At its regular meeting the National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland evaluated the present political and economic situation in the country, north and south.

What is most clear is that the crisis of the system is deepening: the contradictions are deepening and spreading as the ruling elite continues to make the people pay for the crisis, and the system attempts to overcome the crisis at the expense of the people.

The Irish and British ruling class continue to use the crisis for a growing assault on working people, north and south, whether in the form of attacks on pensions and social welfare or a “bedroom tax.”

The external troika continues to determine all economic and social priorities, working in alliance with the Irish state, Irish capital, and all the establishment political parties. At the EU level the voices of monopoly capital are attempting to sow confusion while appearing to be responding to popular discontent with the effect of “austerity”—appearing to be listening and learning, to empathise with the suffering of the mass of the people, talking about the need to modify their strategy. But this in fact is just a change in language, not a change of strategy.

The Irish government in particular is attempting to turn the labour market into a hiring-fair, with tens of thousands of workers facing a life of precarious employment. The recent Supreme Court decision in relation to registered employment agreements will further erode and undermine workers’ terms and conditions and will result in renewed pressure on already low-paid workers.

The Communist Party of Ireland has pointed out and continues to argue that the policy of “austerity” is working as designed. It is essentially geared towards bringing about a massive transfer of wealth from working people to the super-rich and the monopolies. It is working as designed and is being executed with all the skill that the ruling class can draw upon, in particular using the state as the main vehicle for imposing their strategy, backed up and reinforced by their mass media.

The debt crisis is purely a means to an end, that end being the complete subservience of working people and in particular the subservience of the trade union movement. This is best reflected in the continuous bullying and coercion of workers into accepting some reheated Croke Park II agreement, despite the fact that the majority of public-sector workers have previously rejected it.

In the North the Protestant section of the working class will find no refuge in blind-alley politics in relation to the flying of flags. This will not put food on the table: it is a distraction, a political circus dressed up by a bankrupt leadership—a leadership who fully support the economic and social policies of the London government—who have no answers to the growing crisis of unemployment and deepening poverty. The flags protest is merely for blowing smoke in people’s eyes.

Not alone are the people of the South facing daily cuts in services, pay, and pensions, they are now being treated to a display of sexist and misogynist bilge from establishment politicians and the discredited hierarchy of the Catholic Church regarding the rights of women, in particular regarding a woman wishing to exercise her right to life beyond that of the foetus she is carrying, the right to safe and secure abortion. The time has long passed for a full and unequivocal recognition that women have the right to control their bodies and their fertility.

The CPI again reaffirms that we need to build the people’s resistance, to break the trade union movement away from the cul de sac down which elements of the leadership seem determined to continue dragging workers: of cuts in wages, deterioration of their terms and conditions, and savage cuts in public services.

The CPI reaffirms its call for maximum support for protests against the forthcoming meeting of the leaders of the G8—a club of the rich for the rich—in Co. Fermanagh. In particular it urges support for protests organised by the trade unions and other progressives organisation.

Building the people’s resistance and presenting an alternative direction for all our people, north and south—beginning the difficult but necessary re-conquest of Ireland for and by its people—is the task that the National Executive Committee and all the party have set themselves as we begin to prepare for our 25th National Congress in 2014.  

May 18, 2012