General election called for 24 May
Hundreds of people languishing on trolleys in A&E departments, tens of thousands on hospital waiting lists, €415,000 for an average house in Dublin, commuters wasting hundreds of hours a year stuck in traffic jams, the second highest class sizes in the EU.
These are just some of the problems that working class people in southern Ireland have to contend with and are the backdrop to the general election on 24 May.
The Celtic Tiger is long gone and now the South is facing into the prospect of an economic downturn, house prices are falling, consumer confidence is way down and there are major crises everywhere you turn.
This is the legacy of ten years of Fianna Fail and Progressive Democrat government, huge profits for big business and mounting problems for workers. The Southern Irish general election is a contest between two right-wing political blocs. Fianna Fail and the PDs are seeking re-election and a coalition between Fine Gael and Labour are trying to oust them. It is unclear who will win the election, but what is clear is that the next government will be right-wing and will continue to implement a neo-liberal agenda based on privatisation and attacks on workers’ wages and conditions.
The Greens and Sinn Fein portray themselves as anti-establishment, but both parties have said they would be prepared to go into government with either Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. This will be a sell out for anyone who hoped these parties would be a radical alternative because inevitably they will be part of governments implementing a big business agenda.
The Socialist Party will not be part of any big business government. We are putting forward an alternative based on planning for people’s needs before private greed.
We are standing four candidates. For the last ten years, Joe Higgins has been the only TD (Member of Parliament) who has voiced the anger of working class people and he has used his position to organise and fight for their rights. Clare Daly is tipped to win a seat in Dublin North, and will join Joe Higgins in the Dail to strengthen the real opposition. The Socialist Party is campaigning hard to also get Mick Murphy and Mick Barry into the Dail.
Winning more seats in parliament will help the Socialist Party to fight on the real issues that affect workers and will be an important step forward in the building of a new party that really represents working class people.
Socialist Party candidates
Joe Higgins TD – Dublin West
Joe Higgins has been correctly described as "the real opposition" in the Dail [parliament] He is the only voice of opposition to the anti-working class policies of the establishment. He lives on the average worker’s wage, spent a month in jail for his opposition to bin charges, and successfully fought against exploitation and the race to the bottom at GAMA.
Councillor Clare Daly – Dublin North
Clare has an unrivalled record of representing working people in Dublin North. She has campaigned tirelessly for over ten years on many issues such as water charges, the bin tax, and against the privatisation of Aer Lingus and for sustainable planning. Clare also spent a month in jail for her opposition to the bin tax. Clare narrowly missed out being elected at the last general election and is tipped to win a seat this time around.
Councillor Mick Murphy – Dublin South West
Mick spent three weeks in jail for his active opposition to the bin tax. Shortly after being elected to the Council, he uncovered the scandal at the multinational construction company GAMA which was paying migrant workers only €2.20 an hour!
Councillor Mick Barry – Cork North Central
Mick went to jail fighting the bin charges, co-founded the home helps’ movement that ended low pay for home helps and has organised and led a series of successful housing campaigns – Mick Barry has always been a consistent campaigner for the rights of working class people.