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Local Politics

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Stormont budget: declaration of war on public services & working class people

Stormont’s return was always going to be on an incredibly weak basis. The fundamental issues at the heart of its suspension in 2022 have still not been resolved. Despite all the grand promises from the executive to solve the multiple crises in our society, including the crisis in healthcare, our public services, and the gender violence epidemic to name a few, the new woefully inadequate spending budget agreed by the main parties will mean only further misery for working-class people in the North.
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50 years since the UWC stoppage

May 2024 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) stoppage. This was a sectarian mobilisation which brought Northern Ireland to a standstill for two weeks, and forced the abandonment of the first attempt at power-sharing government here. It acts as a warning of the potential for sectarianism to infect and divide the workers’ movement in the absence of a fighting, socialist lead.
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Northern Irish capitalism: Misery and exploitation for workers and young people

Working class and young people have seen their wages eroded by an increasing cost-of-living, leading to a real downturn in standards of living. And the economy in the North seems to only be getting worse. Business insolvencies (effectively bankruptcies) in the last quarter of 2023 were 62% higher than in the previous year and were at the highest rate since the data series began in 1960.
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“Draped in keffiyehs and faux principles”: Sinn Féin shake hands with ‘Genocide Joe’

The political establishment have made it clear that they will happily visit ‘Genocide Joe’ Biden’s White House on St. Patrick’s Day, where the warmonger-in-chief will be presented with a bowl of shamrocks - even as thousands of working class people protest the US’ support of the genocide in Gaza. Could there be an act more sickeningly evocative of the political classes’ bootlicking of US imperialist power?
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#SaveOurShores: Nationalise Lough Neagh now!

This summer has seen a massive bloom of blue-green algae in waters all across the north. This has included Lough Neagh and the River Bann, North Coast bathing waters and lakes in Fermanagh. If you live in an area that has been affected by the blooms and you haven’t seen it you’re bound to have smelled it– a gassy smell which fills the air for days on end.
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Is the NHS Protected?

The 2023/24 budget does not make for cheerful reading. Further cuts on top of cuts will be detrimental to our public services and working-class people who rely upon them. If you are looking for a silver lining, you may be tempted to say “Well, at least we have our health!” And indeed, it is true - on the surface level alone - that the Department of Health is one of two departments to receive a slight increase in funding, at 0.5%. However, such numbers are incredibly misleading.