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offsite link When the establishment betrays the people?s trust

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Acts of Resistance and The Bin-Tax

category national | bin tax / household tax / water tax | opinion/analysis author Wednesday October 08, 2003 21:59author by Lars Rúbenco - (non-affiliated) Report this post to the editors

-A brief analysis

Ireland, where the public good is increasingly becoming the private good, where the citizen has become the consumer, is a country that has been, and is, witness to an act of resistance, where people are defining their role in society and carving their mark in the chronicles of the State.

What has become known as the Bin-Tax, a regressive tax that has not been demonstrated to accrue benefits to Irish society yet is being imposed on that society, has had the effect of forging a mobilisation that seeks to challenge the legitimacy of the discursive and applied practice of ‘economic authority’, a scientific reasoning/ideology that has become common-sense in many minds to the point of rationalising and legitimising the destructive pattern globally evident from the trail left after the new Leviathan that presents itself as a self-evident process of inevitable market liberalisation, defined by the financial ‘experts’ who, through their expert advice, have only ever brought positive results for a minority of human beings.

On one level the jailing and institutional intimidation of those expressing their democratic rights as citizens, rights that apparently are not available to the newly defined ‘consumer’ identity, proclaims a contempt for civil liberties by a few governing technocrats, within councils, courts and the Dáil, where their actions betray their words, where such actions express a lack of understanding for the motivation of resistance, while stating in all but words an acute sense of intolerance to those ungratefuls that dare to go out into the streets and demonstrate against them, they who claim to know where the people’s happiness lies, even where that ‘happiness’ goes against the interests of those they claim to be looking out for.

On another more interesting level, symbolically and motivationally, this event has contributed to an awareness of what is, how it has come to be, and what it might become, whereby people can then make and remake their lives, a contribution that inevitably seeks that which is more respectful of the realities that confront them.

Whether we agree or disagree with the methods employed, this single act of resistance can not be taken as an isolated incident as it is but one manifestation of the increasing sense of departure from the present dominant system of unrepresentative, unaccountable and untrustworthy governance practised by a minority of actors, nationally, regionally and internationally. This departure has brought with it a desire for a democratic system that actively works towards equality and justice (which includes freedom of expression) while seeking to challenge the self-interested minority of governing technocrats who repeatedly demonstrate their contempt for the pursuit of democracy.

(moral rights, no ©)

author by Yoyo - nonepublication date Wed Oct 08, 2003 23:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To better get your points across, try breaking down long sentences into more short sentences.

author by Meselfpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 01:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.....and don't be using dem big words, the lads and lassies in the puzzle palace will be scratching their heads - wondering whether there are any hidden 'subversive' messages hidden in your article.

T'is terrible what a bit of education can do.

author by recyclingpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"regressive tax that has not been demonstrated to accrue benefits to Irish society yet is being imposed on that society".

As a meath resident, i would like to take issue with Lars comment, clearly as a dub, he is unaware of the actualities of the situation. Recently, Thortons (the collectors of waste in the south meath area) increased their charge up to almost 500 eur for the year. In order not to pay that, my household fully composts or shreds organic waste, and fully use the green recycling bin and also the many amienty centres in the meath area. This has meant we only need to use the waste collection service, once a month, when we buy a thortons bag at a reduced rate.

So increased bin charges, in our case increases recycling and other reduced waste sisposal, which can only be viewed as a positive.

author by country wastepublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dont expect greedy dubs to equate their situation with that of most people around the country. dublin is special somehow.

author by greedy dubpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In response to the comments from the people down the country. I live in the Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown area. The bin charge is a flat €275 per annum, no matter how much waste you put out, whether you use only the green bin or only the black bin or both. So there is no encouragement to recycle or reduce waste. The only way of reducing the cost is to put out no waste at all.

author by binnedpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder exactly how much of the tax payers money is being used up in the jailing and legal costs of the anti-bin tax lobby. I imagine it would go a long way to dealing with many genuinely poor peoples waste charges.

