Republican Sinn Féin are holding a public meeting in Wynn’s Hotel on Wednesday May 23 at 7.30pm as part of the Campaign against the Austerity Treaty.
Republican Sinn Féin President Des Dalton
Editor of Saoirse Ruairí Og Ó Brádaigh
Republican Sinn Féin is calling on the 26-County electorate to vigorously reject the further integration of the Ireland into the undemocratic European super-state. The upcoming vote on the fiscal integration of the European economic area is not to be mistaken as a genuine attempt to solve the economic woes of this state. This system of undiluted capitalism that has caused the economic crash in recent times and which is responsible for the serious and fundamentally inhumane cutbacks are in effect a conspiracy to rob the Irish people of whatever remains of the sovereignty this state once had.
The argument of the pro-Treaty side is the usual lies we have become accustomed to. Threats that the 26-County State’s economy will not recover and that we will face even more unemployment and cutbacks if a rejection is the outcome is the lowest form of political deceit. Consistently the establishment parties have been proven wrong in their analysis. Stability will only be achieved when a clean break is made from the failed financial system that has stolen the sovereignty of the people and left them in a depressed state of political isolation and irrelevance. Since membership of the EU we have slowly over a long drawn out period of time been coaxed into conceding more and more sovereignty to the European elite. If we vote Yes to this treaty our elected representatives will have little or no say in Irish budgets, we will be at the mercy of the bureaucratic elite, austerity will be enshrined, poverty will be guaranteed for thousands throughout the state and the people will remain the economic slaves to a financial and European elite.
In 2008 when our political representatives so slavishly gave away our futures and the futures of our children to bail out unknown private financiers to the amount of billions with tax payers money Iceland was in a worse position than us. Did they bailout the banks at the cost of the welfare of their nation? No! They took the morally correct and courageous decision to let the private banks fail. Because they had their own currency they were able to devalue it by up to 50%. This allowed them to export their way back to growth, they now have a larger debt to GDP ratio and this has given Icelandic bonds investment grade status. Irish bonds on the other hand have junk status because we give away all the nations wealth to private bankers and unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
The people of the 26-County State are in a tug of war with the European and Corporate elite, it is a tug of war not just for the economic control of the state but for vast wealth of resources we have at our disposal. If we allow them to enslave our so-called political leaders then control of our resources and economy will be lost. Take Ireland’s side in this war against Neo-Imperialism and Vote No on May 31st. Victory in this referendum is only the first step on the road to reclaiming our nation’s sovereignty but let us face the challenge and go about re-establishing the All-Ireland Republic that in the words of James Connolly must serve as “a republic that would be a beacon-light to the oppressed of every land.”
More News on the Austerity Treaty / Fiscal Treaty Referendum on: www.nofiscaltreaty.net
Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton
The Austerity Treaty is the creation of the same political and financial elite who created the present economic collapse. During the so-called boom the profits of the wealthy were privatised to ensure they would not be shared with society, now during the bust they socialise their losses, forcing people across the EU to pay for them. Political events in France, Holland and Greece indicate that people have had enough of this kind of lop-sided economics. On May 31 the people of the 26 Counties have an opportunity to add their voice to this growing Europe-wide movement of resistance by voting No.
The way forward is not to resurrect a failed political and economic model but to begin anew. A radical change in thinking is demanded creating real economic as well as political democracy. This means ensuring that the decisions which affect people and their communities, are made by them rather than unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels or elsewhere. Our political and economic policies Éire Nua and Saol Nua set out a blueprint for such a New Ireland.
In four years time we will be marking the Centenary of the heroic 1916 Rising and the Proclamation of Ireland’s right to nationhood. Rejecting the Austerity Treaty would be a statement of our intent to not merely pay lip service to the ideals of the 1916 Proclamation but instead our determination to live up to them.
More News on the Austerity Treaty / Fiscal Treaty Referendum on: www.nofiscaltreaty.net
IN A letter to the Irish Times on May 5, 2012, Des Dalton, President, Republican Sinn Féin, said:
Sir, your editorial of May 1 entitled ‘Still a capacity for mayhem’ displayed an inability to draw any lessons from our history coupled with an unwillingness to even acknowledge the existence of, let alone engage with, the Éire Nua proposals for a Federal Ireland as a credible and coherent alternative to the present failed partitionist set-up.
In the past Republican Sinn Féin offered to engage in debate through the offices of your paper on the merits of the Éire Nua, an offer, which, sadly was not taken up.
You declare that Republicans who have rightly identified the failure of the Stormont Agreement to deliver a just and last peace for the people of Ireland “appear beyond talking to”. This is indicative of a mindset which in the past condemned generations of our people to conflict and war because of its unwillingness to engage with all of the issues including the fundamental cause of that conflict and war – that is continued British occupation and partition. It is in short the mentality which gave rise to the Section 31 broadcasting ban on Irish Republicans.
With honourable exceptions the mainstream media have simply parroted official line peddled by Stormont, Leinster House and Westminster that the Six-County state is now a normal democratic society. The reality is far removed from this. The Six-County State remains an undemocratic and sectarian statelet. The Stormont Assembly has an executive with no opposition while implementing a system which forces people to designate themselves along sectarian lines. The state itself continues to rely on draconian legislation, non-jury courts and a paramilitary police force to enforce its writ. The internment without-trial of Republican veterans such as Martin Corey and Marian Price along with the ongoing struggle for political status by the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry prison all point to the abnormality of this state.
