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Brid Smith to stand for Dublin Mayor

category dublin | elections / politics | news report author Saturday January 30, 2010 21:32author by Marcopolo Report this post to the editors

People Before Profit Alliance Councillor Brid Smith has announced her candidacy for the new directly elected post of Mayor of Dublin. The new post will represent all of Dublin City and County.

Smith is a long time activist and is a leader of the Socialist Workers Party, although she was elected to Dublin City Council for the Ballyfermot ward under the People Before Profit Alliance banner. As of yet her platform for the election has not been announced but it will include the following ideas:

1) Transforming Dublin into a "People's City".
2) Opposing Water Charges.
3) Reinstating the Bin Charges waiver.
4) Integrated public transport for the whole city.
5) Campaigning for jobs and houses.

The People Before Profit Alliance has announced that Brid is aiming at "constructing a large and broad based campaigning organisation that is determined to create an electoral shock and secure victory in this poll. Her aim is to build a broad campaign that stretches beyond her own organisation, People Before Profit, to embrace that many strands of opposition that are developing to our failed government." The PBPA did not seek an agreement with the independent left councillors in Dublin, with the Socialist Party or with Éirigí, which has a councillor Dublin City Council before making their announcement.

Smith is one of two People Before Profit Councillors on Dublin City Council, both representing wards in the Dublin South Central constituency. That constituency is one of People Before Proft's main targets in the next election. The seat of Sinn Fein's Aengus O'Snodaigh is regarded as vulnerable to a challenge from the left. A tilt at the Dublin Mayoralty will raise Smith's profile considerably.

Related Link: http://peoplebeforeprofit.ie/node/289
author by republicanpublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

when is the election?

author by Conorpublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm not sure if I should welcome this, or be worried.

''This election provides an opportunity to start building a real alternative to the failed establishment parties'' - This comes from the SWP/PBPA website. What worries me is if the PBPA will ever come right out and say they are the SWP. Otherwise, the 'real alternative' will just be a hidden agenda on behalf of the SWP - a dangerous party.

author by Dub a Dub Dubpublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The election is meant to be in June, but hasn't been announced properly. But it does seem a bit previous to be talkiing about a broad left campaign by announcing your candidate before you've got anyone else to support you!

The programme looks extremely bland, even by the standards of what we've come to expect here. Jobs, houses, better transport - everyone from Labour to SF to FF, even FG is in favour of that. Where's the specific proposals on these issues? Bringing back the bin charges waiver is a bit of a climbdown from abolition of the bin tax, isn't it?

The point about raising her profile in Dublin South Central is important - not just against O Snodaigh, but against Joan Collins, her fellow PBPA councillor. Collins has been a councillor longer and would be the logical choice to stand for PBPA ther in the next general election. But if Smith promotes herself in the mayor's election, she could leave Collins behind. I wonder was Collins consulted on this candidacy?

author by Another Dub a dubdub - disillusioned with partiespublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well there you go, the SWP simply want to 'fit in'. I believe they are literally willing to do anything to get into a position of power. I'd never give 'em my vote... but voting seems to cause more problems than solve anyway. I don't really know if I'll vote ever again... (I went Green Party last time around, oh boy!)

They are opportunists, nothing more, nothing less - they didn't contact any other ''left'' people in Dublin before making this decision, really?

And check this out, I'd laugh if it wasn't real life we're dealing with here [look at comments] --- http://www.indymedia.ie/article/95647

author by leftistpublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Has Brid Smith gotten the support of the Socialist Party? This is an important question as the SP has a small base in Dublin City. It will be essential for Brid to have both the endorsement and support of the party, and particularly the endorsement of Joe Higgins and SP union activists. The alternative is a split in the left (again), which (again) would be unfortunate, We can only hope Brid hasn't gone ahead with this without consulting others on the left. With agreement, the mayoral election could set her up for the next Dail, and along with JH RBB and possibly Mick Murphy of Cork and Clare Daly we could see a revolutionary socialist block in the Dail. Hopefully agreement on her candicy has been reached or can be reached.

author by Terry Gpublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Apparently the Socialist Party are also running their own candidate for Mayor of Dublin.

author by Ronniepublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Look, this is good news. I am not part of the people before profit but to call the swp dangerous is over the top in the extreme. Yes, the SP will also run someone. Clare Daly maybe? The election will boost their profile and get left wing ideas promoted. It will boost both their chances in the election. Everyone is a winner.

author by the Devils advocatepublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 18:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

(first off, it wont be Clare, she is Fingal County Council)

The only thing this is doing (or so it seems at the moment) is, once again, damaging any chance of any left wing slate in Dublin, or Ireland for that matter. The left are pitching against each other and neither will get in and everyone loses - to Labour or Fine Gael probably.

What we need... ah, why bother, its no use. The SWP and SP dont get along, SInn Fein are no longer left wing (if they ever were), Labour will be Fine Gaels lackies soon and the independents cant push though any meaningful change.

Voting, in my opinion, is absolutely useless. Im a being pushed towards libertarianism.

