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Sinn Fein U-Turn to support Water Charges

doheochai

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Nov 7, 2005
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61
With a speed not seen since the u-turn by Brian Cowan after the last election, Sinn Fein (& the DUP) yesterday did a u-turn on their opposition to water charges.

Secretary of the We Won’t Pay Campaign Gary Mulcahy said “Mitchell McLaughlin and Ian Paisley Jnr.’s comments are a slap in the face of everyone who voted for these parties after being told that they opposed water charges during the elections.”

“The sheer brazenness of these politicians is staggering. Only a few weeks ago these parties claimed they were opposed to water charges but now they have the nerve to say that people will have to pay for the maintenance of our water and sewerage service through water charges. Why do they fail to mention that we already pay for water through the rates? Have the DUP and Sinn Fein all of a sudden contracted a mysterious case of collective amnesia?”

The We Won’t Pay Campaign said that “mass non-payment will teach these gangsters on the hill a lesson if they go ahead and introduce water charges. There is no support for this double-tax in working class communities across Northern Ireland. If they send bills to households they will be met with a mass boycott and the new Minister for Water Charges Conor Murphy will be left with egg on his face.”

UTV interview with Mitchel McLoughlin & Ian Paisley Jr.

http://u.tv/newsroom/onair.asp?q=hi&pt=&sdate=2/4/2007&f=0.4837719

You have to scroll to the end, it will then automatically return to the start for the second part of the programme. The interview is about a quarter of the way in.

McLoughlin states:

"If we separate out the legacy cost and set before people the legitimate cost of providing the water service, people are fair-minded, they will pay that".
 


JCSkinner

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I repeatedly asked for members of PSF to come out firmly against water charges in here and they repeatedly shied away from doing so. Now we see why.
I'd expect this crap from the DUP, as they seek to ferry London's billions into UDA coffers and the 'redevelopment' of places like the Shankill and Ballymena.
But the Shinners are behaving appallingly by ignoring the will of the people on this matter.
Scumbags, the lot of them.
 

meriwether

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Something that finally unites the people of Ulster- a dislike of ALL politicians.
It was bound to come.
 

JCSkinner

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I lay odds not one of the Shinners come here to this thread to explain this crap. Or if they do, they'll plead that they have a mandate for doing this, despite pretending to the electorate that they would not accept water charges in the run up to the election.
 

Inishowen

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Oct 5, 2006
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This is only the start JCS. I see they've already decided to leave Cultural Affairs in the hands of the Free Pree Taliban.......
 

Wolverine

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Sep 11, 2006
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I always felt that Sinn Fein was never seriously up for this. It's one thing to promote non payment from the comfort of opposition, another when in Government.
 

Pax

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doheochai said:
UTV interview with Mitchel McLoughlin & Ian Paisley Jr.

http://u.tv/newsroom/onair.asp?q=hi&pt=&sdate=2/4/2007&f=0.4837719

You have to scroll to the end, it will then automatically return to the start for the second part of the programme. The interview is about a quarter of the way in.

McLoughlin states:

"If we separate out the legacy cost and set before people the legitimate cost of providing the water service, people are fair-minded, they will pay that".
Appalling truly appalling. This is New Sinn Fein folks, it seems everything is up for negotiation leading to a full turn-around. I wonder will even Cain come on to defend this?
 

edifice.

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No doubt Factual will be on stating that a group hug at the crossroads will vindicate Sinn Feins stance on Water Charges which will in turn vindicate Sinn Feins peace strategy which will in turn vindicate Mary Lou's coordinated dress suit when she announces her bullshit to justify it.
 

cain1798

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Aug 6, 2003
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Pax said:
I wonder will even Cain come on to defend this?
'Even?' As I pointed out on another thread, I disagree with my party's position on water charges in the North. I believe we should have supported the non-payment campaign. I also resigned from working full-time for the party over policing so there's no shortage of SF stuff I don't agree with.

Anyhow, I haven't been able to hear the interview as my laptop's audio is broken but the transcripts from Indymedia make frightening reading. McLaughlin has issued a statement: http://www.sinnfein.ie/news/detail/18508

He seems to be blaming the editing of the interview, a dubious defence I have always held. But he does clarify the party's position:

"Sinn Féin's position is absolutely clear. We are opposed to people having to pay twice for any service. We have pointed out to the British government that we are already paying for water and sewage through the Regional rate."

Either the interview was edited wrong and Mitchel's position misrepresented and he has now clarified it, or Mitchel slipped up in the interview and he has now clarified his position. For what it's worth, Mitchel doesn't have the authority to overturn party policy on his tod.
 

DOD

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JCSkinner said:
Indyjoe said:
Mind boggling.
At this stage what is the point of PSF? What is its raison d'etre?
They're the pro-water charges Nationalist party in the North.
If SF are not to uphold their position on water charges, (And as Cain points out, this remains to be clarified) what makes you think a party as spineless as the SDLP would do it.

It will be interesting to see how this shapes up and more interesting to see how long it takes the left of SF to realise that the whole grounds for signing up to power-sharing was completely flawed.
 

