A Critique. Donegal A Microcosm Of The Malaise Affecting Right2change Ireland

From Buncrana Together last November a highly charged piece by Enda Craig and James Quigley in which they examine the changing rightward politics of Right2Water and Sinn Fein's influence in the movement. 

Caravaggio's Salome with a twist. Salome took no joy in it.

Donegal a microcosm of national malaise

This article discusses the anti water charge movement in Ireland, in particular Right2Change. It focuses on our experience in Donegal involving some dreadful treatment and shady manoeuvrings by fellow campaigners. It uses this experience to draw conclusions about the national campaign and finds out that we are a mere microcosm of the controversy nationally.

It would be safe to say that this article could be written about the campaign in any county in Ireland and like Donegal are part and parcel of the political quagmire that it has descended into, a cauldron overflowing with political and personal intrigue, cloak and dagger politics, mistrust, competition, egos and downright nastiness.

From the lofty ideals of communities successfully standing together against water charges, resolute in the aim of abolishing Irish Water and preventing the privatisation and commodification of our water resources, we have reached the stage where this hard fought campaign has been subsumed by politicos with their clarion call of 'unity' and 'revolution' and thrown into a myriad of other issues, confusing the anti water protesters and relegating the water charges campaign to the back of the cue.

Righ2Water Subsumed under Right2Change political agenda

Right2Change affiliated unions

Right2Water's target has shifted. It is has now changed it's name to Right2Change and it's focus is not on beating water charges but on the next general election, building some type of left or left of centre political organisation. The optimism built up by the anti water charges success is now giving way to pessimism and confusion. We are at the mercy of political parties and the unions. They have now split this fine movement and we are at the beck and call of these political leaders. The successful community campaign of non payment and non recognition of water charges and Irish Water has been handed to, or was taken over by politicos. The initiative and power has been wrested from local groups and the emphasis is now on institutions that have led to the impasse the county is in.

Look up the definition of a 'politico', a person who will promise anything to win an election.

“Parliament is a means of diffusing democracy, of channelling real struggles into a safe dead-end. Time and time again it has become a graveyard for the workers’ movement.” Kevin Doyle Parliament or Democracy

Right2Change has done all this. On that fateful Sat in August, 2015, led by the affiliated unions, particularly Unite and Mandate, Brendan Ogle, the educational officer for Unite and main honcho in Right2Change, shouted from the stage in front of the GPO in Dublin, to the 100,000 anti water charge protesters , “we haven't gone away, you know, this campaign is much more than water. Say after me, this campaign is much more than water" and holding up the little coloured booklet of Right2Change's policy principles, he launched the Right2Change organisation.

Credit where credit is due

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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