Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Who can fill the political vacuum

By Peter Hadden

THE NORTHERN Ireland European election results have placed a huge question mark over the long term future of the Assembly. The crestfallen faces of DUP supporters at the count said all that needed to be said about the impact of the vote for Jim Allister and his Traditional Unionist Voice.

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Norther Ireland: United Against Racist Attacks

In the past week, the Socialist Party in Northern Ireland has been central to protests organised in opposition to a spate of racist attacks on Romanian families living in Belfast. Over 20 families were forced from their homes in vicious attacks in which stones and planks of wood were used.

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NI: Visteon occupation – Action gets results

By Peter Hadden

THE WORKERS at Visteon – through their month long occupation of their factory – have written an important chapter in the history of the labour movement in Northern Ireland.

Had they done as was demanded of them and meekly left the factory when administrators arrived to take it over they would have walked away with their basic state entitlements and nothing more.

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Northern Ireland – Returning to sectarian conflict?

By Gary Mulcahy

THE AFTERMATH of the recent killings of two soldiers at Massereene barracks in Antrim and of a PSNI officer in Lurgan in March has demonstrated the fragility of the peace process.

In recent years, the various dissident republican groups have made many attempts at killing a PSNI officer. Even with high levels of State infiltration, it was only a matter of time before one of the dissident groups succeeded. The original aim of killing a PSNI officer was to undermine attempts by Sinn Fein to encourage Catholics to join the PSNI. Hence, most of the early attacks were on Catholics who had joined the police. But the strategy of the dissidents has broadened further than just attempting to intimidate Catholics and stop them from supporting the police.

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NI: Visteon workers battle for jobs

Visteon/ Ford workers in Belfast, Basildon and Enfield have taken the lead in the struggle to save jobs. In Belfast the response of the workforce to the news that the factory was to shut, and to the attempt by administrators to remove them from the premises, was to occupy the plant. PETER HADDEN reports

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NI: Unions must fight every job loss & wage cut

By Gary Mulcahy

THE JOBS massacre spreading across Northern Ireland and Britain is devastating entire towns and communities. Unemployment in the North has surged by 62% in the past year. At least 1,000 jobs are expected to be lost every month this year, which would bring the number of officially unemployed above 52,000.

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NI Learning from the history of the Troubles

By Ciaran Mulholland

THE CONSULTATIVE Group on the Past, or Eames-Bradley group, has published its report on the Troubles. Lord Eames, one of the report’s authors, says it is time for a “final step out of the conflict by dealing with the legacy of the past.” The problem is that this report does anything but deal with the actual legacy of the past.

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NI: Workers unity needed to defend jobs

By Kevin Henry

THE RECENT comments by the Northern Ireland Minister for the Environment Sammy Wilson, “that preference should be given to people from Northern Ireland” when employers are advertising jobs shows the complete inability of local politicians to deal with current economic crisis.

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NI: Fight the health cuts

Hands off our health service

By Pat Lawlor, health worker RVH Belfast

IN 2007, the Northern Ireland Executive introduced its Programme for Government for health. It was heralded as a means to enhance the health and well-being of the people of Northern Ireland into the next decade.

It has become obvious to all that this was a lie, as cuts, closures and job losses are now being implemented across the health service. All the political parties in the NI Executive have agreed to carry out £700 million cuts in health.

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NI: Unison expel Pat Lawlor

By Peter Hadden

An attack on all Unison members

THE RIGHT wing leadership of Unison has gone ahead with the expulsion of RVH nursing convenor, Pat Lawlor (right), from the union.

The grounds given to justify this expulsion were that Pat, who is a member of the Socialist Party, sent an email giving support to striking Classroom Assistants and criticising the failure of the Unison leadership to back that strike.

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