Paul is the Socialist Party MEP for Dublin, and a leading critic and active campaigner against the government and Troika’s austerity agenda and the undermining of democratic rights. He replaced Joe Higgins in 2011 after his election to the Dail.
He has used the platform of the European Parliament to expose the undemocratic austerity agenda being pushed through, challenging Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. While the political and media establishment have accepted austerity as being a ‘necessary evil’, Paul has continually exposed how it is a weapon for the super-rich against working people.
In the debate on the ‘Austerity Treaty’ in May 2012, Paul Murphy played a leading role on the No side. Described as “probably the most articulate advocate on the No side” by the Irish Times’ Deaglan De Breadun, through numerous media appearances, the production of his pamphlet and street campaigning, he exposed how this Treaty institutionalised austerity policies and undermined democratic rights. Paul is an active fighter against the austerity agenda – playing a leading role in the campaign against home taxes, such as the household tax, property tax and water charges. He has highlighted the harsh impact of austerity policies on people with disabilities and assisted them in their struggles, participating in protests and initiating a debate in the European Parliament in order to highlight that reality. He has also brought the fight for abortion rights in Ireland into the European Parliament.
In order to highlight the injustice of the JobBridge scheme and to fight against the exploitation of the unemployed Paul initiated the ScamBridge.ie campaign which is campaigning for the rights of young people and the unemployed and demanding real jobs with decent pay and conditions for all.
Willing to break unjust laws in order to fight for people’s rights, he has been arrested for fighting against the property tax and subjected to Garda brutality along with many others campaigning against the giveaway of oil and gas resources to Shell in the west of Ireland.
In the Parliament, Paul sits on the International Trade Committee and there has fought to expose the big business agenda of the EU's trade policies. The interests of working people, human rights and environmental standards all come second place to the profits of EU multinationals, as seen with the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia.
Paul was a leading campaigner against the so-called ACTA agreement that would have undermined people’s right to privacy and freedom on the internet. At the moment, he is struggling against the proposed EU-US free trade agreement, which threatens to bring more Genetically Modificed Organisms into the EU, to lower health standards in food production and to be part of a race to the bottom in workers’ conditions and rights on both sides of the Atlantic. He is also fighting against the ongoing environmental destruction which threatens the future of humanity and our planet.
The grinding austerity imposed by the Troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, is not confined to Ireland. It is an increasingly Europe-wide phenomenon, but in particular is pronounced in the so-called peripheral countries of the EU – Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Paul has visited Greece, Italy and Portugal to assist struggling workers and advocate united resistance to austerity across Europe. He is working to develop a common resistance of workers across Europe to the right-wing agenda of the Commission.
As a socialist MEP, Paul’s work is not confined to the EU and he has highlighted and fought against injustice and oppression in other parts of the world. After assisting striking oil workers in Kazakhstan fighting against a dictatorial regime, he has been banned from the country by the government. Having worked to highlight the massacre of over 40,000 Tamils by the Sri Lankan government, he has also been repeatedly denied access to Sri Lanka. He visited Istanbul during the major protests against the Erdogan government to provide solidarity and support to those fighting against right-wing neo-liberal policies and for democratic rights. A crucial issue for Paul has been highlighting and opposing the oppression of
Palestinians. In 2011, he participated in a ‘Freedom Flotilla’ to Gaza in order to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of 1.6 million people. Captured in international waters by the Israeli army, he spent a week in Israeli prison with other activists from Ireland and elsewhere. He has also repeatedly spoken out against EU complicity in their oppression and called for a major struggle from below to fight for a just solution.
As an MEP, Paul has remained steadfastly outside the political establishment. He lives on only the wage of a typical young worker and only genuine expenses, all of which are published on this website.
In fighting against austerity and oppression, Paul has continuously strived to popularise a socialist alternative to austerity and capitalism.
[button link="http://www.paulmurphymep.eu/get-involved/" type="big" color="red"] If you support Paul’s work, please help him get re-elected in 2014[/button]