March 2015        

Old vinegar in a new bottle

Mary MacMahon

It has taken some time for the former Blueshirt Lucinda Creighton to launch her much-hyped new political party, “Renua Ireland,” or Progressive Democrats mark 2.
     This will be a motley crew of right-wingers committed to further attacks on workers and on public services, to privatisation and subservience to global capitalism, and particularly to the European Union.
     No doubt the next few months will be filled with talk of “renewing democracy,” “public trust,” and “public stability.” Nothing will be done or offered that is in the interests of the majority, of working people.
     As with the PDs, this new right-wing outfit will be pro-business, anti-worker. They will be for cutting taxes for business and the professional class, continuing the policies of cuts in services, and a consolidation of the toll-bridge economy now firmly embedded.
     They will be attempting to consolidate the frustration of the middle and professional classes whose votes are going to independents, which for the establishment would be an important contribution to maintaining political and economic stability and to neutralising any advance by the left and progressive independents.
     Hobbs, the supposed ideologue of this new party, when asked if he would be standing in the next general election refused to commit himself, as he was not sure he could afford to do so. This is a person who thinks Irish workers are overpaid, that there should be no increase in wages or the re-establishment of lost increments for public-sector workers.
     He is a firm believer that workers must be motivated by low wages, long hours and precarious employment in order to get the system working, and that the rich and the professional classes need to increase their wealth for them to be motivated.
     Creighton and Hobbs will be hoping to hold the balance of power in the formation of the next government. But they have nothing new to offer the Irish people, only more of the same: to continue to pay the socialised odious corporate debt, to exist on poverty wages, to queue for diminishing public services.
     It is old vinegar in a new bottle, labelled “More of the same.”

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