In response to the AAA/We Won’t Pay(socialist Party) and People Before Profit (Socialist Workers Party) decision to run a rival conference to the Right2Water campaign.

I find it so quite disturbing that the extremist left parties want to split the only social movement capable of effecting real and lasting change in Ireland. The socialist party and the socialist workers party have never really made a dent in Irish politics and here we see them trying to divert a section of the right2water movement for their own political gain.

On a point of principle, I will personally never pay for water and as someone who would vehemently oppose water charges and ultimately the privatisation of our public water services I would like to make a few comments on “non-payment”.

The Socialist Party & the Socialist Workers Party (AAA/We won’t Pay/Non-Payment Network) contend that non-payment will “bring down” IW. Firstly, the government want to borrow monies “off the books” for IW, and place even more debt on our shoulders. In order to do that IW needs to have revenue over 51% from charges or it will not pass the eurostat market corporation test. If 30% of families pay that leaves 70% to collect, one option the government have at their disposal is to sell the domestic debt to debt collection agencies. Hypothetically, they could sell that debt for 50% of it’s value, 30% plus 35% equals 65% which brings IW over the line on the market corporation test. There are some intelligent people controlling those extremist Marxist parties, why are they misinforming the general public on this matter?

Secondly, on the privatisation issue. Globally, the private, for profit, water industry is worth approximately $500 million annually. Ireland is set to become 11% wetter over the next ten years while many parts of the world are heading into catastrophic water crisis. Ireland is very attractive place to do business for water companies. If no revenue what-so-ever, were to be collected by IW, I believe it could be sold off to one of the multinational water companies like Thames Water or Voelia as a bankrupt entity. Again we see the radicial Trotskyist parties of the left misinforming those who are following them.

In my opinion, “non-payment” will neither prevent more debt being piled on the Irish people nor prevent the privatisation of our water and waste water services.

Podemos and Syriza are offering a balanced alternative to the extremist right or left in Spain and Greece, they spread a message of hope and the possibility of a better society. Millions have come out in support of the balanced message of both those social movements. The “Right2Water” campaign has given a voice to hundreds of thousands of average people in Ireland and it has evolved into the most powerful social movement that I am likely to see in my lifetime. Families, pensioners, teenagers, workers, the unemployed etc in unity. United and supported by hundreds of community groups, 5 trade unions and some progressive politicians. Together, we are out on the streets saying NO. NO to the privatisation of our human right to water. NO to our families being made homeless at the behest of the banks. NO the export of our children. NO to cuts in health and education. NO to corruption, cronyism and the list goes on an on. And just like other movements in Europe, Right2Water has created a spark of hope, a spark of possibility of a better, fairer, more equal society.

Why would anyone wish to divide that, why indeed?

Noreen Murphy


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