Unionism and nationalism have failed working class people
“Recent events in north Belfast have demonstrated once again that unionism and nationalism have failed working class people”, local Workers Party representative Christopher Bailie has said.
“Unemployment, the absence of opportunity and social and economic deprivation are the hallmarks of north Belfast working class communities. Rioting, demonstrations, counter demonstrations and the raising of sectarian tensions do nothing to alleviate them – in fact they compound the problems that already exists”.
“Meanwhile the response of Sinn Fein and DUP – the two leading parties in the Executive – has been to lock themselves into their ritual blame game as they consolidate their respective sectarian positions”, he said
“North Belfast needs an assault on social and economic deprivation and sectarianism – not attacks on its streets”.
“I particularly make an appeal to the young people directly involved in recent attacks and demonstrations. Who represents your interests? Who is concerned about your future, your job prospects and your quality of life? It is certainly not unionism or nationalism”, said Mr Bailie
Outdated and undemocratic arrangements
“The use of a petition of concern by the DUP during today’s Assembly debate on the fallout from the Spotlight programme is a clear example of why the current arrangements at Stormont are outdated and in need of change”,
Workers Party spokesperson John Lowry has said.
” Whatever the rationale for the complex voting arrangements at the Stormont Assembly agreed during the Good Friday Agreement negotiations, they are now past their sell by date. Today is a clear example of how the democratic wishes of the assembly are blocked by the petition of concern. Neither is this the first time this has happened.
If we are to move to a new political dispensation free of sectarian division then it is time to get rid of arrangements like the petition of concern, designating as unionist or nationalist, parallel majority voting and the D’Hont mechanism for forming an Executive.
Until that is done we will still have a sectarian carve up, a block to democratic politics and, more importantly, accountability taking place.
The power to hold the Housing Minister accountable was today trumped by these outdated arrangements.”, concluded Mr Lowry