The pre-budget submissions from the opposition parties are somewhat pythonesque.

They promise to fulfil all our needs and desires, and barely stop short of offering free space flights to the unemployed.

The fewer seats you have in the Dáil and the less likely you are to ever hold power, the more you promise. That’s the parliamentary game and they are all playing it.

It is all comical. Head-in-the-sand stuff in the era of climate collapse, hyperinflation of energy & raw materials, disintegration of key global supply chains, & looming inter-imperial war in the South China seas.

Sure a left majority in the Dail is preferable, but unless they are counting all the above into their plans, they will not be that different to what we already have.

Take housing – the left parties promise to build hundreds of thousands of houses. But, with what? Prices of all fundamental construction materials – glass, sand, steel, cement, timber, have gone through the roof & are projected to keep going until they go through the sky itself.

There’s absolutely no prospect of a left-wing govt, likely facing capital flight and lockout from international bond markets, ever being able to afford what they are promising on housing.

And of course talking about being an ecosocialist out of one side of your mouth, and promising to add billions of tonnes of Greenhouse gases to the atmosphere – the unavoidable result of a large-scale house-building programme – is gross hypocrisy, left electoral opportunism on brazen display, a charade utterly reliant on NOT telling the working-class what we are facing into in the next period.

What about solving these problems by appropriating the stock we already have – the hundreds of thousands of empty houses and other buildings – to house the people?

Saving the country tens of billions and keeping our struggling, perhaps dying environment/habitat safe from untold ammounts of poisons & obliteration.

Or is it just too radical now for our parliamentary radicals to challenge the logic of private-property & capital?

No matter who runs the country in the next few decades life is going to get harder, not easier, for most of us.

Our best hope will lie in salvaging & reusing what we have – forget about ‘growth’ – that’s just another name for the road to extinction we are presently on.