Stormont Must Go

Below is the transcript of a speech by Dee Fennell at City Hall following a rally on Friday night organised by PBP. It was forwarded to TPQ by Saoradh.

Since the creation of the sectarian Six County statelet, and the undemocratic imposition of partition upon the Irish people, the Republican analysis has consistently been that it is a failed political project that serves solely British interests. British occupation resulting in Partition, and by extension the Six County statelet, is detrimental for all the Irish people and ensures a perpetual denial of Irish sovereignty and national self-determination.

As Britain sought to protect her interests while occupying Ireland, the form of governance changed as necessary. A "protestant parliament for a protestant people" was allowed to reduce Irish citizens to the status of sub-human for decades. This parliament was dissolved only through radical action on the streets, coupled with direct revolutionary activity by Republicans. A system of Direct Rule was then imposed, removing whatever semblance of "devolution" that Unionist governance had, and overtly demonstrated that Britain was in charge.

As a result of the Good Friday Agreement, Direct Rule ended and a coalition of liberal unionism, reactionary unionists and constitutional nationalists, including some masquerading as Republicans, subsequently administered British Rule on Westminster's behalf. This arrangement continues today, though the British ministers are now solely from two austerity parties - DUP and Sinn Féin.

Since 2007 these parties, along with the SDLP, UUP - and Alliance until the last election - have taken the lead in a pro-austerity coalition that has resulted in a "capitalist parliament for capitalist parties." Their list of failures and poverty process policies are damning, with their only defence being that it is "better than the bad old days".

But is it really? There are currently more people unemployed than at the time of the second IRA ceasefire in 1997. Unemployment figures are also masked by people being forced to attend degrading work for benefit programmes that offer no hope of a job, but give the appearance of reduced benefit claimants. Benefits recipients find themselves having their money reduced, as many decide whether to heat their homes or feed their children.

These children, in areas right across the Six Counties, live in the most deprived and marginalised communities in Europe. DUP and SF strongholds in Belfast, Derry and other areas have been abandoned economically and politically.

The Scottish politician Mhairi Black recently highlighted the fact that food banks are not part of the welfare system, they are a demonstration of the failures of the welfare system. If you'd have asked someone in Belfast ten years ago what a food bank was, you would have been greeted with a blank stare, now they are in most communities and increasing all the time. This increase is matched by the rise of homelessness, with 14,000 documented people forced to either avail of hostel accommodation, on the streets or elsewhere - rather than live in a place they can call home.

One of the saddest manifestations of the poverty process is the continuing rise in incidences of people taking their own lives. It is not a coincidence that the high rated areas of social and economic deprivation are also the hardest hit by suicide. More people have taken their own lives since the GFA than in the conflict referred to as The Troubles.

At the same time as all the above, SF and DUP have overseen their own private wealth accumulation process. A cursory glance at the declared interest register at Stormont or Westminster will see mass property portfolios, consultancy roles, business interests. Until recently many had two salaries from politics, while some continue to double job via "community" roles. While many of our children remain hungry all day until the school bell heralds their free lunch entitlement, Martin McGuinness flies business class to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Red Sky provided members of the unionist political classes and their associates with further wealth and privilege. NAMA has resulted in further accumulation of wealth for all the political classes, in both failed partitionist states. The incorrectly named Social Investment Fund has instead invested in DUP and SF endorsed projects that will tighten their grip on communities, rather than help the working class communities they purport to represent. All of the above were subject to Stormont Committee investigations, or shortly will be. When the paper accountability exercises were concluded, those who were supposed to fear them laughed at the findings and continued on their merry way to the bank.

We now have a new scandal. A renewable heating scheme that enabled Ferraris and empty sheds to be heated, while metres away from here there will be people sleeping in doorways tonight. A scheme that the political classes and their associates again used, and continue to use, in order to generate personal wealth at our expense. Less than a mile away, working class communities are tearing themselves apart due to poverty.

Crime, unemployment, suicide, starvation, poverty, cold, death. The threat can no longer be a return to the bad old days, because we are already in the bad days. Arlene must go. Martin must go. But so too should their beloved institutions that also house PBP, the Greens, Alliance, the SDLP and UUP. They all must go. Because saying Stormont isnt working anymore isnt the answer. Stormont Must Go should be our slogan.

No longer should British Rule be imposed on us here in the Six Counties. And no longer should it be implemented under the pretence that it is somehow better for us if carried out through a corrupt system that exists to benefit those who belong to, or support, the political establishment parties. It is corrupt on a par with Haughey, and the failed gombeens of the other failed political entity in our country.

