Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prosperity Denied; the True Face of PD Hypocrisy;

Frank McNamara, the former musical director of RTÉ’s “Late, Late, Show” announced himself as a candidate for the “Progressive Democrats” in the forthcoming General Election here and went on RTÉ Radio’s “Joe Duffy Show” today to get himself some free publicity. He didn’t fare too well as several ‘phone callers ripped to shreds his mealy mouthed apologia for the the PD’s ten years in office with Fianna Fáil in coalition and he didn’t even know the rate of the Old Age Pension when challenged by one caller. Rejecting the charge that he was being a “parachute candidate” McKnowNothing revealed he was a PD supporter for the past ten years. He won’t mind then sharing responsibility for the mess the FF/PD Coalition are leaving behind them as they leave office.

It can be seen from the regular outbursts of PD Fuhrer Michael McDowell in the Dáil and elsewhere, with a pretence of “debating” the “issues” while deliberately obscuring the real issues of the capitalist exploitation economy which the PD Party adheres to like barnacles on the bottom of a boat, there is one PD policy for their business cronies and financial backers and another for general consumption by the electorate.

The meaningless shibboleth “the PD’s believe that if people work hard and honestly they are entitled to the fruits of their labour, that is not a question of greed, it is a question of justice” is manifestly untrue since, if people who worked hard could really enjoy “the fruits of their labour”, the entire capitalist system would immediately collapse. The system only continues to exist by denying the people who work hard the larger part of the “fruits of their labour” by using economic coercion to force wages to the absolute tolerable minimum, given the balance of political forces at any particular time in its history, and expropriating the major part of produced value to itself.

Bundles of paper and piles of metal stored in bank vaults do not produce anything; only human labour can do that. Therein lies the source of capitalist wealth and “prosperity” – robbery of the working majority’s real output value for the immoral and unjust enrichment of the few.

The PD’s spout a lot of slogans, most of them borrowed, ironically, from historic socialism but, the people on the hospital trollies, dying in ambulances, living in the poverty ghettos in every urban area of the state, lacking the child-care facilities, stuck on congested roads and under-funded public transport, children attending Dickensian school buildings, the thousands who are still unemployed; they all experience the reality of PD/FF “justice and prosperity”.

Those of us who remember “Sweatshop” Harney’s “Hong Kong” speech a few years ago are not fooled by the sham “reforms” of herself and her proto-fascist party. The “reforms” which in the years of so-called “social partnership” have secured a massive transfer of income from the wage workers to the pockets of the speculators, “developers”, finance capitalists and other stalwarts of the PD Party. “Sweatshop” Harney had to move constituency because she was found out as a political fraud by the people of Dublin South West and she was in danger of losing her seat.

Ms Blarney’s perennial boasts of lowering taxes on incomes will sound hollow to those forced to live on minimum wages or average industrial wages. The so-called “standard” rate of 20% grabs one fifth of relatively small earned incomes compared with the 12.5% of the vastly greater unearned income from capital gains. Only a slight rise in wages or having to work on Sundays brings the average worker into the 41% tax band, the same rate as millionaires like “Sir” Tony “Bean Baron” O’Reilly and Michael O’Leery who are the beneficiaries of Ms Blarney’s reduced capital gains tax regime. On top of that, the average wage-earner has to suffer continuous rises in PD/FF stealth taxes in ESB charges, public transport fare rises, TV license, restrictions on medical card eligibility, increases in GP visit charges and prescriptions and a long list of others. The Government’s own statistics show up Ms Blarney’s thesis as spurious. In 1997, when Ms Blarney returned to office, the share of wages in the value of gross industrial production was 9.4%. In 2002, when Ms Blarney’s first five year term ended, the figure was reduced to 7%. This means that, by comparison, a net amount of 25% of the wages share had been transferred to Ms Blarney’s friends in the corporate sector and all the gains of productivity in those five years had gone to them too (CSO – Census of Industrial Production 1997-2002). And that was before the Government took it’s tax cut and the affect of Government ordered price rises. So much for Ms Blarney’s “lowering” of taxes on wage-earners.

The overall PD push is corporatist, anti-social and heavily biased in favour of profit-taking and asset-stripping in the name of “economic development” for the minority of those with sufficient capital resources to engage in these activities on a large scale. Reckless of the social consequences of a rampaging market-fetishism, the PD party are the first cousins of ENRON and the Buckfush economic plunderers of state treasuries and public assets for private gain. Ms Blarney delivers “real change” alright; she robs the wallets of the wage workers and delivers her loot to her corporate friends.

The PD Party stands today, as it has since its foundation, as an obsessive right-wing party facilitating and favouring, let’s not put a tooth in it, the organisers of exploitation and slave-labour on a global scale. No doubt the cheerleaders of South Frederick St were on their feet recently applauding their in pectoris member in Brussels, the redoubtable Mr McCreepy, who continues to spout the same nonsense as Mr McDo-little and Ms Blarney. They ought to open their history books now and then and contemplate the fate of another exploiting elite whose arrogance and ignorance of reality came to a swift and peremptory end at the foot of the guillotine, in Paris, in 1793.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/Dublin, 27 Márta/March 2007.

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