Assembly Needs Major Reform

Later today the votes will be counted and the election results declared: but that doesn’t mean that we’ll have a working Assembly.

In the past four years we have seen the Executive collapsed twice, once by Sinn Fein for a period of three years and a few months ago by the DUP.

The structures established by the Good Friday Agreement have long since reached their sell by date. They are no longer fit for purpose and now stand in the way of effective develoved government.

The Assembly structures urgently need root and branch reform.

The starting point has to be getting rid of the sectarian and inoperable structures that the two main parties in particular continue to use, abuse and hide behind.

At a minimum, we need to move from mandatory to voluntary coalition, community designation requirements should be abolished and the Petition of Concern reformed to ensure that it can never again be used to veto social or equality legislation.

We cannot endure another five years of stop / start government. Immediate and far reaching reform is the only way in which a new Assembly can function effectively.

Make changes tomorrow…Friday will be too late

In a joint eve of poll statement, Workers Party candidates in six constituencies have urged voters to focus on what is important to them, not what the main parties try to tell them is important.

“When we all wake up on Friday morning the issues that will be affecting our lives won’t be a Border Poll, the Protocol, Flags, Culture Wars or who the First Minister is.

It will be the Cost of Living, the Health Service, Housing, Education, Low Pay and the Environment.”, they said.

“What difference will it make to a family facing a daily dilemma of heat or eat, who the First Minster is?

What difference will it make to people living in chronic poverty, poor housing, or even no housing?

What difference will it make to young mothers desperately wanting to work but not being able to find or afford child care?”, they asked.

What difference will a Border Poll make – win, lose or draw –  to a young student unable to go to university, a teenager unable to secure an apprenticeship or a family with no heat and little food? Absolutely none”, they said

“Thursday is the day that change can be made. Friday will be too late. 

Only the Workers Party offers the socialist alternative to dysfunctional government, sectarianism and self interest and offers real hope for radical change in this society.”, they said 

The Workers Party is running candidates in six constituencies :

Belfast North          Lily Kerr

Belfast South          Patrick Lynn

Belfast East            Eoin Mac Neill

Belfast West           Patrick Crossan

Mid Ulster               Hugh Scullion

Newry & Armagh    Nicola Grant

Candidates endorse Radiograhers’ Manifesto

Workers Party candidates have called for the adoption of the five-point manifesto presented by the Society of Radiographers as one of the ways that hospital services can be enhanced and referral times and waiting lists reduced.

“We fully support the call by local radiographers for an above inflation pay settlement as one way in which staff retention and future recruitment can be enhanced”, the candidates said in a joint statement

Hospital Radiography departments provide a wide range of diagnostic imaging services including CT scanning, ultra sound and X-Rays.

“Only through planned and guaranteed investment can out of date equipment be replaced, staff shortages be addressed and timely access to services, diagnosis and treatment be secured”,the statemengt said

“Referral times and waiting lists could be significantly reduced though the development of existing staff and an increase in the number of reporting radiographers”.

Over £10 million was spent last year alone in Northern Ireland outsourcing patient images.

“Nine out of every ten patients attending hospital will be seen by a radiographer for diagnosis or treatment. It is vitally important that we invest in their skills and careers to ensure that high quality services are available when thet afre needed”.

May Day 2022

Ever since 1868, the 1st of May has been recognised and celebrated as International Workers Day. 

Never has it been more important to re-assert that declaration. Today working people’s quality of life is being eroded, their access to services is reduced, secure, well-paid employment is unavailable for many, employment rights are being torn up and pay and conditions are under attack.

Now, more than ever, working people need a Workers Party to represent them, defend them and help radically change the system which exploits them.

Yesterday, the Workers Party had the biggest representation of any political party at Belfast’s May Day parade. That was a statement of intent and a public commitment to the struggle for class politics.

There was no formal presence at the May Day parade from any of the ‘big five’ Executive parties. Less than a week before an election that will shape the lives of thousands of working people, pensioners and children they demonstrated that their priorities are not with the working class, with the trade union movement or with anything other than the sectarian carve up and the division of this society in their own interests. 

On Thursday May 5th, the ballot box gives working class people an opportunity to pass judgement on them and to vote for a socialist alternative.

