Political and Business correspondent Jim O’ Brien returns with a reaction to the news from the Sunday Business Post.
I read with disgust, the front page headline of the Sunday Business Post, the government planning to cut postgraduate funding. It is hard to believe that the Labour Party is in government. Their excuses are just as pathetic as their policies. Responding to his decision to overturn his party’s pre-election promise not to introduce fees, Ruairi Quinn stated that he did not know the full extent of the country’s financial problems. WOW! The dogs on the street know we have faced bleak financial prospects since 2008, during which, the Labour Party and others shouted from the hills that the then administration bankrupted the country. Their attack was justifiable and correct, yet now a senior minister explains that he actually did not know how bankrupt we really are. There are no varying degrees of bankruptcy, once declared, its official that you cannot afford to keep your organisation opened and running with sufficient resources. Now maybe the political dictionary of Dail Eireann gives verifying definitions, i.e. spin, then the minister may have a point. But to us in the real world, facing higher student contributions, worsening job prospects and parents in mortgage arrears we know that what is asked of the whole country, not just us students, but to parents, the unemployed, the employed and the sick, reduced services, higher charges and the prospects of long-term unemployment and poverty. I thought in 1913, the brave men, the last of those with political purpose and esteem fought against poverty and a better future for generations to come. The same men who survived 1916 and later won our independence assured our destiny was in our people’s hands; to educate us, employ us etc. with our own government. Collins took back our country from the British and Cowen gave it back to the Germans. So come Wednesday, let them hear our anger, our frustration and tell them clearly and directly, the time is nigh to change our course of action and put the people of this country first. We were once called the financial cowboys of the Wild West, now we are looked on as the fools who paid back the speculators categorically.
Also, let me be clear, in referencing the 1913 Lockouts, 1916 Rising and the War of Independence, it is not a call now to take up arms and fight the establishment. If we mean business, we have to demonstrate our sincerity in our demonstration and gain further sympathy and understanding from others, home and abroad. Let us show the British, French, Greeks and Italians that Ireland is hurting, and that we are wounded from the cuts, but we shall not commit ourselves to civil disobedience and violence. If John Hume can bring peace to the North through peaceful means then surely we can bring fairness, equality and democracy back into the core of Irish society.
–Jim O’ Brien
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