Tomorrow in Maynooth and in towns all across Ireland there will be public protests organised by Right2Water saying NO TO WATER CHARGES.
The leaflet dropped in the door says to bring whistles, bodhrans and placards. On Oct 11, about 100,000 people marched in Dublin and this is the next phase or widening protest nationally.
The leaflet is also right to say that the introduction of water charges in Ireland is, in effect, a new tax in order to pay the national bailout of Irish banks, especially Anglo-Irish Bank which cost the taxpayer (a private bank remember) about €80 BILLION if I remember right.
That remains a pretty impressive statistic for a population of 4.5 million people.
I’m also sympathetic to the protest at how the new company Irish Water has been set up: overstaffed, a private monoply, a whiff of jobs for the boys, bonuses already built in just for doing your job … etc Not that much seems to have changed in Ireland despite talk of root and branch reform to the way we do politics.
[As an aside – it also seems that the promised radical shake up of the Irish Civil Service is going to be a pretty toothless affair. My prediction for the next general election? The established parties are going to get hammered and Sinn Fein and the more radical left are going to advance in a way never seen before in Irish politics. And the Govt and Fianna Fail and the Irish “estabishment” will only have themselves to blame for being unable to imagine and actually implement change.]
So, a lot of people are very worked up about their ‘right 2 water’ being threatened.
But this week I also came across statistics from Tearfund like these
Currently, 2.5 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation and 900 million people lack safe water. As a result, 2.2 million children under five die from diarrhoeal diseases each year. Women and children in poorer countries spend hours each day collecting and carrying water. The weight of water carried can be more than 25 kilograms.
I don’t see and hear outrage and protests nationally about this sort of life and death injustice.
I do hear people getting very angry and upset at a first world problem of paying a tax. And I include myself in that category.
Comments, as ever, welcome