18 September 2008 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please


Mark Durkan’s ugly idea

MARK DURKAN argues that he is looking beyond the present “ugly scaffolding” of compulsory power sharing based on political equality of nationalists and unionists. Well, what a visionary.
Meanwhile, republicans are actually using the mechanisms won through generations of struggle to dismantle the ugly scaffolding of a sectarian police state, to ensure that equality for nationalists is guaranteed in government and law, and to bring about the end of partition through pushing forward and winning support for all-Ireland integration.
The delivery of a Bill of Rights, part of the Good Friday Agreement, is vital but cannot be exchanged for an equal place for nationalists guaranteed in the Executive.
The fundamental source of the oppression of the nationalist community, of the power the unionist leaders have abused, and of the sectarianism long cultivated to support this unionist rule, is the partition of Ireland by Britain.
Good Friday doesn’t just provide a framework for ensuring human rights protections within the Six Counties; it provides a route map to ending partition through power sharing and all-Ireland institutions.
In a future based on true democracy for all the Irish people, we may envision alternative political institutions. But we first have to make power sharing work in order to get anywhere near there, and Durkan’s comments on “majority rule”, echoing DUP policy, are absolutely unhelpful.

A QUESTION for Mark Durkan: would an Executive ruled by the DUP or a coalition of unionist parties be better for the rights and well-being of the nationalist community than a power-sharing Executive with Sinn Féin as equal partners with the DUP? Or would it just be better for the SDLP?


Cowen’s blame game

I FIND Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s remarks this week, blaming the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty as largely contributing to our current economic crisis, both pathetic and reactionary.
The current economic downturn is inevitable as Cowen and the majority of politicians on this island embrace capitalism, a system with inevitable economic busts and booms.
The real tragedy of this government is that, despite over a decade of unprecedented economic growth, they have failed to invest effectively in our crumbling public services infrastructure.
The majority of people have little to show for the Celtic Tiger boom and it is a serious indictment of Fianna Fáil and their junior partners that the wealth generated by the workers over the last decade and more has not been redistributed fairly or put to good use. It is not the rejection of Lisbon that has led us to economic recession but the corruption, arrogance and incompetence of people like Mr Cowen.
It is not the workers on this island that need to tighten their belts but the overpaid fat cats in the political elite and the super-rich exploitative capitalist class.
Baile Átha Cliath 12

WELL, it had to happen. The only surprise is that it took Fianna Fáil and their IBEC business friends three months to blame the majority of the Irish people who opposed the Lisbon Treaty, civil servants and those on the minimum wage for the crash. Perhaps they were trying to pretend that the recession wasn’t happening?
Anyway, it wasn’t ‘No’ voters and the low paid who:
•     Failed to broaden our tax base to include fair taxation of the huge windfall profits;
•     Fuelled the damaging property bubble by stupid, short-sighted tax breaks for property speculators;
•     Failed to invest in broadband, education and retraining, thus leaving us in a weak position to recover from the Government-induced downturn;
•     Privatised Telecom Éireann, resulting in a ruthless sweating of the public assets of one of the leading telecoms systems in Europe, reducing it to one of the slowest and most expensive;
•     Handed over up to €13 billion gas reserves to Shell with no royalties for the Irish people;
•     Handed over the building of a €25 million bridge to a well-connected company, resulting im a cost of €1,200 million to motorists and taxpayers, not to mention hours and hours of delays on the M50.
No, Brian Cowen might find the causes of the recession much closer to home, specifically in Fianna Fáil’s adoption of the ‘Greed is Good’ culture which has allowed the PDs to pass on the baton and retire.
P.S. Should we not now re-run the general election as voters were given false information and thus those who voted for the tax cuts proposed by FF (and others) clearly “didn’t understand the consequences of their vote”?


Reactionary mass

FIANNA FÁIL Trade Minister John McGuinness complained in the Sunday Independent at the weekend of “a reactionary, inert mass at the centre of our economy... too many square pegs in round holes throughout”.
Was he talking about the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party?
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