Politics has been transformed in the last six months. The anti-water charges movement has shown that working class people have power when mobilised and that the austerity agenda can be beaten.Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour are now together consistently below 50% in opinion polls.
The AAA victories, with Paul Murphy winning the by-election in Dublin South West, as well as Ruth Coppinger’s victory in Dublin West, show the potential of building a major new left political force for working class people. We beat Sinn Fein because people responded to a clear call for non-payment of water charges and active struggle against austerity.The AAA is growing quickly right around the country. We can become a major political force which uses the platform of the Dail and Councils to mobilise working class people power on all the key issues. The AAA is not just its TDs or Councillors, it is made up of working people who have had enough and want to get involved in fighting back.
We can be a significant force in the next Dail, as part of a wider challenge flowing from the struggle for non-payment of the water charges. While other parties engage in horse trading, we will be clear – the only government we will enter is one that breaks from the logic of austerity and capitalism, which refuses to pay the bankers’ debt and takes immediate emergency action through public investment to tackle unemployment and the housing crisis.
The next months will show how mass non-payment can defeat the water charges. They can also see the building of a new mass working class movement which can lay the basis for a genuine left government in the future to break the rule of the Denis O’Briens, the bankers and billionaires in this country and join with our brothers and sisters in Greece, Portugal, Spain and across Europe in fighting for a socialist Europe for the millions not the millionaires.
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