Also some really question the validity of going to jail over not wanting to pay (in most cases) less than a euro a day for a good waste service. This is in light of the more pressing issues facing the country and the globe. The whole fiasco being perpetuatyed by SP, SW etc is acting as a nice smokescreen for those issues. - e.g. the tax evasion and drink driving within FF.

author by Very Anonymouspublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When our little country cousins are being charged two thousand euro to have their kids accepted into primary school, another 2000 to have access to water, are being kicked out of hospital because they can't cough up ten grand for an operation that they currently get for free - think back to the bin charges campaign and realise that's when it all started.

The Bin Charges are a slow motion social experiment to see how far charges can be pushed and what kind of resistance they generate. "Irish Times" editorials about the rule-of-law etc will be replicated in the future with campaigners who are blocking profit-driven hospitals being given the same treatment as the bin charges people are getting now. Privatisation will not stop - the bin charges are only the beginning.

author by binnedpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the refusal to pay what is in fact a small amount is whats actually forcing privatisation through.

author by Joepublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In Dublin where the charges are being imposed the were introduced at as little as 65 quid/year. They are already over 200 euro in most areas.

Elsewhere in the country where the charges were also introduced at low rates they have risen to as high as 500 euro. The minister has said he reckons they should go to about 700 everywhere.

It is no secret that they intend to re-introduce a water charge. This will probably be another 200 euro.

Far from being a small amount if you earn 20,000 this is equivalent to a 5% tax hike. However if you earn 150,000 it is only equivalent to 0.6%.

Binned knows this already, he's been taking part in several threads where it has been pointed out.

author by chris loughlin - sppublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yes thats right its greedy to not want to pay an unjust and unfair tax which deliberately benefits big business, catch yourself on!!
ordinairy people wanting to be treated fairly and with respect is always condemned by the right wing and ractionaries and all the fools out there who actually believe working a 100 grand a year job doesn't affect your ability to see how hard it is for people to pay unfair taxes.
the rule of law, bertie and dubya respected the UN rule of law, corruption among the elite in the south.
Good luck and fairplay to all anti-bin tax protesters.


author by chris loughlin - sppublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors


author by nobinnopublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't forget that the government have recently decided that we taxpayers have to pay the bulk of the €1 billion estimated compensation to victims of child abuse, perpetrated by religious institutions. They are saying that we are all to blame for these crimes. This money has to come from somewhere. If we accept the bin tax, of course it will be hiked up substantiallty each year, to pay for massive bills like these.

author by Januspublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the field of Indymedia has so much nonsense been posted by so few, to be mocked by so many.

Culchie anger
Culchies don't like paying Bin CHarges? Don't see why they should have to pay it and not Dublin? Boo fucking hoo. Dublin, and Dublin alone, beat the water charges campaign. You're not paying for water because we won that one. Consequently, when they decided to bring in bin charges they hit rural areas first, knowing youse wouldn't be able to stand up to them in the way Dublin can. You lost, we've not lost yet, forgive us for fighting on.

More pressing issues
What kind of muppet thinks that a more pressing issue than the privatisation of Council services, an assault on local democracy and an unjust double tax is FF tax evasion and drunk driving? FF TDs have been evading tax for years and the public is fairly immune to shock over it. As for the drink driving, GV Wright has not yet been convicted of it and I am a passionate believer in innocent until proven guilty.

Bin protests lead to privatisation
This is the most ridiculous point. Without a single shred of proof 'binned' says that from where he stands, presumably in a darkened room with his face firmly pressed to the ass of David Beggs, the protests will lead to privatisation. How? How exactly are they going to do that when the example in every other part of the country is that a lack of protest ensures more rapid privatisation. Places where there were campaigns were the last to be privatised.

