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This week from the Irish Election Literature Blog… January 29, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

More from AK at IELB… and a good selection too…

From 1995, The Democratic Left’s Eamon Gilmore, Denis O’Callaghan and Colm Breathnach ask “How many councillors does it take to turn off Water Tax?”.

[There’s a campaign likely to be revived any day now – wbs]

Still with Gilmore, but in his Workers Party Guise, from 1989 “150 words about local issues in Dun Laoghaire”.

People Before Profit’s Rory Hearne from 2007 in Dublin South East.

The Socialist Party’s Martin Walsh from Dublin South Central in 1997.

From 1989’s European Election Campaign in Connaught Ulster, Sinn Fein’s Pat Doherty, Dermot Guy and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

And Finally from the 1992 Abortion Referendum The Pro-Life Campaigns main Leaflet….

And finally, finally, nothing to do with politics at all…

As ever, many thanks to AK…


1. Neil - January 29, 2010

The DL leaflet on the Water Charges manages to give a potted history without mentioning the non-payment campaign! I can’t imagine why. 🙂


Irish Mark P - January 29, 2010


Yes in general, the DL approach was to ignore the actual campaign against the water charges, to at all costs avoid calling for non-payment and to instead argue that people should vote DL. This leaflet is a perfect example of that.

However, there were at least a few people in DL who supported non-payment. And this leaflet comes from Dun Laoghaire, where the issues were a little different. Water charges had been introduced there in 1983 and the Workers Party, (and then DL) were the main force on the ground campaigning against the charges over that period. They didn’t run a non-payment campaign, but they had raised the issue over a lengthy period.


2. Joe - January 29, 2010

Saw at least two big articles in the papers in the last couple of weeks about how we as a society just can’t afford not to have to pay for our domestic water. One from that disinterested observer Terry Prone. I wonder does her company have any pr arrangements with any big international water companies?
Anyway shouldn’t Joe Higgins or god help us maybe someone from a union that represents public sector workers write a response showing that water charges are a prelude to privatisation and that there are some things like water that democratic societies need to own and control?


Irish Mark P - January 29, 2010


Joe HIggins is hosting a meeting to discuss begining a campaign against water charges on February 13. (In fact, it would be great if WbS or Garibaldy could stick the details of this up as a post!) It’s inevitable that water charges will be introduced and it’s inevitable that the media will offer trenchant support for charges. We need to build a grassroots campaign against it.

Joe Higgins MEP for the Dublin Region, would like to invite you to participate in the meeting below which he is convening in response to the Government declaring that household water charges will be reintroduced. Green Party Environment Minister Gormley has stated that a general installation of water meters will begin this year in preparation. Water Charges would be just another stealth tax to inflict further burdens on ordinary working people in response to the crisis in Irish capitalism. Minister for Social Welfare Hanafin said that if the charges had not been abolished in 1996, each household could now be paying up to €700 each year.

From Joe Higgins MEP
Meeting and Discussion
No Re-Introduction of Water Charges-
Boycott the Charge – Boycott Meter Installation!

Saturday, February 13th : 12.00 Noon – 3.00pm
The Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square West, Dublin 1

Chair & Introduction: Joe Higgins

Wealth & Taxation policy In Ireland: Michael Taft (Chief Research Officer, Unite The Union)

Water Conservation – Ending waste, improving supply & quality: (Maurice Sweeney, Environmental Scientist)

Open Discussion

Refreshments Break

Building a new Boycott Campaign: Councillor Clare Daly (Member Fingal County Council, The Socialist Party)

Open Discussion and conclusion


3. irishelectionliterature - January 29, 2010

Given that Water charges are an issue which has been around since the 80s at least, I’ve quite a few anti-water charges pieces posted to date.
I think this CPI one from 1983 or so spells out the type of questions that need to be asked.


4. karlmarzipan - January 29, 2010

Ya gotta love the concern from Gilmore about class distinctions in public houses.

Had they stopped letting skobies into the Sally Noggin Inn during the 1990s, then?

Or maybe twas the general lack of toffs around his manor that concerned Comrade Gilmore so?

Did DL have a policy of force-marching snobs across the N11 from Foxrock? To raise the tone of the area, like.


5. Colm B - January 29, 2010

Im afraid AK’s got the wrong year, because I had resigned from DL at the end of 1994 when DL went into government with FG and Labour, so its definitely not from 1995. Its more likely 1994 or 1993.

Mark P’s correct about WP/DL in Dun Laoghaire: although the party did not advocate non-payment, it did campaign vigorously in the late 80s against the water charges, ideed it was the only significant grouping campaigning on the issue in the area. By the DL stage the campaigning had become tokenistic, and others including E. Farrell from the SP, Krossie from the WSM and various non-aligned people were running a non-payment campaign. I was marginally involved in that campaign as an independent councillor though I have to admit that I was not fully convinced by the tactic of non-payment at that stage: well it takes a while to loose the cautious habits of left-reformism eh? I suppose I did my penance by doing a fortnight in prison at the height of the bin tax campaign a decade later!

Good luck with the launch of the anti-water charges campaign. Given my exile status I can’t join in but Im there in spirit!


Mark P - January 30, 2010

The really important question though Colm is were you sporting a giant moustache in that photo or is it just an unfortunate shadow?


6. Colm B - January 30, 2010

Im afraid I was that Borat lookalike, bushy moustache, curly black hair, tatty grey suit and all! I think I should take an action against Sasha Baron Cohen for breach of intellectual property rights. Funny (or not so funny) thing is I actually was on a WP delegation that visited Uzbekistan, though not Kazakhstan, in the good or not so good (or just relatively better given the klepto-capitalist regime that exists there now) old days back in the USSR. Lots of Borat moments with Potemkin youth camps, Potemkin factories, train loads of tanks rolling by at night presumably on the way to Afghanistan and a very bad dose of Motezumas revenge etc. etc. Details in my upcoming autobography ‘My Life (as a baby stalinist)’
I am surprised at your scoffing, you as a confimed Trotskyist should know the political value of facial hair. Now maybe if I had sported one of those pointy little beards I would at this very moment be heading for the role of Dun Laoghaire’s radical TD instead of RBB.


Mark P - January 30, 2010

I think that the SWP leader with a rogue facial hair past is Kieran rather than Richard.


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