100,000 marchers on the streets of our capital city, gangs of Gardaí shuttling contractors for Uisce Éireann around suburban housing estates to deter would-be protesters, the dominant political parties being hammered in by-elections as voters turn to avowedly anti-establishment candidates, the Taoiseach being hemmed into a sports-centre by crowds of angry citizens while his minders push men and women aside, Garda stations being ringed by families and friends demanding the release of their loved ones who have been arrested and dragged away for demonstrating against an iniquitous tax, the right-wing media elites raging impotently against those on the left and republican-left who threaten their comfortable hegemony… Such is now the turbulent political landscape of contemporary Ireland. And such is how the masters and mistresses of the overclass view it. Victoria White, columnist and wife of purposeless Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, writing in the Irish Examiner:
“THEY don’t care about the water. It’s just a tool to destabilise the Government and accumulate power. It’s what they do. It’s what they’ve always done — find an issue with which they can mobilise people, then go and do it.
The main movers in the campaign against water charges, whether they be the ‘Stop the Water Tax’ Socialist Party, the other factions within the Anti-Austerity Alliance or some anarchist movement, are the same people who tried and failed to organise around the bin tax in 2004, and who scuppered the last attempt to charge for water, in 1996. They are essentially the same people who defeated the poll tax in the UK, in 1990.”
Pitiful whining from a typical scion of the Neo-Ascendancy puzzled by the irate peasants beating at the gates of the Big House. It is not the fault of the political classes, the Irish continuity state. No, poverty, emigration, cuts in public services and the imposition of extortionate charges are the fault of the feckless, greedy proles. Pity the wise ones who must govern such fools. They are the heroes who “made the hard choices” (that others paid the price for). And now they claim they will not be “intimidated”. By whom? The electorate? Voters? Seán and Síle Citizen? Only the most self-entitled princess could turn public antipathy to pernicious government policies into a personal attack on their caste, like some Z-list celebrity condemning the merest hint of criticism as “trolling” and the product of diseased minds.
Meanwhile that high dauphin of the state, Leo Varadkar, joins the outrage felt by the exalted few at the baying of the vox populi. From the Journal:
“I worry from a society point of view and from being a citizen of this country about the motives of a very very very small quantity of those people. I believe there is a fringe out there who are using genuine people, genuine protesters for other political ambitions and it is sinister… and that would be the feeling of people inside and outside politics.”
Especially inside politics, and inside the Golden Circle of Irish politics where all power rests aside from those infrequent times when we are allowed to trundle out to the polling station to register our existence.
Shocking news Sèamas.
People can’t/won’t take any more.
Coming from the north where i saw the RUC at work, i never,ever thought I’d see scenes like these on the streets of Dublin – luckily there were no injuries to anybody, only an exchange of words
It took a long time for that bending willow to break but it seems that the moment has come and water charges were the final gale that brought it down.
You are going to be very busy soon…..I hope.
From the BBC a whistlblower accuses 15 politicians of tax dodging and a judge also.
In any normal society this would be a lead story.
Wonder who the 15 are???
Ah yes, this is going to be a good one. Press are saying none of those named are currently Oireachtas members. However some were fairly recent members and both FG and FF are implicated. Not to mention those in the know who sat on their hands for the last decade.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil ministers aware of possible criminal activities and declined to investigate or report it? Surely not…
Seamus..This story about the former Councillor Ger kilally has always bothered me.
If we had a free press this story would have had a lot of “legs” to it and really warranted closer scrunity than it ever got.
I mean has the press ever asked where a bankruot got £20,000 from?
Why did he have £20,000 to “invest” and NOT pay off his creditors for example.
And these facts coupled together with the fact that he was “great friends ” with the former taoiseach Brian Cowen.
I WOULD accept the Oirish Independent chasing down Sinn Fein IF they also chased down the Irish ruling elites with the same vigour..But they never do.
Not even when a golden opportunity like MR Kilally comes along.
And those at the top demand the calm acceptance of austerity and indentured poverty from those at the bottom?
The thing I was reminded about this story and the Garda etc.
Was the story of the protestors over in Corrib against the pollution of the onshore gas factory..
The Garda behaved like Black and Tans batoning the protestors. It was disgusting.
Also according to the Guardian the local “fixer” for Shell drove up to a Garda Station with something like 20,000 to 30,000 worth of booze in a van..For the “great Work2 done by the coppers.
Several things about that story,
The Irish Media never covered it.
And the Garda are overdue a reform or two.
They are NOT working for the ordinary citizen…that’s for sure.
Yes, the Corrib scandal showed the Gardaí in a deplorable light and still does. Now we have the Rightist media and politcos briefing all over the shop that ordinary citizens protesting the undemocratic imposition of water taxation are crypto-terrorists.
Dissent will not be tolerated. Even from the otherwise law-abiding.
What a country…
They have installed the water meters already.
The pricing might change, but it’s unlikely that the charges will be repealed.
So better get used to them – like everyone else in the EU.
Poor argument. Much of the EU has armed police – we don’t. Many EU nations have paramilitary gendarmeries – we don’t. And so on and so forth.
Unless of course you’re arguing that the EU is an embryonic fascist state where the democratic will of citizens in individual member states count for naught against the diktats of the centralized bureaucracy…
Many EU countries also have sane abortion and same-sex marriage legislation.
Didn’t majority vote for the politicians that are now introducing the water charges?
Or am I missing something?
Why did you wait until now instead of protesting well before they started to install the water meters?
It’s not like they appeared overnight.
Or why did you vote for politicians that wanted to introduce those charges in the first place?
You deserve a slap for every comment made you… [ASF: Deleted]
Mark, no need for the personal abuse. I disagree with Jānis on many things but he is certainly entitled to express his views – and without personal attacks. Tackle his arguments not his character.
I do enough of that around here with our political overlords 😉
What’s so anti-Irish about my comments?
That I don’t see water charges as a big deal?
It’s funny to see people complaining about current water quality and then forcefully rejecting any attempts to change the current system.
You have to consider that Irish law guarantees free water. It just not that simple. It is like Irish being the first language, also by law, but trampled at every possible opportunity. This is another example of rights being abolished for convenience or profit, and no one really knows where it will stop or if it will stop. As for prior notice, most politicians in power now quite openly promised opposition to any such idea. The protests are now becoming more intense not as much for the reasons stated before, but as it comes to light that the money is not going to repairs or other badly needed infrastructure, but appears to mostly evaporate into salaries, bonuses and contractor expenses. Now to add insult to injury the ones at the helm of this mess pull the attitude, “if they have no bread, let them eat cake.”
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