Irish history must be to build it’s infrastructure, referring to the need for a progressive newspaper.

Some attendees attacked O’Connor over his leadership, with one activist advising him to “consult his conscience”. Kelly repeated his call for strike action to counter the government’s austerity measures stating that the trade union movement and left must stand alongside rank and file trade unionists against the right’s onslaught.
O’Connor justified Labour entering a coalition with Fine Gael on the grounds of his experience of the 1992-1997 governments with Labour participation. Jimmy Kelly ruled out UNITE support for a government led by a right wing party.

Mary Murphy of the Department of Sociology in NUI Maynooth told the conference that the experience of patient coalition building in key Latin American countries needed to be learnt from in Ireland. People Before Profit alliance councillor Richard Boyd Barrett called for all left forces, including social democrats, to find common purpose, pointing to the broad coalition that was now active in Egypt. However he outlined his own experiences of opposition from the Labour party on Dun laoghire-Rathdown county council.

Ailbhe Smyth of the United Left Alliance criticised the approach of the left to feminism and advised women not to chair meetings and conferences, but insist on speaking positions instead.

In a contribution from the floor Labour party activist Helena Sheehan called for the creation of ‘Left Forum’ to discuss a united strategy going forward. There was general support for the idea from those present in meeting conducted in a generally constructive atmosphere.

In an inspirational moment 92 year old Desmond Brannigan, a former advisor to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and an expert in natural resources, told the conference that there was enough oil and gas off shore to fuel an Irish economic comeback. He expressed little faith in this happening, as the politicians would simply follow the advice of senior civil servants and ignore the truth.

In the final session of the conference on economic policies and social transformation, UCD lecturer Kieran Allen told the conference that Keynesianism was no longer possible as the investment required was not available due to a loss of faith on the part of capitalists in Ireland.

Kathleen Lynch of the UCD School of Social Justice told the conference that a great emotional injustice was being felt by many older people in Ireland, who would suffer as emigration robbed them of their children and grandchildren.

Sinn Fein

Socialist Democracy state: "There is only one group of candidates who oppose all cuts. One group that opposes us paying for the banks mistakes and who oppose sacrificing our futures and that of our children for the EU and IMF. Only the candidates of the United Left Alliance offer this."

It is not actually true to say the ULA is the only group opposed to all the cuts. It is also true of Sinn Fein, which remains the only party to oppose the austerity and the bailout in the parliament.

That isn't to deny the importance of the ULA as a step towards unity of the far left, which has a clearer conception of independent class politics than Sinn Fein (even if there not necessarily all a clearer conception among sections of the ULA on the national question).

But polls (and the November by-election) indicate SF's support will grow on the basis of this opposition and it will likely receive significantly more votes and seats than the ULA.

Pretending SF is not against the cuts and don't push an alternative (which does not go as far as the ULA's but, if implemented, would still reverse the cuts) doesn't get anyone very far. Not when a much larger chunk of the anti-austerity/bailout vote is going to go to SF than the ULA.

Sinn Fein, for its part, sees its opportunity and makes the same claims for itself:

http://aprnonline.com/?p=82143

"Sinn Féin is the ONLY party to have insisted on burning the bondholders – let them pay for their gambling, don’t force the public to foot the bill.
Sinn Féin is the ONLY party to fight the harshest Budget this generation has seen.

"Sinn Féin is the ONLY party to have produced a costed, worked-out Budget alternative that is progressive.

"Sinn Féin is the ONLY party that has stood four-square against the Finance Bill that enshrines that Budget in law.

"Sinn Féin is the ONLY party that has told the Fianna Fáil Finance Minister that it will not help him to slide the Finance Bill past the people for party political gain – for the party political benefit of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or Labour.

"Sinn Féin voices are the ONLY voices speaking up for those people on lower and middle incomes who are being squeezed by the likes of the Finance Bill and the IMF/EU sell-out to pay for the gambles of the bankers and speculators."

