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ULA leads calls on City Councillors to back anti-household charge campaign.

category galway | miscellaneous | news report author Monday January 09, 2012 20:33author by ULA Galway - United Left Allianceauthor email ULA.Galway at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Angry scenes as protesters challenge councillors to oppose household charge and amend draft budget

There were angry scenes both outside and inside City Hall this afternoon as councillors gathered to formally endorse the draft budget for 2012. A large number of protestors had gathered outside City Hall from about 3pm in order to meet councillors as they entered the building.

Conor Burke from the anti-household and water charges campaign spoke at the demonstration and emphasised the importance of mass non-registration and non-payment as the primary means of defeating the charge.

“Only by standing together and encouraging each other can we beat this unfair charge. If the majority of people have still not paid by the end of March it will put huge pressure on the Government and they will have to reconsider the tax.

ULA chairperson Dette McLoughlin spoke about the huge burdens being faced by families due to the economic crisis and highlighted the fact that the household tax is a precursor to much more substantial charges in the future.

“Ordinary families are being forced to pay through their teeth so that our government can bail-out unsecured bondholders. Families are struggling to make ends meet as it is and to demand more from them is reprehensible.

“Top economists within the Government’s own think-tank, the ESRI, are predicting that the combined cost to householders will be €1,300 by 2014. Some Fine Gael backbenchers have recently hinted that this may even happen as early as next year. We need to nip this in the bud and the easiest way to do this is to refuse to register and refuse to pay!’

A number of councillors accepted letters from campaigners, which asked them to amend the draft budget, to call on the government to rescind the household charge, and to support residents who boycott it.

The majority of city councillors opted not to enter City Hall through the front doors or meet with protesters. Shortly before the council meeting was due to begin upwards of one hundred protestors entered City Hall and demanded to meet with councillors.

Demonstrators were barred from entering the council chamber by Gardaí and began calling for councillors to meet with them and hear their demands.

After a five-minute standoff Councillor Ollie Crowe was dispatched to meet with the demonstrators and hear their demands.

ULA Galway branch secretary Conor McGuinness spoke to Councillor Crowe on behalf of the protesters.

“We are calling on you and your colleagues on Galway City Council to show leadership and oppose the household charge. We have three requests of you and your colleagues ; firstly we call on you to amend the budget estimates to remove any reference to the household charge, secondly we call on you to pass an emergency resolution demanding that the government rescind this unfair tax, and thirdly we ask you to publicly support Galway householders who boycott this charge.”

Councillor Crowe agreed to convey this message to the council but refused to make any statement on the household charge.

A number of protesters subsequently attempted to enter the council chamber to ensure the issue was indeed raised by Councillor Crowe and to monitor the responses of other councillors. Protesters were prevented from entering by a heavy Garda presence and a number of observers who had already been in the chamber were forcibly removed.

Having conveyed their message loudly and clearly the demonstrators left City Hall. Speaking outside Conor McGuinness reiterated the ULA’s opposition the household charge.

“This charge is deeply unfair. To charge families a €100 for the luxury of living in a house is despicable. To charge a struggling family in negative equity the same amount of money as a millionaire in a mansion is ludicrous and flies in the face of all modern taxation practices.

“To say this charge will help fund our local services is a lie. We already pay taxes that fund local services and we will receive nothing new or improved from this extra payment. In fact Galway City Council has conceded that it will receive none of the money raised from the Household Charge this year. €2.25 Billion of our money is due to be paid to bondholders over the next two weeks. If the Government were serious about funding local services they would halt the payment of unsecured bonds immediately.

“This charge is part of the Government’s austerity programme which was dictated by the IMF and initiated by Fianna Fáil. Fine Gael and Labour are content to continue to implement this doomed agenda, which has failed to show any signs of success over the past three years.

“The Government is intent on making us pay for the crisis of the rich and this is the first opportunity working people, the elderly and the unemployed have been given to show their opposition. Defeating the Government on this charge will send a clear message to them that we will not be scapegoats for the wealthy anymore. “

The campaign against the household and water charge will hold an open meeting to organise the next steps in the campaign this Wednesday 11th January at 8pm in Richardsons. Anyone interested in getting involved in the campaign, or who would like to learn more about household charge or non-payment are welcome to attend.

