Make it three out of three

By Stephen Boyd

Socialist Voice March 2002

Fianna Fail and the PDs used the abortion referendum as a bribe to keep the support of the four independents over the last five years and to stop pro-life candidates threatening their vote in the general election. The defeat of the referendum is the price they have to pay for this disgusting hypocrisy.

The government have been beaten on the Nice Treaty and the abortion referendum, now they should be kicked out of power at the general election. Bertie Ahern has led an administration that has tried in vain to portray itself as a stable, competent government that's dealing with society's social and economic problems. This is far from the truth.

They wasted the wealth that was created by working class people during the Celtic Tiger years. They gave their friends in big business massive tax cuts and another tax amnesty whilst introducing the bin tax all over the country. They have allowed the continued decline of the health service into its current state of crisis, with literally tens of thousands of people suffering and languishing on hospital waiting lists. They have assisted their speculator friends to make hundreds of millions in profits from housing whilst 140,000 wait in vain on public housing lists. They started the sell off of the public sector to multi-nationals with the Eircom fiasco, now they want to do the same with Aer Lingus and Aer Rianta.

This government has proven one thing during the last five years, that its raison d'etre is the pursuit of policies that will enrich the wealthy at the expense of the working class. At the general election it should be three strikes and you're out. The Socialist Party is standing in the general election to show that there is an alternative to the establishment parties of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour and the PDs.

A mass party of the working class is needed to ensure that none of these gangsters continue in power. By voting for the Socialist Party, you can make a difference. Joe Higgins Socialist Party TD has played a major role in defending working class people since his election in 1997.

The Socialist Party will be fighting to ensure that Joe is re-elected and moreover that we at least double our representation by getting Socialist Party Councillor Clare Daly elected in Dublin North. By voting for the Socialist Party, you can ensure that there will be a real opposition in the next Dail.

The 5 candidates standing for the Socialist Party in the next General Election are listed below.

Dublin North - Vote Clare Daly Number 1

THE COMING general election in May presents ordinary people in Dublin North with a real opportunity to break up the cosy establishment cartel that has ruled the area for the last 10 years and in some cases 20 years. There is a definite feeling on the ground that now is the time for change, people are fed up with the same old faces and same old parties.

Councillor Clare Daly is the only anti-establishment candidate who can take them on and win. By Michael Murphy In the 1997 general election Clare Daly came from nowhere to rock the establishment. She had been the north Fingal co-ordinator of the anti water charges campaign and won huge respect as a result of the campaign's victory. In 1998 when Ray Burke resigned his seat she contested the by-election and increased her percentage vote despite a massive sympathy for the Labour candidate who had narrowly lost in 1997.

In 1999 she won a council seat on Fingal County Council representing the Swords ward. Since then Clare has used the council position to agitate on issues of concern and mobilise people into activity to change things. If she were elected to the Dail this would be a larger platform to organise from. In the last year alone she has organised over 100 meetings in every major town in North County Dublin on topics ranging from rezoning, mobile phone masts, housing, waste crisis, anti bin charges, the crisis in the airport the list is endless.

The Socialist party has put out more material than any other political party informing people of issues and outlining how people can organise to fight and change them if necessary. Recent opinion polls indicate that in Dublin 45% will not vote for any of the four main establishment parties. There is a huge layer looking for someone different.

Clare Daly is the only candidate in Dublin North who offers a chance for real change and a completely different type of politics. Labour will most likely prop up Fianna Fail after the election. Even the Green Party under their new leader and Dublin North TD Trevor Sargent have refused to rule out government with Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. The lust for power has even permeated the "squeaky-clean" Greens. Both parties have held positions in the area for over ten years. It's time for a real shake up.

Dublin West - Vote Joe Higgins #1

By Fiona O'Loughlin

Over the last few weeks Joe Higgins has spoken at meetings all over Dublin West attended by approximately 600 people. These meetings have successfully launched the campaign in Dublin West against the bin tax imposed by Fingal County Council.

Joe will be spearheading the building of the anti-bin tax campaign in Fingal and will be aiming to emulate the success of the anti-water charges campaign. For the last five years Joe Higgins TD has been the leading campaigner for the rights of working class people inside and outside of the Dail. He is standing for re-election on a proud record that has earned him the label of the "real opposition".

At the last election Joe Higgins was elected with the slogan "put a working class fighter in the Dail". That is exactly what he has been. Joe led the successful Anti Water Charges Campaign, which forced the abolition of this unjust and unfair tax. Joe Higgins has kept his pledge to live on the average workers wage. He has donated tens of thousands of pounds to local campaigns and the Socialist Party.

At times, he has been a lone voice in the chamber speaking out against corruption and privatisation and in support of workers in struggle; bus workers, teachers, nurses and Aer Lingus workers to name but a few. Joe is also a Councillor on Fingal County Council and together with his fellow Socialist Party Councillor, Clare Daly; he has waged battles on many issues affecting local communities. In the early 1990s, when Councillors were voting through totally unjustified land rezonings at the behest of speculators and developers, Joe Higgins denounced it as "corruption". A few tribunals later, he has been proved absolutely correct.

Joe Higgins has worked tirelessly with numerous residents' associations, community organisations, campaigns on many issues of importance, local football and other sporting clubs. The most recent fight is in opposition to the new bin tax, which Fingal County Council is attempting to introduce. The impact that Joe has been able to make has been incredible considering he is the only Socialist Party T.D.

