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Come Clean on Water Charges

category antrim | consumer issues | opinion/analysis author Thursday November 30, 2006 12:51author by Madigan Report this post to the editors

Isn't it strange that when in sniffing distance of getting back into power the local parties shy away from association with opposition to separate water charges. Is the thought of missing out on the double tax so hard to swallow. Maybe the truth is as suspected that all allong the likes of the DUP SF really agreed with the policy.

It's time local parties stated clearly where they stand. It is now quite straight forward. If you DON'T support non payment you DO support the water Charges. Non payment is the only way these charges will be defeated. It is time for DUP SF SDLP UUP make there position clear. If they support the charges have the decency to put it in their manifesto for the next elections. Conversly if they don't support and agree with the Governments proposals have the nerve to support the "We Won't pay campaign" What is also required is a firm statement of intent re the privatisation of the water department. Let's be clear these are issues the electorate won't stand to be fobbed off on.
This is a clear cross comunity issue (Maybe another reason the main parties are dragging their feet) They will have to start addressing the issues for real instead of just relying on the orange and green line. "Vote for me or else the other side will get in" They might have to start looking at what the electorate wants and not just working to their own agenda.
Remeber Don't pay twice for your water.

author by optimistpublication date Thu Nov 30, 2006 14:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's a crazy thought!! What If the electorate gave up on voting on sectarian lines. Then just looked at ALL the policies of the various parties and actually voted for the party that had the best policies for them. It would be great if the politicians really had to take into consideration the electorate instead of assuming (Unfortunately justifiably) that wearing and orange or green hat is enough to get support.

author by Clarity Boypublication date Thu Nov 30, 2006 17:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can I just check something?

From reading the first post, the author seems to believe that there are only two possible positions on water charges.

1. I support the water charges and will pay.

2. I oppose the water charges and refuse to pay.

Is that a fair representation of the author's thoughts?

author by Non Payerpublication date Thu Nov 30, 2006 20:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For individuals: no many working class people can hate the charges yet be undecied as to if they have the courage not to pay. We need to win these people.

For organisations: Yes, people like SF, UUP, DUP, SDLP and trade union leaders can no longer be allowe claim to oppose water charges while arguing people should pay them.


author by madiganpublication date Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm not speaking about individuals on that point. those remarks are directed at the political parties. It is their position I want them to clarify. If they won't support the Don't pay campaign then by their inaction they give support to water charges. The only way this is going to be defeated is by non payment. If there is enough people paying then it's a "Done deal" never to be changed. The next step being water privitisation and everyone except water company executives and shareholders getting royally shafted.. If anyone has another alternative that will stop the water charges that doesn't involve non payment, then I'd love to hear it and would fully support it.

author by Arthurpublication date Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Where were all the campaigns when the farmers were being asset stripped, now its the turn of the rest of you. There is no point in expecting the politicians to put up arguments, they simply wouldnt know an argument if they seen one on a lamppost. The Minister says it will improve services, we all know that a 500% hike in planning fees didn't improve anything and once the proposed charges become law it will be illegal to refuse to pay. Still the good news is farmers will be exempt.
don't vote for the worn historical agendas next time round.
Nietze the German philosopher offered some directives 150 years ago 1"don't remain like animals 2 don't listen to the moralists.3 decide right and wrong for ourself.4 seek eternity by creative efforts" he believed the common people he called 'a herd of sheep' would not be able to follow these instructions. Could he be right nothing is going to change yet again.

author by roguepublication date Fri Dec 01, 2006 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Arthur seems to be trying to blame someone else for the inability of the farmers to mount a meaningfull campaign on issues that affected them. I've never thought farmers were "Behend the door" when issues that affected them came up. So I am somewhat confused as to why he feels he should snipe (and goad) from the sidelines. Where were the campaigns Arthur?? You should be best placed to answer that!!!

author by Jamestownpublication date Fri Dec 01, 2006 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Madigan: "If you DON'T support non payment you DO support the water Charges."

Not true. I oppose water charges totally but if I dont pay I may end up in jail and for my childrens sake I could not let that happen as they would have no-one (family, friends etc) that are in a position to care for them properly.

Yes, i would love to be able to not pay but it is a practical impossibility for me to do that. Does that mean that I support water charges? No it doesnt. I oppose them totally and unreservedly.

I do not know your situation and whether you would be in a position to be able to go to jail or not. If you are then that is great and I would support you in not paying but as I said I am not in a position to do that myself but that does not make me a supporter of water charges .

author by arthurpublication date Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Rogue
It was nice for you to comment. Of course the remarks were not pot shots at anybody just a way for people and there servicing of their immediate needs to take stock and realise that if we are to have a future it must be joined up, not more exploitation of the exploitable. The first thing I want to draw your attention to is that farmers will not be exempt from new water charges, however on hearing Mr Donaldson MP make some reference to same, it looks as if a deal on the political front was done, the govt would withdraw from this and the so called exhausted politicians could claim a victory only attributed to their valiant efforts.
Water is a very contentious issue in the world today and the British Government is exploiting the concerns to their advantage. There have been campaigns by farmers organisations on the outcome of a water symposium in Sweden three years ago. It was proposed by the symposium that countries like Brazil, China, and Australia should grow grain and not produce livestock that need lots of water. The opposite is the response thrashing the rain forests etc to produce more meat and saturating markets with imports of dubious quality destabilising the entire meat industry of Ireland. It takes a lot of fossil energy to transport product 10k miles adding to the greenhouse gases already causing concern. There is also the question as to why are environmental campaigns are not effective? I believe the truth regarding the future is too scary to be left entirely to politicians, whose only function appears to be to put a stopper in the face of any opposition until it is too late to do anything about it.
Finally it is worth looking at human behaviour in the Streets, Supermarkets, in their cars on the roads etc and ask yourself will anything change. Regards

author by amanda nipsapublication date Sat Dec 02, 2006 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You will not go to jail for refusing to pay your water charges should they ever be introduced - the legal advice NISPA got was clear - it is not a criminal offence - the point behind non payment is that if enough people pledge not to pay then the revenue stream that would come from charges is cut off and the cost of pursuing everyone through small claims is too prohibitive for any private company to stomach - if you unreservedly opposes water charges then you should should refuse to pay the charges from April - remember you already pay for water through your rates - the alternative is massive increases in water charges and privatisation. Any don't be fooled by the prospect of metering - the main element of the charge is for infrastructure not the amount of water you use - experience shows that vulnerable groups begin to cut down on the water they use to the extent that serious health problems can arise - Don't pay twice and oppose privatisation.

You should read Newton Emerson's article in the Irish News or Eamonn McCann's piece in the Tele this week.

author by madiganpublication date Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To clarify again, my comments on if "You don't support non payment you do support the water charges" are directed at the political parties. I want them to come clean and either say if they support the charges or not. I am fully aware and would expect lots of people wouldn't support the charges but would be worried about the implications of not paying them.
That is were the campaign must get it's message across. People will be intimidated and bullied into paying by the threat of dire consequences if they don't. That is why the emphasis is on a MASS campaign of non payment. Strength is in numbers. We must remember they can't cut you off and you won't go to jail. This is a cross community issue that we can unite on and we can win.
Don't pay twice for your water.

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