For more information find ULA Galway on Facebook or log on to www.nohouseholdtax.org.

Related Link: http://www.nohouseholdtax.org
author by Francis Mc Cafferty - Can't Pay, Won't Pay - Donegalpublication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 00:31author email nohouseholdtax at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why is this organised in the name of the ULA?

There is a national campaign which the ULA is supporting and which has been advocating that no group goes off and tries to brand the local campaign as theirs.

You should be organising local people under the banner of the non-payment campaign.

Anyone from the ULA care to comment?

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 13:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Francis these ULAers are at this all over the place,up here in Donegal they were at it.I was in Dublin over the new year and their at it up there to,in more than one part of the city.You can not work with Trots any one who worked with them over the years ,knows that.

author by Alan Gibson - ULApublication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a member of the ULA (non-SP/SWP) in Cork I'd like to report that there is nothing like this happening down here. The campaign here has ULA, SP, SWP, WP, WSM, IRSP, SF & éirígí and non-aligned managing to work together so far with no problems or sectarian stunts.

author by Conor McGuinness - personal capacity - ULA Galway - branch sec.publication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Apologies for only replying to your question now Francis.

Some members of the broad household campaign suggested holding a demo at the council meeting. There was no consensus on holding a demo and a number of the campaign's local organisers did not want to go ahead with the demo as the campaign had not endorsed any tactics except non-payment. Due to the short time scale involved there was no opportunity to call general campaign meeting to endorse demos, protests etc.

The ULA decided that it would be amiss to allow the opportunity pass and called the demo under its auspices. As it happened well over a hundred people turned up and the demo is still garnering huge local media attention for non-payment. This media attention, which is overwhelmingly positive would not have happened if it were not for the demo.

The ULA in Galway is committed to working with all the other campaign groups and individuals.

Also, to allay fears amongst those afeared of a trotskyist conspiracy. The ULA in Galway is comprised overwhelmingly of independents. We consider our comrades in the SP and SWP to be honest and upstanding activists. For my own part I am prepared to work with all progressives on this and other campaigns.

Ní neart go cur le chéile.

author by Donegal Leftpublication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 17:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a political sectarian stunt by the ULA and runs contrary to the agreement of the anti-household tax campaign NOT to engage in such sectarian efforts. Even the heading of the article shows this was about promoting the ULA, not the anti-household tax campaign

author by as.eirinn - N/Apublication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 20:38author email author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Boycott the Household Charge/Tax Galway 9/1/12 part 1

Caption: Boycott the Household Charge/Tax Galway 9/1/12 part 1

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NJm66Lb1Aw
author by as.eirinn - N/Apublication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 20:41author email author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...Gardai scuffle with protesters.

Caption: Boycott the

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1t_Ck0tq7c
author by Pól Ó Cionsalíghpublication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 22:42author email paulbkinsella at gmail dot comauthor address An Chúlóg, Báile Átha Cliath 17author phone 0851478100Report this post to the editors

It's no surprise 55% of households are struggling to pay their bills according to the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), given the tax hikes and pay cuts of the last 4 years, and things are going to get much worse this year with the raft of stealth taxes introduced by the Government in the recent Budget, particularly the Household Tax, and Water Charges probably been introduced in the next scheduled Budget, if not earlier in an Emergency/Supplementary Budget, as seems increasingly likely.
That's why the Household Tax is the straw that breaks the camel's back! Apart from the unfairness of it, it will tip many of the 55% of households who are on the abyss, over the edge. So apart from the fact people resent the Household Tax because it's unfair, many people won't be able to afford it.

