Letters this week

Where’s the fairness?

Dear Sir/Madam.

The other day I was engaging in my riveting past time of debating and discussing the impacts of fiscal policy with a friend. He is a Young Fine Gael activist and is active in Dublin City University as well as his home constituency of Kildare. When I suggested that higher taxes on the wealthy, by way of a rise in income tax or a possible more meaningful wealth tax, would be a more equitable and socially just way to balance the national finances, he informed me the standard party line that to single out the more fortunate among us in this time of belt tightening would be to engage in the shallow politics of “Class Warfare”. However, I am afraid that he and I may have different standards of what constitutes class warfare.

When the largest political party on this island, backed up by the Sunday Independent and others in the media, demonize and vilify trade unions and their protections in Croke Park Agreements as standing in the way of growth and stifling the panacea for our national woes: That is class warfare.

When that same party continues to punish the public sector with cuts and hard working people for the sins of others, while at the same in Dublin North, collected at least €6,800 from a corporate fundraiser attended by two cabinet ministers: That is class warfare.

When a Government uses the economic crisis in this country, to further an ideological goal of a smaller state, a lower tax regime and a more corporate friendly country, while at the same time rebuilding a clone of the neo-liberal pre-crash society, with all it’s inequalities and poverty in tact: That is class warfare.

When come Budget Day, everything is on the table but income tax, and everyone is spared except those who depend on Government spending, subsidy and assistance to just keep their heads about the water. Then I can use no words to describe that but as class warfare.

In Fine Gael dreamland, as long as the comfortable stay comfortable, the world will keep spinning around and a Land of Milk and Honey is only just another few austerity budgets away. Perhaps Mr. Varadkar summed it up best on the eve of Budget 2012: “It’s not that bad, take a holiday” as “Incomes will remain untouched”.

The skies may always be blue in Fine Gael dreamland. A stark contrast from thousands upon thousands of struggling families in all our cities and towns. The notion that all sides of our society will carry the burden for a future is not radical socialism, and it is not class warfare, it is actually a very basic quality of Irish life: Fairness.


Alan J. McKenna


Kilkenny City

Disturbed over Travellers Plight

Dear Editor,

I was greatly disturbed by Councillor Andrew Mc Guinness’s letter last week regarding the plight of the travellers on the Wetlands site, and the reneging of the current government’s promise to fund the building of suitable accomodation for them. I have a solution, I think! Over the past ten years, Niall Mellon mobilised an army of Irish volunteers to fundraise and build thousands of homes for the poor of South Africa. He and the huge amount of Irish workers who accompanied him are to be highly commended for their work and I’m sure the South African people will be eternally grateful to them

My suggestion is, why not do the same for the travelling people on the Wetlands site? There are hundreds of tradesmen in Kilkenny who were rendered jobless by the downturn in our economy and who would maybe love to give a week or two of their lives to help those less fortunate than themselves. I realise people may balk at doing work for nothing but surely its better to be doing something than sitting looking at the four walls, day in, day out.

So people of Kilkenny, lets get fundraising, lets approach the builders providers for donations of materials, any tradesman who has a bit of time to spare, offer your skills and lets show this Government, that we can look after our own.

Sincerely yours,

Mary Walshe,



Co Kilkenny.