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Statement: Fighting the bailout -  What is to be done?

The following leaflet was given out by SD supporters at a mass demonstration at the Dail against the bank bailout on 18 May 2010

For the past week there has been intense debate amongst Dublin leftists. Unfortunately the debate is about a tactic - that of direct action, specifically small scale direct action. What policy, what program, should working people organise around? How can we organise as part of the international opposition that is growing across Europe? What strategy to replace the zombie banks? What agreement can be achieved on the alternative? What strategic agreement can be achieved to build the mass campaign necessary to defeat the trade union collaborators and the alternative to their Better Fairer way to bail out capitalism? These are the issues that need to be addressed to build an alternative to impoverishment and defeat. 

The alternative to bailing out the banks is to let them fail, they are bankrupt. But then a campaign must put forward an alternative based on workers needs and not on the interests of bond holders and our own speculators and gombeen capitalists. Socialist Democracy advocates a workers bank as that alternative.  At first step is breaking the blanket of secrecy. The dirty deeds at Anglo-Irish, the crony capitalism at the back of NAMA, the history of the golden circle – Irish workers are told nothing even though they have been awarded ‘ownership’ of these institutions! A trade union campaign linking up with the bank workers could expose the criminal activities that lie behind the credit crunch.

It’s clear that defeating and replacing the class collaborationist leadership of the Trade Union movement is a glaring necessity. Their record of sell-outs over 20 odd years of social partnership is a burden which has demoralised and atomised workers and threatens them with catastrophic hardship and poverty in the future, all to bail out the criminals who are caused the crash in the first place. All the Dail parties have supported various versions of the bailout. A party of the working class, to give the class a voice, is an urgent necessity.

Trade union members are currently voting on the Croke Park Deal, a deal which sets them back in history to a period before when Connolly and Larkin were leaders of the movement. They campaigned for an 8 hour day, a 5 day week and overtime payments for any further hours worked. The Croke Park Agreement compromises these historic positions and gives carte blanche, through a no-strike deal, to the government to intensify its wrecking plans for public services and welfare entitlements to whatever degree is deemed necessary. But most damning of all the agreement is premised on the government’s economic strategy succeeding, everything is dependent on ‘ no currently unforeseen budgetary deterioration’    in plain English the government reserves the right to intensify the offensive to whatever is deemed necessary to complete the bail out. 

A no vote would be a step forward, but it would leave us at square one, with nothing but another go at a “better fairer way” on the table.  Rather than row about tactics, endlessly circling the Dail, lets unite and organise the working-class alternative!


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