I’m finding it harder to digest my porridge in the mornings as the likelihood of a strike by ESB workers approaches. The business news on Radio Pravado a.k.a RTE’s Morning Ireland is carrying more and more reports from distressed business folk. Their sudden and new found concern for the widows and orphans of Ireland is almost moving. It would be truly moving if I didn’t know what cynical bastards they are. The latest out if the traps is ole sweet face himself, Fergal Quinn. This very morning he told us stifling a sob no doubt, of the desirability of laws to remove the legal right of workers in certain key utilities to withdraw their labour. He told us, I though I detected a catch in his voice, of his fears at the hurt power outrages might cause to some people. This from a man who gave the works the phrase “hello money”. The man who blackmailed his suppliers before he would deign to stick their produce when he was master of ceremonies at Superquinn. I would dearly love to know what his former employees think of him. Maybe somebody would like to tell.
Anyway, the vapouring a of Der Fuhrer Quinn are not to be taken seriously, he is merely a stalking horse for Irish business. Even Brer Rabbitte, a man much given to shafting workers, finds the idea impractical. I expect the notion has appeal for him, but he’s cute enough to know that even hid buddy Jack O’Connor would blanch at that one. No, the real one to watch is Denis O’Brien, he’s the man leading the charge on behalf of Irish capitalism. I suppose that it’s appropriate that he, the William Martin Murphy of his day, is using the Irish Independent as his battering ram. His mighty organ is busily ranting against ESB workers. The concern over “gold plated pensions” from Ireland’s richest man and notes tax dodger is truly breathtaking. That fact that these workers merely want what they were promised matters not a joy to this fellow. His game is this, he knows that the electricity workers have the muscle to win this, and he is far sighted enough to see that such a victory could embolden other workers to get bolshy. So, don’t be taken in by the hand wringing and crocodile tears, this is all about skinning the working class.
THIS IS CLASS WARFARE. To win this, the employers must divide us, we after all the majority. They must set workers against workers. That’s why WE MUST stand four square behind the ESB workers. Onward to victory.