In 1998 during the two state referenda on the Stormont Agreement and the amendment of Articles 2 and 3 of the 1937 26-County constitution Republican Sinn Féin pointed out that the agreement failed on two levels. 1. It failed to address the root cause of conflict in Ireland, which was and remains British rule and partition. 2. The agreement served only to institutionalise sectarianism and would lead only to an increased polarisation of the two communities. This is an analysis, which has been borne out by a number of independent studies including figures released by statutory bodies within the Six Counties.
As an alternative to all of this Republican Sinn Féin have consistently advocated the Éire Nua programme as a non-sectarian and democratic way forward. With its provision for decentralisation of decision making powers from national to provincial, to regional, right down to local or community level it gives all sections of the Irish people a real voice and involvement in the decisions that affect them. On each occasion these proposals have been put to unionists they have been acknowledged as a workable alternative and indeed your one of your columnists, David Adams writing in the Irish Times on December 3 2009 said that it was the only serious attempt to outline what a united Ireland would mean: “The Éire Nua document, authored by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and Dáithí Ó Conaill in the 1970s, remains the only serious bid by any strand of nationalism or republicanism to address the issue at all.”
Éire Nua includes a Draft Charter of Rights and would include the European Convention on Human Rights in the domestic law of a New Ireland. In retrospect, the only problem with Éire Nua was that it was produced by the “wrong” people, those who have been labelled disturbers, subversives, dissidents and terrorists – all undesirables in the eyes of the Establishments. Yet, it has been admired and praised by many scholars and academics It needs to be promoted vigorously.
The old order is being questioned more and more, people are receptive to new ideas and the circumstances are opportune again. Republicans have never advocated simply attaching the Six Counties to the existing 26-County state. We believe both states are part of the same problem and have clearly failed. The Irish people are in need of a beacon of hope now more than ever and way out of the tired and failed politics of partition. At a time when we are being squeezed by the old imperialism of British Rule in the Six Counties and the new imperialism of the EU/IMF we believe Éire Nua along with our social and economic programme Saol Nua are a blueprint for making the All-Ireland Republic set out in the 1916 Proclamation a reality for all of the Irish people. As in the past we are proud to provide leadership based on principled and coherent policies.
On this May Day we address ourselves to you on the urgent need for a vibrant and radical trade union movement. Working people in Ireland and across Europe are being sacrificed in order to bail out the failed neo-liberal economic model upon which the EU is based. The orthodoxy of the political and economic elites both here in Ireland and within the EU is to rebuild the collapsed structure of finance capitalism rather than deal with the human cost of that collapse. The legacy for future generations will be an inability to educate the young, care for the sick and provide for the old, the very markers of a civilised society. In Europe the resistance to this is growing as evidenced in Greece but also by the collapse of the government in Holland and the Presidential election in France.
Here in Ireland it is time for the trade union movement to take up the banner first held aloft by the founders of the movement a century ago. James Connolly’s words are as relevant today as when first penned in 1916: “The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour. They cannot be dissevered. Ireland seeks freedom. Labour seeks that an Ireland free should be the sole mistress of her own destiny, supreme owner of all material things within and upon her soil. Labour seeks to make the free Irish nation the guardian of the interests of the people of Ireland, and to secure that end would vest in that free Irish nation all property rights as against the claims of the individual, with the end in view that the individual may be enriched by the nation, and not by the spoiling of his fellows.” Or James Larkin in his address to the Irish Trades Union Congress in 1914: “I submit that the working class have as much right as any section or class in the community to enjoy all the advantages of science, art and literature. No field of knowledge, no outlook in life, and no book should be closed against the workers. We should demand our share in the effulgence of life and all that was created for the enjoyment of mankind.”
We applaud the stand taken by MANDATE, the TEEU, UNITE and CPSU in calling for a rejection of the Austerity Treaty in the referendum on May 31. We call on the rest of the trade union movement to take a similar position and join the campaign against this undemocratic power grab by the EU. By voting No the Irish people will be reaffirming in the words of the 1916 Proclamation: “The right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland.”
This decade will mark the centenaries of some of the defining moments in Irish Revolutionary history including the heroic 1913 Lockout as well as the 1916 Rising, both of which we will mark with pride. The trade union movement was in the vanguard of the forces of democracy and progress during those momentous years, 100 years later it must do so again if it is to retain its relevance to the working people of All-Ireland. The trade union movement must discard the language of conciliation with forces that will not be conciliated, it must speak with a language described by Sean O’Casey that is “not for an assignation with peace, dark obedience, or placid resignation, but trumpet-tongued of resistance to wrong, discontent with leering poverty, and defiance of any power strutting out to stand in the way of their march onward.”
Trade unions must once more be prepared to take on the forces of political reaction and capital and join the struggle for a New Ireland based on the principles of political, social and economic justice, freedom and democracy. James Connolly described Liberty Hall as the: “unconquered citadel of the Irish working class”, it is now time for the entire trade union movement to prove itself worthy of the proud legacy bequeathed to it by its unconquered and unconquerable forbearers. “The great appear great because we are on our knees, let us rise”.