Carillion collapse proves privatisation doesn’t work

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Time to take back public services from the private sector

Workers Party spokesperson Joanne Lowry has expressed outrage and concern at the collapse of contractors Carillion and the threat to over 500 local jobs. 

“The futures and livelihoods of around 200 Carillion staff carrying out work for the Housing Executive are now at serious risk and hundreds more including those employed on Power NI contracts are at similar risk”, she said. 

“I have been in touch with senior civil servants in the Department for Communities insisting that they arrange for the threatened Carillion workers to be taken on to the Housing Executive payroll immediately”, Joanne said. 

“This crisis has come about as a result of  the outsourcing of contracts, the privatisation of public services and the failure of companies like Carillion to deliver.” she stated. 

“Public sector organisations like the Housing Executive must have their own  Direct Labour Organisations to provide the level of service required and  job security for its maintenance and repair teams” 

“It is time that we reversed the privatisation of public services and took them back fully into public ownership”, Joanne concluded 

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O’Mulleoir should also resign

McElduff resignation
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If there is a semblance of decency left in Sinn Fein then O’Mulleoir should resign

Commenting on the announcement of his resignation The Workers Party has said that “Barry McElduff and Sinn Fein should have taken the decision a week ago”.

“Barry McElduff displayed a callous disregard for the families of those who were murdered and wounded in that blatantly sectarian attack at Kingsmills”, the Party said
 
“South Belfast MLA Mairtin O’Mulleoir who re-tweeted McElduff’s video should now also resign” the statement concluded

 

‘Disgraceful and contemptuous’

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Sinn Fein’s response ‘disgraceful and contemptuous’

The Workers Party has branded the decision by the Sinn Fein leadership to ‘suspend’ its West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff as ‘disgraceful and contemptuous of the families of the Kingmills massacre victims’.

‘Sinn Fein has clearly demonstrated where its priorities lie. They are much more interested in going through the motions than in taking any firm stand  against the callous and insensitive actions of McElduff.’, the party said.

‘If he had any shred of decency or dignity he would resign, but given the cover he has received from his party leader Michelle O’Neill that is now highly unlikely.

South Belfast MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who retweeted McElduff’s video clip, should also hand in his resignation.

That is the only way in which anyone can have any confidence in believing that Sinn Fein’s public apologies are anything other than damage limitation measures’

 

McElduff’s callous disregard for victims families

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McElduff: letting the Sinn Fein mask slip?

‘Sinn Fein must sack its West Tyrone MP, Barry McElduff and publicly apologise for his grossly offensive and insensitive behaviour’, the Workers Party has said.

‘There can be no excuse for Mr McElduff’s behaviour and his post on social media’, the party said .

‘To do what he has done on the anniversary of the Kingsmill Massacre does not so much show an error of judgement but more a callous and derogatory disregard for the families of those who were murdered and wounded in that blatantly sectarian attack  forty two years ago this week’.

‘The Sinn Fein leadership must demonstrate its abhorrence of his actions by sacking Mr McElduff with immediate effect’, the party statement said

2018: a Happy New Year?

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As another year ends the reality for working class people – employed, unemployed, students or pensioners – remains the same.

Commentators, conservative economists, newspapers columnists and political pundits are queuing up to explain away wage freezes, welfare cuts, poorer public services and higher unemployment.  They blame everything and everyone one, but never the economic system we live under.

2018 is likely to be yet another year when the books are balanced at the expense of working class people. The 2008 crisis in capitalism is still being bailed out ten years later through welfare cuts, wage freezes, price hikes reduced and privatised public services and by unemployment.

Constantly we are told that ‘we are all in this together’ – no we are not!

See the Party’s full statement here: 

2018 New Year statement

Nationalism: narrow, bankrupt and dangerous

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The real priorities  are defending  public services, funding education, securing the NHS, standing up for workers rights, opposing zero hours contracts, campaigning for a real living wage and securing free, safe and legal choices for women

The politically bankrupt nature of nationalism was never more evident than in the recent letter to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The two hundred people who co-signed the letter demanding that the Irish Government support and champion nationalists in Northern Ireland could have done so 60 years ago when the old Nationalist Party absented itself from Stormont just as Sinn Fein has done from the Assembly.

Nationalism, Irish or British, never blames itself, never questions its actions nor reflects on its own behaviour. In the world of nationalists and nationalism someone else is always at fault . So it is with the content and tone of this letter. 

Sinn Fein collapsed the Executive, forced an election and ever since have presented excuse after excuse for their failure to form a new Assembly.

Undermining the principle of consent                                                                    The ‘200 Letter’ mirrors exactly the Sinn Fein agenda. It presents an extremly narrow version of events and a dangerous one at that.

While claiming to seek to protect the Good Friday Agreement it callously undermines one of its main cornerstones – the principle of consent. It points to the outcome of the EU referendum and argues that it will ‘reinforce partition on this island’. The Good Friday Agreement confirmed the constitutional position of both parts of this island and that was endorsed by the vast majority of citizens in Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Nationalism is not only a backward political philosophy : it is a toxic one. It seeks to divide and exploit difference. It blames others and otherness. It is a political cancer that deliberately subverts progressive politics and invariably is home to the worst examples of native gombeen men and women.

