You would be forgiving it was April Fools Day when witnessing social media going into free-fall following the recent Derry City and Strabane District Council meeting of the ‘Governance and Strategic Planning Committee’ as local councillors voted NOT to give themselves a pay rise.
Was it a well intentioned gesture of concern by our political leaders and the parties they represent at a time of increasing economic hardship in working class communities or a mealy mouthed token to distract attention away from their own failures? Many rightly believe it is the later.
Just Resting In My Account
The motion was put forward not by the self-styled ‘radicals’ within the Derry City and Strabane District Council but by the nationalist Sinn Fein councillor who said “It just feels wrong at this current time in this current climate for us to be sitting awarding ourselves an increase in allowances”.
The understatement of the year coming from a representative of one of the wealthiest political party‘s in the country, who themselves have been buried in financial controversy since the last series of elections, resulting in reshuffles and members swapping seats.
Revolution NOT Reform
Local government and council chambers is nothing more than a quagmire of red tape rubber stamping local planning and bin collections for a few extra columns in the local rags.
For decades we have been lied to “We fought for the right to vote”, “Use your vote other wise the OTHER will get the seat”, “There’s non need to protest and march when we have a local councillor to work on our behalf” yet our class continues to accept attack after a attack from that very same system which they are administering to kick us in line.
For the Many Not the Few
This is by no means a cheap crack at would-be politicians and others by anarchists just because of a cringe-worthy attempt by local politicians to look as if they are “by and for the people” at a time of crisis and hardship for workers and working class communities, far from it.
When it comes up in front of the next Governance and Strategic Planning Committee will they openly accept it then or kick it down the road for another day to once again legitimise their positions? Or quietly push it through with backdated increases to bring themselves in line with other councils?
One thing is for sure we’ll not hold our breath while the rest of our class maintain the picket lines and life on Universal Credit.
For anarchists, there is no parliamentary road to the liberation of all our class, be it in their local, regional or national councils or assemblies protecting and legitimising that same system which is oppressing our class.
For anarchists, it is that reformist route that disempowers workplace, community and street politics of our class in which the many has their voice removed in favour of the voice of the few.
Profit Before People
Our class solidarity comes directly from our anarchist principles to further our aims of mutual aid, solidarity and direct action. As anarchists we believe that NO-ONE should get paid into defending the interests of the working class. Those individuals, groups and organisations who seek paid positions to represent our class ultimately represent no-one but their own selfish interests and egos. For those who still believe that there is a possibility or some potential in the reformist politics of capitalist institutions local or otherwise, think again. They are kidding no one!