Sindo front page belies ESRI report: Austerity for Most, Good Life for Some


The Denis O'Brien media published a remarkably badly considered Sunday Independent magazine cover story trying to convince us the good times were back. The reality as demonstrated by a recent ESRI report is that while Budget 2015 did indeed make those on high incomes richer it made most people poorer and hit the poorest 10% hardest of all.

The years of crisis have been used to impose a shock doctrine of neo-liberal restructuring of society in Ireland. Our health services have not just been destroyed but it's become all too common to see people trying to fundraise for needed surgery through online fundits. People are sleeping on the streets in freezing conditions right beside buildings which have remained empty for years after being bought up by property speculators. Tens of thousands of young people have been forced to emigrate, tens of thousands more forced onto Jobsbridge - a scheme that provides a massive subsidy to employers at our expense.

But now tens of thousands are fighting back by resisting the water charges and it's scaring the same O'Brien owned media. Not just because of the water charges itself but also because it suggests that there can be an alternative to waiting for the next election to replace Tweedledee with Tweedledum. An alternative based on mass self-organisation in the communities, a model that they are terrified may also spread to the workplaces. A model that could in fact remake society as it tells us we don't need politicians and billionaires to decide how to run society 'for us', that we can organise to make these decisions ourselves.