At the regular meeting of its National Executive Committee the Communist Party of Ireland once again called on working people to resist the bullying and ideological terror now being unleashed by the Government to force the people to support the Austerity Treaty and to come out and vote No.
There is nothing in this treaty for working people, but rather it is a road that we must resist being bullied and pushed down. It is a road that will lead to greater control by monopoly corporations, in particular by finance capital, to the further erosion of democracy and the further marginalising of the people. These treaties are for limiting the options of the people: no matter who they vote for, they will be unable to effect change.
The two new treaties are nothing more than an unbreakable debt trap, and the bait to lure the people in is the possibility of another loan if the state needs it. Our people cannot afford the price of the first loan from the EU-ECB-IMF, never mind a second one on top.
The policy of austerity, both north and south, implemented by the Irish state and imposed on the people of the North by the British government, is the equivalent of a hurricane cutting through large swathes of the public services, leaving a trail of broken dreams and shattered lives.
The recent report by the trade union Mandate laid bare the real cost to workers in the intensification of exploitation and the marked transfer of wealth from workers to bosses, with 39 per cent of its members taking a drop in pay through cuts, taxes, and levies of €109 per week.
We welcome the fact that at least four trade unions have came out to campaign for a No vote, while leading elements within the ICTU leadership prostrate themselves at the feet of the EU and its puppet Irish government, unable to summon up the political courage to defend the interests of the Irish working class. They have lost any claim they ever had to be the heirs of the legacy of Connolly and Larkin.
Once again the Labour Party has sided with the forces of imperialism and are willing hired guns for big business to rob the people of the services they have contributed taxes and struggled long and hard to have established.
Regardless of the result of the referendum, the struggle and resistance of the people must continue to be built. What is increasingly clear is that the European Union and the forces of monopoly capitalism cannot produce policies that will be in the interests of working people.
Slowly but surely, the penny is beginning to drop, and a small but nevertheless growing section of the Irish working class understands that the EU and the economic and social system that it was set up to protect is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
The choice is clear. If we are to provide work for the mass of unemployed, decent living standards, a proper education system for our country’s children, to provide comfort and security for our pensioners, and a hospital bed or doctor for those who need them, then we have a clear choice to make. Decisions must be made that are in the interests of the Irish people and not in the interests of the European Union. These interests are not compatible.