Michael Donnelly (WP)

Michael Donnelly, President of the Workers’ Party

The President of the Workers’ Party has told a party rally in Belfast that sectarian chants from tribal parties make headlines in the media but they do not put food on the table or put roofs over people’s heads.

That was the stark message from Michael Donnelly, at the Workers’ Party Northern Ireland conference in Belfast today (Saturday).

Mr. Donnelly said there was little or nothing between Sinn Fein and their sectarian alter ego the DUP. “Both are committed not just in principle, but in terms of an agreed policy to making Northern Ireland a ‘good and safe little place’ for big money to move in and make a killing. “

“This then, is the real context in which the current election to the Northern Ireland Assembly is being fought. Behind all the green flag flying of Sinn Fein and the orange card-playing of the DUP, lurks the common slogan:  ‘Let’s keep things cheap for big business!’  This is the polar opposite to what the Workers’ Party stands for”

“We have a duty to expose all of this for what it really is; little more than a brazen, cheap and complete prostitution of the people’s livelihoods and destinies to international big business.  Because this is what sectarian politics inevitably leads to. For capitalists, in conjunction with friendly state forces, keeping workers divided ensures that all of their exploitative machinations and inclinations will fall neatly into place.“

The Workers’ Party President continued, “We must, in this election, in our campaigns, in all of our political work seek always to challenge and confront that; to stand up to and relentlessly confront and challenge what James Connolly called,  ‘The morbid delusions of the past.’

“Long ago the Workers’ Party recognised the necessity of removing the obstacle of sectarian division in Northern Ireland as a necessary prelude to the development of true class politics in the region.”

“It is now time for our Party, the Workers’ Party, to take the initiative in respect of that and to offer workers and their families a radical new vision. One that gives hope, encouragement and above all else gives a real and tangible sense that this is indeed a winnable struggle, to that great majority of our people, the Irish workers”, said Michael Donnelly.

The Workers’ Party is standing in five constituencies in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections:   Gemma Weir (North Belfast), Lily Kerr (South Belfast), Colin Craig (Upper Bann), Hugh Scullion (Mid Ulster) and Conor Campbell (West Belfast)

You can download the full text of Michael Donnelly’s address by clicking the link below:

Michael Donnelly speech