David Cronin, author of Corporate Europe: How Big Business Sets Policies on Food, Climate and War, was featured in the New Statesman this week, writing about health cutbacks in Ireland.
He begins by reminding us of an “inspiring revolt” that occurred in Dublin, 100 years ago:
One hundred years ago this month, an inspiring revolt kicked off in Dublin. After tram workers in the city centre demanded a pay rise, the industrialist William Martin Murphy locked out trade union members from their jobs. The dispute that ensued caught the attention of socialists in many countries. Vladimir Lenin praised the “seething Irish energy” of the union leader Jim Larkin.
Cronin then reminds us of Ireland’s current economic situation, with banking debts, health cutbacks and budget cuts:
Hospitals have been forced to pay [Anglo Irish Bank]’s gambling debts. Ireland is second only to Greece in terms of the scale and speed of health cutbacks undertaken by “developed” countries. The Health Service Executive, which runs Ireland’s medical services, has had its budget cut by €3bn since 2008. The Irish Times has reported that the reductions are making it difficult to comply with standards for childcare and cancer treatment.A bizarre twist to this sorry saga is that Ireland’s government is committed to introducing a universal health insurance scheme. How can this be achieved at a time of austerity? The details remain fuzzy but the overriding goal is clear: the private insurance industry will be put in charge of the scheme.
When I think about the regressive measures being implemented in my country, it is impossible not to leave with a sense of despair.
“David Cronin draws on his many years’ experience in Brussels to expose the anti-democratic, pro-corporate agenda at the heart of the EU. This is a devastating indictment that should be required reading for every European citizen.”
John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want
Corporate Europe shows how corporate lobbyists dominate the EU – boosting the 1% and harming the interests of the rest of us. On banks, big food, climate, tobacco and war, Cronin reveals the way in which lobbyists subvert rules designed to protect democracy, the environment and public health. A necessary call to retake Europe.
David Miller, author A Century of Spin: How Public Relations Became the Cutting Edge of Corporate Power