Kenny and Gilmore merely Puppets On A String of wealthy 1%

Date:

Despite appalling weather conditions, members of the 1% Network gathered outside the Central Bank in Dublin’s Dame Street on Thursday evening (10th March) to highlight the fact that, despite the change in government the wealthy 1% still “pull the strings”.

The evening’s events began with a symbolic sealing off of the Central Bank with crime scene tape.  This was done to highlight the fact that it is “a symbol of no-regulation capitalism and unbridled greed,” said Brian Leeson, 1% Network spokesperson. 

“The victims of the financial crimes committed here are the almost half a million unemployed, the thousand people a week forced to emigrate, the social welfare recipients whose payments have been cut, the workers whose wages have been slashed.  These crimes have been committed in order to protect the wealth divide that exists in Irish society,” Mr. Leeson continued. 

Puppets

Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore made an appearance at the event – in the form of puppets on strings being pulled by what were clearly members of the 1%.   These wealthy individuals carried speech bubbles which declared “I don’t need to stand in elections.  I still have the power” and “No matter who’s in government I pull the strings”.  This highlighted the fact that – despite the recession the 1% of the population that owned 34% of the wealth in 2007 retain most of their wealth today.  

“That wealth gives these people access to political power.  They don’t care whether it’s Fianna Fáil & The Greens or Fine Gael & Labour that are nominally in charge because they know that the real political power lies in their hands.  The politicians’ hands are tied and they are mere puppets on the strings of the super-wealthy,” said Mr. Leeson.

Rich List

Ironically this event was held on the same day as the latest Forbes Rich List had been published.  This had reported that last year the number of billionaires in the world actually increased by 214 to a record 1,210, each of whom had an average net worth of $3.7 billion, a fact which was highlighted by Gregor Kerr 1% Network spokesperson.  “It’s clear that the worldwide recession has hurt some more than others,” he said.  “While this tiny number of individuals suck more and more wealth into their greedy paws, half the world’s population – over three billion people – are forced to live on less than $3 a day.”

The 1% Network has pledged to continue to campaign to highlight the huge wealth divide that exists in Ireland and throughout the world, and has said that it will work to “encourage and support people in their communities and in their workplaces to resist the government policies that underpin this wealth divide.”

Political Power

“There’s something that most of us don’t realise,” said Mr. Kerr.   “Political power is retained in the hands of the super-wealthy only because we allow it to be.  They are few and we are many.  And if we want to ensure that real fundamental change takes place in Irish society, if we want to bring about a real democratic revolution and if we want to build a new society that will be run in the interest of ordinary people instead of in the interest of the super wealthy – To borrow a phrase from a politician I’ve never quoted before YES WE CAN.

Our strength is our common bond, our solidarity.  In the short term that solidarity needs to be built to resist the ongoing attacks on our living standards.  Every cut that this new government attempts to impose must be resisted.  Every new tax must be opposed.  Every cut in social welfare, every cut in wages.  We need to organise in our communities and in our workplaces and build a resistance that will say we are no longer willing to tolerate a society that outs the interests of a greedy few before the interests of the majority.

Building such campaigns will not be easy, we – the workers’ movement generally – are starting from a very low point.  But the one thing that is clear is that we cannot rely on trade union leaders or politicians – no matter how well-intentioned – to do it for us.  We have to do it for ourselves.  And that means each one of us has to be willing to become a ‘leader’, an advocate for change and a focus of debate and discussion aimed at bringing about that change.

Let’s organise the resistance and let’s begin to dream the dream of a new society based on equality and justice,” he concluded.

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