People Before Profit splits with Anti-Austerity Alliance on pact

Oriiginal article: The Irish Times Oct 31, 2015

Buncrana TogetherWe are using article because of the comments by Fliuch editor and comments at the end from members of our organisation.  Fliuch, like ourselves,  are striving to be non aligned even in this minefield of intrigue and politics.   We are striving to remaine focussed on the campaign againstIrish Water, Water Charges, installation of harmful meters and the privatisation of our natural resources.  It is worth directing you toFliuch'saims Here,  to try to bring focus back to our common goal of fighting against Irish Water, Water charges, harmful meters and   'the fight against the Troika’s pillaging of our national utilities' (Fliuch). 


Brendan Ogle of Right2Change. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Brendan Ogle of Right2Change. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Irish Times Article by Kitty Holland

People Before Profit has signed up to a left-wing electoral alliance while its election partner, the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA), has not, according to a Right2Change briefing.

At the election event in Dublin on Saturday, the Right2Change movement also said it hoped to identify three candidates in each constituency who were supportive of its policy principles.

Right2Change is a coalition of community activists that is supported by five trade unions – Unite, Mandate, Opatsi, the Communications Workers’ Union and the Civil and Public Services Union.

[The CPSU has withdrawn as of yesterday – Fliuch]

It grew out of the anti-water charges movement.

[Not really. It was an opportunistic power-grab by certain individuals and parties that we warned people about after their first invite-only national meeting and consequently we were shunned and not invited to any more meetings and not asked our opinion on anything ever again. It’s what’s called Controlled Opposition – Fliuch]

At a conference in June, it drew up a policy document, Policy Principles for a Progressive Irish Government, which called for the right to decent work, an end to the banks’ veto on mortgage resolutions and the abolition of water charges

At Saturday’s briefing, Brendan Ogle, of the Unite trade union and a leading figure in the Right2Change movement, and Dave Gibney of Mandate outlined which parties and Independents had signed up to this policy platform as part of an electoral alliance.

Sinn Féin, People Before Profit, the Communist Party of Ireland, Direct Democracy Ireland and the National Citizens Movement had aligned themselves with Right2Change.

Six Independent TDs – Clare Daly, Joan Collins, Mick Wallace, Thomas Pringle, Tommy Broughan, and Séamus Healy had signed up.

Independent councillors Paul Hand (Dublin), Cieran Perry (Dublin), Francis Timmons (South Dublin), Pat Kavanagh (Wicklow), Joanne Pender (Kildare) and Brendan Young (Kildare) had aligned themselves with Right2Change.

Other Independent candidates in the forthcoming election – Michael O’Gorman (Kerry), Barbara Smyth (Longford-Westmeath) and Declan Bree (Sligo) had also signed up.

Parties that did not sign up were the AAA, the Workers’ Party and the Social Democrats.

Fine Gael, the Labour Party, the Green Party, Renua and Fianna Fáil were not invited to join the electoral alliance as they favour water charges.

In its response to the invitation, the AAA said that while it “generally supports the reforms outlined in the policy principles”, it believed that realising them would “necessitate going much further than the projected spending increases” in the movement’s fiscal document.

[Please see our earlier post about their aspirational fiscal document – Fliuch]

It said the reforms went far beyond what the current political system would allow.

It also said that it disagreed with the movement’s support of the Good Friday Agreement, which had institutionalised sectarian divisions in the North.

However, People Before Profit said it would “support the formation of a left-first government that will incorporate fully the Right2Water principles.

[That probably should be Right2Change principles – Fliuch]

“Should the numbers allow we will enter discussions with others on forming such a government.”

Sympathetic candidates

At the briefing, Mr Ogle said he hoped three sympathetic candidates – one from Sinn Féin, one from another party and one Independent – would be identified in each constituency to provide voters who are “hungry for change with a choice of candidates”.

The movement said it would not tell voters to whom they should transfer votes.

Candidates aligned to the Right2Change platform would be advertised in each constituency and supported by the movement’s structures and activists .

Mr Ogle also indicated that he was a likely Independent candidate in the forthcoming general election.

When asked if he would run, Mr Ogle said: “It is clear that we need more Independent candidates in many constituencies.

“That will require more Independent candidates coming forward, who have never previously considered that that is something they might do.”

