Category Archives: Latest News

Party opposes ‘criminal attack’ on Syria

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Workers Party members, joined by a number of Syrian’s living in Northern Ireland, protesting against the recent bombing raids carried out by the US,the UK and France

Workers Party members, and a number of Syrians living in Northern Ireland, have staged a protest against  last week’s missile attacks on Syria and an  escalation of imperialist aggression in the region under the pretext of an unproven allegation concerning chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta.

France and Britain at the behest of the US, and with the connivance of NATO, the EU and their member states, have embarked on a further dangerous intervention which increases instability in the region and brings us closer to the threat of a generalised war.

Statement in full:  Workers Party opposes imperialist attacks against Syria 

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 Workers Party condemns attacks against Syria

US-military-launches-missile-strikes-in-SyriaThe Workers Party has condemned last night’s missile attacks on Syria as an escalation of imperialist aggression in the region under the pretext of an unproven allegation concerning chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta.

France and Britain at the behest of the US, and with the connivance of NATO, the EU and their member states, have embarked on a further dangerous intervention which increases instability in the region and brings us closer to the threat of a generalised war.

Link to full statement: 

Statement by the Workers Party on the attacks against Syria

Oldpark area pays the price

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DUP & Sinn Fein record in Oldpark is ‘disgraceful’ – Bailie

Workers Party representative Chris Bailie has slammed the DUP and Sinn Fein after it was revealed that three parts of the Oldpark ward feature in the top seven  areas of multiple deprivation in Northern Ireland.

The research carried out by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) shows that parts of the Waterworks , Ardoyne and New Lodge areas are amongst the most deprived in Northern Ireland  in terms of employment levels, household income, access to services and a number of other important indicators.
 
“What exactly has the DUP and Sinn Fein, in particular, been doing to improve the opportunities and quality of life for local people?”, Chris asked. “Not only have they failed to form a functioning  Executive they have also consistently failed the people of these areas”, he said
 
“They have failed  to bring long-term sustainable jobs, they have failed to raise the educational standards of local schools and they have failed to bring forward measures to improve local health and well-being. Their record is a disgrace and local people and their families continue to suffer the consequences”, Chris added.
 
“The posturing and rhetoric of both these main parties means only further hardship, lack of opportunity and misery for people in this area. While MLAs continue to draw their salaries from a non existent Assembly they are quite happy to watch over yet another generation of young people denied the chance to achieve educationally,  work in secure employment, have access to public services and live in a healthy environment”.
 
“Both the DUP and Sinn Fein cling doggedly to the principles of the free market economy and the erosion of public services. Their concerns are with maintaining their own sectarian camps while the people of the Waterworks, Ardoyne and New Lodge pay the price” said Chris.
 
“The longer these parties, and those like them, have control over our lives, our economy and our futures the worse conditions will get”. Chris concluded

Twenty years later – hopes cynically dashed

Good Friday Agreement coverTwenty years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement,  and with the institutions in-operative for over twelve months, the hopes that were raised in 1998 have been cynically dashed by the sectarian power blocs that still dominate Northern Ireland.

Momentous advance                       The Agreement offered new possibilities. It was undoubtedly a momentous advance.

After thirty years of miserable sectarian terror the participants in the major sectarian blocs began to establish the basis for a settlement within which nationalists and unionists could reach some form of accommodation without relinquishing, in practice, their respective long-term constitutional ambitions. Of course, not everyone agreed.

Nationalist irredentism and unionist extremism combined in opposition to the Agreement. The people, however, said “yes” to the Agreement.

Limitations                                                                                                             We recognised the limitations of the Agreement and expressly  noted that it failed to reflect many of the concerns raised by the Workers’ Party over the previous 30 years.

However, the Party welcomed the Agreement as a realisation of the hopes of the people of Northern Ireland and as an opportunity to advance the long-standing and consistent Workers’ Party demand for devolution and the Party’s programme of Anti-Sectarianism, Peace, Work, Democracy and Class Politics.

Institutional Sectarianism                                                                                      An Agreement constructed on the faulty foundations of sectarian division; an institutional framework which incorporates sectarianism at its core and an Assembly and Executive which effectively manages sectarianism, rather than seeking to eradicate it, will not and cannot deliver for the working class and the process becomes a recipe for competing and conflicting communal interests, continuing division and open sectarian conflict.

Lowest common denominator                                                                                 The refusal of the unionist and nationalists to keep the focus on the big picture – the creation of a new Northern Ireland – and their decision to pander to the lowest common denominator within their own constituencies robbed the Agreement of what was advanced as its essential political underpinnings which marked it out as a new departure, the so-called historic compromise.

Continuing division                                                                                                 An Agreement constructed on the faulty foundations of sectarian division; an institutional framework which incorporates sectarianism at its core and an Assembly and Executive which effectively manages sectarianism, rather than seeking to eradicate it, will not and cannot deliver for the working class and the process becomes a recipe for competing and conflicting communal interests, continuing division and open sectarian conflict.

Tackling The Crisis – the power of a united working class

Annual Northern Ireland Conference 2018

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There is a collective crisis in Northern Ireland’s social, economic and political life.

For almost fifteen months there has been no Assembly, there is no sustainable and viable economic strategy and our health and education systems are barely able to cope.

Working class people continue to pay the price for capitalism’s financial crisis, women are denied their reproductive rights and conservative and reactionary voices continue to dominate the public debate.

There is an alarming lack of probity in government, and in its administration, and sectarianism is now a systemic cancer in almost every aspect of daily life.

