Beyond bad journalism? Sunday Independent is a blatant and shameless attempt to split the Right2Water campaign

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Right to water

By Right2Water

Today’s article in the Sunday Independent is a blatant and shameless attempt to split the Right2Water campaign and is clearly politically motivated.

The Right2Water campaign can confirm that the publication did not contact any of the spokespeople for the Unions involved in the campaign to seek a comment or clarification on the accusations of a split in the movement. Yet the article quotes “one senior trade union figure” who they say is concerned about the growing influence of the Socialist Party in the campaign.

They go further saying this particular unnamed trade union official said: “If Irish Water doesn’t work we will pay via more taxes and cuts if €600m comes back on the balance sheet.”

“The union position is more nuanced than ‘don’t pay’. We want changes such as increase in the water allowance so people don’t pay for ordinary use.”

That has never been the position of ANY of the unions involved in the campaign.

Importantly, the Sindo very carefully do not say the senior trade union official quoted was actually from a Union involved in the Right2Water campaign. The practice of good journalism would require the journalists concerned to seek a comment from someone within the campaign, unfortunately this did not happen. Instead they prepared a carefully scripted article, designed to achieve a political goal, quoting anonymous union spokespeople who are not even involved in the campaign. This is either lazy journalism, or, malicious, politically motivated propaganda and an attempt to sully the trade unions who are actually in the campaign.

The Unions involved in Right2Water have regular meetings with all of the political groupings, both in Right2Water coordinating meetings, and also on a one to one basis. There are of course differences of opinions on tactics and strategy between all of the Parties within Right2Water, however, there is respect for those diverse opinions.

The Right2Water campaign will continue with a consensus of opinion that we all want water charges abolished. Furthermore, as previously stated, the campaign is currently preparing a comprehensive campaign strategy for 2015 which will be announced in the coming weeks. As part of that, we will be announcing a series of major protests and events which will show the campaign against water charges is growing and which will expose the lie of any split within the movement.

If anything, articles like this in the Sunday Independent show us exactly what we’re all up against. We have a government that is imposing water charges and water meters on communities that do not want them and we have many sections of the media who are supportive of that government policy.

Most people are aware that the owners and shareholders of some of those media outlets, including Denis O’Brien, will benefit economically from the imposition of water charges on the rest of us. What we would ask is for all media outlets and journalists to show respect for the importance of their position and report with honesty on this issue, as with all others.

Todays article in The Indo can accessed below

Trade union stance threatens to split anti-water charges campaign

If you are as disappointed with this article as we are you can contact the Sunday Independent at info@independent.ie