He identified his native Louth and Dublin West, where he lives, as constituencies in which he could run.

“I am giving consideration to requests I have received to be one of a number of people who will go forward as Independents-for-change candidates.

“If I believe there is a momentum for any of the communities where I think we have bases then I think it behoves myself and others to give that serious consideration.”

[This is despite Brendan stating early on quite categorically that he had no interest in running – Fliuch]


We should probably point out Right2Water is actually a European movement that was in existence long before Rightward Ireland came into being. When referring to the movement in Ireland the media should really differentiate between the two (by affixing Ireland to it) because the original Right2Water movement is nothing like Right2Water Ireland – Fliuch.

2 thoughts on “People Before Profit splits with Anti-Austerity Alliance on pact”

James Quigley 01/11/2015

Totally agree with Fliuch ‘Controlled Opposition’ and like Fliuch, there were many of us in Donegal who were not invited to any of their Right2Water conferences. We communicated our feelings to the the movement’s coordinators/leaders (or whatever they are), however, we have never received an adequate response. Our feelings or objections were never given the time of day. Then we noticed that if you attended and did a Unite course you could get invited to the national conferences. Controlled Opposition? Of course it was controlled.

Right2Water movement has not risen from the anti water charge campaign but rather it has been controlled, fine tuned from at least the time of the property tax campaign and maybe even before that. The Anti Water Charge movement was hijacked and it has now morphed into what was the objective ‘ Right2Change’. Sinn Fein and the Unions have been directing this from the start. In Donegal Sinn Fein controls R2W/R2C movement. I have it from a good source, who attended the conferences in Dublin, that the national Right2Water coordinators knew about Sinn Fein’s control but could either do nothing. I suspect they did not want to.

The Right2Water philosophy suited Sinn Fein and the unions down to the ground and both fed off each other. Their use of reverse psychology was and still is being used to great effect. We get words like ‘unity’, ‘strong opposition’, ‘community’, ‘pillars’ and ‘if you are not with us you are against us’, ‘democracy’. This Right2Water brand was a very clever public relations exercise. How did it come about? Just happened. Apparently it is a movement of the people, community. It is without leaders where no one takes responsibility where collective decisions are taken. On various occasion you will get someone speaking on behalf of R2W/R2C. In fact I could say I am speaking as R2W. In Donegal we have good experience reverse psychology. We tried to get an inclusive, representative strong committed going in Inishowen but this failed because it had to be within the R2W organisation and we were looking for an independent group. Instead of unity, strong representative opposition and democracy we got disunity and fragmentation.

The same reverse psychology is happening today with regard to this voting pact. Those who don’t agree are being ostracised, portrayed as the villains. Isn’t it strange that AAA who have been most vocal and who have spearheaded the boycott campaign, questioning the R2C policies are getting the most flac? It is no coincidence that they are the arch enemy of Sinn Fein.
Where are the Right2Change unions in all of this? They are not voicing any opposition. Does this not make them culpable? Has Right2Change taken sides with Sinn Fein and got rid of the thorn in their side? Has this unilateral decision by Sinn Fein, calling for a pact not created disunity and chaos. Who decided this policy and why?

Enda Craig 03/11/2015

The fundamentals are wrong and must not be forgotten.
Lets take Donegal as an example and see what it says.

When R2W decided to select “safe”, supposedly democratic, representatives from around the county they were hand-picked by Ogle.
This brazen undemocratic manoeuvre set the trend for a lot of what was to follow.

Having been plucked from obscurity and propelled to the front of things these so called representatives have spent their time and energies promoting and defending the gospel from the top.
As we have seen any attempt at critical analysis has been met with an onslaught of abuse by those willing and, in my opinion, brainwashed disciples who it would seem must repay their “upward” selection by demonstrating total and slavish loyalty to the leader and his line on things.

Because of this breathtaking selection move the edifice is left in a totally flawed position as it is relying on individuals without community credentials to slavishly promote and protect it without question.
They are in debt for their initial selection and feel compelled to support their new found lord and master who has bestowed meaning to their existence and, puffed up by their new found importance, they attempt to protect the edifice relentlessly without question and attack any and all criticism.

Those at the top who were the architects of this policy cannot be trusted.

This reeks of manipulation and the complete absence of integrity.