Water: When We Should Pay

Guest writer Simon Smyth takes the plunge and swims against the tide with his independent take on the water charges issue.

A few thoughts on the water rates debacle from a die-hard environmentalist...

I am not against water charges in themselves. We should regulate our use of water through metering to ensure there is no unnecessary wastage.

We should pay for using water based on what we use. Too much is lost in an inadequately maintained run-down, antiquated system and money should be raised purely to maintain and improve supply whilst regulating use.

It shouldn't be used to prop up the economy.

People who have low incomes shouldn't be asked to pay whether they are on benefits or on low wages. People who are higher up the scale in income should be subsidised and the wealthiest should pay the lion's share. All based on usage.

The ones who don't have to pay should get tax credits based on reduced usage. A small but welcome amount to reward good management.

It should be publicly owned and run. The appropriate body should be accountable and transparent.

Practically everything is wrong with the current water charges situation in the South and which is also likely in the North.

Irish water is only a quasi-public body so full or further privatisation is inevitable in the future. No company or individuals should profit privately from the water rates. They should receive fair and reasonable pay but no bonuses at all. They can't work for free but they likewise shouldn't be able to operate like well mannered gangsters.

It should be owned by the public for the public.

Many places in the South have water which is undrinkable. People shouldn't have to pay for water they have to boil and then have to go out and buy bottled drinking water. It is a disgrace.

A well funded water service could improve the quality of water supplied.

As I said in theory I am in favour of paying for water. I would happily pay for such a much needed, under-resourced service if this was based on ability to pay and usage.

If the money is raised and used fairly no-one should have a legitimate complaint.

However, I doubt I will ever be in favour of any scheme dreamt up by the bandits North or South. There are far too many legitimate complaints and little if any benefit.


  1. Simon,

    you have the pluck to go against the grain on this one. That is laudable in an age of serious internet bullying which largely comes from anonymous trolls showing no pluck only menace.

    Keep writing, no matter what your views.

    Thanks for sending it to us.


  2. I agree in most respects.
    Just to add that the people who have quality water should pay so that areas with low quality services can be improved.
    Also, the govt should issue water saving devices to low income families.
    You can get flow restrictors for your shower and plastic bags that achieve the same result as the brick in the cistern.
    These are availabe to buy online..But they should be sold at lower cost by Irish water..People shouldn't have to buy them on Amazon.
    Without a proper debate on this issue..We will get what we always get a useless compromise which results in no change. Except that services will stay rubbish but that people will end up paying more for them..But not enough to improve the quality of those services.
    Anyway here is what I am talking about from amazon

  3. If you feel you can argue with the powers that be over water logically you have lost. They have a plan and it is to privatise and sell water like any other commodity, ie knickers pants and big macs. Don't even go there as you will have conceded to their arguments by agreeing it is a commodity.

    When it is not, it’s the staff of life and access to it is a basic right all human beings should have, nay must have. Just like a right to a home, a job, and social security when we fall ill or become old or unemployed etc.

    Remember those who wish to privatises your water are a moral human beings, might is right and greed is good and of course the market knows best. They are the type of vermin who regard sick and disabled people and the unemployed as 'stock,' to be exploited for cash in their neo liberal world.

    Need i go on. Have no truck with the devil and certainly do not start whistling his tune.

  4. Rage,

    but can the same argument not be made about food? It is as vital for water is sold by the private sector and we pay for it.

    I a not really sure about your last sentence: how rigid you would actually be in relation to it. Sometimes here you explain SF's position vis a vis its critics in terms of doing what it has to do. And they do much more than sup with the devil.

  5. Simon,

    I agree with you that it should be publicly owned and those that simply can’t afford another living expense should not have to be overburdened paying for water.

    In the housing sector it wouldn’t be difficult to estimate the average amount of water a household uses.
    I think that should remain free of charge and the meter should only start ticking once a household exceeds the average amount that may well give people incentive not to over use water.
    It is shameful there should be clean water for all being forced to buy drinking water at a shop is a rip off.

