AFTER the resignation of the Foreign Minister and four other members of the Irish cabinet, the Prime Minister, Cowen has resigned as the leader of the main government party, Fianna Fail, and tomorrow his government faces a vote of confidence in the Irish parliament.
It had a majority of two, its Green Party component has defected. Clearly it has reached the end of the road.
The government also published, last Friday, its Finance Bill, which contains the conditions attached to the recent IMF-World Bank 85bn euro loan, which effectively returns Eire to being a colony, this time under the rule of the European Central Bank, with the intention of turning the working class into a slave labour force.
Ireland already has record unemployment that will shortly reach 500,000, while the working class and the poor are reeling from rapidly rising prices, wage and pension cuts, plus a series of the most savage cuts ever seen in the country.
Youth are being encouraged to take part in a new mass emigration, and a return to the Ireland of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, where those forced to leave returned remittances to enable those who remained to survive.
This crisis situation is the result of the worldwide capitalist crisis, in particular its banking crisis, where the Irish banks had no capital, and instead held massively inflated paper, reflecting a South Sea Bubble of property prices that have since collapsed, taking the banks with them.
Since then the role of the Irish people has been to provide a lifeline for the banks, made from the plundering of workers’ jobs, wages, pensions, homes and healthcare.
This is all that capitalism has to offer.
The party that presided over this debacle, Fianna Fail, faces a crisis election.
Opposition parties in the Republic of Ireland are calling for the conditions of the 85bn euro loan to be renegotiated, especially its 5.8 per cent interest rate.
Sinn Fein has now turned its emphasis to the south and is gearing up to try to win a number of seats in the new Irish parliament, and through this a place in a new coalition line-up, alongside the right wing Fine Gael party and the right wing Labour Party.
Its aim is to play a leading role in the governments of both the north and the south of the country.
It is already bringing in a programme of cuts in the north alongside the DUP as part of a policy to maintain capitalism and the banks in the UK.
Its chosen role in the south is to play the same role in maintaining Irish capitalism, accepting that there must be savage cuts, while seeking to renegotiate the current deal with the IMF and the European Central Bank.
These policies are a betrayal of workers both north and south.
What is required in Ireland is that the working class shows its enormous power, and its ability to lead and champion the interests of the rural poor.
The trade unions must call a one day general strike before the next election and pledge that they will organise an indefinite general strike if a government emerges that refuses to cancel the 85bn euro loan.
What is required in Ireland is socialism.
This means the trade unions standing their own candidates in the next crisis election, on a socialist programme, and also being prepared to bring down any new Irish capitalist government that acts as an agency for the EU bankers.
What is required is a workers and small farmers government that will expropriate the banks and the major industries, cancel the debts, and set about building a socialist planned economy that will provide jobs for all and end the spectre of a new mass emigration.