No doubt SF would argue it is meant that it is the only ones in parliament and, quite possibly, is the only opposing voice that is big enough to count.

The next line is: "Sinn Féin is the ONLY real opposition to the ‘Consensus for Cuts’." this is probably aimed at Labour first and foremost, but may well be meant as a bit of a sideswipe at the ULA too.

Bringing up all the differences with or criticisms of Sinn Fein don't change the facts of its actual stance and the liklihood of it significantly increasing its support for this actual stance (bearing in mind it, like the ULA no doubt, will have to withstand an increasing corporate media offensive).

At the very least, this support for Sinn Fein (which unlike the much higher support for Labour is actually support for policies that genuinely oppose the austerity) represents a factor that the ULA surely can't ignore.

We'll double our seats at election - Sinn Fein
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk

Thursday 10 February 2011
by John Millington

Sinn Fein expects to double its seats at the coming general election in Ireland following the country's economic meltdown, Westminster MP Pat Doherty told campaigners on Wednesday night.

Mr Doherty, who is an abstentionist member of the Westminster Parliament, said the party's opposition to EU-led austerity measures imposed by the Irish government had made it popular with the electorate.

Spelling out Sinn Fein's alternative to the cuts, Mr Doherty put the case for a united Ireland on economic as well as political grounds.

"Reunification of the country makes sense. At the moment we have duplication of services. It makes no sense to have two health and education services," he said.

"Our vision of a united Ireland is not a pipe dream. But we still have a lot of work to do."

Hackney resident Denis Leinham asked Mr Doherty about potential alliances with other "left" parties in Ireland to form a popular left government.

Striking a cautious note Mr Doherty said the "potential was there" but left forces might instead form a bloc in opposition to centre-right parties Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

Joining Mr Doherty on the panel, left economist Michael Burke blamed the European Central Bank for the crisis in Ireland and Britain's continued "colonial" presence in the north, citing figures showing Northern Ireland had been disproportionately affected by the recession compared with Britain.

Condemning the savage spending cuts in the Republic of Ireland Mr Burke added: "If you depress economic activity by slashing wages there will be an increase in social welfare dependency. It's ABC economics."

...and more...Sligo independent socialist Declan Bree joins ULA

The Sligo independent socialist candidate and former Labour Party TD (member of parliament) has joined the United Left Alliance.

The 'Irish Times' report is here :

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0213/breaking12.html

ULA: Mainstream 'ignoring' unemployment

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0215/breaking32.html

CHARLIE TAYLOR

Tue, Feb 15, 2011

Mainstream political parties have been accused of ignoring the issues of unemployment and emigration in the election campaign.

The United Left Alliance, which is running 19 candidates in the election, also claimed the policies of Fine Gael and Labour would lead to a further rise in unemployment.

At a photocall held outside the Passport Office on Molesworth Street in Dublin, candidates for the alliance criticised mainstream political parties for their refusal to offer new jobs initiatives which would stem the flow of emigration.

"Emigration and unemployment are the key issues coming up again and again among the people we're talking too on the ground, particularly among older people who are upset at seeing their grandchildren having to leave the country," said Cllr Joan Collins, a People Before Profit/ULA candidate for the Dublin South Central constituency.

"It's outrageous that there's 450,000 people on the dole and a thousand a week having to emigrate to go find jobs while at the same time there's billions going into the banks," she added.

Ms Collins called for the State to invest in new infrastructure programmes to help kickstart the economy.

"There's another €29 billion to go into the banks, which is something supported by both Fine Gael and Labour and we're saying don't put that into the banks, invest it in jobs instead," she said.

"Following the foundation of the State the ESB was set up and 1000s of jobs were created to bring electricity into peoples homes and we believe that similar initiatives are needed now.

"The feedback we're getting on the doors is that people want change. They want to see a change in faces and the introduction of new policies that reflect what's needed in the community. We should be asking what needs to be done at a community level to create employment and responding to it properly," she added.

