By Frank Hayes
More than 50 days after the despised Fine Gael/Labour Government was sacked in the February General Election, the resulting Irish constitutional crisis has deepened significantly.
Although voters decisively rejected the coalition, the deadlocked new Dail has been unable to find a new combination of TDs to create a majority stable government.
With the defeat of the beleaguered FG (rightist) Leader Enda Kenny TD, in the third vote for a new Taoiseach, you might be forgiven for thinking his track record of collusion with many of the corporate criminal business interests which have ravaged the Irish state coffers with his help and blessing, had finally caught up with him. But arrogance knows no bounds!
The capitulation of the born again Fianna Fail (centre) Party, who now agree to support plans for a Kenny-led minority government, may effectively thwart the clearly expressed rejection of the old regime by the people. And now, a much reduced and divided Labour is considering a new deal with FG. The stage is being set for an enormous act of manipulative political treachery.
DUMPED, BUT UNWILLING TO GO!
Effectively, the sacked administration may now squirm its way back into power as a minority cabinet, continuing its Troika-inspired political blackguardism.
This clearly means that the existing Republic of Ireland state, retaining an unelected Dail executive, is no longer capable of expressing the will of the people, and has in effect, passed its sell-by date. A final nail in a crucified constitution.
Labour received a lecture from its former leader, the neo-liberal Rory Quinn. He said he’s “retired now and doesn’t want to be interfering” from the side-lines, and then immediately continued to do just that. So much for integrity! He wants Labour to shore up FG once again “in the national interest”, because he “has never seen a moment of danger as grave as the present one” – and he emphasised his serious “fear” about “what the Trotskyists might do”, referring to the AAA/PBP Alliance of six TDs.
His real fear is that people are waking up! At home and abroad!
• He is really worrying about the larger global context, as communities across Europe begin to challenge the status quo which has given Quinn and his ilk their privileges:
• The real threat of a Brexit, threatening ECB viability, sends shivers around the Merrion Square Mob and its Finance Ministry;
• The “unthinkable”, of a new financial systemic crash sweeping away any chance of business as usual for the open Irish economy and its minority executive frightens them;
• The Euro-tragedy of concentration camps for people fleeing proxy-wars, reminding us of the previous right wing savagery of wars in Germany and Yugoslavia, to name but a few.
So a potential new minority government in this failing capitalist state, continuing the Austerity Political Programme (commenced by the previous Fianna Fail / Capitalist Green coalition) of transferring public funds into the pockets of bond-holders and shareholders as a bail-out for their stock market gambling losses, is in direct contradiction to the one clear message of the Irish electorate.
But the Greens have signalled their enthusiasm to prop up a new version of the old regime. And build up a ministerial pension too!
The actions of both these Green Tory administrations have left Irish society:
• Without an adequate health service;
• Made a mockery of local and national democratic processes;
• Dismantled successful public housing provision to facilitate a rigged and failed housing “market”, leaving a whole generation homeless (100,000+ housing list);
• Slashed wages for those lucky enough to still have a viable job;
• Left a population without equal access to education;
• And they have all but smashed social welfare provision for the very people they’ve quite consciously made poor.
Within establishment parties there are very wealthy individuals who – instead of securing the interests of those who trusted them with a vote – have used their power and privilege corruptly for personal gain, acted viciously against the people, and in favour of their own substantial millionaire / corporate designs.
In other words, they have served the interests of their own wealthy class – but this time there will be no crumbs for the rest of us.
The first republic is a corrupt failure in terms of delivering real democracy for the people, or of ever again functioning in the interest of the people.
Clearly, there is a political systemic collapse of the present Free State Republic arrangements.
A STALLED REVOLUTION
We should remember that these came out of the defeat of the national revolution in the early twentieth century, resulting in the island being split into two religiously predicated and bigoted statelets.
This was the “great achievement” of the local big business classes, backed by Westminster and with the connivance of the church leaders. These reactionary circumstances have produced political parties well adapted to lie and steal from the very people they purport to “represent”. As indeed, they have loudly proclaimed!
The parties of the right are now conspiring to concoct a new pro-Troika/IMF government, so they may continue the very same discredited business arrangements which got them sacked!
