Drug Crime: A Dagger at the Heart of the Working Class
Date:January 2001
Organisation: The Workers' Party
Author:Sean Ó Cionnaith
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

23rd September 2013

This document issued by the Central Executive Committee of the Workers’s and written by Sean Ó Cionnaith, is sub-titled ‘A Workers Party policy document on Crime, Policing and Detention and Civil Liberties in a changing society’.

In 12 pages it seeks to outline the WP view at that point on Drug Crime.

Crime from drugs is now a dagger at the heart of the working class . It is stopping a proper response to the core issue in society now -the fact that wealth and want are soaring side by side. Itn the strict sense working class communities are the only communities ravaged by addiction and the killer greed of those who get fat on it. The WP is clear on this issue – regardless of class – addiction always ravages and cheapens a person and destroys a family. But only among the working class does it take hold so powerfully that it threatens and ruins the quality of life in the Community.

It argues that the reason why addiction ‘flourishes amongst the deprived’ is ‘because that’s where the market is. Their market is the need for escapism and is born of hopelessness’.

In terms of combatting addiction and drug crime it argues:

There is a golden rule if you want to play your part as a lawful and successful movement against drugs and the widespread anti-social crime that goes with drugs, from the muggings to the murders. Work with the Gardai.

Under the heading ‘Exploiting the Crisis’ it suggests that:

The so-called ‘liberals’ in the upper class and socially insulated independent republics could be in for a shock a the next election. The provisionals use sectarianism to get their cut of power in the north. They are trying to win the same pose in the South by exploiting the genuine drugs scandal. If they get away with it and get influence it will not take the stupid ‘liberals’ who can’t welcome them enough into ‘democratic politics’ long to learn that leopards live by jungle law – and this particular Provo leopard has not changed its spots.

It continues under the heading ‘Civil Rights and the Rights of Society’

Delegates at the WP’s last ardfheis were clear and firm on drugs and crime, sentencing, the use and possible abuse of new laws and Garda powers. And they were angry at the stupid lack of support for addicts who want to quit while Justice Minister O’Donoghue appears proudly in endless newspaper photographs opening multi-million pound jails and reopening ‘refurbished’ areas of Mountjoy when it should be pulled down and rebuilt with the intention to help offenders not to offend again.

And it argues

While we understand the depth of the drugs crisis for those sometimes already on the ropes through the class system, it is still crucial to protect cvil rights and civil liberties and call to account gardai who abuse these powers, and corrupt gardai. We therefore call for the membership of specialist Garda units with special powers to be rotated every three years to prevent any sense of elitism developing through long familiarity.

Further sections engage with ‘Crime and Policing’, ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Prison and Detention’. There is also an Appendix which reprints a speech delivered by Ó Cionnaith at the Workers Party Ard Fheis in 2000 where he introduced the document ‘Crime and Policing’.

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