    In the business and government sectors they should pay in full as they are proficient in water waste and that would offset the average household use along with it paying for those who simply cannot afford it.

    Even though I don’t agree with it, it will eventually be a reality and I am sure if they could find a reason to charge people for the air we breathe they would.

  6. Rage, you are arguing from a position not a principle. Two positions are rarely met in a discussion but if two sides to an argument base the discussion on principles an end point with agreement is probable.

    If you can point out any principle of my argument that is flawed do so but saying "don't sup with the devil" is not going to persuade me as it doesn't undermine any of my argument.

    I agree with you that water shouldn't be privatised but it should be cared for and my idea for restricting people's use in a way which is comfortable and which safeguards the infrastructure and the water itself does just that. All based on an ability to pay.

    It would persuade people not to waste water and it would necessitate the public bodies in maintaining it and delivering it without so much waste in the system.

    So much water can be saved through simple change of habits like using hippos like Ozzy suggested or by stopping water flow freely down the drain unnecessarily.

    I have seen friends let the hot water run, take 5 minutes to go upstairs for a towel before returning to plug the kitchen sink.

    I know the water authority waste much of the water in the system and deliver poor quality water to too many but money could fix this. All on an ability to pay.

    As for your examples of social security, health care etc where on earth do you think the funding comes from? The mint doesn't just print it willy-nilly. If it did the value of the currency would plummet and inflation would soar out of control.

    It is funded through taxes and every state has taxes in one form or another. My example would protect the much needed resource for the future and benefit people with little if any income. In fact everyone would benefit. The supply would improve and no fat-cats would be using their bonuses to buy yet another ivory back-scratcher.

  7. Water should never have to be paid for until our creator sends a bill. This is an example of what the Tory cunts would do if there was no alternative. Unfortunately there are others of the same mindset who would redicule the tory blue shirts. People talk of the government and us and them,,,,,these bastards have been put in charge by us so blame the blind sheep for their own enslavement. Until such times that people open their eyes and see for themselves the actual way they are being treated by the cunts in Dublin and Belfast nothing will change. I personally refuse to pick my master. In every way possible refuse to co operate with their system. Don't blame others for screwing you when you are not prepared to stop them. Don't look back in years to come and say I should have done this or that. Do what you know is right now and then you will have no regrets. Fuck anyone in the free state or in the north who thinks I will pay them for the water I drink. Anthony to compare charging for water to charging for food????????? I thought you were an educated man. That's like something I would have come out with. Don't even consider it. Next will be the air. They already tried the light with their window tax. Lie down with dogs and you are sure to get flees. Get read of the whole bunch of thieving bastards.

  8. Pat,

    there being no creator, there will be no bill.

    A lively input for sure but it still leaves me wondering about the difference between paying for food but not for water, given that both are essential needs without which life expires pretty quickly. People who make the argument that water should not be paid for because it is so essential to life sustenance are invariably confronted with why they are prepared to pay for other life indispensables.

    The water system has to be paid for. It is a question of how it is paid for and by whom.

    What Simon has sought to do here (and Ozzy)is to generate light more than heat by raising issues that are often drowned out by slogans.

    I am opposed to individual paying for water (unless it is bottled which I personally refuse ever to buy) because I think it is something society can afford and sustain and by having it paid for through a wealth tax would be consistent with the principle of the redistribution of wealth within a society towards the poorest.

    The water issue is one that swivels on the age old question of power - of who can do what to whom. Can the rich make the poor pay or can the poor make the rich pay?

    Stripped to its essence that is what it is.

  9. Potable water delivery and waste water removal are essentials. Everyone is a consumer of such services.
    Regardless of who provides the services, let that be public, private or community enterprise, there are costs in collecting, testing and treating. And further costs incurred in upgrading and maintenance of those collection, delivery and removal systems.

    What most people want is a reliable and sustainable service, a reliable and sustainable service at the most competitive price possible.