Twitter: @PaulKinsella1

Related Link: http://www.twitter.com/paulkinsella1
author by Bill OBrienpublication date Tue Jan 10, 2012 23:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Conor McGuinness - personal capacity - ULA Galway - branch sec has shown us all how the Trots work.Why is he not posting as branch sec for the ULA in Galway and not in a personal capacity.? They went against the campaign group because been Trots they know best,Trots always know best,so they think. THIS IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY "The ULA decided that it would be amiss to allow the opportunity pass and called the demo under its auspices. As it happened well over a hundred people turned up and the demo is still garnering huge local media attention for non-payment. This media attention, which is overwhelmingly positive would not have happened if it were not for the demo". SO TO HELL WITH EVERYONE OTHER THAN THEM. HE THEN SAID "Also, to allay fears amongst those afeared of a trotskyist conspiracy. The ULA in Galway is comprised overwhelmingly of independents. We consider our comrades in the SP and SWP to be honest and upstanding activists. For my own part I am prepared to work with all progressives on this and other campaigns" IT IS TIME TO TELL THESE TROTS, PROGRESSIVE ARE NOT PREPARED TO WORK WITH THEM.TORTSKYIST CONSPIRACYS HAVE KILLED SO MANY CAMPIAIGNS,ENOUGH IS AN ENOUGH,LETS NOT LET THEM KILL THIS ONE.PUT THEM OUT OF IT.

author by Alan Gibson - ULA Cork branchpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While it is not ideal that this demonstration was called in the name of the ULA rather than the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes it seems clear that it is not a sectarian stunt by the ULA to subvert, or usurp, the authority of the campaign.

Any organisation is free to call demonstrations and public meetings on the issue of the household tax in their own name. What is wrong is doing so while pretending to be the campaign.

If the Galway campaign as a whole didn't want to call a demo then the local ULA branch were quite within their rights to do so.

In this case the lines between the ULA and the campaign seem to have been a bit blurred but I presume the same mistake won't be made again if the ULA in Galway hold another anti-household tax event in their own name.

Related Link: http://revolutionaryprogramme.wordpress.com/
author by Francis McCafferty - Can't Pay, Won't Pay Donegalpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2012 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors


The problem with going it alone like this is what happens next time the campaign doesn't agree with a proposed action. Is your attitude 'Well if you won't do it, we will'? That's a sure way to fracture the campaign.

The protest seems to have been a good idea. You got a good turnout and those who were against it seem to have been overly timid but what has been gained at the expense of probable ill feeling towards the ULA, I wonder.

I know for example if the ULA were to organise a protest in their own name in Donegal we'd be on to them in a shot asking 'what the hell are you doing'? But they're not. Like everyone else they are cooperating in a spirit of mutual trust and I think that's been on one the reasons for the campaign's success here. You need to consider this more in the future.

Good luck with the campaign.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2012 14:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Francis the ULA did call a meeting in Donegal in Letterkenny ,they did try to take over the organisation in the beginning.Put the opposition to them, of which I had a hand in, stoped their scurrilous activities. The success of the campaign in Donegal is that it is a Trot Free Campaign,A Peoples Campaign. Where they made a mistake in Donegal is that they moved to prematurely. At the end of this campaign,if they don't kill it, they will claim whatever successes the campaign achieves, it will be down to their good work and the rest of us will have done none at all. They brought a TD and a Dublin City Councillor up to tell the rednecks what to do in Letterkenny.In the end they only got about 15 people at their meeting .It shows that the Donegal people have more commonsense of the unfortunate people of Galway.

author by Malachy Steenson - ACRApublication date Wed Jan 11, 2012 15:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Launch of the Household Charge – D’ont Register D’ont pay campaign helpline 1890 98 98 00

author by old dodger - pensionerpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2012 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If this campaign is to be successfull we have to be united no matter what party we support.infighting is to the detriment not just of the left but all Irish people. We have suffered enough from the lies and corruption of our politicians. It is time to take a stand and do whatever is needed to stop their crimes. PLEASE SUSPEND PERSONAL ISSUES UNTILL THE BATTLE IS WON.

author by Mike M - ULApublication date Wed Jan 11, 2012 18:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What is the issue here? As far as I can tell the Galway AHC campaign decided it did not want to organise a demo - therefore no demo was organised in the name of that campaign group. The ULA is affiliated to the campaign but has not dissolved itself; it remains a separate group in its own right. As such it is perfectly entitled to organise a demo if it sees fit.

