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N. Ireland: Politicians continue to ‘sponge’ off the system

category ireland / britain | miscellaneous | news report author Thursday April 23, 2009 22:54author by Sean Matthews - WSM Belfast (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

If truth be told, should we be surprised by revelations in recent weeks concerning the expenses of ‘our’ politicians?

Sinn Fein who has long since traded the Armalite for the queen’s shilling is raking it in. Their five MPs, who have yet to complete their road to Damascus conversion by taking their seats at Westminster, claimed over £500,000 in travel, home and equipment allowances in the period 2007/2008.

Considering they already administer British Rule in Northern Ireland through the puppet administration in Stormont and given their loyalty to parliamentary reformism, someone please remind me why have they not yet taken the next logical step?

Next up we have the DUP mafia otherwise known as the Robinsons who wouldn’t have a gay person about the place. First Minister Peter Robinson and his wife Iris claimed over £500,000 in salaries and expenses in the period 2007/2008 for elected positions at Stormont and Westminster. Incidentally, they also employ their three children and a daughter-in-law as staff. We must remember that they are not the only MLAs to do so.

Anyway, the point is that the problem is not just a few bad apples that need to replaced by better ones, as its the very nature of our system which privileges the minority over the majority and ensures our political participation is restricted twice every decade.

We only need to look at the bailing out of the banks and the bonuses being handed out on a plate to people such as Sir Fred Goodwin who were born into wealth and privilege. While we the working people are treated as commodities to be bought and sold or thrown onto the dole queue when the company’s profits are reduced by a mere fraction.

As the wise old man, Alexander Berkman stated nearly a century ago

"Spending years in that atmosphere, enjoying good jobs and pay, the elected Socialists (politicians) have themselves become part and parcel of the political machinery. . . With growing success in elections and securing political power they turn more and more conservative and content with existing conditions.

Removal from the life and suffering of the working class, living in the atmosphere of the bourgeoisie (capitalist class)**. . . they have become what they call 'practical'. . . Power and position have gradually stifled their conscience and they have not the strength and honesty to swim against the current. . . They have become the strongest bulwark of capitalism.” (What is Communist Anarchism?, pp. 78-82)

Meanwhile, our local ruling class, headed by Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, have issued a warning to the Belfast Telegraph for daring to mention that our wee ‘economic miracle’ has fallen flat on its face.

As long as we continue to rely on change coming from above - whether from politicians or trade union bosses, they will continue to get away with legalised robbery. We need to abolish the division between workers and bosses, rulers and ruled and return the wealth to those who produced the wealth in the first place - the working class. Ultimately, we need to be making the decisions which affect our day to day lives in our communities and workplaces.

Don’t Moan- Organise! Otherwise we will continue with I told you so…

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