Workers Party supports Right2Change principles as a basis for progressive change
Workers’ Party representatives today commended the work of the Right2Water unions in beginning a process that could form the basis for the creation of a progressive political bloc to challenge the dominance of neoliberalism in Irish society.
At a meeting with representatives of the Right2Water unions this afternoon the Workers’ Party called on all participants in the Right2Change coalition to commit to further co-operative discussion and common action.
The Workers’ Party also stated that the Right2Change principles and process are an important contribution to the development of a full programme for a progressive government in Ireland. However, it was made clear that as the principles stand they must be seen as the beginning of the road to building a policy platform, and not its end.
The Workers’ Party is committed to continuing to work with unions, community groups and political organisations that constitute the Right2Water and Right2Change movements.
In response to a series of questions posed to all political parties by the trade unions, the Workers’ Party answered as follows;
1) Do you (or party if applicable) support the Right2Change policy principles?
The Right2Change initiative is a welcome contribution to the development of a vibrant progressive politics in Ireland. The Workers’ Party views the document in a positive light.
We view the policy principles as a valuable starting point for building a progressive alternative. We do not view it as a substitute for our own socialist programme which the party intends to stand in the forthcoming general election in the Republic of Ireland.
2) Will you (or party if applicable) agree now to form a progressive government based on this platform if the numbers allow?
As we indicated on 16th October, should the issue arise in the aftermath of the election, the party will engage co-operatively and with a positive spirit with other progressive and, in particular, socialist forces.
The Right2Change policy principles could, in this context, contribute significantly to that discussion. The policy principles, however, cannot be a substitute for the detailed discussions that would be necessary in order to negotiate the formation of a government.
The question of whether we would now agree to the formation of a progressive government is, therefore, not one that we can answer positively at this time.
3) How will you work together to agree this?
In the run up to the election, we suggest that Right2Change organise, in conjunction with parties supportive of the document, to host public meetings at the local constituency level to publicise the possibility of a progressive alternative to the neo-liberal status quo.
These would also serve the function of strengthening grassroots co-operation between the local organisations, thereby fostering positive relations. In general, the Workers’ Party advocates ‘left co-operation’ rather than ‘left unity’ as the immediate approach for joint work between progressive forces.
Our approach favours respecting – but not uncritically – each organisation’s distinct political vision, history, and programme. Developing a unified approach would require a much deeper and longer term project of practical on the ground co-operation as well as theoretical agreement.
This promises less in the immediate term but nurtures a stronger foundation for the future. It is our hope that Right2Change can continue to contribute to that process of co-operation by encouraging co-operative discussion and common action.
Regardless of the outcome of the election and the possibilities regarding the formation of a government, the process of politicisation underway through the movement against water charges is a transformative one. We note the positive role that the Right2Water trade unions, community groups and political parties have played in that process and the historic growth in community activism that has occurred over the last twelve months.