Good God almighty, to have to put up with nonsense like this before my third cup of coffee is a sore trial.

author by Jolly Green Giantpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I reckon these trolls are Green Party members who are panicking. The Green Party will get their comeuppance next year, just watch those seats fall! Daithi Doolan is likely to take Clare Wheelers (GP)seat in South Inner City.

Clare Daly will take Sargeants seat in the next Dail election. Its back to teaching for Trevor.

Just remember: not all Greens support making ordinary people pay refuse charges. Tax the rich!
Throw out the fake Greens! No support for the Gangarene Party!

Let the Green Party in Fingal know what you think of them. This is their only Councillor there. Let him know he will be out of a job next June.

Robbie Kelly (Green Party)

Address Shelmalier,
Windgate Road,
Co. Dublin.
Mobile 087 8110111

author by Binnedpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 17:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

calling people trolls because they dont agree with the status quo. Im not aligned to any political party you idiots.

The lead to privatisation by your actions is through the fact that because the legal and constituional issues are too great for a quick resolution and by you who ignore the realities perpetuate the economic problems for the government to the stage where they have to shed the responsibility of waste management and hand it to a private company. fact. fact. fact. If it doesnt go to privatisation the money will have to come from somewhere and it will be the poor and more vunerable.


I cant but continue laughing and crying at the same time because your interpretation of fairness in taxation comes from a FF election scam as means to woo stupid voters and enhance the centralisation of government power. Socialists my hole. Idiots that shouold learn alittle about the development of local taxationa and waste management more like.

author by binnedpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

electing people to the dail on singular issue stances is the most pathetically stupid and irresponsible thing I have ever heard........

author by Chekovpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 17:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Binned, one person claimed that you were a member of the Greens, not 'the left' or 'the campaign' or any other entity. Deal with it and stop throwing tantrums. Personally I think that, if you aren't in a political party, you are probably an employee of the council. Your arguments are so confused and contradictory with only one common theme - that we should pay - that the only other explanation for your stance is some type of mental illness. I'll be charitable and assume that you are a council employee.

You can cloud the issue as much as you want, but there is an elementary logic to our position.

1) The succesful imposition of the bin tax will lead to privatisation. This is based upon the observation that this has been the pattern everywhere else in the country and also the fact that no private operator would take over a service where the customer does not have to pay. You might think that your long, sub-clause ridden, punctuation-free statements are convincing, I doubt too many would agree.

2) The tax is unfair because it is part of the process of replacing progressive taxes like income taxes with regressive taxes like service charges. You might think that a system where the rich pay 1% tax on their income and the poor pay 5% is fair, but most people don't, especially the poor. Again this seems obvious to me, but I'm an idiot after all.

author by binnedpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 17:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

hey Chekov, Ok it wasnt really a tantrum but I hate it when people yell troll etc when you dont agree with what they are saying, its pointless in a debate. Remember there are allways more than one side to an issue. I dont work for the council either. I am actually studying for my masters (part of it involves local and regional politics).

your still ignoring the facts that the government share from local taxation is way way way below the OECD average. So any claims of unfair taxation dont stand up in any rational arguement.

The process of privatisation will come about if the local authority cant handle/pay for the system through the normal means i.e. taxation. It would be wonderful if we could overnight say 'tax the rich' and pay for it that way. You only have to consider that notion for a few moments to realise that that is utterly simplistic and unworkable in light of a necessity to deal with a crisis. It is a crisis and it has to be dealth with.

Remember back to 1978 the process of centralisation of political power brought about by FF saw the abolition of domestic charges. Stupid and irresponsible. This has created the climate where people still think they dont have to pay. If you ever consider the political will's impact upon public reasoning youll see why I think your perpetuating the fallout from FF poor dcisions.

author by binnedpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 17:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I know your not an idiot Chekov. I still dont agree with you.

author by random inputpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 20:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He's not in any party, and doesn't work for the coucil. However, to preserve his (and my) anon status, I'll keep it to myself. And if it's who I think it is, he's no troll.