    Any proposed solution that doesn't address all of these core aspects will ultimately fail.
    Affordability, regrettably, is secondary to the primary drivers outlined. Though that of courses doesn't exclude the inclusion of cost reducing measures for the poorest and most disadvantaged.
    Tax credits (only at the standard rate) or rebates for those below a certain threshold and welfare allowance payments could address such concerns.

    Access to potable water, effective sewerage removal and treatment are most definitely rights. Though to imagine that they must be delivered without charge is absurd and infantile. Infantile in so far as it is reflective of a dependency mentality, a dependency mentality that negates adult individual and communal responsibilities.

  10. AM you are quite correct when you say who should pay for an improved water system in the South is drowned out by slogans, but as you already know it is paid for by direct taxation. The only problem is we need more direction taxation to pay for a better water service. Here is a list of tax measures that should be employed to raise additional taxes.

    1 Have a wealth tax on the rich

    2 Get companies like Google, Apple and other multinationals to pay the standard 12% corporation tax instead of the 2-3% they pay through tax avoidance.

    3 Get tax exiles like D. O Brien, Bona, P.J Mc Manus and Bod G and the likes to pay their taxes since they claim to be Irish citizens.

    4 Cancel the €600 million, which is the tax payers contribution agreed by Michael Woods, towards the Clerical Sexual Abuse Compensation Scheme.

    5 Claw back all the royalties from oil/gas exploration that were given away in Mayo.

    I would be native to think that the shower of gits in the Dail would be raising these demands but at least the people on the streets should be doing that. Water should always be in public owner ship otherwise it will be privatised and then it will become a commodity rather than a necessity.


  11. No one should pay for anything. Water, food, the shirt on your back.. What has to change is peoples attitudes. Banks are private companies that make money from thin air and pass in on as a debt.

    If money didn't exist then there wouldn't be a gap between the have and have nots. The technology is there to give everyone clean water. Money is only an incentive, all that need to change is give people a new incentive. What governments are interested in is profit. The amount of food the EU (and ordinary households) waste every year is mind boggling.

    If people don't pay the water charges on both parts of the island the courts couldn't handle the work load and there aren't enough spaces in the prison system either. The whole system would collapse quicker than people think...

  12. Pat "Water should never have to be paid for until our creator sends a bill". The water our creator gave us needs to be cleaned, filtered and processed in huge water purification plants otherwise we would all be seriously ill. Then it needs to be piped to us and all this needs to be monitored and maintained.

    Who pays for this purification? It is paid for in taxes which is all well and good but doesn't prevent people wasting it. It costs to produce and deliver therefore people should be encouraged not to waste it.

    I agree that it definitely shouldn't be privatised as the quality will inevitably drop and the costs of production will fall due to cost-cutting to satisfy a need to build profits for the shareholders and bonuses for the directors. That is capitalism which I am not arguing for.

    In fact I am wholly against the current situation in the South for all the obvious reasons and some less so.

    People bringing the Devil or God into the argument are not going to convince me.

    Water has to be paid for by factories, farms, office buildings and households who should pay the least. Paid for in a way that funds the infrastructure and nothing else. It has to be paid for anyway why not based on how much is used? Surely that is the only fair way?

  13. In America it is illegal to collect rainwater. Here they have made it illegal to drill a well on your own land. It is all about privatising resources and squeezing the population into a pulp financially. Time the Dail given a clean slate. There are so many corrupt slime-balls in it who are totally contemptuous of the people that until there is a severe rooting out of the scumbags in it they will never even think to lift their heads out of the trough.

    Hopefully Dec 10 will amount to something along those lines.

  14. Frankie, how do you expect the technology to be maintained in your barter economy? The world and our cities are too highly populated compared to local resources that bartering for commodities is unworkable. Try bartering for your water which is on tap.

    As for gaps between rich and poor there always have been, yes even with barter economies. Capitalism exacerbates this gap. It makes the gap between wealthy and the poor greater.