The alternative viewpoint is that the fact that other groups and individuals within the broader campaign do not want to do something means the ULA are debarred from doing it under their own steam. This hardly makes sense?

author by Corkonianpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2012 19:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For goodness sake let’s not turn this into a sectarian bloodbath . Alan Gibson’s wife and fellow Cork ULA member is Anne MacShane from the Communist Party of Great Britain , which is hardly a Trotskyist organization !

If Galway AHC didn’t want to call a demo that shouldn’t mean that the genuine opponents of the charges in the ULA should be barred from taking an initiative . It came as something of a surprise to me to learn that Galway ULA were able to muster so many people for the demo , but perhaps that’s a sign of the times . Hopefully we will see the high numbers reflected in voter turnout at the next election .

author by Alan Gibson - ULA Cork branchpublication date Wed Jan 11, 2012 22:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can't help but feel that the people really disrupting things here are those arguing for a "Trot free" campaign.

I guess this is actually a shorthand for a "SP & SWP free" campaign but perhaps it is wider than that and it is actually a "communist free" campaign that they are for?

Related Link: http://revolutionaryprogramme.wordpress.com/
author by Bill OBrienpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2012 00:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We must keep focused in this discussion and not get carried away and go all over the place.The ULA have been flushed out for precisely what they are, they entered a coalition with other groups and came to an agreement that no group would do their own thing, or use the campaign to build their own organisation , or say that people comeing out on demonstrations were theirs. This is precisely what they did. To them this doesn't seem a problem, put to the rest of the groups it is. This is totally unprincipled and is against what was agreed. As for being opposed to Communism, I find that laughable since I come from a Communist family when, in the 50s communism was not very popular in Ireland. Alan if you wife is in the Communist Party of Great Britain maybe she might be able to educate you on" ulterleftism and an infantile disorder." If people go off and do their own things then the campaign is fractured and divided, now we cannot allow that. Looking at all of the comments from the ULA in this discussion, shows me what I always knew, that they are beyond redemption and inpossible to work with.

author by Mike M - ULApublication date Thu Jan 12, 2012 01:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bill, you say "The ULA have been flushed out for precisely what they are, they entered a coalition with other groups and came to an agreement that no group would do their own thing" I do not know what has happened in your part of the country and would not pretend to. I can, however, say that neither the SP nor SWP would ever be likely to agree such a position - indeed, to do so would be ludicrous. Both are organisations coming from a Trotskyist perspective and so would be firmly grounded in the concept of the united front; working as far as possible with others where there is principled agreement, but firmly maintaining the right to engage in independent action under their own banner. Thus if the local AHC campaign didn't want to demonstrate, of course the ULA would feel free to do so by themselves. Nothing in the act of joining a broader movement would, or should, preclude such an initiative. I do not see how any reasonable person could expect a political organisation of any stripe to submit itself to the decisions of non-members, surrendering its right to independent action. Furthermore, anybody reading your posts and the language you use could surely only reach the conclusion that you have a serious problem with the SP and SWP. Frankly I can only assume that it is this which is the true motivation for your posts here.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2012 02:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mick M ULA thank you very much the confirming what I had to say my last post. I can see that we have two different ideas as to what working together means. I regard working together to mean making decisions in a democratic way, sticking to them even if they go against what I was for at the meeting and working in a respectful and principled way. Not going my own way if I don't get my way, in the first place. You think I have a major problem with the two Trots organisations involved in this campaign. You are right and as people get to know them by working in the campaign, they will see the problem too. I really do feel it's my duty from my experience with the Trots, to let the people know. Look you have said that you're going to keep your independants, you cannot keep your independants and be in a marriage, so please give us a divorced, so we can all live in peace. Good look to you then, get on with your own work and give the campaign to those who can work respectfully and in a principled way together.

author by leftypublication date Thu Jan 12, 2012 03:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If people go off and do their own things then the campaign is fractured and divided, now"

since nothing else was going on, why miss an extra opportunity to protest the cuts?. This does not preclude taking part in any other actions. exactly what harm did it do compared to the kind of sectarian recrimination you are up to here bill? Thats FAR more divisive in my book. You sound like an agent of the state or something. get a grip.

author by Mike M - ULApublication date Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bill says "I can see that we have two different ideas as to what working together means". I think you are correct.