Very few of the two hundred signatories to this letter have been to the fore in the struggle to defend public services, fund education, secure the NHS, stand up for workers rights, oppose zero hours contracts or campaign for a real living wage. Fewer still, for all their alleged concern about a rights based society, have publicly sought the right of women in Northern Ireland to make their own decisions about their own bodies.

Contempt and disdain                                                                                      Given that not one of the two hundred signatories could bring themselves to say ‘Northern Ireland’ in this letter shows the contempt and disdain they are happy to display in pursuit of these narrow, exclusive and dangerous objectives.

The immediate priority for Northern Ireland is the restoration of the Assembly and the Executive. But that would mean no hiding place for the failed and failing politics of nationalism.

 

Party Conference

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Delegates at the Party’s annual conference

The Party held its 2017 Annual Delegate Conference in Dublin this weekend.

The conference theme ”Building a Socialist Future’  provided the backdrop for discussion debate and policy decisions on the economy, housing , education, transport, health and social care, reproductive rights, violence against women,  the absence of devolved government in  Northern Ireland and international resolutions on Palestine and Catalonia.

The conference also marked two historic events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917 and the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) in 1967.

Several Party members from South Derry and Belfast who participated in the association’s initial meetings and marches gave personal and political insights into the  events, the times and the outcomes.

Party President Michael Donnelly closed the conference with a call on the Party and Party members to ‘proudly stand as the vanguard force in the struggle against capitalism and the fight for justice, jobs and equality… and to work towards establishing a new world that banishes poverty and unemployment.. refusing to be either silenced or censured in that struggle’.

Conference elected the following members to the Party’s incoming Central Executive Committee:

Joe Dowds, Sean Garland, Ultan Gillen Gerry Grainger, John Jefferies, Lily Kerr, Adam McCarthy, Mickey McCorry,  Seamus McDonagh, Richard O’Hara, Hilary Rock-Gormley, Eilis Ryan  and Gemma Weir

The four reserve members elected were Justin O Hagan, Gavin Mendel-Gleason, Hugh Scullion and Ted Tynan.

 

 

 

 

100th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution

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The October Revolution: ‘one of the greatest events in human history’

A Workers Party delegation, led by International Secretary Gerry Grainger, has attended and addressed the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties this weekend in Russia marking the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917.

Addressing the international audience Gerry Grainger described the Russian revolution as:

‘ one of the greatest events in human history, an occasion of historic global significance which changed forever the power relations between exploiters and exploited and made real the vision of a new socialist society. 

The object of the October Revolution was to abolish all forms of exploitation and oppression and to construct a new society based on socialist ideas.  The Revolution inspired the workers and oppressed of the world and offered real prospects for change and invested the workers’ movement with a revolutionary consciousness and objective, educating, organising and mobilising the mass of the working people in the task of building a new society.

The October Revolution transformed the world. It constituted a decisive break with the old world order, abolished private ownership of the means of production and laid the basis for the political, social and economic liberation of humankind.

See the Workers Party address to the XIX International meeting of Communist and Workers Parties in full at:

Workers Party Contribution to 19th IMCWP St Petersburg, Russia, 2-3 November 2017

‘Unite to face down racism’

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The Rahman family leaving their York Road  home

“Hate crimes and racist attacks are not what defines north Belfast and we must ensure that they never do”, Workers Party representative Gemma Weir said in response to last night’s attack on a family in the York Road area.

“There must be no room for racism in our community and  no ‘if’s and buts’ about just how abhorrent and vile these type of attacks are”,she said.

“The only response worthy of the entire north Belfast community is an unequivocal and public condemnation of all forms of racism and hate crimes, full and unqualified support for those affected and a united resolve to face down racists and racism”, Gemma said.

“Anyone with any information, no matter how small, about this or other attacks, should contact the PSNI or use the Crime Stoppers number to pass  that information on “,she concluded.

Photo Credit: Matt Mackey

NATO warships not welcome

NATO flotilla

NATO wars have left hundreds of thousands dead and injured

The Workers Party has condemned the presence of a flotilla NATO warships in Belfast this weekend as  ‘a blatant propaganda stunt to normalise the ugly face of war’.

The force includes vessels from the navies of Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands.

NATO is an aggressive military alliance representing the extension of US military power and acting exclusively in the interests of imperialism. The history of NATO cannot be separated from the history of foreign interference in the affairs of other nations and war. NATO promotes the militarisation of Europe, the continuation of the arms race and increases the threat of war and nuclear terror.

It urges all member states to increase military spending to at least 2% of GDP at a time when those states should be spending money on hospital, education and the welfare of their people.

NATO’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya have left hundreds of thousands dead and injured; destroyed these countries’ infrastructure and worsened the lives of millions of ordinary working people. Millions of people have been forced to become refugees and flee their homes in search of a safe place for them and their families to live.

The presence of such a force in Belfast is a matter for shame. No to war and aggression! No to NATO!

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