    What we need is socialism. The capitalist countries have gone beyond laissez-faire capitalist doctrine and have become more extreme. Not only do they interfere with the market they subsidise and bail out big business with money raised from taxes. Free market my arse.

  15. AM

    The main differences between water and food is the former falls out of the sky free, no one manufactures it or processes it, what happens is collection, transit, and purification.

    True there are similarities, but as Water in Ireland is not yet privatised I feel the status quo needs to be defended as indeed it is being.

    We use the language of our age and once we go down the road of accepting we use water as consumers it all but accepts we should pay a 'market' price.

    By the way all revolutionaries sup with the devil, it’s the nature of the beast.

    As for your uncalled for innuendo, you have little idea what my attitude is to the controversies which periodically explode around the leadership of SF, because you never ask.


    Of course you're right, all precious resources should be consumed with great care and water is one of the most precious of all. But does anyone seriously believe multinational corporations have any interest in preserving our water supplies. For them it is just another commodity to be sold at the highest price, in the greatest volume.

    Just as they are with the world's oil resources, they will squader humanities water resources in their mad scramble for of greater profits.

    We must never forget it is the neo liberals who have set the agenda around water and the language used is an integral part of their plan.

    You mention taxes, surely if and when they are spent wisely they are an example of our collective endeavour for the good, just like the UK NHS is/was, before the neo liberals started privatising it.

    With the NHS the British people were involved in a non profit collective endeavor with hundreds of thousands employed in the front line and to achieve what?

    At the point of need anyone, and everyone can have health care free of charge. Is it beyond us to do this with water, housing, whatever?

    comradely regards

  16. Rage,

    I don't know if it is just me but there does seem something about the Left that when it is put to them about the tensions in their position, they complain about innuendos or whatever. It is little more more than a spoiling tactic.

    There is no innuendo: we have both been in contact long enough to go straight to the point without feeling we are walking on eggshells.

    I don't need to ask about SF because you express your position on this blog about them and then seem to take the exact opposite position when it comes to water and supping with the devil. Now you are back round to telling us all revolutionaries sup with the devil. Well, I knew that much (quite often they are the devil and why I refuse to be defined as one) which is why I fail to understand your advice to Simon, not to have truck with the devil.

    As for the query being uncalled for, the contradiction in your position on that matter invited the question. So, take it on the chin and punch back as you wish but spare us the mush about being subject to innuendo.

    If water falling from the sky was sufficient cause not to pay for it, then I guess those of us who have made donations to water purification charities or schemes in countries where kids are dying because of bad water facilities, are doing something wrong. Well, I don't think so.

    And for those people who insist water should not be paid for because it is life-vital, that fails to answer the question of the food that is thrown up out of the ground, or grazes in the fields. If the boss class start telling us the only water we can have access to free is that which falls out of the sky, then we have every right to object and take to the streets. So why arm them with that logic? Social justice in my view is why we should not have to pay and why the rich should pay.

    A water system has to be paid for. The political question is over who pays. The rich want the poor to pay and the poor want the rich to pay. I back the poor for the reasons outlined above.

    Simon comes at it from a clear socialist perspective: but he is being hard nosed rather than starry eyed about it; trying to protect a vital human need from the waste that it is subject to, he suggests measures which he thinks will primarily regulate the usage rather than punish the user. I guess he is trying to strategise rather than sloganize.

  17. Whereas I know that unfortunately it may not be an option for everyone my experience of getting a quality supply from a group water scheme has been very affordable.

    Up until three years ago a household levy of €100 per annum was required for domestic users. Then as the scheme, a not for profit co-operative, cleared it's capital investment borrowings a metered free allowance was issued to domestic users. Without any great self-restraint my partner and I only manage to use about 1/2 that allowance.

    Charges to commercial and agricultural users fund a small full-time maintenance crew. And the management and administrative functions are carried out by a voluntary committee.

    I would be loathe to see the scheme taken over by either the public or private sector.

  18. Simon,
    I wasn't talking about a barter system. I don't know if two hens and a duck are the same value as a goat. I was talking about people helping each other free of charge for the betterment of everyone.

