We appeal to the Labour Party to link up with Labour Alternative – initiated by the Socialist Party – and other campaigners to present the strongest cross-community, labour movement challenge possible in the local elections. The need for such an alternative is urgent. Labour must not wait.
Author: Socialist Party
In the aftermath of the Eleventh Night bonfires last year, Belfast City Council passed a Sinn Féin motion authorising the forced clearing of bonfire sites. When this policy was implemented against an anti-internment bonfire in the Divis area of west Belfast, it led to small-scale rioting. If there is an attempt to do the same this year in Protestant areas – where there is generally more support for bonfires – it will provoke a fierce reaction.
The trade union movement should campaign for the abolition of all political-policing units and for genuine democratic community control of policing with transparency and accountability. However, we should have no illusions that the capitalist state is a neutral arbiter is the struggles between workers and young people and the interests of the establishment.
Socialists have no confidence in the capacity of the sectarian forces and the state to subject their role in the troubles to real scrutiny. We do however have a confidence in working class people to expose the truth and expose these forces to real scrutiny. This could means some form of wide-ranging enquiry into the troubles, which would not be in the hands of the state or establishment parties but made up of respected trade unionists and those with a record of campaigning on these issues from the stand point of ordinary people, including human rights groups.
It is time for government to admit that privatisation has failed and to bring the railways back into public ownership, which Corbyn stated would be one of the first acts of a future Labour government. In Northern Ireland, we must resist the creeping privatisation of our public transport, which will lead to cuts and chaos and hit deprived and isolated communities hardest.