It seems that you think that joining in a campaign on an issue of common concern should mean that all affiliated individuals and organisations should surrender their right to act independently when others in the campaign disagree. That sounds like a really toxic and unhelpful form of cooperation. If the ULA wants to organise a demo, then they raise the idea at the AHC meeting. If the others in the AHC don't want to, why should the ULA not do it under their own banner?

My reading of your posts here is that
1) you are angry the ULA organised a demo in their own name rather than that of the campaign.
2) when it turns out the ULA did not succeed in convincing the AHC that a demo was a good idea, you are angry that they did it themselves under their own name

Essentially, you seem to be arguing that the ULA should dissolve itself into the campaign and cease functioning as an independent group. That is a pretty lousy concept of 'working together' in my view.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mick M, the positions that we both take, is now crystal clear, we should not be in the same organisation as we cannot work together, we should go our own ways at that and good luck to you. I now want to deal with a more serious issue. When people criticise the Trots in a constructive way pointing and showing people what they stand for, speaking from experiences of them. Given them a mirror image of themselves that they don't like, they become scurrilous. This LEFTY (man or women) who doesn't give a name and gets up at 3.20am in the morning to write anonymous post, suggest that I might be an agent for the State. This is typical of how the Trots do their business and anyone who has anything against them becomes an non person and has to be dealt with in such a way. Would LEFTY please stand up and give a name, so we can see exactly who you are and what you stands for.It would be nice know who you are,hopefuly you are not an agent for the State or what.You are clearly an agent for the scurrilous Trots in Ireland. I have been a victim of the most scurrilous distortions, that where hurtful, to myself and my family, but not damaging as those who knew us knew they were not true. As some of my friends pointed out to these Trots," your telling me more about yourselves,than about Bill O'Brien ". I know precisely what level the Trots get down to and I am not afraid to get down to their level, if necessary I will get down to their level to deal with them in any way I have too. So LEFTY come out and give us a look at yourself.

author by Mike M - ULApublication date Thu Jan 12, 2012 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Does that mean that I must be scurrilous or that I must behave in some kind of underhand way?

And, seriously, if working with you means other people must sign away their right to take independent initiatives, is their anybody here who feels they could work with Bill?

author by Alan Gibson - ULA Cork branchpublication date Thu Jan 12, 2012 19:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors


It would be good if you could stop throwing "Trot" around in the way that you are doing - it is not helping anything.

I have serious criticisms of both the SP & SWP, but so far their participation in the campaign against the household tax has been pretty principled as far as I can tell.

You seem to be arguing that all groups in a campaign must subsume themselves into the campaign and act as if they were just one organisation with a common discipline. I don't think that is realistic. Of course when there are agreed actions then every group should agree to bide by the decisions about that action and generally having agreed actions is preferable.

But if there are differences then each component group should have the right to carry out there own actions. If those actions are counterposed to the basis of the campaign then that would of course call the continued participation in the campaign of the offending group into question.

But that isn't the case here. This was a tactical difference as the protest at the council was well within the boundaries of acceptable actions. It would seem fairly clear that the ULA action has increased the profile of the campaign in Galway and was a good thing. In retrospect it would seem a mistake by the Galway campaign group not to have called the demo under its own name and mobilised all its forces for it as that would presumably have made for an even more impressive demonstration.

That being said I do think a mistake was made in that the ULA in Galway didn't make it completely clear that their action was not the action of the campaign and so those of you who didn't want to have a demo are now being seen, to some degree, as having endorsed the demo.

When a component group of a campaign takes an action in its own name they have to be very careful to bend the stick towards making it clear that the action is in their own name and not of the campaign. I would hope that the ULA Galway have taken that on board.

