THE WORKERS' PARTY OF IRELAND

Workers' Party New Year Statement

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The Workers Party extends warmest greetings to all its members, friends and supporters in Ireland and abroad.

2013 will be another difficult year for the working class in Ireland and internationally.

Despite the Irish Government assuming the Presidency of the EU there is little prospect of any meaningful change from the Fine Gael / Labour Party coalition government. They will continue with the punitive measures which the working class must endure to bail out capitalism. Social and economic conditions for the working class will continue to worsen. In Northern Ireland sectarian division remains at the heart of society and the NI Executive at Stormont is increasingly detached from and irrelevant to the lives of working people. Internationally the forces of Imperialism and Capitalism continue to consolidate their world positions through war and terror most notably in the Middle East where the situation remains precarious.

It is also clear that so-called social democratic and left-of-centre parties and oppositions have failed to provide any real challenge or alternative to the capitalist system. We need only remind ourselves of the Labour Party’s slogan before the General Election when it proclaimed that it would be “Labour’s Way or Frankfurt’s Way”. There is little hope either that any possible future change of government will result in any meaningful change for the working class. All opposition parties will say just enough to be appear radical in order to win power. But once in power history shows that election pledges are quickly forgotten. In any event none of the opposition parties are willing to challenge the fundamental character of our economic system, capitalism.

Only the Workers’ Party offers any hope for the working class that real change is possible.

It is only the Workers’ Party that offers a Socialist Alternative.

Our economic programme is one which controls the economy in the interests of society and not private profit. It is a programme which places the State and democratic control of the central organs of the economy at the service of the people. It is a programme which not only regulates the private sector and the banks and financial institutions but places them under democratic control. It enables the state and the public sector to be the engine of economic recovery and growth, to create jobs, first class public services and control of our huge natural resources.

We do not accept the narrative that there is no alternative or that as a country we do not have the means to secure our own economic future.

The reality is that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer.

Ireland as a country has great wealth both in terms of our natural resources and industrial output.

The problem is that both that wealth and our economic future are determined not by the will of the people but by the EU and other international instruments of capitalism.

The challenge for 2013 is to build a strong and vibrant Workers Party as the only means of advancing the interests of the working class.

That means growing and developing our membership base, extending the presence and influence of the Party in every aspect of life and society. Above all The Party must be to the fore of the struggle against all the punitive measures imposed on the working class, leading the fight-back and presenting the socialist alternative.

Specifically we propose the following concrete measures as a means of addressing the economic crisis facing the working class,

         Repudiate the Debt

         Change the Tax system to make those individuals and corporations who avoid paying tax to do so.

         Develop our natural resources in the National Interest.

         Use the successful state and semi state companies as the engine of economic growth and job creation.

         Develop a mass campaign of opposition to the austerity measures, focussing on the maximum co-operation of all left and progressive forces.

In Northern Ireland events in the last months of 2012 demonstrate what The Workers Party have stated many times since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Whilst much progress has been made NI society remains institutionally sectarian and much of the underlying causes of sectarian conflict remain unaltered. In particular it is clear the NI Executive at Stormont offers no hope of change for the working class. Unemployment, particularly amongst young people, savage cuts to the welfare system and a huge housing crisis go largely unaddressed. If the creation of a new Northern Ireland is to be realised it can only come about with the dismantling of the sectarian structures of that society and the replacement of unionism and nationalism as the dominant political practices. Both have failed the working class.

Internationally, the Workers’ Party reaffirms our strong solidarity with the Palestinian people and support their struggle for a truly independent Palestinian state.  Whilst realising the limitations of Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union for the first half of 2013, the Workers’ Party calls on the Irish government to use its position in particular to demand an end to the United States embargo against Cuba, to call internationally for the release of the Cuban Five and to replace the EU’s Common Position with a bilateral agreement between Ireland and Cuba.

In conclusion 2013 presents our party  with as many challenges as previous years.

Let 2013 be the year when we determine to build the Workers Party as the vehicle for the emancipation of the working class.

 

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics