Stormont continues to crumble under its own contradictions!


The Stormont administration is at a critical juncture, with the Executive not having met in several months. It seems an eternity since Paisley and McGuinness chuckled their way through meetings and joint events.

Yet much of that public display of togetherness has little substance when it comes to real and beneficial change for working people or in dealing with the issues which have now re-surfaced and are the cause for the recent financial instability.

The Executive, having been set up on the basis of institutionalised sectarianism and ‘parity of esteem,’ is now seeing that very sectarianism causing chaos in the corridors of Stormont. While the DUP and Sinn Féin squabble over issues ranging from policing and justice through to the Maze Prison, working people are suffering in their daily lives on bread and butter issues.

The credit crunch and the global instability in the financial markets are an additional worry to the hardship that many people are already facing. The rise in house repossessions is going hand in hand with the rise of fuel, electricity and food bills. The increase in numbers of citizens in debt corresponds with more falling into poverty and despair, and as prices continue to go up, wages are going down in real terms.

The administration’s neo-liberal priorities where set out from the beginning, to meet the needs of business e.g. water charges and the privatisation of water supply. Such is the priority of all governments.

Many of us have lived through the recent conflict and the hardship and despair that came with it. Now we have a so-called peace process, but the gap between ourselves and the rich continues to grow.

This situation has seen radio and TV shows inundated with working people who are angry and appalled at the squabbling and the lack of delivery on the issues that are affecting their every day lives. Many are calling for action to be taken to end the squabbling while others are calling for marches and protests to get government moving and working for the interests of its citizens.

Yet this anger needs to be channelled and mobilised on the issues of real concern at the moment, against the lack of social housing, against the low wage economy and against the poverty resulting from privatisation and the rest of the neo-liberal agenda.

It is through acting together as the working class that we can fight back against the neo-liberal agenda inherent in the Stormont administration, and build a future for all. The WSM will be playing its part. Will you?

From Workers Solidarity 106, Nov 2008

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Click on one of the thumbnails for an PDF version of the northern or southern edition of Workers Solidarity 106 which can be printed out on eight A4 pages.