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European and local elections

Some questions for the candidates

May 2024

The major parties use the European and council elections as placeholders for party hacks, so consequently there is almost no political discussion.  However, there are important questions to ask.

Question one:

Do you oppose EU financial controls in Ireland that prevent serious investment in civic society?

Ireland is awash with billions from corporation tax receipts which the government refuses to invest in public services. Part of the argument is that EU regulations prevent this, but the coalition government fully agrees, putting the goal of mass privatisation above any public good.

Question two:

Will you fight to block EU support for genocide?

The EU and US are feeding the massacre in Palestine and systematically crushing democratic protest. Irish politicians wave fairy dust about UN resolutions and diplomatic links to the Palestinian Authority, but otherwise play along with the imperialists.

Question three:

Do you oppose the drive to war?

Ireland admits working with Ukrainian forces alongside NATO and the EU that amount to participation in the war. They recently voted for an EU seizure of the proceeds of frozen Russian assets and their transfer to Ukraine - an act of war. In the background the Shannon war factory continues to route US military supplies around the globe.

In terms of the local elections the question that dominates is the question of race.

Question four:

Do you oppose the state sponsored tide of racism sweeping the country?

If we are to build any sort of radical movement in Ireland it will be through the unity of the working class. The Ireland first crowd are saying the we should unite with the Irish landlord class against the most oppressed workers. They are still a small minority, but they are being pumped up by the growing racism of the coalition and by the impunity provided by the Gardai.

Question five:

Are you for a charter of tenant rights, for the seizure of property unused by developers and for a programme of public housing to guarantee a home for all?

Recently Leo Varadkar explained why we shouldn't support a cap on house prices. This, he said, would cause a fall in house prices and the withdrawal of developers due to uncertainty of profit margins.  If we accept the government’s logic house prices and rents will never fall and we will suffocate under the constant squeeze on our income.

Question six:

It's clear that climate action plans have failed. Would you support simple measures such as free public transport that cut across private profits and the social control of agriculture and its contribution to climate change and pollution?

Question seven:

Do you intend to sit on your arse in the council/European Parliament or will you get out onto the streets to build direct action and an independent working class movement?

The big illusion of this election is that Sinn Féin offer some sort of alternative. Their recent actions include kow-towing to Genocide Joe, returning to Stormont with a government programme under the banner of Sustaining the Union and opposing open borders while their united Ireland policy rests on an open border between North and South.

The right wing are growing in Ireland. In part this is because the left has collapsed. The leftists say that a left government will solve our problems.  They used to say that it would be led by Sinn Féin, but that's too ridiculous to suggest. All that is left is a desperate attempt to hold on to their seats.

The only political alternative that we are aware of is the anti-imperialist campaign by Clare Daly and and Mick Wallace opposing EU support for genocide and European war and Irish complicity with these plans. We call for a vote for them and for any candidates who share their views.

There will be no change in this election. Ireland will slip further to the right. That's why it’s so important to build a party outside the Dail that will fight for workers’ rights.

We hope these questions will help to advance that debate.

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