An establishment figure speaks about inequality

22 September 2015

Last night’s television programme on the state-controlled RTE dealing with inequality in Ireland, presented by David McWilliams, was of interest by virtue of the fact that an establishment figure spoke about inequality. 
     Any regular reader of Socialist Voice, the monthly paper of the CPI, would have been well aware of the nature of the economic crisis and the strategy of past and present governments: of making working people pay for the crisis of the system. 
     We would like to remind people that the CPI was alone of all political parties and “alliances,” represented in the Dáil or otherwise, to argue the following: 
     1. That austerity is working. It was imposed to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It was for the transfer of wealth upwards to the rich and outwards to the coffers of the international finance houses. 
     2. That the debt was the weapon of choice for attacking workers’ rights, terms and conditions and their living standards; that austerity would be permanent for working people. 
     3. That the Irish ruling class and Irish governments are gatekeepers for the interests of the EU, transnational corporations, and the rich and powerful. 
     4. That NAMA was for socialising toxic assets, and that the people would pay the debt while the rich and powerful would get away scot-free. 
     5. That NAMA was for re-establishing the Golden Circle. 
     6. That the strategy of both the government and the EU was to socialise debt and risk, while profits would remain firmly in private or corporate hands. 
     7. That the majority of economic and social policies are skewed in favour of transnational companies. 
     8. That repudiation of the debt was necessary to make those who created the debt pay for it, and not the people. 
     9. That membership of the EU, and in particular of the euro zone, is a political straitjacket, the means of imposing external political and fiscal controls, to make austerity permanent. 
     10. That water charges were primarily for establishing the means of privatising this resource. 
     11. That precarious employment would become the norm throughout large sections of the economy. 
     To quote James Connolly, “governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class.” 
     We could go on. 
     The battle of ideas is a central part of the intense class struggle that is going on in our country. This ideological struggle is for shaping how people understand the world around them. 
     The role of the elite’s mass media is to weave the illusion that we all partied so we all must share the burden. Their role is to protect the system, not to present objective news or to enhance your understanding.