19 May 2022

Harkin slams SDLP as embodying "failed status quo"

“Not being Sinn Féin or the DUP doesn't equate with being a real alternative,” insists People Before Profit Councillor

Harkin slams SDLP  as embodying "failed status quo"

Shaun Harkin: "Time on time, the SDLP lines up with bosses who've refused to pay workers in all our communities a living wage."

People Before Profit's Shaun Harkin has slammed the SDLP as a party that “embodies the tired and failed status quo”.

Cllr Harkin, who will contest the Foyle seat in May's Assembly election, further accused them of “sitting on their hands” while a third of Derry's population struggled below the poverty line.

His comments come in response to the SDLP's conference last weekend which launched their election slogan of “People First”.

However, Cllr Larkin, blasted that line as an empty one saying that their strategy of not being Sinn Féin or the DUP cut no ice given they also had MLAs as part of the Executive Government at Stormont.

“Not being Sinn Féin or the DUP doesn't equate with being a real alternative,” insisted Cllr Harkin.

“If any party embodies the tired and failed status quo, it's the SDLP.

“The attempt to present themselves as an opposition party couldn't be more hypocritical. They've never been out of government.

“They've run Derry with the other big parties for decades but have nothing to say to the more than 30 per cent of people from all backgrounds here living below the poverty line.

“They sat on their hands until the election came into view as workers and the least well-off were grinded down by the cost of living crisis.

“Time on time, the SDLP lines up with bosses who've refused to pay workers in all our communities a living wage.

“Along with Sinn Féin, the DUP and the rest of the Executive, they voted to impose pay cuts on health heroes and opposed a 10 per cent reduction in private rent costs.

“But they've backed slashing taxes for rich corporations along with the rest of the Executive.

“They trample over the environment despite claiming to support the climate emergency.

“They've backed up the DUP when it has come to key votes on abortion rights, Palestine and greenlighted the PSNI crackdown on Black Lives Matter protestors in Derry.”

Cllr Harkin said the aforementioned showed why the SDLP established a link-up in 2019 with centre-right Republic of Ireland party, Fianna Fáil.

He added: “This is why it makes sense for the SDLP to be in a partnership with the reactionary Fianna Fáil, a party that has stood in the way of progress and change for generations, and that has turned the South into a corrupt global tax haven for profiteering corporations and the super-wealthy.

“Fianna Fáil's immigration policies are simply inhumane. The SDLP shares Fianna Fáil's contempt for people power struggle and workers action for social change, but this is clearly the only way real change will happen.

“We need a real alternative to the Stormont political establishment based on class not creed, based on people power driving forward demands for real change, based on putting people and planet before profit and plundering corporations.”

"We need to break the cycle of politics that puts elites and the politically-connected first across the entire island."

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