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The Socialist Party thinks Labour could be 'wiped out' within three years

Paul Murphy, the party’s Dublin MEP candidate, said that water charges were “the straw that breaks the camel’s back” for voters.

Paul Murphy (File photo)
Paul Murphy (File photo)
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE LABOUR PARTY may have disbanded within three years, Socialist MEP candidate Paul Murphy has claimed.

Murphy called on voters in next month’s local and European elections to “punish all of the austerity parties” but in particular to “wipe out” Labour for their broken election promises.

“Labour is going to be destroyed completely in about three years,” he said.

The sitting MEP stated that the junior government party’s “squirming” in recent days indicated they are concerned about the uncertainty of their future.

He added that the party is trying to get a concession on water charges in a bid to “sell” it to despondent voters. He maintained they would “competely fail” in this attempt.

We make no apology for being very, very critical of the Labour party … it’s absolutely in tune with the mood of people.

Murphy made the comments at the launch of the Socialist party election campaign in Dublin this afternoon.

He described the introduction of water charges as “the straw that breaks the camel’s back” for people who are already struggling to pay the local property tax and the universal social charge and deal with cuts to child benefits.

People have been hit extremely hard for the last six years with austerity packages designed in Brussels.

Murphy said that voters should turn the election into a referendum on water charges and voice their dissatisment with the government. To highlight its opposition to the charge, the party has changed its name to ‘Stop the Water Tax – Socialist Party’.

‘Recovery of the rich’

He said that the economic recovery being publicised by the government was “spin”.

“It is a recovery of the rich … built on an intensification of austerity for working class people” and “forced labour schemes” such as JobBridge and Gateway that “devalue work and normalise people working for free”.

He accused Fianna Fáil’s Mary Fitzpatrick and the Green’s Eamon Ryan, two of his opponents in the Dublin constituency, of having “collective and selective calculated amensia” in terms of supporting austerity and water charges respectively.

‘Utterly betrayed’

Ruth Coppinger, the Socialist candidate in the Dublin West by-election, was also at the launch.

She echoed Murphy sentiments that Labour’s existence had been “completely called into question”, adding that working-class people felt “utterly betrayed” by the party.

Most of the people in the Anti-Austerity Alliance (of which the Socialist party is a member) were Labour party voters in the last election.

Coppinger noted that more than 90,000 families are on the national housing waiting list and said this issue was acutely felt in Dublin West as it has the “youngest poluation in Ireland”.

Despite this, she said: “There won’t be one house built in Dublin West by the council this year”.

Don’t waste your vote, use it to send a message to the government.

The by-election will take place on the same day as the local and European elections, 23 May.

Speaking at the launch, Joe Higgins TD, the director of elections for the Socialist party, described the vote as “the most crucial, in my view, for generations”.

Read: Joe Higgins to quit Dáil at end of this term to clear way for Coppinger

Related: Mortgage campaigner David Hall is going to run in the Dublin West by-election

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Órla Ryan

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