In its most recent survey of the work of deputies in the current Dail, The Sunday Tribune has put him as the 16th highest contributor to the Dail in the last four years. One thing is clear; we need more TDs like him. Working class representatives that will not sell us out and do the job we have elected them to do.

Dublin South West - Vote Mick Murphy Number 1

By Joan Collins

Mick Murphy Socialist Party candidate in Dublin South West has been heavily involved in the launching the anti-bin tax campaign in his constituency. A 190 refuse charge was voted in by the Council last December and the bills are expected any day now. Public Meetings have already been called in many areas with some being very well attended.

Members of the Campaign against the Water charges (1994 to 1996) have joined the anti-bin tax campaign and along with new "recruits" have been out delivering 15,000 leaflets calling on people not to pay the tax. Once the bills have been issued, the campaign will be organising another round of public meetings to increase the level of support for non-payment.

Residents in Balrothery were celebrating after An Board Pleanala turned down permission to build a major flats complex in the middle of one of the most developed parts of Tallaght. The project was turned down on the grounds that it was completely out of character with the area and contravened the County Development Plan. Mick Murphy national organiser of the Motor Insurance Justice Action Group (MIJAG) is highlighting the rip off of young drivers in his election campaign.

Young Drivers from all over Dublin south-west will be attending a Public Meeting being held in the Green Isle Hotel on Thursday 11 April. Letters have been sent to all the political parties asking for a spokesperson to be sent along to explain what they intend doing to end the car insurance rip off. The MIAB report that has been leaked to the press confirms that drivers are indeed being ripped of for car insurance with almost half of all premiums being eaten up by the claims procedure.

Mick Murphy is challenging the establishment politicians in Dublin South West who have done nothing in the last five years to deal with the problems facing working class people in this area. He has been the only candidate to have consistently campaigned on behalf of the rights of working class people. Mick is now committed to playing a major role in building a mass campaign of non-payment of the bin tax in Dublin South West.

Dublin South - Vote Lisa Maher Number 1

By Kevin McLoughlin

LISA MAHER is standing for the Socialist Party in Dublin South. Lisa has played a leading role in building the anti-bin tax campaign in this constituency. The new bills for this year's refuse tax are due to drop through people's doors any day now. These are likely to include more threats.

A new series of meetings will be organised to explain where things stand but also to help get residents mobilised behind Lisa Maher whom the campaign has endorsed for the general election in the Dublin South constituency. Protests on TDs' clinics and protest phone calls to their offices are being organised. The Socialist Party, with some of our local supporters has already begun a canvass of campaign members with a view to maximising Lisa's first preference vote.

The response has been very strong. We found that people very much saw themselves as members of the campaign and were well aware of Lisa's role as secretary but also her work on a whole number of other issues including drugs and women's rights. While this was a canvass of campaign members it showed the huge desire that exists for a fighting alternative among ordinary people.

As part of increasing the pressure on the politicians, residents are considering the organisation of protests at supermarkets and at local council offices. Supermarkets are obliged by law to hold onto anything a shopper decides is excess packaging. The idea will be to organise a whole number of campaign members to pick particular supermarkets and at the same time shed the excess packaging, leaving it up to the supermarket to dispose of this "rubbish".

Such protests will clearly show that it's big business who create the vast bulk of all waste and it should be them that pay either for its disposal or for the necessary recycling. These protests and a good performance for the candidates will significantly strengthen the campaign.

Cork North Central - Vote Mick Barry #1

By Anthony Hetherington

MICK BARRY is standing for the Socialist Party in the Cork North Central constituency. He is challenging a Cork city political establishment which is bursting at the seams with fat cat conservatives. Six of Cork city's 10 TDs are Fianna Failers; 4 are Fine Gaelers and 4 are millionaires. All are out of touch with the needs of ordinary people.

Mick Barry is building a serious reputation in the city as a real fighter for the interests of working class people. Last year Mick went to prison for his role in campaigning against the bin tax. The seven jailed Householders Against Service Charges activists played a key role (alongside the Supreme Court action taken by Alderman Con O'Connell) in forcing Cork Corporation to collect ALL bins in the city this year irrespective of whether you pay your 225 double taxation service charges.

He is the Cork co-ordinator of the Motor Insurance Justice Action Group (MIJAG) which leads the fight against the car insurance rip-off of ordinary young drivers who are currently being crucified by companies charging premiums of 3,000 per annum. Mick will make car insurance a major election issue and appeals for support not just from young drivers but from all drivers who face 20% premium hikes this year.

Mick is the secretary of the home helps' campaign which transformed the pay of health board home helps from 1.70 an hour in 1997 to 8+ an hour today. This campaign also won 10 years holiday back pay for the women. As the Cork organiser of the End Low Pay "Wall of Shame" campaign which named and shamed the city's low pay bosses Mick believes that the 5.97 per hour minimum wage is far too low and should be raised immediately to 8 an hour tax free.

Fianna Fail TD Noel O'Flynn and others are asking for votes on the promise to "look after our own first". These hypocrites never looked after "our own". O'Flynn voted for vicious corporation rent increases, service charge increases and a housing policy which has put 4,000 Cork households on the housing waiting lists. Their attacks on asylum seekers are a shabby attempt to whip up people's concerns and con them into putting the same old gang back in. Don't fall for the con. Vote for real change.

Vote for a candidate with a proven track record of fighting for the rights of all ordinary working class people. Vote Socialist Party and Mick Barry in May.

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