Irish Water Proving the Need for Direct Democracy
Over the last month there has seen an uprising of resistance to the much despised “water charge” (more correctly water tax) and the metering of water. These protests started in Cork but have quickly spread around the whole country. People are up in arms about this for many reasons:
Primarily people feel they have already paid for water through central taxation and have done for their whole lives. They realise that the government has spent that money bailing out gamblers on the stock exchange, against the wishes of the people, when there was no legal or lawful obligation to do so.
People do not believe private companies should be profiteering on basic essentials for life like water, and people are incensed that they are being told to pay a tax on water while the contract to install them was given to a company owned by a billionaire tax exile.
People do not want meters on their homes because they have been shown to be extremely harmful to health of humans as well as other creatures. The fact that we will be walking over hundreds of them every day as we walk the pavements is a worry to many.
The government ploughs on regardless of what the people think or want. What do you call that ? A dictatorship? Well in a way but in reality it is what people voted for wasn’t it? “Representative Democracy”.
That is exactly what representative democracy is when the system allows a party that get no more than 15 to 20% of the voting population’s vote can decide to do this to 100% of the people in the country.
The people cannot do anything to stop them implementing their ideas. They have no legal recourse. No right to petition. No standing to challenge in court. No legal ability to sack the government. So all people have left is to do what they have been doing. Camping out over the stopcocks, standing in holes, blocking vans, standing under working diggers and concrete saws as they work,
Despite the latter being an extremely dangerous breach of health and safety laws by the contractors that the contractors should be prosecuted for, it is a ludicrous situation that people have to resort to this just to be heard and understood by a government that is supposed to represent them and work for them. There is not even the possibility of this being overturned in the Dail as the whip system guarantees passage, as well as this being agreed by the opposition.
What this debacle clearly highlights is that the people have NO RIGHTS in Ireland. That a political elite do as they please and there isn’t any provision in the system or in law for people to stop them. There is now more than ever an urgent need for the return of the power of citizen initiated referendum to our constitution.
With direct democracy the people would not need to be protesting and putting themselves at risk. They would simply initiate a referendum through signatures and overturn this water tax, legally binding the government. No anger, no stress, no street battles. Just reasoned proposals from the people for debate and voting.
Any government knowing this could happen would not even attempt such corrupt stroke as to charge people for water through health debilitating smart meters to pay of banker friends who lost their shirt in a giant financial poker game. If they did they know they would also be sacked by the people.
Time to end this dictatorship and bring direct democracy back. The founders of our country knew this day would come and that is why they insisted on putting citizen control over government in the constitution.
Article from Examiner below:
Irish Water contractors remove meters from Cork estate; protests to continue
Irish Water contractors have removed five water meters from a Cork housing estate at the centre of a month-long water meter blockade.
Locals are claiming it is a major victory and have vowed to continue their protests..
Contractors moved in to Ashbrook Estate in Togher just after 9am with the agreement of residents to reinstate footpaths left unfinished by the water meter blockade.
As part of that work contractors removed five of six water meters originally installed.
However, protestors halted the work after the first meter was removed insisting that boundary boxes, long plastic tubes into which the meters are fitted, would also be removed.
After a stand-off, residents voted to allow the workers continue with the removal of the meters only.
In a statement, Irish Water said that water meters had been removed as part of a clean-up operation and that no boundary boxes had been removed.
“In the Ashbrook Estate in Cork, Irish Water is today performing permanent reinstatement works to pathways and surrounding areas, as planned,” the statement said.
“There are six boundary installations impacted.
“Five meters in new boundary boxes have been removed temporarily for inspection and will be re-installed in due course as part of the completion of works in the estate. No meter (boundary) boxes have been removed.
“Residents were informed that Irish Water was doing this.”
For now the water meters have been removed from the estate, but Eoin English of the Irish Examiner says residents are vowing to continue their protests.
The blockade began last month after protesters halted metering workin the estate.
Irish Water contractors are installing around 27,000 meters a month around the country, with first readings due in October and the first bills expected to be issued in January.
The installation of just over 1m water meters nationwide is due to be completed in 2016. The installation programme is one of the largest schemes of its kind in the world.