Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/870/21417

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 September 2015

Northern Ireland Executive crisis

Only united working class can overcome poverty and sectarian division

Michael Cleary, Socialist Party Northern Ireland

The devolved government administration in Northern Ireland is in danger of total collapse. A crisis erupted in the aftermath of the killing of ex-IRA member Kevin McGuigan in Belfast on 13 August.

His murder is widely assumed to have been carried out by the Provisional IRA (PIRA - an Irish republican group which agreed to end its armed struggle as part of the 1998 Good Friday peace deal) in revenge for the killing of one of its prominent commanders, Jock Davidson, on 5 May.

Days later the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland stated that IRA members were involved in the McGuigan murder and that "the Provisional IRA still exists". A political storm then erupted.

Prior to his statement there was a widespread belief that the PIRA exists in some form. But an admission from the state that it still exists, is armed, and is prepared to use its arms, led to a sharp reaction.

Resignation

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) quickly pulled out of the Executive in response. After an opinion poll showed that 80% of Protestants supported the UUP move First Minister Peter Robinson of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) announced the resignation of all of his party's ministers but one. He has stepped aside but another DUP minister, Arlene Foster, is acting in his role for the next six weeks.

The Executive was already in crisis before the recent events. Over the summer there were clear indications of behind the scenes talks however, and an agreement to break the impasse on so-called "welfare reform" was likely in September. The indications are that both the DUP and Sinn Fein would prefer the Executive to remain in place.

A solution to the crisis is likely to centre on the establishment of a new body to make assessments about alleged PIRA activity, similar to the "Independent Monitoring Commission" which oversaw the status of all the paramilitary ceasefires between 2004 and 2011.

If the talks fail, and the Executive collapses completely, what happens next is uncertain. The Secretary of State, Teresa Villiers, has the power to call an immediate election but will hesitate to do so.

She no longer has the power to suspend the Assembly and return to direct rule, as she once did, but emergency legislation could be passed at Westminster to allow this to happen.

The most likely scenario is a long period of prolonged negotiations between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Paramilitary

Whatever happens next the latest crisis only serves to underline the plain fact that the 'peace process' has not delivered on any of its promises. None of the problems facing working class people in the North have been solved, including the dominance of paramilitary groups in working class areas.

Potentially, the working class is also the only force which is capable of challenging the paramilitaries and the sectarian political parties. However, this requires the establishment of a new mass left political party, seeking to unite Catholics and Protestants in a common struggle for a better life, in order to provide workers and young people with a real alternative.

For background material on the peace agreement/the national question in Ireland, and on workers' struggles, see www.socialistpartyni.net and www.socialistworld.net

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 16 September 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Corbyn's leadership victory; A new era for the 99%

NSSN rally calls for mass action to 'Kill the Bill!'

'Socialism is popular' confirms Lord Ashcroft

Ministry of Justice : Stop this privatisation scandal!

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Refugee crisis: Imperialist countries bear major responsibility

Northern Ireland Executive crisis

Greek general election


Socialist Party workplace news

7 out of 8 victory for Doncaster council workers

Parliament protest against the anti-union bill

Support Teesside construction workers: Pay the rate!

Sports Direct's 'workhouse conditions'

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight austerity in education!

Students join campaign for affordable housing!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Refugee Lives Matter - large turnout for demo

'Save our Island homes'

'Collectathon': Sell the Socialist; and donate!


Socialist Party feature

Twelve hours in the life of a carer


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Queen celebrates longest reign - let's make it the last!

Theatre review: 'An angry call for revolt'

Comedy review: Leopardoptera

Thoughts from the web


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 September 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Northern Ireland:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - For workers' unity against sectarianism

triangleFor a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!

triangleFighting for socialism amid capitalist chaos

triangleDodgy MP lobbied for genocidal Sri Lankan leader

triangleStrike together to kick Tories out

Working class:

triangleDisruption of Socialist Party meeting shows need for unions to lead real struggle

trianglePreparing the struggle for socialism in 2019

triangleJohn Maclean - revolutionary fighter of the working class

triangleTory chaos reaches fever pitch

Poverty:

triangleCuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths

triangleAusterity: not one more day - Tories out now

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

Ireland:

triangleGlobal opposition to victim blaming in rape trial

triangleSolidarity with Irish rape trial protests

IRA:

triangleMartin McGuinness: from IRA leader to Stormont minister

Dup:

triangleNorthern Ireland talks process paralysed

Sinn Fein:

triangleScotland 'indyref2' for socialist independence not the capitalist EU

Belfast:

triangleNat West's benefit-claimant eviction policy

International

International

16/1/19

Mexico

Mexico: police silence on horrific attack on CWI member

16/1/19

France

France: union-led action and assemblies can defeat Macron

16/1/19

India

India: biggest general strike ever

16/1/19

USA

USA: federal workers without pay - but immediate mass action can end shutdown

9/1/19

Nigeria

Blocked for years, but the Socialist Party of Nigeria is now standing in elections

9/1/19

Sudan

Protests continue to rage in Sudan

12/12/18

France

France in revolt

5/12/18

Iran

Workers defy brutal Iran regime

5/12/18

Midwives

Midwives go on strike in New Zealand

5/12/18

France

France: mass demonstrations force president to back down

28/11/18

Iran

Workers at the forefront of the new wave of protests in Iran

28/11/18

US

San Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

28/11/18

France

Eyewitness: French protesters seize streets against President Macron

21/11/18

US

How can Trump be defeated?

21/11/18

Sri Lanka

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999