At the same time workers are seeking to restore the pay levels which were severely cut when the 2007/8 crash ruined the illusions of the “eternal capitalist growth” brigade. An immanent new strike wave indicates that ordinary people are rapidly tiring of the lies and deceit of the establishment political class. They have had enough of the banana republic.
And now the Panama Papers, hot on the heals of WikiLeaks and other exposures of the global and local corporate conspiracy against people and communities everywhere, lay bare the real truth of how the global corporate culture is, in reality, largely a criminal enterprise.
The formation of a new viable capitalist government has proved an intractable and increasingly improbable task. The people have spoken quite decisively, saying it is not a question of continuing the same political agenda, (as with the proposed new minority “stable” cabinet) and they clearly voted for a total change from these failed approaches.
THE WATER SCAM
And all the while, the big issue of Water Resource Privatisation still differentiates those TD’s who wish to serve the people, from those who seek to serve the Troika (and themselves) – albeit sometimes dressing that up in fancy and misleading language like “stability” (which can, in fact, no longer be delivered by a failing system).
The pro-capitalist emergency minority clique government now being attempted on Troika instructions, is bent on perverting the expressed democratic intentions of the electorate on February 26th, the clear wishes of the majority of the people. It will have NO mandate!
It will fail, as the system it protects continues to fail. This raises the real question of the day.
What is now at issue is the urgent need for a new political transition, which progresses beyond the failed parameters of this first 1937 constitution. Through this, the state constructed by the business class declared itself a “legal” republic with the 1949 Republic of Ireland Act (No. 22 of 1948).
Built out of a counter-revolutionary coup against the revolutionary first Dail of 1919, and spawning the so-called Free State in 1922, it has taken a century filled with intrigue, falsification and joint manipulation by church and state to reach the present circumstances where its viability has virtually ceased.
POLITICAL POLICING ARRESTS
The recent emergence of blatantly Political Policing, the arrest of legally assembled people resisting water meter installation, resulting in court appearances which are on-going, and which follow Labour Minister Alan Kelly’s pre-election threat to “go after the water protesters”, marks the advanced desperation of the failing Free State Republic.
The Right have certainly failed, but the Left have yet to find a unified and revolutionary platform, and the people are beginning to question the nature of this Irish state, and the intentions of the whole Dail establishment. Parties putting their own ambitions above the people’s interests will be viewed with increasing scepticism.
Further elections will underline this impasse.
Those who constitute a serious opposition to this failed capitalism have a responsibility to create the conditions where communities can be enabled to develop new and real local democratic processes, where they can move on from depending on 158 members of a discredited institution, for handouts from the wealth they themselves created – and which has been appropriated by this failed state with its corporate associates.
TIME FOR A SECOND REPUBLIC
There is an unquestionable case for creating a Second Republic – one directly under the democratic power and control of ordinary people in their communities. A Second Republic, where the real needs of people (which the current “Free State Dailism” can never deliver), could be prioritised and provided by a new form of united people’s government, and could restore dignity, justice, and respect, to the millions of victims of the Troika’s class war against ordinary Irish people.
This will require a revolutionary change in the way communities explore and express their democratic ambitions. Creating new democratic assemblies in every community, linking them up through Networks For Democracy, this will be a step towards developing a Real Democracy.
And a national movement with this simple and realisable agenda – respecting difference, practicing respectful inclusion, encouraging participation, working together – this will make real the immense potential power of the people.
No matter what sort of minority administration is cobbled together opportunistically in the coming days, you may expect it to continue the failed Troika agenda of its masters. And you can expect that continuance to stimulate an outbreak of real democracy in the short term. The people have had enough, and one way or another, the game will be up for the tired old first republic.
We must begin to work together to build A SECOND REPUBLIC, fulfilling the century-old promise of James Connolly, the intellectual and theoretical giant of 1916, and his other comrades. It is no surprise that he and his progressive ideas have been largely ignored in the Blueshirt ballyhoo of recent weeks.
But a new collective act of unity and political transition by the real socialists and republicans of this generation, would become the most fitting commemoration of their heroic sacrifice and vision.
BUILD THE SECOND REPUBLIC WITH A REAL DEMOCRACY