Alan G.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Fri Jan 13, 2012 00:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Alan I was once like you and had a very reasonable attitude towards these people. But after many years of getting to know them, (20 years maybe) and seen the way they treat other people, as well as myself. Looking at the way they treat working people I had to come to a the attitude towards them,that I have. You at the moment want the bast for the Can't Pay- Won't Pay Campaign and it tosucceed. So do I, but experience tells me it can be with these people. I can see from the ULA site in Cork that you and your wife went to Dublin for the recent demonstration, only to find that your wife was not allowed to speak at the General Assembly. She was stopped by the leading SWPer in Ireland,who I call King the Kids, was it because because she's associated with the Communist Party of Great Britain,I would say so.What we are dealing with here is an abusive relationship, waiting for the next time. That is how these people work ,I have gone the long road with them.

author by Roasted Snow - Labour Party UKpublication date Sat Jan 14, 2012 22:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Household Charge seems to me like Ireland's Poll Tax. Even worse this isn't even contributing to local services but rather to service a debt which was not the fault of the people! It is highly undemocratic on several fronts! The Poll Tax was over turned in Britiain through mass campaigning. There was room for every one and if I remember rightly every opportunity was used to get the message across. The Tories lost their bottle when they saw the huge scale of opposition on the streets. It is sad to follow a thread where a pretty well organised demo is being ridiculed because some people don't like Trots. If i'm right the main speaker in Galway made it clear that there was a national campaigning organisation beyond the ULA. Maximise all Protests. Take every opportunity to fight this unfair tax. Well done the comrades in Galway!

author by leftypublication date Sun Jan 15, 2012 06:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bill is just a divisive sectarian troll.
Its because of people like Bill that the left are always at each others throats instead of getting on with the business at hand and facing our real class enemies.

Everybody, Please just Ignore Bill. He's just trying to create divisions so we can't work together effectively. We're better off without people like that.

Well done Galway ULA on a good protest.

Individual protests are not mutually exclusive with a co-ordinated national campaign as long as everyone agrees to give their all to the national campaign as well as their own local actions.

author by leftypublication date Sun Jan 15, 2012 06:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and for the record, I'm not a "trot", or a member of any political party, swp,sp or otherwise. I'm just a left leaning individual citizen, anxious about infighting and fragility of the left and the regular exploitation of these faultlines by the right. In light of this, I'm highly suspicious of and hate seeing sectarian divisive posts like bills when clearly we are all working on the same side against these cuts and charges.

author by Cork anarchistpublication date Sun Jan 15, 2012 23:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is possible to challenge problematic behaviour patterns within an organisation but to maintain good working relations with its members.
Recognise the difference between the organisation as a whole from the individuals you may be working with on the ground. It is possible to be in disagreement with an organisation but still keep individual respect for it's members and get work done where it is needed.
This has worked well in Cork at least since the days of the Peace Alliance that brought together "trotskyists", "communists", "anarchists", "republicans" and others in respectful, co-operative working relationships that still persist to this day.

author by jim traverspublication date Tue Jan 17, 2012 20:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Remember the bin tax campaign, where did that go? Many political hopefuls jumped on the 'No pay' bandwagon that was milked until it could be milked no longer. The great thing about irish politics is that if you invent an opposition then everything appears to go as if it should in the interest of democracy. In reality politicians in mainstream political parties love opposition simply because in truth the opposition is one in the same. A Labour politician decides not to support the party on this issue, a Fine Gael politician says he or she will abstain when it comes to a vote and the lads in control just plough along and introduce whatever they feel fit to do so.

The recent increase in road tax is but another joke in the line of many jokes that make this mixed-up state. People better start realising that the cuts and charges will go on and on until the people themselves decide 'Enough is Enough' and I don't mean turning towards the Fianna Fail wreckers and ask if they can do better. The answer is clearly evident; since the foundation of the state Fianna Fail has not and did not do by the people. The party not only failed miserably, it political leaders collectively through the mismanagement of the states resources plunged the Irish state into a crisis that it will never recover from. The state continues to this day to pay former politicians hansom pensions for their incompetence, blatant unprofessionalism and unpatriotic actions that has plunged the nation to the edge of the abyss.There again what would you expect from a class of people who are supposed to be all intelligent, highly qualified and professional in their jobs and yet they collectively brought the country to a worse state than what it was before independence. Jesus, if Pearse and Connolly could only see what these band of wallys have done to the country they would turn their heads and give homage to the Queen.

