As nominations close today Brid Smith, the People Before Profit candidate for the Dublin Euro constituency, has accused Brian Hayes of breaking the spirit of EU regulations with his EU candidacy.

Commenting Cllr. Smith said: “In rule 5 of the Second Schedule of the European Parliamentary Election Act 1997, it states quite categorically that government ministers are not eligible to stand as candidates. If Brian Hayes looked at Form 8P2 concerning these regulation he will find on Section 8(e) the specific rule.

“I assume that the reason for this rule is that one cannot be involved in running both a serious election campaign and ongoing government business at the same time. Brian Hayes should therefore do the honourable thing and resign as a Minister of State.

“To be fully compliant with the regulation he should have done it before the nomination – but he could at least honour its spirit by doing so now. If he does not, I can only assume that he has looked at the figures in the most recent opinion poll and is worried that he will be may lose the EU seat and wants to ensure that he has his ministerial perks as compensation.”

Stop banks & big business taking over our Democracy Campaign 

Dear Meadhbh,

In order to respond clearly and honestly to your enquiry I need to preface my answers to your specific questions with some general remarks.
I want to begin by saying that for many years now it has been clear that humanly-generated climate change constituted a ever growing threat to the future, not of the planet (which will be fine), but of humanity and numerous other species. Over the last couple of years not only has the scientific evidence for this accumulated and become more certain, as stated in the recent IPCC report, but increasingly extreme weather events, which are made more and more likely by climate change, have become a visible feature of people’s everyday lives. These range from the heat wave in Alaska in June 2013, to the combination of exceptional heat and drought in some parts of North America with exceptional cold in others, to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, to temperatures over 50 C Read more »

Dublin is facing a major crisis of evictions according to Bríd Smith, People Before Profit MEP candidate for Dublin. Growing numbers cannot even access emergency accommodation and there is an increased incidence of discrimination against those who rely on rent allowance. The government must tackle this crisis with emergency legislation.

Commenting, Cllr. Brid Smith said: “I am dealing with a particular case in Dublin 8 at the moment which exemplifies the nature of the crisis: Carol Macguire was an exemplary tenant for five years who always paid her rent on time. She has had many references from landlords.In December, the property developer who owned her apartment was declared bankrupt and receivers took possession.Carol was served with a notice to quit and made several attempts to find alternative accommodation.However she quickly discovered that it was impossible to get accommodation in the Dublin 8 area for herself and her two-year-old child.

“Carol is now refusing to vacate the rented accommodation and has told the receivers that she will not move until alternative accommodation is found. She is the last tenant remaining in the building and is in effect occupying it to demand that alternative accommodation is found. In a vengeful move, Joan Burton’s Department of Social Protection has withdrawn Carol Maguire’s social welfare on the basis that the receiver wants her evicted.”

Cllr. Smith called for emergency legislation tot tackle the crisis saying: “Legislation needs to be introduced immediately to outlaw discrimination on ground of economic status. If it is illegal to discriminate on ground of colour or religion, then why is not illegal to discriminate against social welfare recipients. We also need new laws to impose rent controls and grant tenant rights. Finance Minister Noonan may be happy that property prices are rising again but the new property bubble is leading to more discrimination against the poor. Landlords want to get the highest possible rent in this rising market and will openly discriminate against those who rely on rental allowance.”

Brid Smith, the People Before Profit candidate for the Dublin euro election has condemned the decision to invite Queen Elizabeth to attend the centenary of the 1916 commemorations.

‘My grandfather fought in 1916 to free this country from monarchy and empire. He would turn in his grave at the thought that a British monarch attending a ceremony to commemorate the rising.

‘The presence of the queen would either trivialise the event or imply that an armed rising was not necessary.

‘The reality is that Queen Elizabeth will not be coming to Dublin to apologise for a history of colonisation that wrecked so much misery on Ireland. Her whole life of state subsidised privilege is based on honouring a legacy of empire and hierarchy.

‘The 1916 rebellion is, rightly, etched on the memories of the population at large as an honourable attempt to weaken the British empire while it was engaged in a bloody war with its German rival.

‘There is no equivalence between the 1916 rising and the carnage that was brought about by that imperial rivalry.

‘When Elizabeth Windsor gives up her throne and acknowledges the crime of empires, she will be welcome to attend the 1916 commemorations – as an ordinary citizen.

‘But as this is unlikely she should be kept as far away as possible to avoid insult to those like my grandfather who fought for freedom.’

Brid Smith to Host Major Conference Against the Privatisation of Water

SATURDAY 5 APRIL 2014

“OUR WATER IS NOT FOR SALE”

14water

A Conference on the Politics, Selling and Privatisation of Water

Convened by Brid Smith, People Before Profit candidate for Europe

Sponsored by Unite the Union.

“Water promises to be the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century: the precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations”

– Fortune Magazine

Water is a basic human need and therefore ought to be a basic human right. Yet, those who profit from its overuse and abuse are determining the future of one of the earth’s most vital resources. A handful of multinational corporations, backed by the World Bank and the European Union, are aggressively taking over the management of public water services around the world, dramatically increasing the price of water to the local residents and profiting from the people’s search for solutions to the water crisis. The corporate agenda is clear water should be treated like any other tradable good, with its use determined by market principles. At the same time, governments are signing away their control over domestic water supplies by participating in trade agreements and institutions that effectively give private corporations unprecedented access to the water of signatory countries.

Irish people have long resisted the introduction of water charges and following a sustained three-year campaign succeeded in abolishing water charges in 1997. Now under the guise of EU imposed austerity water charges of €300 plus per year are being imposed. Water charges are just the latest burden the Government plans to impose on the Irish people — after bin charges, the Universal Social Charge and the Property Tax along with wage cuts and welfare cuts of austerity — all designed to keep the banks and our European paymasters sweet.

The “Our Water is Not for Sale” Forum will bring together activists opposed to charges, environmental and anti-capitalist campaigners from Ireland and Europe as well as leading campaigners from South America to discuss the wider politics of water and privatisation; we will to consider how they relate to climate change and other environmental issues; and crucially, we will focus on developing strategies of resistance.

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS include:

Marcela Olivera from the Great Water Revolt in Cochabamba, Bolivia 2000

Professor Mike Gonzalez from Venezuela.

Plus speakers from UNITE –the Union, and from campaigns in Ireland and Europe.