Trade Unionist blasts main political parties in the North for not fighting inequality

Chairman of Derry Trades Union Council, Niall McCarroll

In a statement to the Derry News, chairperson of Derry Trades Union Council Niall McCarroll has criticised the main political parties in Northern Ireland for their non-attendance at Black Lives Matter rallies and for 'serving the interests' of big business.

Mr McCarroll says: "Radical change is possible, we just need to believe that change is possible, believe in ourselves and stop believing that the political classes, the current political system will deliver for all citizens.

"Stormont collapsed in January 2017, remaining closed until January 2020. During this period workers and communities were repeatedly told nothing could be done without ministerial approval. No pay rises, no new projects, no additional funding, nothing could be done.

"How then in June 2020 (even with Stormont open again to business) can we have a change in regulations without ministerial approval, changes which subsequently led to fines being handed out to Black Lives Matter activists.

"These actions provided further enlightenment on the political system at Stormont and our own political classes.

"Amnesty International and the Committee on the Administration of Justice both raised concerns around the implementation of these new enforcement powers. 

"Interestingly, none of the main political parties supported (by their non attendance) the BLM rallies in Belfast or Derry. No support, even after the huge effort made by the organisers to inform those attending of social distancing guidelines and other measures being put in place to ensure safety and collective purpose.

"These actions do nothing to garner public support in an already diminished political system, a system which delivers plenty of grind and hardship with pleasures and good times at a premium.

"These same politicians had no problems supporting the New Decade, New Approach Agreement, which overloads in size, details little and strengthens privatised capital.

"It seems our very own political classes are open for business but not open to fighting inequality and racism. The wait goes on to agree a Bill of Rights, here in the North of Ireland, whilst attempts to gentrify the masses continue.

"Just as they would from any other capitalist government, working class communities will gain no tangible benefits from Stormont.

"All politics is class politics, it's just a matter of working out which class the politics is working for.

"Institutionalised politics are as welcome as institutionalised inequality and racism.

"Be under no illusions - Stormont serves the interests of big business, the corporations. To believe that having a seat at this table will make any difference is delusional.

"By joining a trade union and beginning to organise against this system, collectively we can build our own table and we decide who gets a seat and on what terms.

"Workers need to believe that the power for change is in their hands, their labour. An awakened reckoning.

"In Derry we also saw the re-emergence of the self-absorbed group known as Unity of Purpose. This group usually emerges when grandiose events are happening to stand for photos, to attract relevance.

"Unity of Purpose was nowhere to be seen when the Low Pay Commission visited Derry and remain silent on issues like rising pension age, childcare costs and falling household incomes.

"People can decide whose purpose this outfit serves.

"You simply can’t take the soup one day and still remain a legitimate participant in any fight against the establishment the next day.

"People are fed up with doublespeak and empty commitments.

"The time has come for communities and workers to take on the ruling classes, our elected representatives need to do the same.

"Drop the fines and persecution of all BLM activists, drop capitalism - rise up through the only mechanism that has ever delivered – people power through radical trade union resistance."

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