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Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
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The Dublin Euro MEP Election Candidates
Use your vote to keep the Austerity MEPs out on Friday 23rd May 2014
The Euro and local council elections take place on Fri May 23rd and nationwide there are 11 MEPs to be elected to represent Ireland Euro elections will also be taking place across Europe for a grand total of 751 seats in the European Parliament. Regrettably the European Commission which is composed of 28 non-elected and appointed commissioners and is besieged by thousands of lobbying firms working for the private sector, is probably reckoned to have more power. Yet despite this Europe matters because at least 70% of our legislation comes from there and practically most of the regulation in a diverse range of areas originates from Europe and some of the more background regulation has its origins with corporate lobbyists with the aim of using heavy regulation to put smaller competitors out of businesses by greatly increasing the relative costs for smaller businesses. The main political parties of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael constantly tell us they are pro business and for jobs and the economy. In fact they are for big business, privatisation, outsourcing of jobs, lower wages, less social safety net and their support of big business and corporations constantly results in the suffocating of small business which are the very areas that lead to most employment.
Since Croatia joined the EU and became a full member in 2013 they have had to redistribute the number of MEPs so that they could allocate some to Croatia. In the process Ireland looses one seat and the boundaries had to be redrawn . As a result Dublin has 3 seats, the Midlands-North-West has 4 and the 'South' has 4. In the Dublin consituency, there are 8 candidates and 3 of these are already current MEPs.
Murphy has been at the forefront of the campaign against the Household Tax and Property Tax and more recently the Water Tax. He also setup the ScamBrigde.ie website to hightlight the scam that the JobBridge scheme is which is welfare for companies. He has campaigned against the Youth Guarantee which he says is not properly funded and won't provide the training and jobs for youth that it claims and instead will drive them into the free labour scheme and the likes of JobBridge or even the new Gateway scheme which works out at %euro;1.25 per hour. He points out that these schemes really show the hollow nature of the 'recovery' in Ireland and they constitute a turning point in the strident attempts of the capitalist establishment and the state to cut wages and develop Ireland as a low wage location and economy. In contrast, Paul Murphy MEP is demanding an end to the reliance on the private sector and for major public investment, funded by not paying the debt and increased taxation on the super rich and big business, to provide the jobs we require with decent pay and conditions.
His other areas of interest are his support of the Palestinian people and in 2011 he was on the Gaza ship as part of the "Freedom Flotilla II’" in attempting to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza strip and more latterly in calling out the human abuse rights in Saudi Arabia and in Qatar where over hundreds of workers have died in building the stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and where workers are treated virtually as slaves.
Murphy was a leading campaigner in Europe against the so-called ACTA agreement that would have undermined people’s right to privacy and freedom on the internet. At the moment, he is struggling against the proposed EU-US free trade agreement, which threatens to bring more Genetically Modificed Organisms into the EU, to lower health standards in food production and to be part of a race to the bottom in workers’ conditions and rights on both sides of the Atlantic
Some of her other aims are to cancel the natioanl debt becasue the European Central Bank and their Irish allies made us responsible for the private gambling debts of bankers and by voting for her, it would send a signal that the Irish people want to unilaterally cancel EU imposed debt.
Another very important area is her call for real democracy and to end the rule of the corporate lobbyists. There are 15,000 lobbyists in Brussels who spend €1 billion a year promoting their corporate interests. She says, if elected Bríd Smith 'will shine a light on their activities and seek to drive them out'. While this would be a huge step forward, it is unlikely she could drive them out without a huge Europe wide base of support behind her, but even shining the light on how the EU is captive to corporate interests and control would be a very good step forward.
Nessa Childers is a MEP and resigned from the Labour party last year. Now that she is independent it remains to be seen which way she will go, although her resignation statement indicates she is left of the Labour party. She appears to have her heart in the right place because back in 2011 when Labour pushed the Austerity Treaty, Childers who was still in Labour at that point did not support the Austerity Treaty when the European Parliament voted on it in September 2011.
When she finally broke with the Labour party in July 2013, she put out this statement explaining her reasons:
Labour in government supports a policy of never-ending, pointless austerity that has failed on the issues of unemployment and emigration and is inflicting misery on hundreds of thousands of our people. It is a policy of cutting services like health, education and social protection, while bankers, big corporates and the wealthy are allowed dodge their share of the burden. This is a profoundly immoral and unfair way to run our country.
I have increasingly found myself discouraged and prevented from advocating a progressive position within the party. For example, a particularly low point for me was when I the party leadership abandoned me for taking a principled stance of opposition to the appointment to the EU Court of Auditors of Mr Kevin Cardiff, who was Secretary General of the Department of Finance when the bank bailout was decided on.
Last April, I made an initial stand against the government’s direction by resigning from the Parliamentary Labour Party. Since then, Labour’s failure in government has gone from bad to worse and the party has committed to even more austerity in the next Budget and beyond. I am following through on my earlier decision and from now on I intend to work independently for the principles and policies I believe in.
Some of the policies Nessa Childers calls for are:
The Greens in Ireland followed the same trajectory as in Germany where they started off as decentralised and very much Left wing organisations. Over the years they then moved to the centre and once in power moved further to the right and sold out on their principles and suffered a collapse in support.
In Germany there has been a weak reviable and we can expect the same here too. They do get support because they do try to address some serious environmental issues. Where they fall down is that they are too afraid to openly critise and challenge capitalism in any way in order to remain respectable with the mainstream media. Their problem then is that they have moved away for any sort of activism and are now firmly rooted in middle class sensibilities and this consitutency has too much to loose if it involves upsetting the status quo even though it should be quite clear that the extent and depth of the many environmental issues facing humanity today require a fundamental reorganisation of politics and society itself. In short, if environmental issues are important to you, you would be better of voting for one of the Left candidates and possibly Lynn Boylan of Sinn Fein, since she is an ecologist by training.
Lynn Boylan an ecologist, is a member of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle and has been an active Sinn Féin member of the party for eight years. She contested the 2007 general election and the 2009 local election in South Kerry. In 2009 she returned to Dublin where she now works in Ballymun as a community programme coordinator with an environmental NGO. This work allows her to combine her skills as an ecologist with her commitment to community activism. Whilst in Kerry she spent 10 years working in Killarney National Park (KNP) and KNP Education Centre. She is well aquainted with environmental law.
Unlike FF and FG politicians who say they have Ireland agriculture and image at heart and then sell out to the interests of corporate GM food companies and the interests of industrial agriculture, Lynn Boylan understands the environment and cares for it and so she is likely to promote and protect what are the true assets of Ireland which are its green image in terms of the environment and the quality of our food. Ireland should be going all out to turn the agriculture system around to be fully organic and keeping the country GM free because this would build on our existing image and we could really build on the high quality, high value of this area. Instead successive governments have done the opposite and there is almost zero government support in Ireland for organic agriculture.
Lynn has also real interest in EU Policy and politics, particularly in the areas of employment, public transport, environment and food regulation. On the subject matter of food regulation this is becoming increasing important as an epidemic of obesity sweeps the country, largely fueled by large food companies promoting sugar laden and saturated fat laden food that is unhealthy costing the country billions and leading to depression and lowered quality of life but at the same time leading to higher revenues for these firms. Wholesome food and food education starting early in life is needed but needs to be backed up with regulation to control these large coporate entities.