© 2011 irishtimes.com

ULA: Call for State ownership of assets

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0216/breaking49_pf.html

ELAINE EDWARDS

Wed, Feb 16, 2011

People Before Profit has called for the return of Ireland’s oil and gas resources to public ownership in order to help generate revenue for the State.

The party, which is part of the United Left Alliance umbrella group in the election campaign, published its policy on energy and natural resources today.

Dr Kieran Allen of the school of sociology in UCD, who helped produce the policy, said there was an estimated €750 billion worth of oil and gas of the coast of Ireland at a “conservative” estimate.

The party had not had the benefit of access to expertise within the Department of Finance in order to establish exact figures or to assess the potential for generating revenue from such resources, however.

Dr Allen said Ireland had the “second lowest” government “take” in the world from natural resources.

“If a county is in massive debt, what are you going to do about this?”

He said Norway, a comparable country, took 78 per cent from its natural resources while Ireland’s “take” was just 25 per cent.

The party was critical of former minister Ray Burke for the changes he made to legislation governing oil and gas exploration in 1992.

It called for the nullification of existing contracts with exploration companies such as Shell, and for the oil and gas fields to be taken into public ownership.

Dr Allen said this could be the cornerstone of a new industrial policy.

“We are not promising pie in the sky. What we are saying is that it’s a huge asset and that asset could either be used to borrow, or it could be put into development.”

Pat O’Donnell, from Rossport, one of five men jailed for obstructing Shell’s activities at the Corrib gas field, was in Dublin to support the party’s policy today.

“The United Left Alliance and a few independents and Sinn Féin are the only people talking about reclaiming out natural resources where all the wealth of the State is being given away at the stroke of a pen by corrupt politicians,” he said.

He was critical of other policies such as the EU fishing quota, which he said had “destroyed” many coastal communities here.

“They are creating massive employment with our fish but we learn nothing from that. Here we are again today signing off oil and gas to oil companies, giving it away for nothing and destroying nice small communities in the west of Ireland to do so, like the community I come from in Rossport. The place is destroyed.”

People Before Profit councillor Richard Boyd Barrett said he believed the natural resources if developed properly could generate “at least €5 or €6 billion, if not considerably more than that” each year.

“That’s the entire amount of the budget that attacked the vulnerable, the poor and low-income families during the recent budget.”

He expressed concern that the Government’s memo of understanding with the IMF in relation to the bailout opened up as a “serious option” the possibility of selling off further State assets.

© 2011 irishtimes.com

******

Collins aims to offer radical alternative

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

ON THE CANVASS: WITHIN A minute of Joan Collins beginning her canvass, she meets a man with a square, grey-speckled beard and glasses who is leaning against his car, writes HARRY McGEE 

“Are you the woman who gave out to Bertie outside the Dáil?” he booms. She nods. “Well, I’ll tell you one thing, you were well able to stand up to him.”

As she passes, he points her out to the passenger in the car.

“Look, that’s the woman who gave out to Bertie!”

Collins’s big moment came when former taoiseach Bertie Ahern was giving a valedictory interview to RTÉ outside the gates of the Dáil.

She butted in and began to harangue Ahern about his pension and about his legacy.

“He annoyed me so much that he was walking away with €370,000, where other people were absolutely on the breadline,” she says.

Her encounter with Ahern has won her a notoriety that has come up a lot on her canvass, and has done her profile no harm.

Collins is a Dublin city councillor and the United Left Alliance candidate in Dublin South Central. She also belongs to People Before Profit, which is another alliance of left-wing groups. Its critics say that PBP is just a cover for the unreconstructed Socialist Workers Party. But Collins has never been a member of the SWP.

Today a group of about 20 people accompany Collins through a high-speed canvass of Drimnagh and Walkinstown.

