Éire go Brágh

Section of the march against NAMA on O’Connell Street, Dublin, September 12th 2009.


On September 12th the Irish People’s Union organised a successful protest against government plans to ‘rescue’ the Banking sector at the expense of ordinary Irish people.  Other protests have followed throughout the country, organised by many different citizens groups, community groups and political parties.

‘United Alliance Against Cuts’ have organised protests at various locations, photo: Cork protest gets underway on September 19th 2009.

A divided society

These demonstrations were successful in many ways, because they provided ordinary people with a platform from which to voice their opposition to the NAMA proposals but also because they once more revealed the divide that exists within Irish society.  That division is the one that separates the exploited from the exploiters, the wage earners from large scale capitalists.  These demonstrations showed which individuals, groups and political parties uphold the interests of the people, and, by their conspicuous absence, showed who supports the rule of capital in our society.

A cartel to exploit the people!

The protests reveal once again that there is a cartel of political parties and commentators that cooperate with the exploitation of working people and support the rule of the rich – this cartel includes Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and the Green Party.  It is important that this division be highlighted in order that people can recognise who are their friends and who are not.  This same cartel was most active in re-promoting the Lisbon Treaty, fulfilling their responsibility to their masters, from whose table we are thrown the crumbs – that is foreign monopoly finance capital – personified in the world of big corporations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the EU and European Central Bank (ECB).

The National Asset Management Agency

The government intends ‘NAMA’, as a state body, to purchase the worse possible loans on the books of the banks at exaggerated prices, something that no sane business person would ever do.  NAMA will take cash out of the pockets of ordinary Irish people and transfer it to the rich developers and bankers in order that these criminals can continue to do what they have always done, i.e. earn super-profits off the backs of working people.  Not only this, but it is planned to borrow the funds from the ECB, and, as our credit rating is lower, we will pay higher rates of interest on these funds than we have paid in the past – so finance capital earns even higher profits – on the double!

People impoverished to pay off the rich

The NAMA proposals, the McCarthy Bórd Snip cutback proposals and the pending budget are all aimed at one objective.  That objective was dictated by the IMF and the ECB, that is, to make sure that the banks come clean out of the crisis – they insist that the people must bail them out. International finance capital doesn’t want to see banks failing; this would destroy their entire ‘house of cards’ system and upset the gravy train – it would tell the truth about the ‘King’s best suite’.

This programme of cutbacks is and will continue to impact the lives of working people, employed or not, and is also causing major problems for native business, the fishing and the farming sectors. What is left of our domestic industry and business sector is being sacraficed in the interest of servicing the needs of foreign finance houses. The evidence is that our government is completely committed to this anti-people programme, to the extent that it is costing actual lives – through the elimination and reduction of vital health services.  The cutbacks are also causing widespread devastation for families who find themselves in ‘negative equity’ (without a bailout!), and in increasing numbers without jobs or on much reduced wages.  Uncertainty regarding the future is weighing heavy on people’s minds and once more we see emigration featuring along side growing numbers on the unemployment register.

thefuture Initiative urges everyone to support the protests against the cutbacks.