Local elections 2004 Socialist Party challenge

THE LOCAL and European elections next year will be the first electoral test for the FF/PD government since regaining power last year. The deep anger and resentment at their lies and cut backs means that there is the real potential for both of these parties to suffer heavy losses as working people seek pay back.

By Michael Murphy

Already, many groups and parties are positioning themselves for these elections. With 100 TD's resigning because of the ending of the dual mandate, there will be many new Councillors up for election.

The Socialist Party is taking these elections very seriously. We intend to turn these elections into a referendum on the hated bin tax, and the policies of cutbacks and privatisation, which are being rammed through on a daily basis at the expense of ordinary working people, while big business continues to receive big tax cuts.

The government believes that by introducing legislation, which means Councils don't have to collect the bins of non-payers, they can break the anti-bin tax campaigns. But the mood on the ground is such that they will face enormous battles on the streets and regardless of the outcome, they will be made pay in the local elections.

The Socialist Party intends to stand on a much wider basis than we have ever stood before. Many of our candidates are well-known in their communities as key organisers of the Anti-Bin Tax Campaign, with a fighting record on other community issues.

Our aim is to ensure the re-election of our existing Councillors Clare Daly in Swords and Ruth Coppinger in Mulhuddart, and to go all out to ensure that they are joined by other Socialist Party representatives. We will give people a real alternative to the establishment political parties and the weak-kneed opposition. Our politics are about the independence of representation for working people, whether they are in employment or not, to be a real voice for ordinary people. We are not interested in elected positions to offer lip-service, but to use the platform to assist in organising ordinary people in the communities.

We have demonstrated our unique approach through the work of party reps. on Fingal County Council. Our reps. have been the most consistent fighters against speculative rezonings. With the new County Development Plan being prepared, this is of vital importance to local communities. Traditionally, these decisions are an opportunity to line the pockets of the developers. An increase in the Socialist Party representation on that Council will be the best way to block this type of interference in the planning process, and ensure that the rights of residents are put ahead of the speculators.

The Socialist Party would like to thank Joe Higgins TD for his 12 years of service on Fingal County Council. Joe was the only representative of our party on Fingal County Council up until 1999 and fought many battles over rezoning and in particular the hated water charges.

The Socialist Party intends to stand in the following areas:

Swords Ward Councillor Clare Daly
Mulhuddart Councillor Ruth Coppinger, Helen Redwood
Castleknock Susan Fitzgerald
Balbriggan Tadhg Kenehan
Howth Brian Greene
Tallaght Central Mick Murphy
Dundrum Lisa Maher
Cork North Central Mick Barry
Drogheda (Laurance Gate Ward) Frank Gallagher
Crumlin Joan Collins
South West Inner City
The Socialist Party is also considering standing in Malahide, Lucan, Limerick and Wexford.

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