They include her mother, Tess Collins, a pensioner with an indefatigable appetite for canvassing.

The rest are made up of local Collins supporters plus a smattering of – on a superficial assessment – earnest socialist types.

The local director, Pat Dunne, addresses the troops as they round into Hughes Road.

“The message is that People Before Profit offer an alternative. We have a candidate. You also have to remember there is the tactical point of Joan being in the fight for the fifth seat with Michael Mulcahy [of Fianna Fáil]. Labour will get two, Fine Gael will get its one, Sinn Féin will get one and the last seat will be a fight between Joan and Mulcahy.

“We want a slow canvass. If it takes five minutes on a doorstep, so be it,” Dunne shouts after the canvassers.

Collins would cut an unusual figure in the Dáil if elected – she sports a nose stud and three earrings on each ear and favours denim attire.

Originally from Coolock, she has lived in the constituency for 25 years. She is a postal worker who first got involved in the union, before getting into politics through bin and water charge campaigns. She is understated, calm, and very issue-oriented.

The canvass is uneventful. There are parents who worry about their children emigrating, a health worker who is paying more on his mortgage than he is earning. Others are worried about the loss of the nearby children’s hospital. Some complain about the universal social charge and anti-social behaviour.

A photographer, Aidan Weldon, opens his door, but won’t commit. He is disillusioned.

“I have had enough of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. None of them will get my vote. As far as I am concerned the whole country has let the country down. The only person who has made sense has been Diarmaid Ferriter of UCD,” he said.

Collins says she too has met hostility on the doorsteps.

“People will say they do not support me or will close the door and say ‘get lost’. They are so fed up of the whole lot of us.”

Her policy, and that of the ULA, is to scrap the IMF-EU deal, burn the bondholders and establish a “people’s bank” using the funds from the pension fund.

Beyond that, she wants a “new movement, a radical movement”.

It would mean the ULA morphing into a single party, bringing all the disparate left-wing groups and parties together. But in the immediate future, she hopes she can edge Mulcahy out of the seat.

© 2011 The Irish Times

***************

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0217/1224290025041_pf.html

Collins aims to offer radical alternative

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

ON THE CANVASS: WITHIN A minute of Joan Collins beginning her canvass, she meets a man with a square, grey-speckled beard and glasses who is leaning against his car, writes HARRY McGEE 

“Are you the woman who gave out to Bertie outside the Dáil?” he booms. She nods. “Well, I’ll tell you one thing, you were well able to stand up to him.”

As she passes, he points her out to the passenger in the car.

“Look, that’s the woman who gave out to Bertie!”

Collins’s big moment came when former taoiseach Bertie Ahern was giving a valedictory interview to RTÉ outside the gates of the Dáil.

She butted in and began to harangue Ahern about his pension and about his legacy.

“He annoyed me so much that he was walking away with €370,000, where other people were absolutely on the breadline,” she says.

Her encounter with Ahern has won her a notoriety that has come up a lot on her canvass, and has done her profile no harm.

Collins is a Dublin city councillor and the United Left Alliance candidate in Dublin South Central. She also belongs to People Before Profit, which is another alliance of left-wing groups. Its critics say that PBP is just a cover for the unreconstructed Socialist Workers Party. But Collins has never been a member of the SWP.

Today a group of about 20 people accompany Collins through a high-speed canvass of Drimnagh and Walkinstown.

They include her mother, Tess Collins, a pensioner with an indefatigable appetite for canvassing.

The rest are made up of local Collins supporters plus a smattering of – on a superficial assessment – earnest socialist types.

The local director, Pat Dunne, addresses the troops as they round into Hughes Road.

“The message is that People Before Profit offer an alternative. We have a candidate. You also have to remember there is the tactical point of Joan being in the fight for the fifth seat with Michael Mulcahy [of Fianna Fáil]. Labour will get two, Fine Gael will get its one, Sinn Féin will get one and the last seat will be a fight between Joan and Mulcahy.

