On Their Nastiness and Ours - TV3’s People’s Debate with Vincent Browne & the water charges

We woke this morning to the shocking news that “Gardaí were called to Clontarf Castle in Dublin last night where a recording of TV3’s People’s Debate with Vincent Browne was taking place” [1]. We are informed that the television debate “descended into chaos as two Government ministers were jeered at by anti-water charge protesters” [2]. According to the Minister of State and Labour party TD Áodhan O Riordáin, it was “nasty stuff” [1] [2].
A woman in the audience claimed she was being intimidated by someone sitting beside her after she applauded something Mr O’Riordáin said [1]. According to a Garda spokesman, however, the protest was very minor and there were no incidents or arrests to report [1].
Now compare this minor incident to the ‘nasty stuff’ routinely visited upon the ordinary men and women speaking from the floor.
One woman, Audrey Clancy, spoke as follows: “We will not pay our water charges because we the people have this won. We will not pay again for water charges. My question to you Áodhan O Riordáin, you and your party, and Joan Burton, is how could you vote in that single parents will have their money cut when their youngest child reaches seven years of age. What are we supposed to do? Leave them on their own when we go to work? What do we do? More money taken away fro those that are already suffering. Shame on you! Do you have to suffer? Do you have to leave your child at home on her own while you work? Do you have to worry where the money comes from for tomorrow’s dinner? Do you have to worry about that? Do you have to worry about your children going back to school? No! So how dare you…[loud cheers and applause]” [3]
Austerity is class war. It is a form of violence visited upon ordinary people by government and demanded by the rule of money. In truth, we know that no matter what government “gets in to power”, the logic of capitalism will dictate their actions. This logic says ‘more profit’, ‘more privatisation’, ‘more wage cuts’, and ‘more austerity’.
But we have a different logic. One that values people. One that values our environment. One that looks after children and does not send them to school hungry. One that cares for people with addiction problems rather than condemn as eyesores damaging to tourism in our city centres. One says ‘Enough!’ and ‘No Way, We Won’t Pay!’ One that boycotts Irish Water.
Until we organise and our logic wins, we can count on the media to downplay the nastiness of austerity and to report on the scandal of people challenging their supposed betters.
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[1] “Gardaí called to recording of Vincent Browne’s TV show”. Irish Times, September 8, 2015.
[2] ‘Chaotic scenes’ at recording of TV3's Vincent Browne debate in Dublin. Irish Independent, September 8, 2015.
[3] Starts at 1:30. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMJaT0kkcgQ&feature=youtu.be