Stormont Assembly elections and People Before Profit

Gerry Carroll won a massive victory in West Belfast

Gerry Carroll won a massive victory in West Belfast

The piece below is taken from a facebook commentary here.

Well done to People Before Profit capturing seats in West Belfast and Foyle. I don’t think anyone can doubt the sincerity of Eamonn McCann and Gerry Carroll and their solid record on a range of issues including, in Eamonn’s case, the rights of prisoners, such as around the Marian Price case.

Gerry Carroll’s result, topping the poll in what has long been the Provos’ strongest area, is especially impressive.

And what a shot across the bows of New Sinn Fein this is. So much for the invincibility of their hold on West Belfast. And so much for the invincibility of the Adams strategy.

It’s also good because it shows there is a significant space to the left of the NSF constitutional nationalists. NSF may be able to take over part of the old Stoop Down Low Party vote – namely, by becoming the new stoop-down-low party! – but they are now hemorrhaging support from the old republican base.

Having said this, People Before Profit, if they are serious about fundamental social change, need to start calling for British troops out, the shutting of the MI5 base in the north, and start talking about the working class and socialism, and expropriating the corporations rather than this reformist nonsense of getting them to “pay their fair share of taxes” and dump this classless “people, community and the environment” stuff – they sound way too much like the Greens and way too little like anti-capitalist revolutionaries. If you really stand for socialism comrades, have the frigging gumption to say so, instead of peddling left-Keynesianism to the working class.

I think the result also shows the need for socialist-republicans to put old outdated differences aside and start thinking seriously about socialist-republican unity. There is an urgent need for socialist-republicans – ie the people who are not afraid to talk about the working class and socialism – to sit around the table and put the interests of the struggle first by co-ordinated joint work with the aim of testing out the possibilities of merger.

A socialist-republican *party* – one committed to seeing off the Brits, EU and US imperialism and the capitalist system itself – is an urgent necessity. This election shows the space for a real revolutionary party exists.

And let’s not forget that close to half the electorate didn’t turn out, they’re so alienated by the political farce that is Stormont. Well done to them too, because their decision not to vote is every bit as valid as, and every bit as much a rejection of Stormont, if not more so than, those who voted PBP.


Posted on May 8, 2016, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Elections, Irish politics today, six counties. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. glad to see a call for a united republican movement, focussing on what all republicans say they want

  2. I’ve been banging away on this theme ever since the blog started (and before). There have been a few times folks have worked together, but not often. I know it’s not easy, there are all kinds of real obstacles. But are there serious attempts to find common ground? Surely the differences between socialist-republicans today aren’t any wider than those between Connolly/ICA and the more left elements of the IRB of his era?

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