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Archive for November, 2014

The Government (The Privatisers) V The People – Ireland and The Water Meter Revolution


10690274_362706583906440_72108541568392573_n 10713007_915925058435787_4009882317525743229_n The people of Ireland are fighting back against what is deemed a step too far in terms of governmental austerity measures within the country. The Irish Government until recently paid for the treatment and servicing of water within the state, however this is changing. The government is privatising this branch in an attempt to “save” €1bn per year as part of conditions set by Brussels. The main political parties of the state could find themselves out in the cold when it comes to the general election scheduled for 2016. So the feeling is yes the Government has bitten off more than it can chew. In the UK water rates have been established for some time and the commodity of water has always and always should be free to all. The Irish feel they are being asked way too much in order to put right the banker’s problem. The world media are watching with great interest, however very rarely reported by media sources within the state, bringing displeasure that the peoples media is serving the interest of the privatisers and not the people. In many areas of Ireland and some where I go myself, where family live, the water is undrinkable which begs to question why on earth are the people being charged for a service they don’t receive? Even more criminal is the fact that since 1997 the people of Ireland already pay a subsidence for water. Many see that those in government are receiving back handers to drive this hugely despised policy through from the top with the Taoiseach to the backbencher TD’s (MPs to me and you in the UK) The Irish Government (Fine Gael- Labour Coalition) has set out that each household in Ireland is required by law to host a water meter. The water meters have been met with much resistance in the streets and estates right across the state. The people have had enough of austerity and feel that the government regardless of any of the main parties no longer represent them. This leading the path to new openings within the political party system normally seeing fine Gael or Fianna Fail elected, to the likes of others, such as the increasing number of Sinn Fein representatives for example being elected. There is the more interesting point seeing a 2% duty imposed on everything the Irish people purchase and a 5% vehicle duty which would ensure NO FURTHER CHARGES were applicable. Thus a sign of the government charging twice for the same service but also the fact it is going against itself in a short term period. water Joan Burton Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister- Labour) has been slated after comments she made “All of those protesters I have seen before seem to have extremely expensive phones, tablets , video cameras” and “Hollywood would be in the ha’penny place to what’s been done here”.  To the response of the electorate tweeting or facebooking back reminding her who pays for her expensive phones and how out of touch she is. Some have even started a countdown until she is “booted” out of office. Her ministerial car was stuck for a number of hours by peaceful protesters surrounding her car. (http://www.thejournal.ie/joan-burton-water-protest-1782187-Nov2014/ ) A Fine Gael Councillor has met trolling after making the comments, Laura McGonigle A Councillor in the city of Cork tweeted “They should collect all the rain water while out marching today and drink that for the week” ‘they’ meaning the protesters.( http://www.thejournal.ie/fine-gael-councillor-facebook-rainwater-1759765-Nov2014/ ) There have been a number of protests in all major town and cities with tens of thousands marching the streets in each one, including one in Dublin which saw a hefty 50,000 people marching a number of weeks ago. There is a national protest day which will see numbers into the hundreds of thousands surround Dail Eireann on 10th December under the banner “Right2Water”. ( https://www.facebook.com/Right2WaterIreland?fref=ts ) The workers installing the apparatus have been met with much resistance and barricades to stop them from entering areas. The police have been brought in and there is now many a video posted on Youtube and the like showing the brutality the police are using in order to support and maintain the work to install the meters. It is noted by a number of sources that the police are receiving bonuses or seeing their budgets protected while other departments are seeing savage cuts. To put this into perspective the Irish people have to pay to see their doctor (GP), for school books of all kinds, and cost of living is close to a third higher than that in the UK due to the Euro. The Welfare system is close to being annihilated. The TD’s receive much more expenses and noted corruption within the political system than that perceived within the UK. The Taoiseach questionably receives more than most heads of state in the world at €200,000(£159,836), even more than David Cameron (£142,000). Cameron who is the head of state of a country with 10 times the population of Ireland and a more powerful world player than that of the Irish Taoiseach. However, this is only one of many ways the people have been protesting, many have been destroying the apparatus costing just over £100per house to install. Some have been taken by “fairies” (http://www.thejournal.ie/water-meter-fairies-illegal-irish-1773631-Nov2014/ ). Some have been picked up (some being flung over Dail Eireann’s walls) others have been sunk in cement making them unworkable. There is mass resistance on this topic and will test the nerve of the coalition as it enters its final year before the general election. The fact remains that the government has very much bitten more than it can chew,  the closing question is how far will both sides go until the other backs down.

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