Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Cameron?s Swarm is Europe?s Solution Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:56 | Michael Taft
Who Was Right? The Magic Trick of Austerity Tue Aug 18, 2015 13:28 | Michael Burke
Housing Policy is More Than Pulling Levers Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:06 | Eoin O'Mahony
Return: A Palestinian Memoir Mon Aug 17, 2015 23:01 | Seán Sheehan
August Socialist Voice is Out Now! Mon Aug 17, 2015 22:27 | Communist Party of Ireland
Irish Left Review >>
Syriza and Israel: Syrizaâ€™s response Thu Aug 20, 2015 18:10 | yeksmesh
What does a Corbyn victory mean? Tue Aug 18, 2015 00:32 | Sami El-Sayed
SYRIZA: Was capitulation inevitable? Fri Jul 17, 2015 14:14 | Sami El-Sayed
The four contradictions of liberalism Fri Jul 17, 2015 13:52 | yeksmesh
Between Ideology and Public Discourse Tue Jul 14, 2015 15:07 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015
ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015
FIANNA FÁIL AND THE BANK INQUIRY : SOME INITIAL OBSERVATIONS 21:04 Mon Jan 12, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
Ireland: The Devastating Social Impact of Economic Austerity Measures
Targeting young families, the elderly and the sick, as the government slashes child benefits, triples prescription charges and rubber-stamps controversial property tax.
Another political party is selflessly sacrificing itself to the ‘preying’ mantis of the Irish establishment. We are seeing the Labour Party (in coalition with the conservative Fine Gael) being slowly ingested before our eyes as they struggle to justify their support for the recent right wing austerity budget to an increasingly angry populace.
Even the usually calm and collected silver tongues of the party are starting to get nervous. The last political victim of the establishment Mantis was the Green Party  who were coaxed into a coalition by the establishment’s Fianna Fáil  party in 2007. The angry public had its revenge in the 2011 election when the Greens lost all their seats in the Dáil (Parliament) and Fianna Fáil itself succumbed to exhaustion and had its own meltdown after the collapse of the Celtic Tiger economy.
There were demonstrations and scuffles  with Gardaí during the budget debate (5/12/2012) and more recently (7/12/2012) a group of about 250 carers and their families  protested outside Leinster House against the cut of €325 to the annual €1,700 respite care grant announced in Wednesday’s Budget.
According to author and campaigner Paddy Doyle:
“There’s no question or doubt about it that any vulnerable group, be they elderly, be they carers – the few I’ve met here are exhausted. You can see it in their faces that they’re just worn out. They’re saving the State a fortune,” he added.
The campaign group Social Justice Ireland  director, Fr Seán Healy, said that for the second year in a row the Government had perpetrated a transfer of wealth from the poor to the prosperous. He noted that:
“Budget 2012 saw 40 per cent of the population on lowest incomes take a far higher proportionate ‘hit’ than the richest 10 per cent. Budget 2013 continues this process.”
And it looks like some people won’t be just reading Dickens this Christmas but will be experiencing a Dickensian one as well. According to the president of St Vincent de Paul , Geoff Meagher, there are families that “are choosing to go without heating their homes as they struggle to afford the basics.” He also said that:
“It’s not just this budget, it’s the result of a cumulative effect of tough budgets that have happened in the past few years. They are pushed into poverty when they cannot afford the basics such as food, heating and education, with fuel being the first thing to go as it is usually most expensive.”
Anger is growing at a budget  which is targeting young families, the elderly and the sick, as the government slashes child benefits, triples prescription charges and rubber-stamps the hugely-controversial property tax. What is galling  many people in Ireland is that this is all being facilitated by a Labour Party which according to one of the tenets of its Principles  states: “Equality implies reorganising society with the specific object of creating a more equal distribution of wealth and power, and not just opportunities for individuals to become powerful or wealthy.” Under another Principle it is stated that “the spirit of Community places Labour on the side of the oppressed.” However, it is beginning to look like if these austerity measures continue much longer, the community is going to place Labour on the side of the unemployed.
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin is a prominent Irish artist who has exhibited widely around Ireland. His work consists of paintings based on cityscapes of Dublin, Irish history and geopolitical themes (http://gaelart.net/). His blog of critical writing based on cinema, art and politics along with research on a database of Realist and Social Realist art from around the world can be viewed country by country at http://gaelart.blogspot.ie/.