02
Jan
15

Clarification on my claims about Right2Water electoralism

My little comment the other day highlighting what I understand to be the electoralism of R2W has sparked a bit of a ripple of discussion on various Facebook pages. Some people think I was causing confusion by it not being clear whether this was somehow an official R2W commentary while others think I am misinterpreting (perhaps willfully) the political content of the statement.

To anyone in that first category I apologise if I caused any confusion – that was obviously not my aim.

It is after-all a post on a blog called revolutionaryprogramme which has a clearly displayed “about the author” link on it which gives my name and how I would politically pigeon-hole myself. The specific post itself also has a link to the original article by R2W at the beginning so people could read it themselves. I always try to do this as I don’t expect people to just accept whatever point I am trying to make when I critique anything.

On re-reading the post I do see that it is perhaps too sarcastic in style and not direct enough in explaining that I think the R2W statement is atrocious politically. But in my defence I think that the quotes around “the sole way” and the … after “we can just elect some good people (Sinn Fein?) to abolish the charges…” makes it pretty clear that this is a critique of their position.

To those in the second category I make no apology.

There are no doubt some who support a more-or-less complete concentration on the electoral route and to them all I can say is we will have to agree to disagree. However it is to those who say they support non-payment but argue the R2W statement does not represent an attack on that which I address the following remarks.

I do agree that R2W has played a useful role in organising the big national mobilisations but I think this latest statement goes beyond being an umbrella group supporting all activity (while refusing to call for non-payment) by some distance when it says that the SOLE way to defeat the charges is through the elections and proposing other tactics (which can only mean non-payment, civil disobedience etc) is sowing division and discord.

The anti-water charges movement is at a critical juncture. The focus of the fight is going to increasingly move to the question of the bills as we get closer to their delivery in April. Despite the solid support for non-payment among those involved in the mass protests there are still a large number of people who aren’t sure about the boycott tactic – but what should we do about that? Should we be trying to give confidence to those people to encourage them to join the boycott or not?

R2W now has the position of not only refusing to call for non-payment but are now also saying that proposing non-payment as a tactic is sowing division and discord. If I was someone not sure what to do about the bills how would I interpret that advice from R2W? Would it encourage me to pay or not?

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