I dont see the good news here and Im sorry to be the pessimist but there ya go

author by marcopolopublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 18:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As I understand it, Devil's advocate, this post will cover all of Dublin City and County - that is the City Council area, Fingal, South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.

author by rmpublication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 22:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

SP will be running Higgins, will Smith bow out or try to split the vote?

author by CP - No 2 NAMA. No 2 EU etc. etc.publication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 23:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a rather new member of the SP I find it most disheartening to hear all this. At the SWPs Marxism in Dublin Comrades were handed leaflets on an electoral slate of left candidates. In the statement above it is said that: 'The PBPA did not seek an agreement with the independent left councillors in Dublin, with the Socialist Party or with Éirigí, which has a councillor Dublin City Council before making their announcement.' Would just like to know what attempts to make any sort of agreement have been made to date and will there be any further attempts in the coming months?

I have the greatest of respect for a number of individual members in all 3 (or 4?) named groups but collectively we seem to be allowing such stupid sectarianism make a balls up of any realistic alternative to the ruling class. Red C just told the people that they are more inclined to vote for Fianna Failure and if I'm mistaken wasn't it FF under Bertie who drew up this position of elective office in the first place?

As a general point could you elaborate on what this position is all about (powers, etc.) rather than a head count before the general election. Will the result of the elections be really to make our own GLC (now GLA) or '80s Liverpool City Council (now Lib Dem) or get another rat like Sarko or, more likely, a bumbling Boris Johnston type in.

author by CP - SPV, TUSC etc. etc.publication date Sun Jan 31, 2010 23:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Actually there’s much to ponder as regards this new political position, which granted isn’t hugely different to the old political position bar the fact the constituency has widened extravagantly. For example… how big is that constituency going to be? Where will the limits be? Who will be contesting it? What chances are there for the left to mount a campaign, preferably with an agreed candidate. And as nominally the most left of centre area on the island surely this could reap some rewards for the left.' - WorldbyStorm http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/an-election...-say/

'What makes this really frustrating is that after 15 years of regroupment projects, this is where the far left is at. Opportunities to lay the foundations for something lasting and with wider support has been squandered by sectarian interests, egos and petty control freakery, and each and every principal organisation of the far left shoulders a share of the blame. The lasting feature of our procession of unity initiatives has been the sinking of new wells of resentment - so much for the Marxist left being the socialist society of the future in embryo. [Abort.. ABORT!!] The window of opportunity the far left has had to make an impact outside its ghetto is closing. The Labour party is, once again, starting to look like the place where the issue of working class representation will be debated and contested in the coming years - despite the stranglehold of the apparatus and lack of meaningful democracy. This means TUSC's prospects, even if it becomes something more than an alliance of convenience, are probably very limited.' - another Socialist Party blogger. http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com/2010/01/trad....html

'The impact of this stunt upon the broader proposal for a united left slate at the general election is unlikely to be helpful. Those who accuse the SWP of opportunism and unilateralism have been pretty resoundingly vindicated. Since the Socialist Party’s negotiating strategy tends to consist of giving the SWP enough rope and then sticking on Joy Division, it’s probably no longer reasonable to hope that one party’s bad faith will negate the other’s. The mayoral election itself, whenever it takes place, promises to be a spectacular freak show even by the exacting standards of Irish politics. Labour’s Dermot Lacey is being touted as an early front-runner in some quarters, but his chances of gaining his party’s endorsement are slender, especially given that his tenure as Lord Mayor was marked by a rush of statesmanship to the head which saw him deploy his casting vote to force through the 2003 budget contrary to party instructions. If his mayoral ambitions are frustrated by the leadership, it would not be out of character for Dermo to go William Webb Ellis on their asses. Elsewhere, the election promises to be one long cavalcade of grostequerie. Once the tin marked Power, Profile & Privilege is rattled, who knows what will come scurrying out? I fully expect Royston Brady to make an appearance, and to seem like a paragon of plausibility beside some of his competitors.' - dublindilettante http://circumlimina.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/whos-up-fo...gers/

author by Ronniepublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will either far left candidate win? No.
But there is a chance to set the agenda here, as readers involved in elections will know.
The leading far left candidate will benefit from up to 40% of the transfers of the other, if my knowledge of electoral issues is correct, which it is.It will put a load of pressure on Labour, never a bad thing.

author by Dub a Dub Dubpublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having 2 left candidates would be mad. Transfers would only make sense if both candidates were getting substantial votes - over 10% each, say. As it is, neither will come close to double figures and could well be eliminated before they transfer. You build up a small vote by concentrating it on one good candidate, not dispersing it.

But the politics of all this is being forgotten about. Why are the policies so vague? Make Dublin a People's City - that's a slogan for Dublin Tourist Board, not a socialist. Talking about jobs, houses, transport means nothing unless you have something specific to propose. For example, Dublin local authorities should have the power to acquire vacant houses at a discount (or better still, for nothing). Once we have the policies, then it will be time to choose the personality. The fact that the cart is being put before the horse shows that people are frankly taking the piss here.

