"Whaever Enda's Commission decides, we will not pay."
This is a statement including the poster below from People Before Profit, published on June 13, 2016.
This People Before Profit's call for boycott succinctly describes what we think of the recent publication from the ultra right wing Fine Gael Government's 'Terms of Reference" for an 'Expert Commission on Domestic Public Water Services" on June 11, 2016. (See our article here for details.).
This so called 'expert commission', is a result of political maneuvering between Fine Gael, Fianna Fail parties and some Independents after two and half months of prolonged political bartering. Eventually this resulted in the formation of a Fine Gael minority government. Interestingly it was the Fianna Fail party who for self preservation, with one eye on the next election and the other eye on Sinn Fein, who made a deal with Fine Gael. Will this deal see Fianna Fail reneging on it's electoral promises of abolition of Irish Water and Water Charges, a clear Fianna Fail 'Core Policy'?
It is ironical that the very government who is now setting up this commission and setting out it's 'Terms of Reference' is the very government who, three years ago, hurriedly and extravagantly established the Irish Water Ltd company and it's policy of water charges. It spent billions of euros on 'expert advice' from multinational and national 'experts', and implementation of one failed policy after another. On the whims of experts and EU task master.
For three years the Fine Gael led coalition government battled with the Irish people and used every means in their arsenal including; spending a fortune in public relations, (a euphemism for lies and mind manipulation), monetary and judicial threats and intimidation, in their effort to railroad what the Irish people twice in the past refused to accept, the privitisation and commodification of our water resource.
Despite all the draconian measures, the anti water charge movement withstood the onslaught and grew to be the majority opinion in the country. This opposition to what was seen as an unjust austerity measure resulted in a resounding defeat for the Fine Gael/Labour Government in February's 2016 General Election.
The majority of Irish people democratically voted for the abolition of Irish Water Ltd and Water Charges.
False Terms of References
So how come we will have a Fine Gael designed commission where the 'Terms of Reference' and hand picked 'experts' will be chosen by Simon Coveney? Where is Fianna Fail and their core promises in all this? Where in Minister Coveney's documentation does it say that it will be bound by the democratic wish of the Irish people, a wish that has been resoundingly demonstrated three times in the past 3 decades? How much more clearer can the message be?
Shouldn't the first terms of reference be that any model for domestic water supply must be set up in accordance with the democratically wish of the Irish people? It should not be the dictate of Fine Gael, the EU, the IMF or any international expert. It must incorporate a national coordinating public body overseeing management and County Council's implementation of our water infrastructure.
Somehow the action of Mr Coveney's government is reminiscent of the 2008 Lisbon Treaty referendum when after the Irish voted 'NO', the establishment, including the EU Commission, forced a second referendum on the Irish people. After manipulating public opinion, carrots and sticks, the second referendum in 2009 overturned the first.
Such manipulation is happening again. The proposed 'Terms of Reference' is designed for one outcome, that of circumventing the wish of the Irish people. Once again we will have a lot of money spent on spin, manipulating and threatening public opinion.
We must learn from past experience. We can not trust this right wing farce, we can not control it and we can not reform it within.
What we can do is 'Boycott'. We have the power to do this.