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Vote for the dissenters
What we need in Leinster House are representatives of discontent says Eamonn McCann
Eamonn McCann, 10 May 2002
The main reason for making the effort to get out and vote is that the election provides an opportunity to give some of the most disgusting no-goods in the land a hard kick in the goolies.
We all know it matters little whether it’s Ahern, the man who signed more than 1,500 blank cheques (fifteen hundred!) for the crook Haughey, or Noonan, the ghoul who issued threats to a women dying in pain as a result of the State’s neglience if she didn’t accept the lousy deal he had offered, who becomes Taoiseach.
Fianna Fail guarantees a continuation of lies, corruption and kow-towing to a morally diseased hierarchy. Fine Gael wants to throw thousands of public sector workers out of their jobs. The PDs are gibbering with eagerness to flog off every State asset which isn’t bolted down in between telephone calls asking judges to go easy on rapists. Labour wants into government with any of the above and offers as its Big Idea that the pension fund should be raided to pay for public services because it’s terrified to suggest taxing the rich.
What matters is how much resistance will emerge after the election to these pro-capitalist priorities. What we need in Leinster House are representatives of discontent, men and women who will use their positions as TDs to amplify the voice of dissent and offer a focus for every fightback which arises against rottenness, political leaders who recognise that real power doesn’t reside in the Dail but in the boardrooms and charnel houses of high finance and who understand that it’s not when TDs perambulate through the lobbies but when workers walk out and communities come together in organised angry array that the ruling class feels a tremor of unease.
Disillusion with the main parties and with their rigged system is widespread and deep. This is likely to be reflected in a number of constituencies in more solid support than the opinion polls suggest for the Greens and Sinn Fein. But, dismayingly, neither of these parties is willing to rule out joining a coalition to prop up either Ahern or Noonan as Taoiseach. Indeed, each is avid to be in a position to be asked.
My own advice is that where you can you should give active support to parties and candidates who unambiguously pledge in no circumstances to vote to put Fianna Fail or Fine Gael into government. Vote for candidates who undertake if elected to accept only the average wage, turning over what’s left to grass-roots campaigns. (There should be a law about this – that all political representatives receive the average income of the people they represent. It is an idea which, when you think about it, makes so much sense you don’t have to think about it.) Vote for candidates who are up for a fight from the outside and whose presence in the Dail will be felt by representatives of the parasite rich as a kick in the goolies.
Go for: RICHARD BOYD BARRETT (Socialist Workers’ Party) in Dun Laoghaire; CLARE DALY (Socialist Party) in Dublin North; RITCHIE BROWNE (SWP) and FiINIAN MCGRATH (Independent) in Dublin North Central; LISA MAHER (SP) in Dublin South; BRID SMITH (SWP) and LINDA KAVANAGH (Workers’ Party) in Dublin South Central; SHAY RYAN (SWP) in Dublin South East; MICK MURPHY (SP) in Dublin South West; JOE HIGGINS (SP) in Dublin West; MICK BARRY (SP) in Cork North Central; MICHAEL O’SULLIVAN (SWP) in Cork South Central; SEAMUS HEALY (Independent) in Tipperary South; JIMMY KELLY (SWP) in Waterford; and CATHERINE KENNEDY (SWP) in Wicklow.
What would we call that?