As majority of people demand change of Government, candidates supporting R2C offer real alternative

Almost 100 General Election candidates endorse campaign’s Policy Principles

Major conference scheduled for February 13th and pre-election rally for February 20th

The Right2Change campaign today (Monday February 8th) unveiled a list of candidates who have endorsed the campaign’sPolicy Principles.

Commenting, Unite official and Right2Water/Right2Change coordinator Brendan Ogle said:

“Last week’s MRBI/Irish Times poll showed that nearly two-thirds of voters want a change of Government. Even more significantly, when broken down by social class, only those in the AB group who happen to be the highest earners in the state and have benefited most from this government’s tax breaks, wanted the current Government re-elected – and the mood for change was particularly strong amongst the poorest voters.  That should come as no surprise.

“Last year, when hundreds of thousands of people took to our streets to assert their Right2Water, it was clear that they were not only protesting about water charges: they protesting against growing poverty levels, homelessness, mass emigration and endemic inequality. They were crying out for a change in how our country is run.

John Douglas, Mandate Trade Union General Secretary and Right2Change spokesperson, said:

“People are sick of being lied to and are tired of false promises from politicians who are once again playing irresponsible auction politics with our economy and our society.

“In this election there will be two choices of government. On the one hand there’ll be a choice for the status quo, more of the same. On the other hand, people will have an opportunity to vote for a progressive government, where almost 100 candidates are running in support of the Right2Change policy principles.”

He added, “The Right2Change policies include housing, healthcare, education and water charges, among other important policy areas. These are policies that would put people first and challenge the growing inequality that has left so many Irish people in poverty and deprivation.”

Mr Ogle added: “Right2Change grew out of Right2Water and its three pillars: trade unions, political parties and representatives, and communities.  Today, we can announce that almost 100 General Election candidates have endorsed the Right2Change Policy Principles, which emerged out of a broad consultation process and are aimed at creating a fairer, more equal Ireland.

“These candidates are offering all those who want change – the majority of us – the opportunity to vote for change on February 26th.

“Right2Water and Right2Change are about protesting the present – and developing policies for the future.

“We believe that ‘Another Ireland is Possible’, and that will be the theme of a major policy conference we’re hosting next Saturdayin the Mansion House. Participants at the conference include: Professor John Barry, Maude Barlow, John Hilary, Ann Pettifor and Yanis Varoufakis.

“But before we can develop another Ireland, we are asking as many people as possible to take to the streets one more time, on Saturday February 20th, and restate our demand that the next Government abolish water charges and vindicate not only our Right2Water, but also all the other rights which should be the foundation stone of ‘Another Ireland’ – the Ireland which we can vote for on February 26th”, Brendan Ogle concluded.

Speakers at the Right2Change policy conference

John Barry

John Barry is Professor of Green Political Economy at Queen’s University Belfast School of Politics concentrating on sustainable development, environmental politics and environmental movements, green moral and political theory and environmental ethics, political economy and the environment, contemporary social and political theory. His main research interest is in the relationship between moral/political theory and the environment, with particular focus on ecofeminism, the implications of green theory for thinking about justice, and theories of political economy in relation to the environment.

Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a board member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as seventeen books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People and the Planet Forever (2013).

John Hilary

John Hilary is Executive Director of War on Want, a radical anti-poverty charity based in London, and author of The Poverty of Capitalism: Economic Meltdown and the Struggle for What Comes Next (2013). He has worked for the past twenty-five years in the field of international development and human rights, and has established himself as a prolific campaigner against the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), speaking at public meetings and protests right across Europe. His highly informative pamphlet on TTIP can be accessed at:

Ann Pettifor

Ann Pettifor is director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME), fellow of the New Economics Foundation and author of a number of influential books including The Coming First World Debt Crisis (2006) and Just Money: How Society Can Break the Despotic Power of Finance (2014). Her background is in debt and she was a co-founder of the Jubilee 2000 campaign which led to the cancellation of $100 billion of debts owed by the world’s thirty-five poorest countries. She is also known for correctly predicting the 2008 financial crash, and has appeared on ABC, BBC Newsnight, Channel 4 News, Al Jazeera and Russia Today to present her analysis of, and radical solutions to, the sovereign debt crisis afflicting Europe. Most recently, Ann has been invited to join the Economic Advisory Committee charged with advising Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell on the economic strategy to be adopted by the British Labour Party.

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis (by video link) is a self-professed ‘erratic Marxist’ economist who was a Syriza MP between January and September 2015 and held the position of Greek Minister of Finance for seven months. He led the government’s talks with the Eurogroup and the IMF aimed at renegotiating Greece’s debt and reversing the austerity programme, and was one of forty Syriza MPs to vote against the third bailout deal pushed through the Greek Parliament in August 2015. Since stepping down from his post with the Syriza government and departing from parliamentary politics, he has focused his efforts on building a cross-continent movement to ‘democratise Europe’. The movement, known as the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM 25), will be launched this month. Varoufakis is hopeful that this grassroots activist movement, involving progressives in Ireland, will enable citizens to take back economic and political power from what he describes as the ‘shadowy world of bureaucrats, bankers, and unelected officialdom’.