Workers Party General Secretary John Lowry says there is an urgent need for ‘a coordinated campaign of opposition in Northerrn Ireland to the twin evils of cutbacks and sectarianism’.
Speaking as an invited guest at the Strabane Trades Council annual general meeting, John said,
‘Our society today remains deeply divided along sectarian lines. That is no surprise as the political parties currently represented at Stormont are themselves built on tribal divisions.’
‘Nor do any of the unionist or nationalist parties have a political programme which is committed to defending the interests of working class people who are bearing the brunt of the economic recession. None of the parties at Stormont have presented any imaginative or forward-looking ideas for the building of a new Northern Ireland, centred on the principles of citizenship and anti sectarianism or of building an economy which is people centred’ he said
‘That is why it is no surprise that the most recent survey by the Belfast Telegraph shows such high levels of disenchantment and apathy towards the political process. However whilst Stormont fiddles people in NI are suffering from the effects of unemployment, even those in employment are very often in low paid jobs with little rights or entitlements. Poverty, homelessness and social malaise along with the persistence of sectarianism, remain common features of Northern Ireland society .
‘There is an onus on the left in Northern Ireland , small as it may be at present, to put forward the socialist alternative and give people hope that a better future is possible. That involves facing up to our own political sectarianism on the left as well.
‘The Workers Party is ready to play its part along with other left and progressive forces in building a socialist alternative,’ John concluded.
The meeting in Strabane was also addressed by representatives of the Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Progressive Unionist Party and the Communist Party of Ireland.