“Let them eat cake” is a phrase often attributed to Marie Antoinette, the French Queen, uttered on the eve of the French Revolution in response to demands from the poor for bread. The phrase was revived today (Friday) as members of the Workers’ Party gave out cake and cheese to members of the public as part of a protest outside the constituency office of Fianna Fáil junior minister Billy Kelleher at Dillon's Cross on the Northside of Cork.
The protest was one of a series of pre-budget actions being taken by the Workers Party to highlight ongoing government attacks on the least well off with possible further cuts in social welfare, increases in taxes for ordinary workers and cuts in health and education spending. At the same time the government refuse absolutely to consider increase taxes on multi-billion euro businesses and continue to pour vast amounts of money into the banks.
Cork Workers’ Party councillor Ted Tynan of the Mayfield Branch of the party which organised the protest said that the decision to give out free cake was to show that the current government is treating ordinary working class people with the same contempt as the pre-revolutionary French regime. “Marie Antoinette’s ‘Let the Eat Cake” and the present Irish government’s decision to distribute EU cheese to those on social welfare show the same ignorant and insulting attitude”, said Cllr. Tynan.The party is currently collecting signatures for a petition demanding a national referendum on the banking bailout and Cllr. Tynan has said that the Workers’ Party will be holding a further protest in Cork’s Patrick Street tomorrow (Saturday 13/11/10) from 12 Noon to 3pm