Assembly Election – Groundhog Day

What exactly would an Assembly election in December resolve?

There should, of course, be an immediate restoration of devolution, the election of a Speaker and First and Deputy First Ministers, and the return of a fully functioning Executive.

That can only be done if the DUP returns to Stormont.

The Realpolitik, then, is that the DUP is not going to return until there is significant and fundamental movement on the Northern Ireland Protocol. They remain as adamant on that as Sinn Fein was on its demands when they collapsed the Executive for three years between January 2017 and January 2020.

The DUP will refuse to participate in a new Executive for precisely the same reasons that they are abstaining now.

Technically, and legally, the Secretary of State is required to call another election if, six months after an election, no Executive has been formed. The DUP will refuse to participate in a new Executive for precisely the same reasons that they are abstaining now.

A December election will not resolve that situation and , arguably, will further polarise the community as both Sinn Fein and the DUP mount yet another divisive, sectarian and diversionary campaign.

We will end up in the same place we started but with the real issues effecting working people – the cost of living, austerity, cuts to services and benefits, lack of child care, low paid, part time, precarious employment, housing shortages and rapidly rising heating bills all side lined by their sectarian power struggles.

A restored Assembly will not address, let alone resolve, the major problems facing this community. In its chequered twenty year ‘on/off’ history it has been responsible for very little social, economic or political progress. The importance of a devolved administration is that it allows the major parties to be scrutinised and held to account, and, in progressive hands holds out the possibility of at least alleviating some of the hardships currently being experienced.

Neither a continued boycotting of the Executive, nor spending £6 million on an unnecessary election will do either.

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

Workers Party stands candidates in six constituencies

The Workers Party will be standing candidates in six constituencies in next month’s Assembly elections

The election campaign is being fought in the face of the worst cost of living crisis in decades, and all that that means for working class people and their families.

That crisis has been made worse, and contributed to, by the dysfunctional Stormont Executive. A Stormont Executive that has failed, failed and is set to fail again.

With families, the vulnerable and the elderly particularly affected, the main political parties have, yet again, put their own interests ahead of the community and working people.

Only the Workers Party candidates will be presenting a radical socialist alternative to the electorate

On Friday the 6th of May – the day after polling day – we will all be confronted by a number of issues that will fundamentally affect all our lives, the lives of our families our children our neighbours and our friends:

And they won’t be: A Border Poll, the Protocol, Flags, Culture Wars or Community Identity

The issues facing the vast majority of people and particularly working class families will be the Cost of Living, the Health Service, Housing, Education, Low Pay and the Environment

If golf clubs can receive cash subsidies and businesses be supported to the tune of over £22 billion then working-class people, families, single parents, the elderly and the vulnerable can also be provided for.

This election gives the opportunity to re-write the political script in favour of working-class people and their needs.

The Workers Party, the party for working class people, provides that platform

The Party’s Candidates

North Belfast Lily Kerr

South Belfast Patrick Lynn

East Belfast Eoin MacNeill

West Belfast Patrick Crossan

Mid Ulster Hugh Scullion

Newry & Armagh Nicola Grant