Eoin McCrea – Board of Governors, Hazelwood Integrated College – address the conference during the debate on education
In one of the Party’s most successful conferences in recent years members discussed a full range of issues from Devolution and Votes at 16 to Water Charges, Health and Social Care, Education and the Economy
Class nature of society
In a style and manner absent in other parties conferences, the debate focused on the class nature of society and the implications that has for every aspect of our lives: social, economic, cultural and political.
Repeatedly that analysis was applied to the problems in the health service, the rise of racism, our divided and divisive education system, women in society, the environment,the economy and the austerity agenda offered as the solution to our economic problems – while the rich get richer and welfare budgets, public services and working people bear the brunt of a full on class based assault.
Read some of the debate at The Conference in Quotes
Copies of some of the main working papers presented at the conference are available through the following links:
Health & Social Care The NI Economy Environment & Rural Development
Sectarianism Devolution in Northern Ireland
It’s all about Class
It’s all about class
The Workers Party’s annual Northern Ireland Conference will be held on Saturday 25 October in the Grosvenor Hall, Glengall Street, Belfast.
Because it’s not a policy making conference the debate and discussion is often more robust and open.
This year we’ll be discussing a range of issues from the future shape of devolution to racism, the economy, women, health and social care services, water charges and fracking.
We’ll be raising the questions that seldom get asked, providing the analysis that others don’t and highlighting the uncomfortable truths about the society we live in.
And, unlike any other party, we’ll not be afraid to say that despite the ongoing austerity agenda and the myth that ‘we are all in this together’ the facts are that the rich are getting richer and the wealthy are not suffering. Not now. Not ever.
You’re welcome to attend and to contribute if you wish.
Invitation WP Conf 2014
Keep Queens Neutral
Workers Party Youth has condemned the holding of a ‘border referendum’ in Queen’s University Student’s Union claiming that it could set back student relations by years.
Lorna McLarnon of Workers Party Youth has criticised the attempts by nationalist and unionist political societies in the QUBSU to sectarianise the student body.
“While students struggle with the costs of tuition fees, food, rent, transport; as well as the stress of producing assignments and passing exams; the youth wings of the main Stormont parties are attempting to deflect them from these vital issues by placing the focus of the student body on this inherently sectarian issue.”
“You will not see a United Ireland from this poll. Nor will the United Kingdom be strengthened. The only unity coming from this poll will be the unity amongst the Orange and Green ethnic blocs of SF/SDLP and DUP/UUP/TUV.” said Lorna
Workers Party Youth is calling on those eligible to vote in the two referenda on Monday 27th October to support the campaign to Keep Queens Neutral and abstain from Referendum No.1 and vote YES in Referendum No.2.
This does not enhance the role of women in the workforce: Gemma Weir:
Proposals by global corporations like Apple and Google to freeze their female employees eggs so they can ‘choose to have children later in life’ has been criticised by Workers Party representative Gemma Weir.
“These type of multi-national corporations are no longer satisfied controlling the means of production and are now intend on controlling reproduction as well”, she said.
“This type of initiative does nothing to improve or enhance the role of women in the workplace. On the contrary it turns pregnancy into an act of disloyalty to your employer”, added Gemma
“Freezing employees eggs will not advance the position of women in the work place. On the other hand, equal pay, equal opportunity, child care support and a recognition that if you want to have customers for your products and a future work force to employ, someone better have some children – and supporting them to do it is the best approach for everyone”, Gemma concluded
No room for racism – no room for racists
The Workers Party has made a written submission to the Racial Equality Strategy currently being proposed by the NI Executive. The ‘Sense of Belonging’ document was drafted by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and circulated for public consultation.
Asserting that ‘race’ is not a descriptor of human diversity the response pointed to the levels of hate crime and discrimination experienced by ethnic minorities and called for a concerted effort by the Assembly and all other agencies in Northern Ireland to address and overcome it.
The Party submission went on to acknowledge the goals set by the draft strategy:
- to tackle racial inequalities in Northern Ireland and to open up opportunity for all;
- to eradicate racism and hate crime;
- along with ‘Together: Building a United Community’, to promote good race relations and social cohesion’.
but argued that the strategy lacked a set of budgeted, detailed outcomes which outline how the goals will be realised .
The Party submission also highlighted the level of social deprivation in ethnic minority households in Northern Ireland and the over-representation of people from minority ethnic groups in low-grade, low-pay jobs.
Read the Party’s submission in full:
Racism_Party Submission to OFMDFM consultation