The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Greens Endorse McCann:

John Barry outlines six reasons to support the SEA Candidates
A statement by the Green Party leadership in Northern Ireland

Election Coverage

Dr John Barry and Kelly Andrews, Co-leaders of the Green Party • 28 April 2005

There is a media frenzy around the Westminster contest between Sinn Fein and the SDLP in Foyle. Fever pitch speculation will accompany the contest right up to polling day. Media pundits can't do enough to talk up the significance of Durkan's imminent demise or McLaughlin's arrival at the top of the greasy poll. This much is true...

And the pubs are heaving with anticipation, as voters in Derry look forward to the election count, confident in the knowledge that the city will never be the same again after 5 May. Jobs will flow. We'll be able to pick and choose our favorite arms companies. The city will be reclaimed from second rate developers committed to turning our historic city into a clone of every English high street. And young people will once again be inspired by the leadership, ethics and sense of purpose they witness in public life. Council members will actually follow up decisions and follow them through to implementation, side by side with highly motivated Derry City Council officers. This much we know is far from the truth...

The only certainty following next week's contest between Irish Republicanism/Nationalism and Irish Nationalism Lite is that little will change. Local politicians will continue to take credit for what goes right; and blame distant civil servants exclusively for all that goes wrong.

Eamonn McCann and his colleages in the SEA provide an opportunity for local voters to say enough is's time, yes, to call civil servants to account but also to ask searching questions about the performance of our local political class who have overseen Derry's descent into a malaise of economic under performance, endless nonsense about 'economic taskforces', and incredible aspirations for a tourism boom in a city where local residents think twice about walking across the city centre in the evenings. And all this in the midst of a continuing crisis of alcohol abuse, fuelled in part by greedy local publicans who serve up another alcopop with one hand and glad hand another local politician with the other.

There are at least six reasons for demonstrating support for McCann:

  • Eamonn McCann has been a consistent and incisive critic of the so called 'peace process'. He has correctly identified its flaws; and chief among these is the entrenchment of parallel 'loyalty schemes' for nationalists and unionists, which are supposed to pass for politics. Derry will witness the transformative potential of these loyalty schemes after the elections i.e. business as usual.
  • Eamonn McCann makes no distinction between nationalist, unionist and dissenter in his appeal to justice, empowerment and people-led change for the better, including the protection of workers and our environment. Like the Greens, he cherishes a republican vision that is stripped of any hint of enclosure in sectarian or nationalist insularity.
  • While other party leaders in the North equivocated on George Bush and Tony Blair's decision to use the local 'peace process' and its champions as a backdrop to their decision to wage an illegal war on Iraq and commit an act of vandalism against international law, Eamonn McCann and the SEA spoke truth to power. McCann, as always, described the Hillsborough debacle for what it was.
  • While Derry City Council, the SDLP and Sinn Fein have given the appearance of rejecting the city's association with the international arms trade (Raytheon), McCann and his colleagues can be trusted to adopt a consistent, honest and transparent approach. They can be trusted to honour Derry's association with civil and human rights, by ensuring that the city's workers are never again forced to choose between little or no work, or work that contributes to imperial ambitions that snuff out the lives of children, mothers and fathers in distant lands. With the SEA working within the City Council, citizens will not have to resort to Freedom of Information legislation to find out what local councillors are really saying to waste incineration consultants and arms traders.
  • On water rates, there is a great deal of dishonesty from political parties who were part of the Northern Ireland Executive and the Assembly. MLAs, including Durkan, who now talk about resisting additional water charges allowed the British Treasury to run rings around them in negotiations on strategic investment here. McCann will see Gordon Brown coming before he has left Number 11 because he understands New Labour and class politics - two very different things.
  • Finally, a vote for Eamonn McCann will send a powerful message across this island. It will tell the SDLP and their new found friends such as Ray Burke of Fianna Fail that politics is not and must not be reduced to party politics. Politics is for and about everyone. It will tell Sinn Fein that they have no legitimate claim on republicanism in Ireland. A vote for McCann will count.
    Note to Editor: It is understood that a Ray Burke will not be released from prison in time to support Mark Durkan's bid for the Foyle seat.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

2 May 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

Daily Ireland: It's Not Over til It's Over
Mick Hall

Education Cuts
Sean Smyth

Rate My Teachers Blocked
Michael Hussey

* Election Coverage *

Greens Endorse McCann
John Barry and Kelly Andrews, Greens

Young People Are Not the Problem
Tish Murray Campaign Press Release

Liam Kennedy and West Belfast
Anthony McIntyre

Coulter's Choice
Dr John Coulter

Send Mitchel to London
Brian Mór

Flashback: A Coversation with Lindsay Whitcroft
Anthony McIntyre

29 April 2005

I Believe
Eamon Sweeney

Behaving Justly
Anthony McIntyre

Stop the Cover Up -- Give Us Peace
Kathleen Coyle

Justice Needs Done
Damien Okado-Gough

More Than Politics to NI Process
David Adams

Jude the Obscure Republican
Anthony McIntyre

Shared Ultra Conservatism
Dr John Coulter

* More Election Coverage *

Europe and the General Election
John O'Farrell




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