THE WORKERS' PARTY OF IRELAND

Education - A Right, Not a Privilege!

Left must provide an alternative, Finnegan tells Workers Party Education meeting

Workers Party education meeting
Workers' Party Dublin Education Seminar at Liberty Hall

Photo (above): SIPTU General President Jack O'Connor addressing the Workers' party meeting "Education - A Right, not a Privilege" in Dublin last night (4/12/08).  Also in photo (L-R) Sally Shields, former President INTO; Mary Diskin, Education spokeswoman, the Workers Party and Mick Finnegan, President of the Workers Party.   

The President of the Workers' Party has told a Dublin seminar on Education that the parties of the left must work together to provide a viable alternative to Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael led governments.

 

Speaking at a public meeting on the theme "Education - A Right, not a Privilege", Michael Finnegan said that the trade union movement and the parties of the left had to work together to oppose the right-wing consensus of cuts in public services and attacks on both public and private sector workers.

 

Speaking at the seminar, organised by the Dublin Region of the Workers Party and which was also attended by SIPTU General President Jack O'Connor, Workers' Party Education spokeswoman Mary Diskin  and former INTO President Sally Shields, Mr. Finnegan said:-

 

!I can assure teachers and their unions that The Workers Party will give them our total support, limited as it maybe. I call on all trade unionists to support the teachers and put the case for them let it be on building sites or factories and within their communities". 

 

"The Left has got to decide how we can defend the interests of the working class over the coming years. Some months ago speaking at the annual conference of The Workers Party in Northern Ireland I pointed out that thousands of workers were facing eviction from their homes from being unable to pay their mortgages because of unemployment, I called on the Government to introduce measures to protect them. The same call came from the Labour Party at their conference at the weekend".

 

"If the present opinion polls are to be believed nearly 40 of the electorate will vote for some party other than Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. I now believe the time has come for the left to unite that section of the population. To do that The Labour Party must reject entering coalition with Fianna Fail or Fine Gael, They should cooperate with other principled parties of the left to build an alternative to Fianna Fail or Fine Gael Lead Governments".

 

"The Trade Union movement would have a roll to play in this for a start they could organise a conference where an alternative set of polices could be put forward to the people In opposition to the right wing parties. There is no doubt in my mind that the Workers Party, the Labour Party and the Socialist Party will gain seats in the upcoming local elections the problem that the Workers Party Faces is funding for that election. While recognising that the Trade Union movement is struggling to raise sufficient funds for itself there is still a lot it could do to promote those candidates who are willing to commit themselves to fight on behalf of the trade union movement. For those of us with vision we must aim higher than propping up Fianna Fall or Fine Gael in government. If that is the height of our ambition there will always be a large section of the working class that will reject those who follow that line", said the Workers' Party President.

 

Issued 5th December 2008

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Workers' Party members listening to the discussion

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