Colm Bryce (Derry City Council candidate for Northland ward) and Eamonn McCann (Assembly candidate for Foyle)
Colm Bryce, the People Before Profit candidate for Derry City Council's Northland ward, took part in a debate with candidates from other parties on Radio Foyle's Mark Patterson show on Tuesday 26th April 2011. He spoke on aspects of the PBP Council Manifesto, including the abolition of Ilex, greater democracy in the Council, and the City of Derry Airport. He also put pressure on current councillors to explain their support for the salary of the Chief Executive of the Council. You can now listen to the debate now on BBC iPlayer. The debate starts about 30 minutes into the programme.
There was a section about People Before Profit on last night's BBB Hearts and Minds programme. You can see it here:
Candidates: Connor Kelly (Council: Cityside), Davy McAuley (Council: Waterside), Diane Greer (Council: Waterside Rural), Eamonn McCann (Assembly: Foyle), Colm Bryce (Council: Northland)
We appeal directly to Protestant voters to seriously consider voting for People Before Profit this time.
The neglect in Protestant working-class areas is there to be seen walking around the streets. During canvassing, it was made abundantly clear how discontented many people are at the way they have been represented and how little has been done to improve their lives.
The housing conditions of some families in Protestant working-class areas are dire. Many in this situation find it impossible to get social housing and at the same time haven’t the resources to get on the property ladder.
Little effort is made to maintain the areas or provide adequate facilities for the elderly or the young. At the same time, unemployment and job insecurity are on the rise.
Protestant areas in Victoria Ward - Newbuildings comes to mind – are rocketing up the league tables nobody wants to be top of - every measurement of deprivation, poor health, fuel poverty, child poverty, benefit dependency, etc.
But there isn’t as much shouting about it as in Catholic areas.
When the economic disadvantage of West of the Bann is discussed in political circles it is usually on an implicit assumption that we are talking about Catholic disadvantage. Almost invariably, it is Nationalist politicians who raise the issue. Protestant deprivation is neglected. The Democratic Unionist Party usually sings dumb.
The DUP has dominated the politics of the Protestant people through the life-time of the last Assembly. Many of the party’s top brass have two well-paid jobs and a double dip into expenses. They say their mission is to defend the interests of the Protestant community. But what have they given in return to the ordinary people who lifted them into power? Next to nothing. I have said and repeat that from the point of view of their working-class constituents, the DUP is useless. A different way forward is needed.
The programme of People Before Profit tries to represent the interests of people in the bottom half of society, irrespective of the community they come from. We will fight all the way for everybody who is being left behind in this society. We would register at Stormont not as Unionist or Nationalist but as “Other”.
Nobody in Northern Ireland can be denied their sense of identity or loyalty to their community. But this doesn’t have to be the only aspect of life dictating our politics. The actual conditions we live in and what is proposed to improve them should be the decisive factor.
If People Before Profit takes a seat in Foyle on May 5th - and we believe we can - it will send a tremor across the North. It will make it clear that it’s not necessary to be a champion for one community only in order to win support. We think this would mark a real advance for working-class people generally. On this basis, we ask voters, whether they be Protestant, Catholic or anything else, for their endorsement.
People Before Profit Alliance
THE PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT ALLIANCE today launched its Council election manifesto. The main demand of its manifesto is the abolition of ILEX, the urban regeneration company, in favour of more democratic control of the future of the City.
Bernadette McAliskey has put up an election broadcast video on Youtube. She herself is voting People Before Profit, and asks everyone else to vote for People Before Profit candidates where they are available, and for progressive independents elsewhere.