Sunday, 19 August 2012

Unemployment rises as Stormont politicians squabble over new road signs

Northern Ireland unemployment figures rise again as our local sectarian politicians engage in petty point-scoring over the latest hot potato that dominates the political discourse. Latest figures have revealed that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in July was 63,200, an increase of 400 with this figure being the second highest among the 12 UK regions. The NI rate now stands at 7.6% with that figure rising again once you include the fact that over 20% of the population our classed as ‘economically in-active’- the highest in the UK.

At least 12 ‘Welcome to Northern Ireland’ signs have been erected across the border counties by the road service acting under instruction from UUP Stormont minster Danny Kennedy, with many being removed by locals within hours.
Sinn Fein Assembly member Phil Flanagan called on the UUP man to order the removal of the remaining signs “as soon as possible”.
“The erection of these signs has angered many living in border communities who suffer the negative impact of partition on a daily basis and a large proportion of them are completely opposed to the unnatural division of Ireland,” Mr Flanagan said.
Quite ironic coming from Sinn Fein, who actively participate in the structures of the state including endorsing its monopoly over violence and the selective internment of dissenting republicans such as Marian Price and Martin Corey.
We should not be surprised by this latest distraction that passes for so-called politics in the North in an era of growing unemployment, poverty and general cuts in living standard. Our local Stormont is nothing more than a useless talking shop that is actively pulling the strings of their Tory masters from Westminster. We need to organise against this programme of austerity because the alternative is just more for the small wealthy elite and less for the rest of us.