But the most credible personality to be the face of a socialist campaign is obviously Joe Higgins, who 1000s of working class Dubs voted for as MEP. But would the SP tolerate a broad socialist campaign involving the whole left, rather than another SP-controlled campaign?

author by socialist - I wish there was one worth joiningpublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 15:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a long time socialist activist I find it depressing that we can continue not to have a left unity candidate for even this. it is a very poor showing from the hard left and it seems the swps's 'coup' will do mid term damage. Those poeple inside the sp who have argued for unity have egg on their face, and it will be extremely hard for them to argue for unity troughout this farce. the only way I see out of this is if a large independent working class group is organised of which both the sp and swp will have no choice but to join. then hopefully the control freakey of both leaderships will cancel themselves out.

author by Con Carrollpublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 20:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the political left activists should have called for a convention, including Independent Republican activists. to taste the waters to see what our attitude is about the election of a mayor
again with no doubt, this mayor will come from the ranks of the poltical established parties.
what is the salary per year for the mayor?
of course according to Joe Higgins the elite poltical sectarianism of the swp has shown its face. while 430,000 people have become unemployed. the banks confiscating peoples homes. people will be asking what do we need a mayor in Dublin for
the swp are not the political saviours of working class people's politics

author by JCpublication date Mon Feb 01, 2010 20:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Correct me if I am wrong but did Joe Higgins ask the swp (or PBP) before he ran because i know PBP candidates in the locals supported his campaign? Is there a difference this time?

author by Ciaran C - Belfast Ex prisonerpublication date Tue Feb 02, 2010 13:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brid has the heart of a lion, she's one of the most passionate determined socialists i have ever met and has dedicated her life to the working class, anybody who has met her knows that.
When i was doing a bit of time some years back she was the only person on the left who kept a good flow of literature coming into our very scantly resourced amateur library.
I wish her the best success in her campaign.
Ar aghaidh lei!

author by activistpublication date Tue Feb 02, 2010 13:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The problem is that some of us on the left have been pushing for left unity the sp were generally against it, but the swp had claimed that they were in favor of it. But as mentioned above, rather than hold some sort of meeting to decide on a unity candidate, they went ahead and threw up there own. Its another lost opportunity for unity, and could annoy people enough to prevent unity in the next general election. The sp can now just say 'told you so' and will be under no pressure from their own ranks to form any unity list.

author by Another activist - -publication date Tue Feb 02, 2010 14:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You said it in one 'Activist': "The problem IS (that) some of us on the left"
If people like activist etc spent a bit more time in the non-cyber world of indymedia- they might learna thing or two. Instead they are here trying to cause trouble with wild accusations against Brid smith. Shameful. Like others I wish Brid all the best.

author by Activistpublication date Tue Feb 02, 2010 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The question is do you want left unity or not? if you don't fine, the swp should go and do what they want and we'll have two small trot parties and let history sort out which one will grow. If you do want unity, I doubht this will help in the medium term. its unfortunate but if we can't have an agreed left candidate for this, what is the chance for the next general election? I

author by Curious activistpublication date Tue Feb 02, 2010 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Activist says "The problem is that some of us on the left have been pushing for left unity the sp were generally against it"

Why do you say the sp were against left unity? Didn't the sp put forward proposals for some sort of alliance before the local elections, which was rejected by pbp/swp? It seems the sp have at least been consistent in their position.

I would wish brid smith well in the election, but I think the lord mayor position is a useless one for the left.

author by Dub a Dub Dubpublication date Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's true that this whole saga is another setback for the cause of left unity. People have been plugging away for years trying to get the left to hang together rather than hang separately, and this election looks like proving the nay-sayers right once again.

But part of the problem is that some of those most prominently pushing for left unity are now fully paid up members of the People Before Profit Alliance themselves. Have they no influence on the Smith candidacy? Did they oppose this move? Did they even know about it? Now that they do, will they come out publicly and say that it's wrong and that a united left candidacy is the way forward? Surely they won't follow the party line that left unity equals everyone joining the PBPA?

author by epublication date Mon Feb 08, 2010 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok to lay this rumor down now, Joan Collins will be the PBP candidate for Dublin South Central in the next GE. See

http://www.people-before-profit.org/files/Ballyfermot%2...0.pdf

see final page

Some s**t stirring going on sometimes...

author by Áth Cliathachpublication date Mon Mar 01, 2010 21:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good Luck to Bríd Smith. She'll get either my 1st or 2nd preference depending if the SP run a candidate. I don't see a big problem here. Smith is a cllr in one part of Dublin City. SWP have a base in Dún Laoghaire while SP are very strong in Fingal (Blanch, Swords, Balbriggan) and have bases of support in other areas like Tallaght and Dundrum. There's not much cross-over. If there is a voting pact then it will actually be a gain for the left. A lot of comments here are just sh1te stirring.

I do have one question about Bríd Smith's policy on Bin Tax. It says that the Bin Tax Waiver should be re-instated. I agree with that. But what about calling for abolition of Bin Tax. Is that demand now dropped?

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