So getting back to the water and household charges and the shilly shally way such an important issue for people who are struggling with the extortion that is taking place every week with their household incomes and the way it is being played out in the media. The game has already started and the opposing troops are cleaning their weapons and having a wee cup of tea. Look folks, protests outside government building, local authority premises and marches in the streets will bring about nothing. What did the massive tax protests back in the 70s and 80s achieve ...................nothing. A one day national strike is a great way of allowing people get a bit of phlegm out of their throats and that is about that. Students marching through the streets demanding the retention of education grants will once again do nothing and will give comfort to politicians that at least one more demo has come to an end.

Unless real protest is made and that includes the trade union movement coming off the fence for once in its life, then everything will remain the same. Unless the Irish people come to a realisation that all the mainstream political parties are really one in the same, then nothing will change and nothing will be achieved. The registering by 30,000 households for the household charge is a very clear indication of just how two-faced this nation really is. The same people are probably the same ones who moan and groan about prices and charges but are there once again to give the false impression of their willingness to abiding by the law. If anything is going to be done about this household charge then I very much think campaigners have left it a little bit to late. Could it be that the organisers ( political interests) are waiting until the deadline (March) in order to make every household an individual protest that will then see people hauled into court, fined and told 'pay or else' by the judge? As with the bin campaign, once the state breaks any form of collective protest by the people it then goes about setting in motion a procedure to conquer and divide by making public examples of individuals. Will the household charge, water charge and any other charge take the same path as the bin tax protests?

They say people only get what they deserve. The quality and standards in office by our political representatives is really only representative of the people themselves. Could this possibly be the reason why things in Ireland never change as they should change. State agencies are handed public money with a condition that nothing is ever said, waves are not made and if a situation of public disquiet comes about then nobody is identified as being guilty. Mount Garda speed checks everywhere outside the boundaries of the capital while at the same time allow taxis take over the city on weekend nights with an understanding that the rules of the road do not apply to them as cities around the country are turned into dodgem fairs for all to see. Now lecture to the nation about the dangers of speed while at the same time downgrade speed limits on dual carraigeways and motorways in order to allow the Gardai conduct a turkey shoot. While this is going on ignore( RSA) the problems associated with speed limits of secondary and country road and turn a blind eye to anything that involves effort and commitment that should be forthcoming from the state agency. Where is the state agency the RSA when all this is going on and has been going on for years?

Pick something off your head that involves the state and ask yourself ' Was that a good job well done and complete'? Your answer would probably be 'Riverdance' everything else is open to numerous questions and discussions about mistakes being made and how mistakes will not be made again. Look at the Mad Cow roundabout and the billions that was pumped into rebuilding and rebuilding the roundabout despite many non-professionals and other eminent people say the original and revised plans were crazy and beyond belief.

The current household charge will eventually evolve into a household rates charge. Local authorities( think of the opposing politicians) have shed the burden of waste collection and will no doubt shed the collection of water charges from householders in favour of private water suppliers, leaving the local authority to constantly year in year out to pump up rate charges to their residential customers. Charges that cannot be challenged, charges that will have been carefully organised and constructed over many years by local authorities in anticipation of the up and coming plunder of household incomes.

People are accepting of the need for taxes and charges to run or services but people are growing tired of charges and charges that appear to be falling into a black hole of political incompetence in the management of the state. If any Irish government had €10 trillion at its disposal it would still find the need to introduce charges, taxes and stealth charges in order for the state to survive. Left with this saddening dilemma, it just may be a God-sent that the Germans have now just short of words taken over this ill-run and badly politically managed state of ours. In some way the Germans cannot do any worse than what out so-called political patriots have done to this country since the foundation of the state.

The world needs to hear the voice of the Irish people before the right to that voice is also given away by the patriotic men and women of mainstream Irish politics. Either make your voice heard on the issue of ever increasing charges and taxes or shut-up and put-up with the bed you have made yourselves.

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