Education, the NHS, Cost of Living, Why Vote and Votes @ 16

Eoin MacNeill (East Belfast) addressed measures to alleviate the current cost of living crisis but pointed out that only a socialist programme for government can deliver for working class people. Workers Party Belfast East https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064424689834

This day week we have an opportunity to do something about it. Let’s make sure we take it – said Lily Kerr (North Belfast) as she spelt out the importance of voting for the Workers Party. Workers Party Belfast North https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100068795751019

Paddy Crossan (West Belfast) made the case for votes at 16, arguing that if Northern Ireland is to be a fully participative democracy the involvement, and active participation of 16 and 17 year olds is essential to that process. Workers Party West Belfast https://www.facebook.com/groups/606792129418820

‘Education, education and education’ was the message from Newry & Armagh candidate Nicola Grant setting out the socialist programme from pre-school to third level Workers Party Newry and Armagh https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069112484226

Hugh Scullion (Mid Ulster) has warned tbat the NHS is not safe from sell off, fragmentaion or privatisation and that, having helped to beat Covid, the battle is on to save the NHS itself. Workers Party Mid Ulster https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064424689834

The chronic shortage of public housing was highlighted by Patrick Lynn ( South Belfast) calling for a compehenisve building programme and the reinstatement of the Housing Executive as the lead agency. Workers Party Belfast South https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064982850197

Environment, Assembly, Benefits, Poverty and Public Ownership

Sinn Fein’s appalling poverty record in West Belfast was top of Paddy Crossan‘s agenda Workers Party West Belfast https://www.facebook.com/groups/606792129418820

Nicola Grant (Newry & Armagh) was highlighting the ‘environmental insanity ‘ of jeopordising 200 year old oak trees. Workers Party Newry and Armagh https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069112484226

In MId Ulster, Hugh Scullion was warning of the ongoing threat to the Sperrins posed by mining exploration and the need for renewed vigilance to safeguard this area of oustanding natural beauty. Workers Party Mid Ulster https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064424689834

Taking ferry services and othef infrastructure into public ownership was called for by Eoin MacNeill in East Belfast . Workers Party Belfast East https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064424689834

Patrick Lynn in South Belfast was calling for the reform of the DLA and PIPs systems and the unnecessary burdens the application and renewal processes place on famiies of children with Downs. Workers Party Belfast South https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064982850197

Lily Kerr ( North Belfast) was setting out the case and the necessity for the reform of the Assembly’s structures including the ending of mandatory coalition . Workers Party Belfast North https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100068795751019

What the Candidates have been saying

Hugh Scullion (Mid Ulster) focussed on the problems of mental ill-helath in rural areas. Workers Party Mid Ulster https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064424689834

West Belfast candidate, Patrick Crossan, raised concerns and queries about public housing on the old Mackies site: Workers Party West Belfast: https://www.facebook.com/groups/606792129418820

In East Belfast, Eoin MacNeill was arguing the case for apprenticship schemes and an economy built around young people: Workers Party Belfast East https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064424689834

Nicola Grant ( Newry & Armagh) continued her camapign to secure services at Daisy Hill Hospital. Workers Party Newry and Armagh: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069112484226

The Party candidate in South Befast, Patrick Lynn highlighted social deprivation, inner city blight and health inequalities: Workers Party Belfast South: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064982850197

Meanwhile in North Belfast Lily Kerr was canvassing the Oldpark area, putting up some final posters and being interviewed by a local journalist. Workers Party Belfast North https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100068795751019

Workers Party Candidates Launch Socialist Manifesto

The standout headline in the Workers Party Assembly Election Manifesto is that, on the morning after polling day, the priorities for people across Northern Ireland will be the Cost of Living, the Health Service, Housing. Education, Low Pay and the Environment – NOT a Border Poll, the Protocol, Flags, Culture Wars or who the First Minister is.

The Party’s uncompromisingly socialist manifesto sets out the political, social and economic priorities for working class people and highlights the repeated failures of successive Stormont Executives and of the five main parties.

The manifesto calls for a root and branch reform of the Assembly structures including a move away from mandatory co-alition, the abolition of community designation and the reform of the Petition of Concern, as pre-requisites for the start of the new Assembly.

The Party also calls for the introduction of a a range of measures deliberately ignored since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, including a Bill of Rights, an Integrated and Secular Education system, an Anti-Poverty Strategy, a viable Economic Plan and a Job Creation Strategy.  

In a joint statement marking the manifesto launch the Party’s six Assembly candidates said ,

“What difference will it make to a family facing a daily dilemma of heat or eat, who the First Minster is? What difference will it make to people living in chronic poverty, poor housing, or even no housing?

What difference will it make to young mothers desperately wanting to work but not being able to find or afford childcare?

What difference will a Border Poll make – win, lose or draw –   to a young student unable to go to university, a teenager unable to secure an apprenticeship or a family with no heat and little food? Absolutely none!

Thousands of people – many of them with jobs– are  living on or below the poverty line.

Low-pay and precarious employment, the dismantling of work-place rights, the privatisation of public assets and restrictions on trade union freedom, compound and intensify those problems. Children go hungry, homes go unheated.

The other parties want this election to be a sectarian headcount. They want it to be about the Protocol and a Border Poll. Of course they do, because it shifts attention away from what really matters in our lives

In this election the Workers Party is prioritising, unapologetically, these issues and presenting the socialist alternative to misery, poverty, social exclusion and second class citizenship.

WORKERS PARTY ASSEMBLY ELECTION MANIFESTO 2022

Click the link for the Workers Party Assembly Election Manifesto 2022