Stormont Isn't Working

The society in which we all should live, or at least aspire to live, is one where all our basic rights are enshrined, we have the freedom to live, love and grow and we have an input into the decisions that have an effect on our lives and one in which we can effectively hold the legislators to account. A society where the profits of industry and multi-national corporations don’t go overseas to off shore tax havens and into the pockets of the few but remain in control of a proper government and distributed into public services, schools, hospitals, transport, homes etc. for the benefit of the people. A society where a home and security of tenure is a guarantee and employment, that pays, is accessible for all. A society with a health service fit for purpose and free from the point of use. A society where equality is not an issue and language, sexuality and bodily rights are all enshrined in law. A society where the forces of Imperialism don’t have its bloody grip and a justice and policing system that serves the interests of the people rather than the interests of imperialism, neo colonialism and the corrupt. This society is not a pipe dream and every small victory is a step closer to making this a reality.

Stormont has provided an effective smokescreen for the British government, distracting the masses from where the real power lies, in the working class and their communities. The root cause of our society’s ills is Imperialism and Capitalism and their interests are administered and implemented through Stormont at the request of their paymasters in London. Because of its artificial makeup and the pillars of sectarianism that it is built upon, Stormont is always doomed for failure as shown in the most recent collapse almost two years ago. 

Since the foundation of the Orange state in occupied Ireland, following partition, the puppet administration in Stormont buildings has always been a corrupt puppet parliament that have never served the interests of the majority of the population in Ireland, the Irish working class. From its inception the Assembly was built upon inherent sectarianism and inequality as ‘a protestant parliament for a protestant people’. Despite the changing of the guard the Assembly have delivered scandal after scandal and failure after failure as they serve their masters in London. 

At the time of writing the administration in Stormont has not sat as an Assembly for almost two years. Despite this MLAs continue to draw down their basic £49,500 a year salaries at an expense of over £10 million, and growing, to the tax payer. As a reward for this their paymasters will cut their wage by just 20%, and after tax just £25 per week in monetary terms, from October 2018.This is just one of many scandals from the puppet Assembly at a time when poverty is rife, we are in the midst of a housing crisis and mass homelessness, welfare reform, austerity and a health service at breaking point. 

This shambles is no surprise as the administration in Stormont has never been any more than a farce, a smokescreen and a distraction. With sectarianism deeply imbedded within the institution, Stormont has always been inherently doomed. It has never had any real authorative or decision making powers and has always sided with the side of their paymasters. 

The recent collapse of Stormont was a result of the RHI scandal which has the potential cost of £500 million to tax payers. In recent years Stormont has also brought us the Red Sky scandal, a housing crisis, a health service crisis, essential services crisis, welfare reform, Universal Credit and has shown its inability to agree on legacy and equality issues such as state collusion, Irish language rights and LGBT rights. 

However, in Britain’s closest colony, there is an alternative. Ultimately the only solution to Ireland’s societal ills is the establishment of a 32 county Socialist Republic, one that serves the interests of all the people of the island and not that of Capital and Imperialism. In the mean time we need to remove the levers of power, from Britain, Stormont and big business. Power has always been in the hands of the working class, we just need to empower ourselves, organise and use that power. Communities should continue to organise and agitate for social justice on issues that they deem relevant, continue to win small victories and to show Stormont for the farce that it is. We should educate and encourage others to join in this fight.

Rather than decisions made on the hill, power should be transferred directly to the people, within communities and decision making assemblies established. Areas should have a degree of autonomy to decide what is needed in their own area. In the interim we should be seeking ways to create our own decision making institutions at a local level, some already exist, and seek ways to established alternative power structures within those same communities. 

We need to break the shackles that enslave us and Stormont is one of the links the occupier uses to enslave and distract. Not only is Stormont not working, it doesn’t work and it never will and the sooner we all realise that the better. 

Another world is possible and it is worth the fight. 

Contributed to Issue 2 of An Spréach Magazine by Éamon Ó Cleirigh.