As the National Debt grows, so do efforts to dump it

Repudiate the Debt! - RTD Website

As the National Debt grows, so do efforts to dump it
LookLeft #6, April 2011

According to the IFSC website the National Debt now stands at more than €101 billion – that’s over €22,000 per person! Of course, this is not the public’s debt, though we’ll be paying it for generations. It is private banking debt which the outgoing FF/Green government ‘socialised’, called in the IMF/EU loan-sharks to “bail us out”, and hoisted the financial burden onto public shoulders. The new FG/Labour government has carried on in the same manner, tossing a further €24 billion down the banking black hole in early April.

In response there have been a range of campaign ideas floated amongst the Irish left. The Workers’ Party have called for a referendum that would guarantee the primacy of “the common good” and “social justice” asserted in Article 43 of the Irish constitution, which would result in the reversal of the bank bailout. The Communist Party are campaigning for a similar referendum, producing a comprehensive booklet on the crisis called Repudiate the Debt. The People Before Profit Alliance and Independent TDs have begun a campaign seeking a referendum on the IMF/EU loan. Other groups like Debt and Development and Afri are looking at protest tactics like those being used by the British group UK Uncut, while the 1% Network continue street theatre-style awareness raising.

It is abundantly clear that dumping the debt and the IMF/EU deal is – and should be – the main focus for progressive Irish groups and citizens. The above tactics aren’t mutually exclusive to each other; instead they can be seen as complimentary. However, it’s to be hoped that – in the interests of the vast majority of Irish people – these groups can come together at some level and consolidate a concerted campaign that can build an effective nationwide resistance to the bank bailouts, the IMF/EU deal, cuts, privatisation and austerity measures that threaten to destroy Ireland’s social infrastructure. The government made clear their contempt for the public, flatly ruling out any referenda on these issues, while FG Transport Minister Leo Varadkar recently admitted that “by and large… Europe is calling the shots”. It’s up to us to reclaim our country from the domestic and international parasites that want to ruin it for private gain.

Note: The version that was published in LookLeft was slightly edited, this is the unabridged version.

Explore posts in the same categories: anarchism, capitalism, corporations, debt, marxism, socialism

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