Blockades of Water Meter installations in Cork and Dublin
Opposition to water charges has taken the Direct Action route with residents in a Cork housing estate preventing workers from Irish
Water from installing smart meters. Irish Water is the quango that has so far provided over €70 million in setup fees to consultants
and various private firms and the government reckons it will cost up to €1,000 million to get it fully run and running. It will
then be handed over to the private sector so that they can squeeze hard pressed people for money for the rest of their lives.
There had been already previous sporadic protests by residents around the country blockading the installation but up to
now the successful efforts of the media to not cover them has ensured that most people had not heard about them. However that
changed this week with the Cork protests and they have now spread to a protest on Thurs (Apr 24th) in a housing estate in Raheny.
The protests come at a bad time for the FG-Lab coalition government with the Local and Euro elections because they will now
be under pressure to pay lip service to these issue and as part of this they have pretend to concede on this by claiming the standing
charge would be only €50 instead of €100. Given all lies about the election promises, the property tax and practically
everything else, we can safely ignore any of these face saving verbal but meaningless promises. In fact this is a good time for citizens
to send a clear message by ensuring the three main parties, FG, FF and Labour lose control of the councils and of their MEP seats. Afterall FF are the flipside of the current government and created the mess in the first place.
One of the reasons given for the introduction of this water tax is the fake greenwash argument that it is to help
conserve use and will be a finance mechanism to 'invest' in infrastructure. However the experience in countries where water
charges have been introduced is that usage goes down by about 10% in the first few months and then gradually returns to
the level it was before and what this demonstrates is that people find they need to use the amount of water they have
always being using. It turns out anyhow that industry and farming use far more water and if you want to reduce domestic
use there are far more effective means of doing this.
Regarding the argument about investment, this is fake too, because again experience shows that the private owners of
water companies consistently put profits and executive salary payouts far ahead of spending money on infrastructure and
usually what happens is they make special pleas to governments to give them money to help them pay for critical infrastructure
projects. In other words there is no savings and the tax payer gets to pay again.
In the case of Irish Water, the plan is to sell it off to the private sector and there has already been interest by certain
individuals who have had big loans with NAMA in the past and who would like to get hold of this 'gift' from the government
which will allow them to cream off money from every household for the privilige of something which the UN says is a right and
that is access to water. Make no mistake this political project to charge and later privatize our water supply is straight
out of the right wing neo liberal agenda where large multinational corporations own pretty much everything, get to trash
and ignore our laws through international -so called -free trade agreements but in reality totally undermine national governments
People should also note that the Gardai were quick on the scene in Cork to threaten the protestors with arrest should they try
and prevent Irish Water from coming into the estate. However when it goes to metting out justice to those who brought the
country to its knees the reaction is totally different. In the case of the Anglo Irish Bank trial, the scope of the trial
and charges were so narrow, they were always going to get away with it and with the Anglo tapes where the lads 'picked a number
out of their arse' and schemed to put the government on hook to bail out the banks for billions, all the investigations
under way at the time were dropped and no charges brought forward. There are many other examples selective use of the
law but in all cases, it is used against the 'little' people and totally ignored when it comes to the power elite and their