Then again, I could be totally wrong.

And binned, I think you're bang wrong. But you already know this if you are who I think you are.

author by Joe Mommapublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 20:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why so much hate for the Greens? They may not agree with you on the bin tax, but then neither do the PDs, FF, FG or Labour (outside Dublin).

I can think of a number of theories, perhaps you could pick one or add your own:

1) Some Greens are known to read Indymedia, so at least you can be sure they'll see you put the boot in.

2) Green or green-sympathetic posters are always posting comments on indymedia which seek to cloud the purity of this single-issue campaign with their petty environmental concerns.

3) You think the Greens are part of the international revolutionary socialist movement and thus should toe the party line on this issue. As they don't they are traitors and thus consigned to a lower circle of hell than the PDs.

4) You met some during the anti-war campaign and didn't like the look of them.

5) You enjoy splits and want to alienate Greens so that they'll stop contributing to broad coalitions like the anti-war campaign and the European Social Forum.

6) You are interested in winning seats in the local elections and reckon the Greens are an easier target than FF, FG etc.

Any thoughts?

author by barrypublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 22:01author email fgod at email dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

the main point of contention in the whole bin tax issue seems to be "double taxation v's environmental responsibility"

what can be done about this?

how about this one:

1. remove the 1% levy on PRSI which was designed to replace local service charges. then it's no longer a double taxation issue.

2. implement a local services tax, perhaps 1% of gross pay?. this is an equitable, fair tax based on income.

3. introduce a waste management system based on seperation of waste with a weight/volume limit per household to be calculated on occupancy pattern. (everyone gets their rubbish collected)

4. introduce a punitative charging system for households disposing of unsorted waste or excessive quantity of waste. (incentive to recycle)

Obviously this does not deal with matters of privitisation (or corruption) but it might clarify the issue somewhat.

author by barrypublication date Thu Oct 09, 2003 22:08author email fgod at email dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

It occours to me that under the EU packaging waste directives it is the responsibility of shopkeepers and goods suppliers to arrange recycling of excess packaging.

The majority of household waste would fall into the category of excess packaging.

Irish business gets out of it's wastmanagement requirements by paying 'protection' money to Repak.

Why is Repak not using this money for it's stated purpose, ie removing excess packaging from the consumers doorstep?

Would this state of affairs be in breach of Irelands get-out from the EU directive?

author by Naul Manpublication date Fri Oct 10, 2003 16:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Blocking bin trucks when the countries health and education system is falling down around us ? Stupid "heroics" in the High Court ? Cop on, all you juvenile REFUSE-niks. Get a job or a life or an intelligent idea.

author by Mick Mcpublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 20:05author email mcdonnellmick at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thought you might be interested to learn that at a protest outside the SDCC offices on Monday evening,where a celebratory dinner was taking place, Green Party TD Paul Gogarty stuck his middle fingers up ( in a Liam Gallagher-type gesture) at protestors. He was not being abused himself , and this took place in front of several children, some under 5. Bin controversy aside, this is a bizarre, insulting and arrogant way for any elected representative to behave. I contacted the green party to complain, and they said they would ask Paul for his side of it. I'm still waiting, despite calling again today. Perhaps you all might have more luck extracting an excuse form this arrogant young this muppet, and wait for the elections. TD's salary has obviously gone to his head.

author by barmitzvahpublication date Thu Oct 30, 2003 17:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I find it ironic that when a protestor exersises their right to free speech (i.e. to protest) that we are expected to accept this. When a TD exersizes their right to free speech (like Paul Gogarty did) he is regarded as arrogant and insulting!

You can't have it both ways Mick. You don't like what he says, then don't stand outside his get-togethers!

By the way, you are right - this is no way for an elected official to behave. But he's ELECTED which means he has a democratic mandate from lots and lots of people. Let him be judged on his actions and re-elected or not next time. That's DEMOCRACY (another word for power-to-the-people).

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