Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Neo Liberalism Irish Style - the fight back begins?

Dan McLaughlin, Chief Economist of the Bank of Ireland, released a statement today saying that his comments made on Questions and Answers on Monday night were made in a personal capacity and he should have indicated this before making them. I can't find it online yet but it was read out on Liveline earlier today.

You can watch Dan's comments here. He supported Irish Ferries actions in outsourcing workers and said that it was the result of a capitalist economy, its the way of the world. The neo-liberalism was chilling and it seems that many in the Irish Public are starting to reject it taking hold. I doubt you would find many politicians willing to make similar comments and maybe that is the role of the pundit. But the economist pundits better watchout on the impact on those who pay their wages.

Yesterday following the comments, some customers went to the bank and cancelled their accounts. Would today's apologies have anything to do with this?

As I said earlier in the week this strike is about money and profit for Irish Ferries and as Patricia King from SIPTU said on the programme it is now about a 'threshold of decency below which we won't go.'

Eamon Delaney who also appeared on the show has not escaped comment. Christy Moore called him a pup on Today with Pat Kenny this morning. And he made comments about human rights, exploitation and union breaking and has re-introduced Connolly was there to his repetoire. (You can hear him sing it on Today with PK). (Delaney's comments on George Best will have another post from me when George is laid to rest, which is something Delaney could have thought about.)
Whatever about the Celtic Tiger and making money and buying houses and 2 holidays a year etc. I don't believe the majority of Irish people support the exploitation of Eastern European workers. Or the sacking of Irish workers and replacing them with what amounts to slave labour. This is not about the death of the Trade Union movement as many on the right would have us believe, its now about human rights, the money in peoples pockets and the precedent which is being set. Wages of €3.60 or even minimum wages will not pay the mortgages or the holidays or the education costs of Irish based workers.


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