    This is what I know.. I take a shit or a piss and flush my toilet sooner or later the water is filtered and cleaned and it ends up coming out of my tap to for me to bathe in or drink from. I also know at least 75% of this rock is H2O and I'm meant ot believe it can't be filtered in such a way that makes it portable!!!

    But some geek can play war games on a glorifed X-box 360 in California and send a drone to Afghan, Iraq or Syria? At what cost (not just the human one)...

    How many green backs does it actually cost to send men to the space station????

    And they can't filter sea water to make it come out of a tap in a kitchen!!!!

  19. Is it possible to steal water?. I ask because if it is possible to steal it it must belong to someone. Who can claim ownership of the rain or the water in our lakes or rivers. Answer no one,except that is if you are of the opinion that those of great wealth or higher class have a right to claim ownership. Maybe some on here believe her maj'would be the rightful owner through her position as our sovereign?. Get a grip folks. Try as you may to excuse the greedy bastards who would have us pay them for the privelage of living. Water belongs to everyone and no one has a right to charge. I appreciate the logistics of getting it to the population but that is already being taken care of through rates etc. Oppose Tory cuts was what I read the last day I was in Belfast. Don't think for a minute that the sinners won't sell everyone out over water charges as they have so heroically done with welfare reform. If the scum who have an iron grip on power get their way we will once again see people dying on the streets from hunger,pandering to their agenda does no one but them any good. It is time for the ordinary people of Ireland to make a stand and expelled these west Brits from both lecky parliaments in our country. Don't give them an inch because that will turn to a mile. Anthony I think the water situation in some African countries should not be used as a comparison to here. There is a water crisis there which needs help as they ere some of the driest countries on earth. I looked out the window this morning and the local river had approached to within 20 feet of my back door. Not exactly drought conditions. I really wish I was as sure of a creators existence as you are of his or her nonexistence. The free staters gave away the wealth of their country to foreign bond holders and thieving bankers,the Brits are back at what they always done living out their imperialist ideals,this has to be paid for somehow. Paid for by the ordinary working man and woman of this country and water charges north and south will help. Refuse to take part in what ultimately is your own enslavement.

  20. Pat, "Try as you may to excuse the greedy bastards who would have us pay them for the privelage of living." Nobody on this site was doing that.

    The water, sewerage and river systems are all interconnected.

    To ensure a clean, sustainable system people should have an adequate supply but there should be disincentives for wasting or polluting any part of it.

    Rates only go so far. The water systems are underfunded and mismanaged. Councils raise rates in the North but the water board is funded and run centrally. We shouldn't have to pay over the odds because the UK Government underfunded our public services but we should on the other hand work to have the best system possible: rivers, sewerage and drinking water.

    Polluters should pay through the teeth as fish kills etc. are only signs of a bigger ecological catastrophe for a river.

    "The world of privatized water is overwhelmingly dominated by two French multinationals: Suez (formerly Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux), with US$9 billion of water revenue in 2001, and Vivendi Universal, with $12.2 billion of water revenue in 2001. Both are ranked among the 100 largest corporations in the world by the Global Fortune 500, and between them they own, or have controlling interests in, water companies in over 100 countries and distribute water to more than 100 million people around the world. Other major corporate actors include German water giant RWE and its British subsidiary Thames Water, and US-based Bechtel, which is promoting privatization plans in South America. Another major player, Enron, has recently withdrawn from the scene."

    Pat, you are absolutely right that these bastards shouldn't control or own anybody's water. If privatisation happens (and since we live in a capitalist society it will happen) these multinationals will own our water. There are no two ways about it.

    However, the argument was for it to be publicly owned and managed properly.

    The biggest flaw in my plan is that it starts off being publicly owned and ends up being owned by multinationals. In the South, and everyone is in agreement on this site, it is a nascent private company and will inevitably become a violation to my concept. It is a violation already. My idea will never run in our society but there is no reason why it shouldn't.

