Coalition Government Running Out Of Steam and a System That Can’t Be Fixed! 

The three party coalition government of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party is clearly running out of steam. Their Programme for Government has failed on many levels, from housing to the environment to healthcare, the list goes on. 

Their housing strategy has failed as private capital is driven by the need for ever-increasing profits. They have removed almost all the responsibilities that used to be placed on builders and developers in constructing new developments, like bringing in mains water supply, sewage, footpaths, etc. The need for public housing continues to grow but is not prioritised by the government, committed as it is to allowing private capital to dominate the provision of housing. 

Private and corporate landlords are prioritised over tenants and their rights and needs. Tens of thousands of young people are leaving the country, both for work and for the fact that they simply cannot afford the ever-growing rents, low pay and a growing sense of despair that nothing will be done to rectify the many growing societal problems. They know that the priority of this government is to looks after the rich and powerful. 

This coalition continues to prioritise private health provision over the development of a public health service. Large profits and shareholder dividend grow at the expense of working people. Working people continue to stand in ever-lengthening queues to see a GP, specialist or for necessary surgery. People continue to suffer and increasing numbers are dying in chairs and on trolleys in overcrowded A&E departments. 

The most recent report on carbon targets clearly shows this state will not meet its carbon reduction targets for 2030, by a long way. They continue to prioritise private transport over public transport. They prioritise the needs of global monopoly corporations, like data centres, over the environment. 

A further indication of how this coalition has run it course is the growing number of establishment politicians from Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael declaring that they will not be standing in the next election. An indication of rats jumping of a sinking ship rather any crisis of conscience. A lot of them would not have been re-elected anyway. Corruption is endemic within the Irish political, business and administrative bureaucracy. 

They have pushed this state in a deeper military relationship with the EU/US/NATO. They continue to pursue a strategy to end the triple-lock restrictions on the deployment of Irish troops abroad. Wishing ever closer co-operation and participation in EU militarisation and its global aggressive stances. 

While we should welcome their only progressive policy, that of recognising the State of Palestine, this was only taken after a long campaign by the Irish people that forced them into taking such a position. Indeed, it was simply the minimum position that they have taken, well choreographed with the EU and the US. They made sure that they were not doing anything the western imperial powers would be unhappy or disagree with. Still there has been no action on sanctions, nor demand that western powers should stop arming Israel. 

The same applies to the Administration in the six counties. It staggers from crisis to crisis. It has little if any powers to address the desperate needs of working people there. It is little more than a glorified County Council with a few bells and whistles added on. 

On a closer reading of the social and economic policies being advocated by the opposition, or potential alternative government, we can expect little change in the core government social and economic policies, nor in this state’s subservient relationship to the EU and US. 

There is certainly a need for a more radical break with the dominant economic orthodoxy. It is not the collection of political parties that is the problem, but the very nature of the system itself. Capitalism in incapable of creating a decent, just and fair society. It is incapable of delivering peace and justice globally, nor is it capable of solving the deepening environmental crisis that our planet is being driven towards. 

The dumping of the Coalition Government would be a necessary small first step. It what we do afterwards that is critical. It is the building of a people’s movement with clear demands that will be critical to bring real fundamental change. Fundamental change that can transform our lives and how we all live together.