Unfortunately, we can be fairly confident about what 2019 will bring, local Workers Party representatives have said.
In a joint New Year’s statement Party representatives in Belfast, Conor Campbell (Black Mountain), Gemma Weir (Castle), Patrick Lynn (Botanic), Chris Bailie (Oldpark), Patrick Crossan (Colin) and Joanne Lowry (Court) said:
“This year will see thousands of local people struggling to make ends meet. Thousands of teenagers will leave school with little or few qualifications. Many of those seeking a university education will find it unaffordable. Others will search in vain for apprenticeships”
“The Assembly will continue its sectarian standoff as Sinn Fein and the DUP prioritise local cultural identity issues over political progress, and both parties will continue to stand idly by as education, health, housing and other public services grind to a standstill”.
“Both parties will also ramp up the sectarian temperature, creating further divisions and leaving themselves no room for compromise because of the expectations they have engendered in their supporters”, they said
“Those who vote for this toxic stalemate should question their actions and examine the consequences”.
“At the last Assembly election nearly 650,000 people voted for parties that supported cuts to public services, segregated education, zero hours contracts, lower corporation tax and austerity for working people and their families”.
“All the while there are more than 100,000 children living in poverty and at least 15,000 people officially homeless. We are looking at a generation scarred for life”
“Tribal politics and sectarian brinkmanship can only survive if it receives support. If we continue to condone it, then subsequent condemnation is meaningless and worse.
“These are the realities we face going into 2019. Potential, opportunity and achievement are all sacrificed at the altar of sectarianism fuelled by the worst excesses of British and Irish nationalism”
“Working people, those seeking employment, students and the elderly need a socialist, secular and anti-sectarian road map to chart a way forward which offers a quality of life for all in a society run by them, for them. We have seen what the alternative offers”, they concluded.