Nethier Brexit nor Border Poll

Workers Party Local Government Election Statement

This community is scarred by poverty, inequality, zero hours contracts, housing crisis and the effects of Sinn Fein and the DUP’s welfare reforms.

Some parties would like to make this election about Brexit. Some would like to use it to advance a Border Poll, but the reality is that it’s about neither.

For this election to have any real meaning it must send a message to the main political parties that they have failed to deliver government and governance , and that they continue to fail ordinary people through the rundown of public services, the privatisation of  public assets and utilities, the erosion of the public space and the pursuit of  corporate  business approval.

If we were to call for a second referendum or for a ballot on Irish ‘unity’, we would doubtless attract more media attention, but that is not how the Workers Party sees the current social, economic and political priorities.

Reality of life                                                                                                            Nor does it reflect the reality of life for the thousands of people desperately seeking secure well-paid employment, families struggling to find and pay for local childcare or those growing older in an age unfriendly society.

Nor are border polls and ‘people’s votes’ the priority of the thousands of children and their parents living in poverty and low income homes, those on zero hours contracts or the young girls and women who face the monthly indignity of period poverty because, in 21st century Belfast, they cannot afford sanitary products.

Developers’ mindset                                                                                             Nor are attempts to transform our public spaces into homages to corporate America either relevant to or reflective of local life. The recent proposal to name the redeveloped Lower North Street area of Belfast ‘Tribeca’ in deference to an area in Lower Manhattan gives a glimpse into the mindset of the developers and the council alike.

Councils across Northern Ireland should be delivering for local people and acting as advocate and champion for improved housing, better mental health services, introducing a universal living wage, reversing welfare reforms and offering advice, assistance and direction to those in need of support.

A poor second                                                                                                          But that has not been the case. Sinn Fein and the DUP have used Belfast Council and its resources to build up their power bases through a sectarian carve up of this city. Poverty, employment, public services and opportunities come a very poor second to bonfire diversion schemes, and the funding of divisive cultural and historical projects.

This city is scarred by poverty, inequality, zero hours contracts,  housing crisis and the effects of Sinn Fein and the DUP’s welfare reforms.

The manner in which ordinary people, their lives, their needs and their futures have been abandoned by the main parties is an outrage and a disgrace. It verges on the criminal.

The interests of ordinary people                                                                            A vote for any of those parties on May 2nd will condemn the ordinary people of this city to yet more hardship, deprivation and suffering. It will also condemn another generation of young people to lives of underachievement and hopelessness. That is the price we all pay for the maintenance of sectarian political elites.

Only a party committed to class politics and the interests of ordinary people can make the kind of changes that are needed to secure a better life for all.

The Workers Party is that party.


The Workers Party s fielding seven candidates: six in Belfast and one in the Mid Ulster area

The Belfast candidates are:

Chris Bailie (Oldpark)

Conor Campbell (Black Mountain)

Paddy Crossan Collin)

Joanne Lowry (Court)

Paddy Lynn (Botanic)

Gemma Weir (Castle)

Hugh Scullion, is representing the party in the Moyola area of Mid Ulster Council

The work of politically bankrupt gangsters

Lyra McKee: there can be no justification

Last night’s murder of 29 year old Lyra McKee was the tragic, but inevitable, outcome of recent violent activity and the ongoing attacks on the community by groups of politically bankrupt gangsters

There can be no justification for Ms. McKee’s murder, but doubtless there are those who will seek to explain it away in the coming days. Those who carried out this attack, and those who support them, have no contribution to make , bring no value and until they desist, have no place in this society.

We need to be very clear about the violent intent of these people and dismiss notions of the ‘lone gunman’: there is no such thing. People who bring weapons onto the streets have often a very sophisticated, support network of people who store their guns, transport them, provide them with cover and offer practical and moral support. Those people are as morally culpable for Lyra McKee’s murder as the person who pulled the trigger.

There is little point in appealing directly to those who carried out this murder – they are too self absorbed and self justifying to be even remotely interested . However, the community in which they skulk and hide can play a telling and crucial role. By ostracising these gangsters and their supporters they can be left without the cover they need to continue with their senseless and savage campaign of terror against the community.

We offer our deepest sympathy to Lyra’s family friends, and colleagues and call on anyone with any information about this murder to contact the PSNI and support them in their investigations

Local Elections: only a party committed to class politics can deliver the change we need

Chris Bailie (Oldpark), Paddy Crossan (Collin), Paddy Lynn (Botanic)
Conor Campbell (Black Mountain), Gemma Weir (Castle), Joanne Lowry (Court) and Hugh Scullion (Moyola)

Seven candidates wll be representing the Workers Party in next months local government elections.

North Belfast- Gemma Weir (Castle) and Chris Bailie (Oldpark) West Belfast: Joanne Lowry (Court), Paddy Crossan (Collin) and Conor Campbell (Black Mountain) South Belfast: Paddy Lynn (Botanic), and Mid Ulster: Hugh Scullion (Moyola)

Class politics

The Party is focusing on the legacy of deprivation, poverty and abandoned areas left by Sinn Fein, the DUP. The Pary’s election message is that only a party committed to class politics can deliver the changes needed to turn around the social decline, hopelessness and despair that characterises many working class areas of Northern Ireland .

Sectarian carve up

Sinn Fein and the DUP in particular have overseen a sectarian carve up of community funding and resources and have used that to sustain and develop their respective camps. In some areas of Northern Ireland child poverty is running at well over 30%, fuel poverty is even more prevalent, thousands of children leave school with low or no qualifications and mental ill health remains at crisis level.

The socialist alternative.

Among the initiatives included in the the Party’s programme are proposals for accessible, affordable local childcare, universal adoption of the Living Wage , a youth apprenticeship programme, well paid, well trained jobs with a career path for local care workers , the implementation of integrated education, access to appropriate talking therapies for people experiencing mental illness, improved public transport for our rural communities – especially to hospital appointments, the restoration of the Housing Executive as the primary provider of publicly owned housing, a public infrastructure programme building homes, roads, hospitals and schools and additional resources to support women and long term unemployed back into work.