It’s hard not to fall into the trap of merely repeating the machinations of RTE yesterday as they created a news story out criticisms of Unite trade union. Unite complied with building regulations brought in by Labour vis a vis when social housing needs to be considered in redevelopments.
First off, no institution is above criticism and people have every right to ask questions about the choices unions and other organisations make about their assets. That said, in social media post by Dave Gibney, its clear that what was happening was a push back within RTE against a broader movement of HomeSweetHome. I make little distinction between the story RTE ran and the front cover of the Sunday Mail story again seeking to smear the Home Sweet Home movement.
The Home Sweet Home movement that not only dominated media landscape in Ireland for almost 4 weeks, but did so on its own terms. What was striking was just how successfully Home Sweet Home shaped the narrative in its own terms. And is wasn’t simply a narrative, this was a movement that spoke about law breaking through the lens of care. Of militant transgressions justified outside and beyond neoliberal logic. And it met with widespread public support and massive levels of direct involvement.
Richard McAleavey yesterday wrote about how
“The thick strain of right-wing anti-establishment sentiment in Irish political life, tapped into by RTÉ’s reporting here, does not evaluate it at all. It merely barks ‘hypocrisy!’. According to these quarters, the ‘vested interests’, in which the trade unions are always made to figure heavily, have things all sown up, at the expense of the little man. The purpose of such sentiment is to sow disenchantment with trade unions and, consequently, with the defence of workers’ rights, including social rights such as the right to a home.”
So how do I write anything about RTE own involvement in land exploitation and its lack of material contribution to solving a housing crisis that moves beyond RTE’s own cries of hypocrisy. Perhaps pointing it out is enough for now on my lunch break but id like to come back to this again.
The Irish government was informed last October 2016 that Dublin City Council passed a motion calling for RTE’s amassed land assets to be used for social housing.
The letter send to Minister Denis Naughton can be seen below. #
The Minister replied, essentially washing his hands of any state intervention saying RTE is a fully autonomous organisation. His reply below here.
In the letter Naughton states
RTE is an independent statutory corporation whose remit and obligations are set out in Section 114 of the Broadcasting Act 2009. Section 98 of the Act provides that the company shall be independent in the pursuance of these objects, subject to the requirements of the Act, and as such I, as Minister, have no function in the management of RTE’s day to day affairs, including matters relating to the management of land assets.
But he also states that RTE is looking to sell and exploit land up to 10 acres in ‘2016/17’ Ive yet to see any report about RTE selling land and how much of this is to be used for social housing. I doubt we’ll be seeing one any time soon.