Article from the May 2004 edition, Socialist Voice

Referendum should be rejected

Michael McDowell's concern for maintaining the integrity of Irish citizenship law is unfortunately not matched by any concern on his Government's part for current Irish citizens.

The timing of the referendum is an attempt by the Government to sow confusion in the minds of the electorate by directing their attention away from the key issues. Therefore they hope to minimise their losses in the Local and European Elections.

In disputes with the taxi drivers, transport workers and teachers the Government tried similar tactics. They vilified and lied that these groups were holding the country to ransom. This Government has relied on a policy of divide and rule hoping that it would allow them to drive home their attacks on working class people unchallenged.

Fianna Fail and the PDs are propagating the lie that refugees are responsible for this country's health and housing crises. Just like in the last election this is another con trick by Ahern and his cronies.

More babies were born here in the 60s and 70s so why is there a problem with our maternity services? The reason is the health cuts, and hospital closures primarily imposed by Fianna Fail over the last 25 years!

Inaccurate figures are being thrown around by the Government to try and create the idea that floods of refugees are coming to Ireland to give birth.

The facts tell a different story. The number of pregnant women making applications for asylum has declined by 60% since 2002. These births are a tiny fraction of all births.

6% of those who live in Ireland were not born here, just under 250,000 people. The majority of these people are legal residents from EU countries, a large number of whom were encouraged to move and work here by Mary Harney because of labour shortages!

A higher portion of these will be young adults than in the overall population, being at an age when people generally have children. 9% of all births in Ireland are to non-nationals, a figure that hardly indicates that births rates are massively distorted by so-called citizenship tourists.

Ireland and the EU want to erect a new Iron Curtain that will keep out refugees from countries enduring monumental disasters such as Iraq. However they have no problem allowing immigrant workers to come here so that big business can exploit them and use them to undercut wages and working conditions.

Don't be conned - vote against the referendum and vote against the Government and the other establishment parties who are attacking the rights of all working class people living in Ireland.

Other reports on the Referendum, and racism generally, can be found here

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