The Irish government has set up an organisation called the National Forum on Europe which is supposed to allow more public discussion on matters related to the European Union. On 14 October the Forum heard an address by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who had come to speak about planned reforms to the United Nations. All Party leaders were allowed to address comments to Kofi Annan. The following speech was made by Joe Higgins, the Socialist Party TD in the Irish Parliament.
Joe’s speech shows that the public representatives of the cwi do not pull their punches whatever audience they are talking to. Primarily they use their public positions as a platform to give voice to the anger of the thousands of working class people they represent. Annan, reflecting the arrogance of all diplomats and members of the political elite these days, did not answer any of Joe?s questions or refer to any points made in his speech in the summation given to the Forum.
Socialist MP, Joe Higgins, challenges Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General and gives voice to the anger of the thousands of working class people he represents.
Joe Higgins TD:
?Secretary General, as a parliamentarian for the Socialist Party and member of the Committee for a Workers? International, I represent a very different viewpoint to the political establishment, who you will mainly meet on your trip I presume. I represent in parliament, working class people and many people in relative poverty. Can I ask you, why should those people and the billions of working people and poor in our world, to whom you referred, place any hope for a better future in a reorganised United Nations, when two of its five permanent Security Council members can launch, and continue, an illegal imperialist conquest in Iraq, slaughtering in the process thousands of innocent people? And while all five permanent Security Council members, and many others, commit on a daily basis, thousands of scientists and tens of thousands of industrial workers to the design and creation of technologies whose sole purpose it is to incinerate ever greater numbers of people over greater distances and from greater distances. Wasting billions of resources, which, if redirected, could provide for example, clean waster, disease relief, clothes and shelter for the billions to whom you referred.?