Saturday, 27 June 2020
Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais: Tairiscint - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government: Motion
Mick Barry (Cork North Central, Solidarity)
The former Taoiseach, Deputy Varadkar, told the House this morning that Civil War politics has now ended in Ireland's Parliament. I do not often agree with Deputy Varadkar but I think he is right on this one and the official end of Civil War politics is a significant moment.
Irish capitalism has had two key parties down the decades. For almost 100 years now, there has not been a single Government that has not been led by one or other of those parties or their direct predecessors. When Fianna Fáil lost popularity, Fine Gael could fill the breach. When Fine Gael dropped the ball, Fianna Fáil could step in and save the day. That strategy has run its course. It is a game that can no longer be played. I suspect that the more far-sighted strategists of capital may pay more attention now to courting Sinn Féin in an attempt to make it a safe alternative if and when this Government's time is done. Before the last general election, IBEC's Danny McCoy said the business community absolutely could work with Sinn Féin. Johnny Ronan, no less, described Sinn Féin's investment policies as sensible stuff. Sinn Féin received a big vote from working people in February, a vote for real change, but, of course, one cannot deliver for working people while keeping IBEC and the Johnny Ronans of this world onside. If there is a charm offensive from big business on that front, Sinn Féin should not succumb to it.
For our part, we will promote the politics of class in this Dáil. We will vigorously promote workers' interests on issues such as jobs, taxes and the defence of public services. We will approach the July stimulus and the new economic plan in October from the point of view of vigorously promoting those interests. On green issues, we will oppose attempts to make working people pay for the environmental crisis, as shown by increases in the carbon tax, while advocating for environmentally-friendly policies that benefit ordinary people, such as free public transport. We will seek to expose the profit system as being the central danger to the environment in the world today. Finally, we will seek to advance the socialist ideas of Connolly and Larkin in a suitable way for the 21st century and to provide a vigorous socialist opposition both inside and outside this Dáil.