Equal society must be defended

AssemblyAttempts to introduce ‘conscience clauses’ into equality legislation have been condemned by Workers Party representative in the Oldpark area, Chris Bailie.

His comments come in the wake of attempts by DUP MLA Paul Girvan to amend current legislation by introducing an ‘opt out clause’.

See full statement: Equal society must be defended

Supporting Public Services

Chris Bailie and Gemma Weir supporting public serivces

Chris Bailie and Gemma Weir supporting public serivces

Workers Party representatives Gemma Weir and Chris Bailie braved the cold this week to call with Party members and supporters in the Kansas Avenue / Cedar Avenue area of north Belfast encouraging them to support the ‘People’s NHSni’ campaign.

The People’s NHSni is a community campaign to stop the privatisation of the NHS.

One of the immediate threats to the future of our health service is TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership ), a new EU trade deal with the United States . Under this proposed agreement many health and social care services could be sold off to American companies.

Under the agreement, once sold off those services could not be returned to public ownership- even if there was change of government. In fact the agreement makes provision for American companies to sue the government if it attempts to recover privatised services.

https://twitter.com/peoplesnhsni

Lowering Corporation Tax: a massive economic con trick

A massive economic con trick

A massive economic con trick

“The lowering of corporation tax will guarantee not one single new job but will assure tax breaks for large firms, accountants and lawyers. This is a massive economic con trick.

Beyond the rhetoric – that is the reality of what is happening today”, says Workers Party General Secretary,John Lowry.

Read the full statement here: Lowering Corporation Tax

See also The Workers Party’s response to the consultation paper ‘Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy’

Workers Party response to ‘Re-balancing the NI Economy’

Minor Injuries Units: Minister must reverse decison

We bail out banks but close hospital services

We bail out banks but close hospital services

 

As Health Minister Jim Wells reprieves the Minor Injuries Unit at Bangor, Workers Party representative Gemma Weir  says that logic must now be applied to Whiteabbey and other units in Northern Ireland faced with closure.

See the full statement here:

Whiteabbey Minor Injuries Unit

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Tuesday 25 November was designated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by the United Nations. Party members, in keeping with theme of the day, tied a number of orange ribbons to the railings of the City Hall in Belfast to highlight the abuse and violence inflicted on women world wide. More: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Party welcomes Marie Stopes judgement

Marie Stopes

Access to services without harassment, intimidation, threats or abuse

The Workers Party has welcomed the judgement in the case of Bernadette Smyth who has been found guilty of harassing Marie Stopes clinic director Ms Dawn Purvis

“Every woman who uses a family planning service, a pregnancy advice service or any other service concerned with her reproductive health and her choices deserves to avail of that service without harassment, intimidation, threats or abuse”, the Party statement said. “That right has been confirmed and upheld by today’s judgement”

“People have right to a point of view, an opinion and an opposing belief, but they don’t have a right to intimidate and harass. In light of this judgement the next logical step is for all those who protest outside the Marie Stopes clinic to desist immediately and allow women to access its services unhindered”, the Party statement concluded

Public debate needed on health services

Civic society needs to lead the debate

Civic society needs to lead the debate

Workers Party General Secretary, John Lowry, has called for civic society to take the lead in the debate on the future of health and social care services.

“Trade unionists, service users and their families are almost alone in responding to the current crisis in the Health Service and the litany of cuts being announced across all sectors”, he claimed.

“This is in stark contrast to the lack of concern being expressed by the Health Committee of the Assembly, by Minister Wells or indeed by any of those charged with securitising the delivery of health care”.

“Instead of a co-ordinated and strategic response, we have individual healthcare professionals shooting from the hip and offering solutions on the hoof. This is clearly not the way to deal with the very real problems we are facing”.

John has  called for what he describes as, “an open, transparent, and courageous debate on the type of health and care services required to deliver quality health outcomes, and deal with decades of health inequalities”.

“I believe that this type of public debate can be the first step in securing the genuine reform of our services. All the options for change need to be developed with people and not for them”, John said

“This will involve challenging vested interests inside and outside of the service and only a full public debate can achieve that. The future of our health and social care services are too important to be left to MLAs and administrators, “he concluded

Conference Report

Eoin McCrea - Board of Governors Hazelwood Integrated College - address the conference during the debate on education

Eoin McCrea – Board of Governors, Hazelwood Integrated College – address the conference during the debate on education

 

In one of the Party’s most successful conferences in recent years members discussed a full range of issues from Devolution and Votes at 16 to Water Charges, Health and Social Care, Education and the Economy

 Class nature of society

In a style and manner absent in other parties conferences, the debate focused on the class nature of society and the implications that has for every aspect of our lives: social, economic, cultural and political.

Repeatedly that analysis was applied to the problems in the health service, the rise of racism, our divided and divisive education system, women in society, the environment,the economy and the  austerity agenda offered as the solution to our economic problems – while the rich get richer and welfare budgets, public services and working people bear the brunt of a full on class based assault.

Read some of the debate at The Conference in Quotes

Copies of some of the main working papers presented at the conference are available through the following links:

Health & Social Care   The NI Economy   Environment & Rural Development

Sectarianism   Devolution in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Conference

It’s all about Class

It’s all about class 

The Workers Party’s annual Northern Ireland Conference will be held on Saturday 25 October in the Grosvenor Hall, Glengall Street, Belfast.

Because it’s not a policy making conference the debate and discussion is  often more robust and open.

This year we’ll be discussing a range of issues from the future shape of devolution to racism, the economy, women, health and social care services, water charges and fracking.

We’ll be raising the questions that seldom get asked, providing the analysis that others don’t and highlighting the uncomfortable truths about the society we live in.

And, unlike any other party, we’ll not be afraid to say that despite  the ongoing austerity agenda and the myth that ‘we are all in this together’  the facts are that the rich are getting richer and the wealthy are not  suffering. Not now. Not ever.

You’re welcome to attend and to contribute if you wish.

Invitation WP Conf 2014

Party Youth condemns student ‘ border poll’

Keep Queens Neutral

Keep Queens Neutral

Workers Party Youth has condemned the holding of a ‘border referendum’ in Queen’s University Student’s Union claiming that it could set back student relations by years.

Lorna McLarnon of Workers Party Youth has criticised the attempts by nationalist and unionist political societies in the QUBSU to sectarianise the student body.

“While students struggle with the costs of tuition fees, food, rent, transport; as well as the stress of producing assignments and passing exams; the youth wings of the main Stormont parties are attempting to deflect them from these vital issues by placing the focus of the student body on this inherently sectarian issue.”

“You will not see a United Ireland from this poll. Nor will the United Kingdom be strengthened. The only unity coming from this poll will be the unity amongst the Orange and Green ethnic blocs of SF/SDLP and DUP/UUP/TUV.” said Lorna

Workers Party Youth is calling on those eligible to vote in the two referenda on Monday 27th October to support the campaign to Keep Queens Neutral and abstain from Referendum No.1 and vote YES in Referendum No.2.

 

 

.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.