The demands that will be placed on the people of Ireland as a result of the EU/IMF deal - more cuts, more job losses, more privatisation - are a stark warning to trade unionists in Britain about what happens if trade unions step back instead of organising mass action to defend jobs, pensions and services.
It's also a stark warning that the Con-Dem austerity measures will only make matters worse for ordinary people. But the bond-markets are laughing all the way to the bank after they successfully attacked Greece, then Ireland and will now move on to Portugal and Spain.
But as Irish Socialist MEP Joe Higgins declared, " RTE says that 'Everyone is really a hostage to the bond markets!’ but isn’t mass hostage taking a grievous crime against humanity? Isn’t it official policy that you don’t pay the ransom demanded?" Shouldn't the bond holders take the losses instead of working people?
As Richard Murphy of the Tax Justice Campaign pointed out at the recent SERTUC Public Services Conference, of the £200 billion of 'quantitative easing' designed to boost the economy, around a quarter went straight into bankers profits - to reflate their earnings, not the economy. He has calculated that £120 billion goes wasted in tax evasion, tax avoidance and uncollected taxes.
A small group of bond-holders and bankers are trying to hold the rest of us to ransom. It's time to stand up to the bullies - with co-ordinated trade union action.