    Just like socialism deals with economics in a different and opposing way than capitalism so too does my argument in relation to the current situation. Nobody says you can't use or support one form of economic model which opposes capitalism just because capitalism uses economics.

    So too we deal with supply and sustainability of water resources in an opposing way than what the governments of this island have in mind.

    An argument can't be dismissed or equated with another purely because it deals with the same subject matter.

    My solution is possible since it protects supply and usage and also funds the system. These same principles are what the government say they hold so let's call their bluff. We all know it is privatisation by stealth. The wealthy multinationals above have been accused of bribery so make up your own mind.

    Frankie, totally agree the space programme is a waste. What with the mess our planet is in? The money for the space programme and that used to bomb defenceless people in the middle east should be used for good, meaningful projects. Technology is advancing yet we don't use it appropriately.

  21. "If privatisation happens (and since we live in a capitalist society it will happen) "


    The above is what exasperates me about what you write. There is nothing inevitable about the privatisation of water, for decades it was not privatised and we also lived in a capitalist society them.

    The whole issue here is water and other public services do not have to be privatised not least because the market makes a mess of them, as it is not designed to run public services in a humane and productive manner.

    For christ sake that is why utilities like electricity and gas etc were first brought into the public sector whether it be at local or national levels.

    Indeed in places like Germany a form of municipal socialism is once again began to flourish. In parts of South America further privatisation of natural resources is being placed on hold.

    Neo Liberalism is nothing more than rerunning the 19th century and the sooner we all say enough, the better, it did not work for us workers back then and it has proved disastrous today, even more so in the third world.

    I say again if you concede to Capital that privatisation of water is inevitable as you have, you have lost the battle before it has begun, and the multinationals will end up owning our water.

    Of course they will negotiate with you over this and that but it will all turn out to be smoke and mirrors.

    There is nothing inevitable about life in general and politics is not an exception, human beings dictate the course of events and the utilities like water and power are too important to be left to the so called free markets.

    Capitalism is on the road to barbarism today, and control of our water and other utilities is part of their plan, because is Capital controls the water supply, it can control us, or so it believes.

  22. Anthony

    Yes we have known each other long enough to go straight to the point without feeling we are walking on eggshells, but that is not what you did, now was it?

    So, if you believe I have 'sold out' to SF say so, then we could have a debate, although I am not sure what coinage could be offered up.

    My position on SF has always been the same, working class people are in desperate need of political representation and until a viable alternative to SF comes along in the north, it's the only option open to working class nationalist voters.

    Many years ago I told you my fear is if SF crash and burn their core support base will be left without representation in the political arena, whether it be local or national, if you remember you replied they will always be there.

    Like you I'm not a politician but an agitator, if SF politicos challenge the current system I will encourage them as best I can, carping about them when they act like politicians gets us where?

    In the south the shinners have been doing well and I do not only mean electorally, they have regularly challenged the government in the Dáil and have some young and able people in that house as you yourself have pointed out in articles. In recent years on the big political issues of the day they have always placed themselves in the same trench as the dispossessed.

    You may well claim once in power the SF leadership will sell out, perhaps you're right, but it will not be the first time I have been disappointed by a political party. Remember I live in a country in which for most of my life the only viable options were to abstain or vote Labour.

    In life you have at times to take a punt and there is just a chance with the indies and dribs and drabs SF could form a government after the next election. Or if not become the main opposition. SF's platform has its flaws but it is to the left of all the other main parties.

    Whatever I may feel about the shortcomings of bourgeois democracy we workers need political representation in the parliamentary arena. When we have none, which apart for the odd comrade, is the case in England today, we are left at the mercy of the neoliberal markets. Which has proven disastrous for millions of ordinary working class folk.

    In your 'aside' to me in your post which I rejected you seem to be saying SF is as bad as the representatives and financiers of neo liberalism. the Koch brothers, the Murdoch's, the CEO of the multinational utilities, bankers, etc and their political lackeys.

