Listen up class! Pay attention to what’s been happening on the streets and make sure it doesn’t happen the next time you want to: a) protest or b) invent a tax.
Lessons for the protesters:
1. Don’t alienate the middle class.
This is a middle class democracy. The top 10% of society are too far away from the coalface to care. The bottom 20% roughly constitute the underclass. The middle 70% consider themselves middle class and generally act accordingly.
This is Middle Ireland. Nothing happens in this country without this group of people agreeing with it; putting up with it; or being hoodwinked into it.
The Anti-Bin protesters came across as people who didn’t want to pay taxes. This goes down very badly with Middle Ireland who get taxed from all directions.
Calls for a fair tax, even a low tax, would have been far more palatable.
2. Don’t fight with the High Court
This is a republic, supposedly based on the rule of law under the constitution. The High Court is the policeman who defends those laws.
You just can’t have defiance of the High Court otherwise it’s all over. You just can’t.
Better to keep switching tactics before you get to the High Court. You need plans B, C, D, etc in order to wear your opponents down. The protesters were stumped when Plan A failed.
3. Read the papers
We have a huge waste crisis. You can’t drive five miles in Ireland without meeting a “No Dump Here” sign.
The environmental issue is far bigger than the bin-tax issue and has been for years. Nobody is ever going to produce waste for free again.
Nearly all of the bin charges are bogus environmental taxes because they are flat taxes. But if you don’t want a tax at all, you’re not in a position to make that point. The polluter pays is now widely accepted.
Lessons for the government and councils
1. Don’t try to con people
The bin taxes are generally a sly money-gathering exercise dressed up green.
Flat bin taxes should be outlawed. They make a mockery of the ‘polluter pays’ principle.
2. Don’t ignore Joe Higgins
Many of the people Joe Higgins represents are just plain angry about the state of things and it came out in the bin taxes.
Many of the areas he represents have no access to decent services, are plagued by anti-social elements, are excluded from third level education, and suffer inter-generational poverty.
They have been promised relief, like the RAPID scheme, which hasn’t done a damn thing for them.
Joe Higgins represents leadership, hope, integrity and just plain decency to these people. There are other attractions in these areas such as the hoods or the ‘niggers are taking our jobs’ lowlife.
The Government should be on their knees giving thanks for the likes of Joe Higgins.