As the Nationalist and Unionist parties hurl themselves into pacts ahead of December’s general election, Eamonn McCann outlines a new direction for politics as offered by People Before Profit.
The need for radical change in Northern politics has never been more obvious.
Yet the four biggest parties want their followers to vote for more of the same.
The DUP, the Ulster Unionists, Sinn Féin and the SDLP have all made electoral pacts. Their purpose is to consolidate Orange or Green alliances in various constituencies.
Putting the Orange-Green split at the top of the agenda ensures that we never got down to the issues which impact most strongly on the day-to-day lives of working-class people.
People Before Profit wants to take politics in a different direction.
At Westminster, we would weigh in behind Jeremy Corbyn. We would vote to end Universal Credit, PIP, the bedroom tax, cuts to education and health. We back a £10 an hour minimum wage and an end to tuition fees.
We want to join with others in shifting Middle East policy towards support for the Palestinians and opposition to arming Israel, Saudi Arabia etc.
We want rid of all anti-union laws.
We will be vigilant to ensure there’s no backtracking on equal marriage or abortion rights.
We will continue to oppose both Boris Johnston’s Tory Brexit and the EU’s militarised, neo-liberal Europe. We have no time for the notion that we all have to choose between the frying pan and the fire.
We will fight on for social justice no matter what constitutional arrangements emerge from the turbulence affecting not only these islands but the whole world.
Everywhere we look, masses of people are on the move. In Lebanon, Iraq, Chile, Indonesia etc., there are millions on the streets, not demanding supremacy for any community over another but justice for all of the exploited and oppressed.
One of the brightest sights in politics for many years has been Catalan flags on demonstrations in Lebanon.
Barcelona and Beirut singing from the same song-sheet. This is the way to cross sectarian boundaries.
From the point of view of the working class, we are all on the one road. Divvying up the spoils will never deliver a better life.
The main parties believe that the outcome in Foyle, North Belfast, Fermanagh and South Tyrone etc. will be determined by who can mobilise one community to overwhelm “the other side.”
It is not true that this is all we amount to in 2019. People Before Profit represents another way forward.