The crisis at Stormont continues to trundle on, with little sign of real change. Below, Gerry Carroll MLA outlines the position of People Before Profit on the current state of the talks:
“People Before Profit share the disappointment of people with the failure of politicians to bring change. Austerity continues to be enforced and basic rights are still being denied. Stormont has continually failed to deliver for people. We need a radically different approach to politics here."
“Whilst we are critical of both sides at Stormont, People Before Profit do not draw equivalence in this crisis. It was the corruption of the DUP that collapsed the Assembly. And it is their refusal to recognise basic equality that is holding things back. Now, they are propping up a weak Tory government. They have let their voters down."
“Nor do we agree with those who call on Sinn Féin to drop their support for the Irish language simply to create an executive. Irish speakers have waited long enough for basic rights. They are not a bargaining chip. Anything less than a fully funded, standalone, Irish Language Act will be considered a sell-out, and rightly so."
“However, we would go further than this. PBP believes that the equality agenda is meaningless unless it means equality for all. That means demanding the right to choose, as well as rights for Gaeilgeoirí and LGBT community."
“And economic inequality must be tackled too. The previous SF/DUP Executive was wedded to a Thatcherite agenda of cuts and low taxes for corporations. No executive should be formed if it is simply going to continue to enact such austerity. Why do the Tories dirty work for them?"
“If politicians manage to make progress for people then good. But we should not rely on them. PBP is not for a deal for the sake of a deal. We are for real change for people, not for protecting institutions at all costs. PBP support the idea of cutting the wages of MLAs. There is evident public support for this. As an MLA, I only take an average workers wage. I am not in politics for money."
“We firmly believe the real alternative to this mess is people power. And the evidence is there to see. For example, more has been done to advance the cause of the Irish language in the last year through street protests than ten years of Stormont ever did."
“When cuts to youth services were announced earlier this year, it was mobilisations in the streets that stopped them. And recent proposals for cuts to the health service have been seriously curtailed because of protest action and anger from the public."
“The Tory/DUP government is intent on imposing wide scale austerity on ordinary people. But they are an extremely weak coalition. While the DUP are propping up the Tories in London, what is to be gained from propping up the DUP at Stormont? We need resistance to the Tory/DUP government, not collaboration with them."
“Instead of creating an executive for the sake of an executive, priority should be given to bringing to the coalition of chaos down. In that scenario real change for ordinary people becomes possible."
“Deal or no deal, people power is the alternative."