Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

North: Fight for genuinely integrated education

By Emma Ward This month sees the 40th anniversary of Lagan College, Northern Ireland’s first integrated school.  Opening their doors in September 1981 they welcomed just 28 students, under police presence and armed guards, to a small Scout hall.  Since then, their numbers have flourished to over 1,400 pupils and they are regularly oversubscribed. However, despite the success of the ...

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50 years since internment – what did Marxists say?

By Kevin Henry This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of Operation Demetrius and the start of internment without trial, introduced by the reactionary Unionist government at Stormont and the British state. This brutal repressive action saw hundreds of innocent, working-class people rounded up across Northern Ireland by the British army and jailed in a matter of days.  The ability to ...

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North: Poots victory ushers in a new period of instability

By Kevin Henry In the wake of Arlene Foster’s seemingly sudden resignation as DUP leader, Edwin Poots has narrowly defeated Jeffrey Donaldson in a leadership election, something unprecedented in the party’s history. Poots has indicated he intends to nominate Paul Givan as First Minister, rather than taking the position himself. There are now serious divisions within the party, as the ...

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Irish Sea border threatens political instability

By Daniel Waldron As part of the Brexit process, the Northern Ireland Protocol – which came into force on 1st January – has put a regulatory border down the Irish Sea, as the North remains aligned to the EU single market for goods. The level of disruption to supply chains has been more dramatic than most predicted. This may partially ...

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North: Unison members’ backlash – how should trade unionists respond?

One hundred and ten British Army medics have been deployed to Northern Ireland hospitals to assist with the Covid crisis, operating as regular NHS staff. In the aftermath of this announcement, many Unison members and branches reacted angrily to a statement issued by the leadership of their union, which they perceived to be in opposition to the use of army ...

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North: The way forward for hospitality workers

By Neil Moore, Regional Hospitality Organiser, Unite (personal capacity) January 2020 was a simpler time. Workers in the hospitality industry were infuriated at being classed as ‘unskilled’ by the Johnson government and deserving of low pay by the bosses. The trade bodies – representing the bosses – were celebrating a ‘bumper year’. Projected spending in restaurants was to reach £269m (a 10% ...

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Allied Bakeries strike: Workers rise to the challenge, bosses fold under pressure

By Neil Moore, Unite Hospitality Organiser (personal capacity) Bosses at Allied Bakeries have been forced to significantly improve their abysmal pay offer after powerful and decisive strike action by workers in Unite and the Bakers’ Union – BFAWU. The militancy and determination of the workforce has won them an above-inflation pay increase as opposed to real-term incomes falling, as would ...

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North- New Decade, Same Approach

by Daniel Waldron Almost exactly three years after its collapse in the wake of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal, the Northern Ireland Assembly reconvened on Saturday 11th January and elected a new Executive. This followed an agreement between the DUP, Sinn Féin and the British and Irish governments, entitled ‘New Decade, New Approach’. Speaking after talks with the party ...

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NI general election: Pacts and polarisation

In Britain, the Brexit crisis will be a key issue in the general election. However, there will also be a clear clash of broader political visions between the right-populism of Boris Johnson and the left, anti-austerity policies of Jeremy Corbyn. Class issues like poverty, housing, workers’ rights and the future of public services can also shape the outcome. Already, funding ...

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