How we tackle the collective crisis and how the power of a united working class can effect change and revolutionary transformation will be the theme of the Party’s annual Northern Ireland Conference next Saturday 24th March in the Wellington Park Hotel, 21 Malone Road Belfast BT9 6RU – 10.30am – 4pm

You are welcome to attend and participate

 

Forgotten Rights – Forgotten Women

Forgotten Rights Forgotten Women

Forgotten Rights Forgotten Women

The latest edition of the Party’s fortnightly bulletin marks International Womens Day.

Under the title ‘Forgotten Rights – Forgotten Women’ addresses the issue of accessible, free, safe and legal abortion services in Northern Ireland and the repeal of the Eight Amendment in the Republic of Ireland

Recent abortion statistics from the UK  show that 3,265 women accessing abortion services there in 2016 gave a Republic of Ireland address and 724 gave an addresses in Northern Ireland.

A further 520 women from the island gave no address.

 

Forgotten Rights Forgotten Women 8 March 2018

 

Where is the red line on poverty?

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Joseph Rowntree Foundation Chief Executive, Campbell Robb with Workers Party representative Joanne Lowry at this morning’s launch

Research undertaken by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and presented in Belfast this morning,  reveals that  370,000 people in Northern Ireland live in poverty.

The breakdown of the figures show that it includes 110,000 children, 220,000 working-age adults and 40,000 pensioners: around one in five of the population here with poverty highest among families with children.

Among the factors which contribute to levels of poverty are poor educational attainment and high levels of unemployment.

Where was the parties red line on tackling poverty in the recent  talks to restore the Executive?  Where was the demand for an economic plan and a job creation strategy for Northern Ireland? Where was the ultimatum to abolish university tuition fees and introduce integrated education at all levels?

The reality is that none of those issues were on the agenda.  Sinn Fein and the DUP were focused on a zero sum game designed to preserve their respective nationalist agendas. Health, well being, employment, housing and living standards weren’t just a secondary issue. They weren’t even on the table

Only a socialist economy, a socialist approach to the funding and structuring of education and a socialist led, publicly funded, housing programme can begin to address the abject misery currently endured by  one person in  every five in Northern Ireland.

That is where the red line in this society should be drawn.

See the JRF on Poverty in Northern ireland report here: https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/poverty-northern-ireland-2018

DUP and Sinn Fein show callous disregard for ordinary people

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Sham fights distract from real issues

The failure to agree a new Executive has been described as ‘disgraceful and unacceptable’ by the Workers Party.

‘It is now blatantly obvious that neither the DUP or Sinn Fein are capable of restoring a devolved government’.

For more than a year they have choreographed a sham fight over vanity projects and red lines in a total and contemptuous disregard for the health, well being, education and quality of life of ordinary working people and for the economy of Northern Ireland.

Our public services are being run down, teachers, health care staff and  employees in both the public and private sectors have borne the burden of wage freezes and austerity measures.

The health service is in crisis, schools have no budgets, the economy is at a standstill, jobs are being lost and all while these two  parties deliver excuses but no solutions.

Having shown that they are incapable or unwilling to form a new administration that option should now be withdrawn from the DUP and Sinn Fein. A system of majority rule by a party or parties willing to restart the Assembly should now be enacted.

 

“Take up screening appointments”, urges Weir

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Workers Party representative Gemma Weir has called on young women in Belfast to make sure they keep their appointments for cervical cancer screening.

“Last year alone well over 20,000 young women between the ages of 25 – 29 didn’t turn up for their routine cervical smear test”, Gemma said. “This is the highest risk age group.

“When the 30 – 34 age group is added to that, the number of missed appointments rockets to more than 42,000”, she said

“There are a number of reasons why young women in particular might be reluctant to take up their appointment. Some may think it is unnecessary, others may be apprehensive or embarrassed but early detection and treatment of any abnormal cells is extremely important”, Gemma added

Cervical cancer is the 14th most common cause of cancer death among females in the UK accounting for 1% of all cancer deaths in woman”.  81 cases were diagnosed in Northern Ireland in 2016.

“I am aware of a number of community based initiatives designed to help raise awareness and uptake of screening appointments but clearly much more needs to be done. We cannot be satisfied with thousands of missed appointments when young women’s health and well-being is at stake”. Gemma concluded

 

‘Reclaim our health and social care services’

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Workers Party members supporting the ‘Save Our NHS’ rally

‘Health and social care services must remain publicly funded and free at the point of delivery’. 

That was the message that Workers Party members brought to the ‘Save Our NHS’ rally, organised by NIPSA, at Belfast City Hall yesterday.

A properly funded health and social care service designed to deliver quality outcomes is central to a humane and decent society:  but those principles are far from safe and secure.

There must be an end to ‘creeping privatisation’, to the outsourcing of health and care services and jobs to the private sector. Vested interests, including the vested interests of private healthcare, must be confronted and challenged.  

But for as long as the major parties at Stormont put ‘red lines’ and pet projects ahead of people’s health and well-being, that is not going to happen.

Report after report shows that health inequalities in Northern Ireland have been persisting at the same level or worse for the past ten years.

Health inequalities have a number of root causes, but poverty, unemployment, low pay, educational under- achievement and the lack of decent public housing all feature as key factors.All of these factors are compounded by a political programme of austerity and privatisation

We can continue to ignore our health needs and watch hospital admissions grow out of control, patients die on trolleys and the system go into melt down, or we can address the problem by reclaiming our health and social care services and bringing them back into full, publicly funded, public ownership.

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