“We want a slow canvass. If it takes five minutes on a doorstep, so be it,” Dunne shouts after the canvassers.

Collins would cut an unusual figure in the Dáil if elected – she sports a nose stud and three earrings on each ear and favours denim attire.

Originally from Coolock, she has lived in the constituency for 25 years. She is a postal worker who first got involved in the union, before getting into politics through bin and water charge campaigns. She is understated, calm, and very issue-oriented.

The canvass is uneventful. There are parents who worry about their children emigrating, a health worker who is paying more on his mortgage than he is earning. Others are worried about the loss of the nearby children’s hospital. Some complain about the universal social charge and anti-social behaviour.

A photographer, Aidan Weldon, opens his door, but won’t commit. He is disillusioned.

“I have had enough of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. None of them will get my vote. As far as I am concerned the whole country has let the country down. The only person who has made sense has been Diarmaid Ferriter of UCD,” he said.

Collins says she too has met hostility on the doorsteps.

“People will say they do not support me or will close the door and say ‘get lost’. They are so fed up of the whole lot of us.”

Her policy, and that of the ULA, is to scrap the IMF-EU deal, burn the bondholders and establish a “people’s bank” using the funds from the pension fund.

Beyond that, she wants a “new movement, a radical movement”.

It would mean the ULA morphing into a single party, bringing all the disparate left-wing groups and parties together. But in the immediate future, she hopes she can edge Mulcahy out of the seat.

© 2011 The Irish Times

 

Former Green Party candidate endorses United Left Alliance

Former Green Party Candidate for Limerick East, Tim Hourigan endorses Cian Prendiville (Socialist Party / United Left Alliance)

February 17, 2011 @ 12:55 pm In Limerick News 

Former Green Party Candidate for Limerick East, Tim Hourigan has endorsed the Socialist Party and United Left Alliance candidate, Cian Prendiville in the upcoming election.

After its performance in government, the Green Party stands on the verge of electoral meltdown, and struggled to get a candidate for Limerick City. Mr. Hourigan won over 1,000 votes for the Greens in 2002, but in this election is backing Cian Prendiville of the Socialist Party.

 

Tim Hourigan, former Green Party candidate, now calling for a vote for Cian Prendiville

“I agreed with a lot of Green policies, but I realised that, unfortunately they lacked the courage to fight for their principles,and watched as they were eroded one by one in the horse-trading that passes for national politics”.

Tim left the Green Party after their decision to go into coaltion with Fianna Fail. Coming soon after the endorsement of former independent socialist councillor and mayor Joe Harringtong, Mr. Prendiville says that this is a further boost to his campaign.

“Thousands of people, like Tim, feel deeply disillusioned with the Green Party who dispelled any idea that they represented a radical alternative through their 4 years of supporting the big business policies of Fianna Fail. Tim’s support for our campaign shows the gathering momentum behind the United Left Alliance, who are strongly challenging for 7 or 8 seats. The response in Limerick on the doors, and with these endorsements, shows that we could inflict a serious shock to the entire political establishment.”

Explaining his decision to support Cian Prendiville, Mr. Hourigan said:

“When we were being lied to that we needed to protect Anglo Irish, and we had to pay off these bondholders, a lot of politicians were afraid to challenge that line, but Cian was out on the streets of Limerick talking about it. He has also campaigned against health cuts and water charges, which we’ll all be facing soon, unless we fight back.”

“We hear political parties promising jobs – left, right and centre, just like they did before both votes on the Lisbon Treaty, but they are blowing smoke in our eyes. Any party that lacked the spine to try to stop the banking bailout, is lying when they pretend there is enough money left in the economy to stimulate investment and jobs growth, while we are paying off huge debts to bank bondholders, and cutting the legs out from the decent people of Ireland, who don’t have huge Dáil pensions to fall back on when they lose their jobs.”

Powered by Drupal - Design by Artinet