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What shying “away from clearly advocating non-payment of the water charges” looks like…. July 29, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in The Left.
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Yesterday The Socialist Party in an article referenced here , made an accusation that Clare ‘Daly, like Joan Collins TD has shied away from clearly advocating non-payment of the water charges.
Here’s a few examples (aside from the many examples in the comments of the previous post) of what shying “away from clearly advocating non-payment of the water charges” looks like….

-Getting arrested for protesting against the Installation of Water Meters and holding a “Build A Mass Boycott” poster.
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-Giving speeches to Rallies using slogans like “Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay”

Clare Daly Had a newsletter totally focused on Irish Water and advice on non payment

Joan Collins Newsletter mentioning among other things ‘Mass non-payment’ of water charges.

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1. Kieran Dunlop - July 29, 2015

Joan Collins TD speaking on the “Late Debate” (October 21st 2014- ten days after mass anti-water charges in Dublin and the day Paul Murphy won the DSW by election standing on a clear non-payment) clearly does not call for non-payment or the building of an organised boycott of the water charge. Crucially does not use the platform she has been given to give people the confidence to refuse to pay the charge.

The newsletter in question is from July 2015. While it is a step forward from this in many it is calling from non-payment after the fact.

http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=9%3A20669009%3A1589%3A21%2D10%2D2014%3A

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2. Kieran Dunlop - July 29, 2015

Btw the video of Clare Daly is of her speaking at the December 10th demonstration. She uses the slogan “Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay” once and that’s it and again it is not clearly calling for a non-payment campaign to be built in the new year unlike the speech given by Paul Murphy on the day.

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Rudgar James - July 29, 2015

How many times is the required number of times she should repeat the slogan before the Judean Peoples Front are happy?

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scabbyrabbit - July 29, 2015

Ah yes, more anti-left rhetoric. This is becoming a trend.

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Rudgar James - July 29, 2015

Anti-moronic and destructive sectarianism /> “anti-left”

The Left is larger than the SP/AAA – dispite what the SP/AAA likes to think of itself

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3. irishelectionliterature - July 29, 2015

From Joan Collins TDs Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/JoanCollinsTD?fref=ts

“It appears that the Socialist Party have been putting it about that Clare Daly and myself have been vague about calling for non payment of the water charges. Normally I would ignore this sectarian nonsense, but it seems some people are ready to believe anything.
Here are some facts. Clare and I have played a leading role in the bin tax and household tax campaigns, both of which called for non payment. We fully support non payment of the water tax, as one of the tactics, alongside stopping metering, mass protests and political pressure, which we believe will kill the tax.
What we have not supported are the silly antics of those who tried to make an issue of something which wasn’t an issue to try and split R2W.”

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4. Tomboktu - July 29, 2015

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5. Brendan Young - August 4, 2015

I’ve looked at a newsletter published by Joan Collins last September and it states that ‘the key to defeating this tax will be a mass non-payment campaign’. This is actually clearer than the newsletter in the link above – which nonetheless supports non-payment.
As far as I remember, Clare Daly was also calling for non-payment last autumn.
To my mind, the issue is not whether these TDs were calling for non-payment – but who they were willing to work with to promote non-payment in an organised manner. Being unwilling to work with the existing organisations of the left and deciding on what to support based upon who makes the proposal will not help reduce fragmentation or promote co-operation on the left.
Nor can it be said that these TDs are ‘left-populist’: they are in favour of extra-parliamentary mass action and breaking the rules in the fight against austerity. Whatever criticisms one might have of the willingness or otherwise of these TDs to work with others, the criticisms mentioned in the SP article are incorrect and should be withdrawn – they only worsen the already difficult relations on the left.