    All are devils to you, which I cannot see or accept, SF are a party with stamina in a small nation who have yet to gain real national power.

    Whereas the neo liberal louts along with their military thugs have deliberately ruined billions of lives for no better reason than personal aggrandisement and profit. They are truly the ruling class of our age and must be opposed and defeated, for unless they are only abject poverty and barbarism awaits humankind.

    Mick Hall

  23. Mick,

    Going straight to the point was exactly what I did.

    This is exactly how I phrased the point: ‘Sometimes here you explain SF's position vis a vis its critics in terms of doing what it has to do. And they do much more than sup with the devil.’

    Can’t really get more straight to the point than that. It pointed out the position you have taken in relation to SF, and observed that this was at variance with your position towards Simon. You can hardly tell him not to have any truck with the devil yet justify SF supping with the devil. There is a tension in that position which I sense you must be aware of, hence your touchy response. There was never any suggestion that you had sold out to SF, merely that the two positions seemed irreconcilable. Simon supports SF and nobody suggests he is selling out. If you can’t deal with the rough and tumble of debate, don’t debate.

    The explanation you offer about SF even if well founded (I actually think it is nonsense but that is another issue) is about why it has to sup with the devil. Yet Simon is urged to have no truck with the devil.

    SF’s politics don’t challenge the current system in the slightest: at best they challenge the management of the current system. But the problem with the system is not a management one.

    There is nothing you have said here which explains why Simon should not sup with the devil yet SF should or revolutionaries should. Which is really all you were invited to explain.

  24. Rage, All I said, and I stand by it, is that if (and the important word was 'if') water becomes privatised anywhere on these islands then those huge multinationals will inevitably buy shares. Probably controlling shares. I don't want anyone to own the water but the people for the people.

    When I said "if privatisation happens and it will happen because we live in a capitalist society" I was starting from the premise that the Irish government's plan goes ahead as planned. Since Irish Water is not fully public at the moment then arguably part of it is already in private hands.

    Irish Water is not a fully public body at the moment and judging by other quasi-public bodies in the past it will either stay not fully public or will go completely privatised. Rarely do bodies like that go back to being fully nationalised.

    I support the protests. My alternative would work but you originally implied it would be playing into their hands. How would it play into their hands if privatisation is as you say not inevitable?

    You are right there has been capitalism for decades but PPIs, denationalisation of industry, selling state capital and leasing it back to save in the short term but to lose in the long term has all become de rigueur for western governments. They privatise anything they can get away with. Prisons, hospitals, schools, electricity, gas, communications, etc.

    I am not conceding anything about the inevitably of the privatisation of water. My feeling is that if the Irish government's plan goes ahead then privatisation is inevitable. If you feel differently then what are you worried about?

  25. Simon

    I take your points completely and maybe I was a bit harsh with you, if so apologies. But I'm coming at this from over here and throughout the New Labour period in office, when most of the things you mention, PPIs, denationalisation of industry, selling state capital and leasing it back, etc, were trialed and sadly became part of the so called common sense of our age, many opponents felt they could fight it by using the agenda the multi nationals and their NL gofers set and that included using their language.

    Hence my comment about the devil and not whistling his tune. (or maybe it's her tune ;)

    Good luck with your work.

  26. Rage, no need to apologise. It is an important issue and as such fervent and understandable responses would inevitably happen.

    Everybody has their agenda but mine is just, in this case, to protect the resource, ensure people's quality of life and income and prevent those huge multinationals owning anybody's water no matter where in the world that is.

    The campaign is best thought globally and fought locally. Otherwise the opposition will be too powerful when they come knocking on our door.

  27. Thankfully this island is not bathed in sunshine 12 months of the year, for some scumbag from somehere would try to charge us for it.

    At what point will bovine society say enough is enough. When an oxygen levy is applied.

  28. Feel te love- "Thankfully this island is not bathed in sunshine 12 months of the year, for some scumbag from somehere would try to charge us for it."

    We have been charged for water for many years already. Why not based on usage and ability to pay?