Panamá: Deuda, guerra y Cerro Colorado 07:09 Apr 19 0 comments
L’insostenibile leggerezza dello spread 00:02 Apr 14 0 comments
The World’s Debts Shall Not Be Repaid 18:13 Mar 28 0 comments
República Dominicana: confrontación de vida o muerte 22:56 Jan 26 0 comments
Comunicato di adesione delle studentesse e degli studenti di Urbino 18:33 Nov 14 0 commentsmore >>
Recent articles by James McBarron
Recent Articles about Ireland / Britain Economy
Budget 2013 & the dark times to come Dec 07 12
TIME...is on my side! Oct 06 12
Poll Shows Class Divide Widening in Ireland
ireland / britain | economy | opinion / analysis Tuesday April 24, 2012 14:46 by James McBarron - WSM
Analysis by James McBarron, from Workers Solidarity Cork branch.
Poll Shows Class Divide Widening in Ireland
The Irish Times/ IPSOS like all polls is only a snap shot in time they say, but polls can be helpful indicators of the public mood when they contain useful questions. This particular poll covered a number of areas the usual poll of party support, leader popularity and government satisfaction, opinion on the fiscal compact referendum and most interestingly opinions on the household and water taxes as well as a question about cutting social welfare.
A few things are clear from the poll:
1. The class divide in Ireland is becoming far more pronounced. This is shown by the clear division between the better off (ABs in pollsters terms) and the poorest section of the working class (DEs in pollster speak) on a range of issues. The ABs support the household and water taxes as a better way to raise revenue over income tax rises and the DEs favour income tax rises over the flat taxes. That is pure and simple class interest; income taxes would have to be levied on the better off, the flat taxes on everyone and thus hurt the poorest the most. The second issue that divides clearly on class lines is the idea of cutting social welfare with the better off in favour and the least well off opposed. These are quite pronounced differences class interest is coming more centre stage, the propaganda of the media and politicians of the right is weighing less with people as their income and lifestyle suffer as more and more it becomes visible just who has the wealth and the nature of the corrupt and unjust system that delivers it to them.
2. Class is defining party political choice more than ever. The better off, professionals, big farmers and "the middle class" are far more likely to vote Fine Gael, the working class Sinn Féin and left independents/ULA. Fianna Fail is being squeezed; their cross-class appeal no longer has a great deal of currency; Labour, having betrayed the working class yet again, is in rapid decline; the middle ground is disappearing. The media of course like to call FF, FG and Labour centrist, not right-wing as they are, but the media's influence is waning. Remember every major newspaper is pro-austerity and backed the household tax, but clearly the people have rejected it. In the media there are dissenting voices but they are the odd few columnists and are by and large compromised by their support for Labour or wedded to liberal notions of the state.
This sharpening class division comes on the back of the intensification of the class war as the recession bites even deeper. In this context the Irish ruling class has been fighting to protect the interests of the capitalist class in doing this however they are having to squeeze workers and throw some of the middle class to the wolves. The abysmal reaction of the trade union leadership is a consequence both of 20 years of social partnership, the clear identification of the ICTU leadership with Labour and the interests of the capitalist class and the decline of TU membership to a largely (though not exclusively) public sector base. Thus protecting what small advantages they perceive as being possible for public sector workers becomes their key area of activity. But public sector workers have not been immune from wage cuts, cutbacks in the sectors they work in and are far from satisfied. The result has been the absence of a fightback on a serious widespread basis by organised workers. We have seen sporadic outbreaks and heroic stands like that at Veta Cortex but the Trade Union movement has failed to rally the working class. Cracks are showing however with unions more based in the private sector starting to buck the trend, the move by Mandate to back a "no" vote in the referendum is an example. In that context the rise of household tax campaign is a great cause for hope. Unburdened by the need to play by the rules, negotiate with the state and not burdened by the dead hand of trade union bureaucrats it is a real flesh and blood campaign, organically part of the working class. This expression of working class community militancy is full of contradictory and competing ideas, individuals and political groups but it is potentially the most powerful movement to emerge in Ireland since the 'Tan war".
The class war is intensifying; in that context, there is only one question that everyone will have to answer eventually: "Which side are you on?"
Fri 24 May, 17:11
Budget 2013 & the dark times to come 21:42 Fri 07 Dec 0 comments
TIME...is on my side! 03:54 Sat 06 Oct 0 comments
1,600 billion - Massive scale of oil giveaway revealed in Shell to Sea report 16:16 Tue 11 Sep 0 comments
Tories announce new plans to cut housing benefit from under 25s 16:03 Wed 27 Jun 0 comments
ECB gives banks 6,250 years worth of Household Tax 23:57 Fri 02 Mar 0 comments
Dublin demonstrates against ACTA & SOPA but it is about more than just downloading 20:26 Mon 13 Feb 0 comments
Half a million take to the streets of London against cuts 21:25 Tue 29 Mar 0 comments
Clarion hotel in Cork and Davenport in Dublin: Fighting for solidarity the key 20:43 Thu 24 Feb 0 comments
1% Walk in Dublin: Video Report 07:49 Sat 16 Oct 0 comments
Protests in Ireland as part of European action against crisis 22:40 Thu 30 Sep 0 commentsmore >>
The Croke Park extension: What it is and how to fight it Feb 27 0 comments
Sean Quinn - Cowboy turns desperado - A Western in four parts Aug 02 0 comments
Carve up of Girdwood site in Belfast reflects the sectarian carve-up May 26 0 comments
Resisting Austerity - Beyond the Ballot Box May 18 0 commentsmore >>
Sorry, no press releases matched your search, maybe try again with different settings.