Community must stand against barbarism

Vicious, brutal and callous murder

Vicious, brutal and callous murder

Workers Party representative in East Belfast, Kevin McNally, has condemned lasts night’s murder in the Short Strand area as ‘vicious, brutal and callous’ and ‘a stark reminder of the agenda of some people in this society’.

“The murder of Kevin McGuigan was vicious, brutal and callous. It is an assault on the whole community ” he said.

“There are still people and groups in our society who think they can act with impunity and murder people outside their own front door. This murder is a stark reminder to us of the agenda that some people are still determined to pursue”, added Kevin.

‘There is no place in east Belfast, or elsewhere, for terrorist murderers. We must stand together and demonstrate our complete abhorrence and our total condemnation in the face of such barbarous acts. Anyone with any information, no matter how slight, should contact the PSNI to assist them in their investigation’, Kevin concluded

‘The Left Alternative to Austerity’

Joe Austin (Sinn Fein), Gemma Weir (Workers Party) and Ciaran Higgins (People Before Profit)

Joe Austin (Sinn Fein), Gemma Weir (Workers Party) and Kieran Allen (People Before Profit)

Lowering Corporation Tax and the continued use of Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) to  fund public projects at huge expense have not been ruled out by Sinn Fein.

The admissions came during a discussion on ‘The Left Alternative to Austerity’ – part of the West Belfast Festival.

Workers Party representative Gemma Weir, who was one of the panelists, questioned Sinn Fein’s approach to lower corporation tax, arguing that it was yet another tax break for the rich which did not guarantee one new job.

Sinn Fein’s Joe Austin admitted that while his party wanted fiscal powers devolved they have yet to decide whether they would use those powers to lower corporation tax. He also failed to give an assurance that Sinn Fein would oppose the use of PFI funding for public projects.

PFI means that  a consortium of private sector banks and construction firms finance, own, operate and lease back schools and hospitals to the taxpayer, over a period of 30-35 years. It has been described as like ‘paying for a hospital on your credit card’.

Read Gemma’s opening remarks here: ‘Austerity _ is there a left wing alternative?

Marching with PRIDE

Marching with PRIDE

Marching with PRIDE

Thousands of people took to the streets of Belfast this afternoon to participate and support the annual Belfast Pride festival.

The demand for the introduction of legislation to guarantee Civil Marriage Equality  was high on today’s agenda.

The overwhelming support for a ‘Yes’ vote in the recent referendum on civil marriage equality in the Republic of Ireland means that Northern Ireland is the only region in these islands where same sex marriage is not recognised.

The Workers Party supports a legal challenge to end the unlawful discrimination which sees a same sex couple married in one part of the UK but that marriage not recognised in Northern Ireland.

A referendum would carry no legal obligation and it is unlikely, given its track record, that the Assembly will use its powers to introduce the necessary legislation. The size, mood and support given to today’s PRIDE march further underlines the fact that the attitudes of the main political parties in Northern Ireland are fundamentalist, conservative and out of touch.