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Humanity In Politics
elections / politics |
Saturday January 29, 2011 16:39 by ordinary citizen
Our political system is shifting towards being more in line with the common decency of our humanity.
The possible coalitions formed after the election
Its time our Politics caught up with our humanity
Einstein said “Our technology has exceeded our humanity” after the creation of the nuclear bomb. During the snow and in general life, I have observed that far from this island being full of violent and greedy people, as the media might have us believe, 98% of people are decent. This inbuilt respect for another’s plight, up to recently has not been present to nearly the same extent in Irish politics as it should have been.
Now it looks like we will finally start to move on from a Civil War that happened 90 years ago when you were lucky to own a horse and cart and has no significance in our technologically advanced society. Saying that, every time I vote I see the old people in their droves and they (Joe Duffy listeners) are the ones who have prevented a more just political system from being formed here and will be out in force again this time giving FF a glimmer of hope.
Property owners vote and this time there are far more angry property owners out there than ever before. I firmly believe that the FF/FG grip on Irish politics would have been squashed years ago if we had compulsory voting, as they have in Australia. The young and disenfranchised would, I feel, cast their votes for more radical parties. Debt is the destroyer of idealism, the fear of loss of our homes has been a factor in why people have not voted more radically in the past. Another reason to be optimistic about the future is that the generation coming up are not going to be in such a hurry to be weighed down by a mortgage, as is the case in places like France and we all know how politically active the French are.
This election is going to be a turning point and will reshape Irish politics forever. In any other country in the world there is a clear Left/Right divide as there is an obvious difference of living standards between those who have excess and those who are barely surviving. This point is all the more valid here when you consider we have one of the biggest gaps between the rich and the poor in the developed world.
Since the end of the Cold War neo-liberal economics has been left off the leash and has eventually created the mess we are in today. Its easy access to virtual debt since the dropping of the Gold Mean Standard in the 1973* has propped up right wing governments for decades and fought back the strong Unions of the 70s. After years of fruitless debates with ordinary people about taking on the rich, I am finally getting a response.
For ordinary people the banking scandal was just another media story until these taxes came in and it had a real affect on their lives. This has allowed a new dialogue, a clear divide between those who want to keep the status quo and those who want real change. Sinn Fein and the United Left Alliance are rising in the polls as their policy of burning the billionaire bondholders rings true to the huge amount of people barely able to ends meet.
It is from this point of view that I am disappointed in Labour for attacking them, for they are too short-sighted. The long road is a coalition with these people and real change rather than the watered down version that goes with going into bed with Fine Gael or FF.
Saying all this I am a environmentalist first and a socialist second and the planet cannot afford to wait for a massive environmental disaster to wake humanity. If we had to wait for the population to realize the severity of the environmental emergency of resource depletion, as has gradually happened with wealth disparity, it would be too late. Basically social balance requires laws, like a wealth tax, to move digits from the bank accounts of the rich to the State’s and then using this to help those most in need.
Replacing resources like oil, which has taken 250million years to form, is a far greater task that may take generations. Massive shifts in everything we do will be forced upon us because of the energy crisis and climate change and the real potential of huge amounts of valuable agricultural land being under water.
During a forced rather than a gradual shift to a post oil economy many millions will be displaced and there will be even vast amounts of hunger and misery. If oil was stopped for a week, we would suddenly realize how powerless we are without it. We will not be able to have a Utopian people centred State where people live comfortably after working a 3 day week, if the body we inhabit, the earth, is dying of cancer due to too may toxins and there are not enough resources left to sustain our population.
Since the Greens got in I have become ever more cynical of Socialists and their Green credentials, I see far too many of them driving unnecessarily large cars, even spokespeople on climate change in these parties, to trust their environmental credentials. The Greens got in ahead of their time and the policies they have put in place will mean that there is far less likelihood of us becoming a nuclear state, our soil does not have genetically engineered crops in it and most of our children’s resources will not be burned in incinerators. 62% of cars sold last year were diesel, the green policies in place now would not have been put there by the other parties, in fact anything to do with the environment would and will in the next government be the first to get the chop.
They walked into the perfect economic storm, Superman could not have stopped what had been created by McCreevy and Bertie but they had one agenda to do as much for the environment as they could and they followed it to the end. The Corporate Donations Bill would have been nice and NAMA was plain wrong but I believe time will prove to be their ally even if this electorate are not.
Knowing that they will be lucky to get one seat I will venture forth to doorsteps to be shouted at and abused and quite possibly physically hurt but I have been canvassing for them in tough parts of the Northside Dublin for years, long before they got into power and have had to endure this harassment before. I will be telling people to vote left second as I always do and would love to see Gilmore as Taoiseach.
I always said that if the Socialists had 78 seats in the ‘07 elections the Greens would have gone in with them. Up to now two thirds of the electorate have voted right wing and this has only allowed a few ministers in our history to make decisions for the common good. By staying in for as long as they have they have allowed the anti-FF sentiment to grow. The Pds would have jumped ship earlier and saved their bacon and allowed FF to only lose a fraction of what they will do now.
This election and every election from now on will change the political landscape forever. Before the last election no one would have believed that FF and the Greens would have gone in together but that was the way the numbers ended up. There are a few possible outcomes for this one. First the obvious FG/Labour which would could halve Labours vote in the following election as they will have to continue with a further €9billion, on top of the €6billion we just had, in cuts over the next three years.
Second is the possibility of FF and FG going into bed together thus creating the real chance of a Left leader in the following Dail, hopefully some big ego split between them would mean we wont have to wait five years for this. Third is Vincent Browne’s idea, which I would not have thought of myself which would be a Labour/FF and possibly Sinn Fein gov with Gilmore in charge. Michael Martin’s appointment could have made this possible. Then there is the horrifying chance that the right wing independents like Shane Ross, could go in with FG if the numbers were right.
Keep an eye out for Dennis O Brien’s(who made his fortune because of a FG led gov decision to give him the Esat deal) Newstalk pushing this agenda. If Kenny was not in charge this stations agenda, with the exception of Moncrieff and Tom Dunne, could be far greater. The Indo pushed FF in ‘97, ‘02 and ‘07 after being taken over by Tony O Reilly, the man who turned down an offer of a ministry in the ‘77 FF gov and who should be remembered in history as being the puppet master who assisted in bringing the moronic FF into power. Their Manifesto in ‘02 had a spelling mistake in every page, which shows how useless they are without civil servants.
Another possibility is that after a year or two FG and Labour have a split. If Labour are not able to get FG to break the link between national and bank debt on top of the fact that this economic mess could take a decade to fix, they will be polling poorly. This could allow the Labour/FF and maybe Sinn Fein option, a reversal of what happened in ’94 or the horrible option of FF/FG.
I am optimistic for our nations future with regard to a balancing of wealth because the sleeping masses have eventually woken after being given a jolt. I hope that the masses environmental jolt is not so severe because if it is then what we are dealing with now will be looked upon in history as our honeymoon period. I wish all those out canvassing for the Left all the best even if the feeling is not reciprocated.
*The Run on paper money by Madis Senner http://www.livingarchitecturecentre.com/living-architec...re-2/