PBPA TD says the left must take unprecdented opportunity to re-draw Ireland’s political map in a progressive direction

rbbIn a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance has welcomed the call by the five trade unions affiliated to the Right 2 Water campaign for a progressive pre-election platform, saying it was “an urgently needed opportunity to establish a united and credible alternative to the failed policies of austerity.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett, a member of the steering group of the Right 2 water campaign and, along with some of the trade union affiliates, one the instigators of the campaign said, “left and progressive forces in Ireland have an unprecedented opportunity to redraw the Irish political map in a progressive direction and create a genuine political alternative for ordinary Irish people.”

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The Right 2 Water campaign, and before it, the successful coalition that defeated the plan to sell the harvesting rights of Coilte, have shown how effective the left can be when they come together. We urgently need to translate that formula of unity and people power into a wider platform that offers a comprehensive alternative to the failed policies of austerity.

People Before Profit have consistently argued over the last number of years that the different elements of the left, progressive civil society groups and grass-roots campaigns, should come together around a common platform. We are very proud of the role we have played in helping to initiate both of these campaigns and in actively seeking to work with others on the left and in the unions around common goals and policies.

The unions involved in the Right 2 Water campaign have distinguished themselves in pursuing efforts to unite different elements of the left against unjust austerity policies. This has been in sharp contrast to other unions affiliated to the Labour Party, who have sat on their hands for the last four years, while their own members have been hammered by this government. This very welcome initiative now offers the chance to take the successful formula of co-operation and people power to the next level in advance of the forthcoming general election.

The utter failure of the austerity agenda and the enormous disillusionment with the political parties associated with that agenda, both in Ireland and across Europe, means there is now an unprecedented opportunity to create a new progressive political movement. We owe it to the vast majority of citizens who have suffered the cruel cost of austerity to grab this opportunity with both hands.”