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6. Brendan Young - August 4, 2015

I don’t however, agree with this:
“What we have not supported are the silly antics of those who tried to make an issue of something which wasn’t an issue to try and split R2W.”
As one of the people who worked to set up the Non-Payment Network earlier in the year and made other previous attempts to get elected reps to make a public call for non-payment, I can say that there was never any intention to split R2W. Those in R2W who say this, and those who rejected the attempts to establish an organised non-payment call that included representatives and campaign groups broader than those linked to the AAA, are deflecting from the real issues.
There was a debate in R2W in January and February 2015 about whether R2W should call for non-payment. I said, publicly at R2W steering meetings, that R2W was restricted by the positions of the unions involved and that a conference to decide on the issue (as argued by PBPA) would result in a public split.
Consequently, I argued for those who supported a public call for non-payment to organise to promote that call. This could be done while remaining in and building R2W – in what was supposed to be the R2W umbrella. We have consistently done this in north Kildare – including our own poster campaigns.
What has happened is that attempts to organise the supporters of non-payment have been denounced as splitting. This is a deflection from acknowledging the difficulties in the R2W position at a time when bills are arriving and the key question is whether or not people should pay. These political difficulties were reflected in the unwillingness of R2W to organise a national demo when the bills came out or when the enforcement legislation was put to the Dail; and the related focus on an electoral strategy – based on an undeclared hope for a SF-led left government that would abolish water charges; or a similarly undeclared willingness to accept a type of Gregory Deal for abolition of water charges as the basis for supporting a SF-FF coalition. The first of these is highly unlikely; and the second would be a disaster.
While an election strategy is important, it will come to nothing if a majority decide to pay. If irish Water can get through the crisis of insufficient income and whittle down the non-payment numbers, the pressure on an incoming government to keep it will be much greater.
So in my opinion, there have needed to be organised public calls for people not to pay. PBPA have acknowledged this, having earlier opposed the attempts to set up the Non-Payment Network. And there is a continued need for public calls to sustain non-payment in the run-up to the election. This is a nation-wide battle: it cannot be won only in left-leaning constituencies. While the declarations of recognised leaders have an impact wider than their own areas, the impact of a visibly co-ordinated call has a bigger impact.
To say that those of us who argue this are making an issue of something that isn’t an issue, is actually to argue against attempts to sustain the organised public calls for non-payment; and in my view, a significant motivation in this is an unwillingness to support the proposal because it is proposed by the AAA (of which I am not a member).
It is argued by some that the left – of which Joan and Clare are part – should not take a lead in calling for non-payment: that it will emerge organically. Such an approach is to downplay the impact of united calls by the left (while implicitly arguing for unity around the demands of R2W); and to abandon our reason for having an organised existence. We organise to promote our ideas and proposals as the best way to win struggles against austerity and oppression. This involves giving a political lead. Why else would we produce leaflets and newsletters arguing our points? If we only argue for what is already the position of the majority or of a significant minority, we will be restricted in what we advocate by the existing level of consciousness of the working class – or rather by how the dominant bourgeois, pro-capitalist ideology is refracted through the working class. We would be reduced to advocating what appears as ‘common sense’ at any particular time; and would restrict ourselves in what we say, for example, in relation to sexism or racism – both of which exist in the workers movement in Ireland.
Calling for non-payment involves taking a political and electoral risk: what happens if we lose this battle? But playing safe – avoiding making the call for non-payment, which is now essential – means abstaining on a key slogan in the battle. This is what SF is doing.
I think there is broad agreement on the left on the importance of non-payment.
The real issue is the willingness or otherwise to get past personal-political animosities and work together.

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7. workers republic - August 5, 2015

Certainly I’m not surprised, this is typical of the narrow sectarian tunnel vision of the SP and their use of slander as a political weapon.
They did the same in Cobh recently, they put out a leaflet accusing the majority of activists of not being committed to non payment, which was a lie, that is the only word for it, a damned lie!
They are constantly attacking the R2W, they seem to hate all unions, even the most radical of unions, i.e. the IWU. Every year they are invited to a meeting to discuss the May Day march in Cork, but they never come or support it. Indeed one year the tried to take it over and organized a march on the Saturday before it. I and other members of the IWU attended both marches and actually some of US that were also members of Future Orchards had a little ceremony at the end of their ‘rival march’ where we presented bouquets of flowers to Cortex workers who had won a great victory after a long occupation of their place of work.

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