We are living through one of the worst crises in years. The cost of living is out of control, everyday essentials are beyond many people’s means and, for the second time in a matter of years, we have no functioning government.
Add to that, the pressures on the health service, a low pay, unplanned economy, an education system not fit for purpose, 25% of children living in poverty and an inexcusable lack of public housing.
Instead of concrete plans to address these and a host of other pressing issues, the five main parties try to disguise their collective lack of action by pointing fingers and blaming everyone but themselves.
None of the urgent issues that we face came about because of Covid, none of them appeared overnight and they are not even related to the current collapse of the Executive.
They represent the collective failure of parties committed only to tribal politics, various forms of nationalism and their point blank refusal to deliver for the common good at the expense of their sectional interests.
Yet, we are fed a daily, if not hourly, diet of flags and identities, cultures and communities and bogus debates over who will be the First Minister. It’s time to ‘Bin the Spin’ and set about electing an Assembly that prioritises people over party and quality of life over tribal confrontation.
The socialist alternative to sectarianism and tribal politics is to deliver
better jobs with better wages
a more flexible working environment
higher pay for low-income families
strengthen and simplify the benefits system
invest in public services
an immediate universal fuel allowance
more public affordable housing
The time to do it is now.