Podolski

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Oct 10, 2006
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No surprise

I'm not surprised by the Sinn Féin U-turn, only the speed of it. Poor Jeremy Clarkson couldn't get someone to do it on Top Gear.

By the way, Labour's record ain't so good either, so those Labour posters should look into their own camp first. They after all were the ones who first introduced water charges in the south back in 1983 after stealing the from the 1982 Fianna Fáil election manifesto. Some Labour politicians (especially the DL ones) made careers opposing service charges (before they sold out the WP and their voters, that is). Sinn Féin are now zooming down the road after them.
 

Kerrygold

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Re: No surprise

Podolski said:
I'm not surprised by the Sinn Féin U-turn, only the speed of it. Poor Jeremy Clarkson couldn't get someone to do it on Top Gear.

By the way, Labour's record ain't so good either, so those Labour posters should look into their own camp first. They after all were the ones who first introduced water charges in the south back in 1983 after stealing the from the 1982 Fianna Fáil election manifesto. Some Labour politicians (especially the DL ones) made careers opposing service charges (before they sold out the WP and their voters, that is). Sinn Féin are now zooming down the road after them.
:roll: What u-turn? Did you not read Mitchel's statement?
 

JCSkinner

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DOD said:
JCSkinner said:
Indyjoe said:
Mind boggling.
At this stage what is the point of PSF? What is its raison d'etre?
They're the pro-water charges Nationalist party in the North.
If SF are not to uphold their position on water charges, (And as Cain points out, this remains to be clarified) what makes you think a party as spineless as the SDLP would do it.

It will be interesting to see how this shapes up and more interesting to see how long it takes the left of SF to realise that the whole grounds for signing up to power-sharing was completely flawed.
You may not like the SDLP, but they have always stuck to their principles, their analysis of the conflict and there is no reason to believe they would u-turn on their position any more than Shinners would.
Anyhow, the situation is moot, because like all the other major parties in the North, the SDLP was careful not to give the electorate a commitment to opposing water charges prior to the election.
 

Wolverine

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Sep 11, 2006
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Is it possible for a transcript of the full, unedited interview to be posted up?

I have my doubts about the "misedited" argument, but if the full text of what Mitchell McLaughlin said is put up we can at least draw our own conclusions.

Saying "I was misedited" and neglecting to show how is not going to stop the questions.
 

DOD

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JCSkinner said:
You may not like the SDLP, but they have always stuck to their principles, their analysis of the conflict and there is no reason to believe they would u-turn on their position any more than Shinners would.
Anyhow, the situation is moot, because like all the other major parties in the North, the SDLP was careful not to give the electorate a commitment to opposing water charges prior to the election.
The SDLP have no principles, other than being the bastion of middle class opportunistic nationalism.
 

Podolski

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Re: No surprise

Kerrygold said:
:roll: What u-turn? Did you not read Mitchel's statement?
Yes, I read his statement, and I also saw his interview in full as shown on UTV Live last evening. I know a U-turn when I see it and McLaughlin did a U-turn from Sinn Féin's stated position on water charges during the election campaign.
 

cain1798

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Wolverine said:
Is it possible for a transcript of the full, unedited interview to be posted up?
I doubt it, though UTV might do a Guardian on it if they feel annoyed and have the evidence.

Personally, I'm unconvinced by the edit excuse. I think he simply messed up the interview. It wouldn't be the first time one of our people has done so, and it wouldn't even be the first time Mitchel, who's normally very good, has done so. (Got away with it last time) :D

I don't think it's a U-Turn because our policy hasn't changed. It's the same now as it was campaigning in the election, Mitchel's statement makes that clear.

Despite this, I look forward to reading claims to the contrary in future issues of Socialist Worker and The Socialist.
 

doheochai

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Nov 7, 2005
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Personally I feel McLoughlin is playing with words. His statement is ambiguous at best.

McLoughlin stated that 'at no time did I say that the Assembly would introduce water charges' and that 'Sinn Féin will also lead the way in opposing any attempts to privatise our water service.'

However he did not stated unequivocally that SF opposed Water Charges, merely 'We are opposed to people having to pay twice for any service. We have pointed out to the British government that we are already paying for water and sewage through the Regional rate.' This is ambiguous and allows of it to be interpreted that SF would support water charges in certain circumstances (i.e. the circumstances outlined by McLoughlin in the utv interview).

In reply to McLoughlins statement, the We Won't Pay Campaign issued the following:

Gary Mulcahy, Secretary of the We Won’t Pay Campain replies to Mitchel McLaughlin.

“In Mitchel McLaughlin’s reply he claims that Sinn Fein’s position is clear. In fact what he says is completely unclear. There is no firm commitment in his reply to abolish water charges completely.

“The simple question remains, will the new Sinn Fein minister issue any form of water bills or not? All we ask is a clear commitment that the entire water charges agenda will be fully scrapped.

“Until we get that commitment we can only go by Mitchell McLaughlin’s comment :“If we separate out the legacy cost and we set in front of people the legitimate cost of running a clean and healthy water supply to people’s houses, people are fair minded, they will pay that.” In anybody’s language this means there will be bills delivered.”
 


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