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Croke Park Part Two:  A UNITE activist speaks out

It’s all going to be OK! In a discarded ‘Unite’ leaflet found recently blowing west from Liberty Hall it has been revealed that our union negotiators are on the job and the prospect of further cuts in a new Croke Park deal has been, … “criticised”! 

We can relax! With steely determination our negotiators have announced that; “its fair to warn the government that our members have nothing more to give in any proposed renegotiation”. Obviously, as nothing is mentioned about rolling back the cuts on services and jobs already made, the present level of austerity when put in the context of further cuts falls within the parameters of a “Better, Fairer way”. 

Quite aware that resistance will be greeted with outrage by the government and their Troika puppeteers our negotiators with breathtaking boldness go on to add that; “The idea of getting more for less can ultimately only go so far.” 

However, it is obvious that union members do have more to give. Our wages can be cut further, who cares if our few small comforts have to be sacrificed, who cares if thousands of us are paid off? Making the argument that we are at rock bottom in terms of income and further concessions are impossible and that therefore the state has a moral obligation to push us no further does not wash. Capitalism’s servants care only about saving their crisis ridden economic system, they don’t care if we starve, it has happened here before and it is happening now all over the world. They only care about whether or not we fight back. Such a plea to the State’s ‘better instincts’ is either incredibly naive or deeply cynical, but one thing is certain, it is not the language of resistance and in case there is any doubt about this the leaflet spells out that preparations are underway within the Unite union to “examine how best we can approach the next phase of any deal”. 

It is quite clear that any deal driven by the Troika will involve cuts so perhaps our hero believes after all that public sector workers have more to contribute to the European hard-up billionaires fund. Our pensioners need their home helps, working class communities need their services, our workers and youth need job opportunities, not in the north of Canada or Queensland’s mines but here at home. Asking for major reforms in such a period of crisis is not going to meet with a favourable answer but we still need a liveable wage, a decent health service, a decent education service and a decent pension and standard of living for our retired population. Our noble negotiators know this, they frequently talk about it, but do nothing meaningful. They do nothing because they know that the elephant in the room is the question of power and demands that are too “ambitious” would meet with refusal, posing that question and set-ting the stage for an intense struggle. 

This is a fight they are unwilling to face, but it must be faced or a serious, creeping defeat lies ahead. It is a struggle the working class must prepare to face. We must look the beast in the eye and develop the political will and the revolutionary tools to usurp capitalism’s corrupt power. To develop these tools we need to begin a fightback and we can start by saying; it’s not our debt, repudiate it! … We did not cause the crisis. No deal! 

Eddie McLaughlin. 


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