Saoradh, as a revolutionary republican organisation, reiterate our belief in a 32 county socialist republic. We call on other Republicans and Progressives, including those who purport to be the Irish Left and others claiming to represent the interests of the working class, to join with us as we build a grassroots movement that will help campaign to this end and make freedom a reality.

Beirigí bua


  1. Hilarious, I recall challenging them on their FB page regarding using the opposition parties as part of their blind opportunism and got my comment removed and blocked from the page as a result of it. By censoring the views of others and not wanting to be accountable for the things they say, those in Saoradh may not realize it yet, but they already have the makings of those they claim to despise. They just haven't been bought yet.

  2. Just like Bertie Ahern should not be permitted back on the scene in the 26 counties at present, Stormont should never have been allowed back into existence in the 6 counties. A rubber stamp irrelevance manned by irrelevant self servers.

  3. All mouth no trousers. Are they the Societies in disguise?

  4. It is hardly a new trick of the British to appear to hand over a piece of territory to tribal puppets on the pretense of "self-government" - they did this across the mid-east and india and have now done it in the six counties - PSF you get your fiefdom, DUP you get yours and lo and behold the puppets become the most ardent and willing proxies. As Larry said, Stormont should never have been allowed back.

  5. First of all, well said Dee Fennell, because irrespective of what the detractors say, you're out there under your own name and the last time I looked trousers intact?
    Political disagreement is one thing, however sniping under a grudge agenda is something quite different.

    Since it's inception Saoradh has attracted more antagonism than most newly formed parties. Sinn Fein, SDLP, Unionists and those who chose to remain nameless (for whatever reason) under pseudonyms seem perturbed by its formation.
    Why is that? For years we have listened to those who claim political dissenters don't have a voice, we have also listened to those who claim political dissent is a crime.
    Then, and quite bizarrely when a face and a voice is put to the politics of dissent they are queuing up to trash it.

    Personally as a member of Saoradh none of this phases me either way. However, if anyone thinks that attacking constitutional nationalism and holding them to account is political opportunism ( which Adams also claims from the naughty step in the Dail ) then maybe they should steer clear of serious political sites.

  6. Fionnuala Perry

    Giants Causeway, Red Sky, NAMA, CASH FOR ASH, what is going on. The loyalty of the DUP to the fleecing of the public funds is so exposed the only people who think it is OK are DUP/SF. The shinners are again riding two horses at the one time. Attacking Arlene but trying to make sure she isn't hurt at the same time. There was supposed to be a SF spy ring at Stormont. What have they been spying on? They have missed all the a-fore mentioned and God knows what else! Maybe that's why Denis Donaldson was outed and shot, he was getting close to the collective corruption going on daily. SF are gutless and nothing but Uncle Tom photo op wasters. Good for Saorah. I have a feeling yourselves if organised properly and Jim Alister are set to make serious inroads. The 'big shots'are so criminally and shamelessly rotten it is indeed time for a CHANGE. I don't see any romantic move to the Alliance or non tribal politics, just a move away from tried and tested scoundrels in cahoots. Let me know if you need some canvassers. I could do with a day or two out.

  7. I'd assume that was directed at me Fionnuala? Would appreciate if you just directed me by name rather than some vague, cryptic post. I am no supporter of SF or the SDLP either.

  8. Very good speech. That's putting it up to the left and I totally agree that it is time Republicans, Progressives and left discuss some type of broad front. As for Saoradh I don't know what structures they have but I hope that it is based on democracy and free speech. As for Facebook well my experience is can be nasty and false.

    And as for Sinn Fein this quote by Martin McGuinness in the Belfast Telegrah Fri sums it up.

    “I outlined my serious concern that the credibility of the political institutions is being undermined by the serious and ongoing allegations surrounding the design, operation, abuse and ending of the Renewable Heating Incentive Scheme"

  9. James Quigley

    Then Martin McGuinness goes and saves the day for Arlene today. Wonderful.

  10. Don't get me wrong, Saoradh have a right to their opinions and whatnot, I was just airing my views on it and disagree with the notion of armed struggle in today's context. I am a supporter of PBP personally and I think the trashing SF got in the May elections in West Belfast there is an encouraging sign that times are slowly changing. It'll just take a while to get there before we see it.

  11. Fionnuala Perry,

    T'was more a lament that the entire speech by Mr Fennell stayed true to type and offered no alternative to the status quo.

    Much like the Societies in fact.

  12. Larry
    I seriously hope that Saoradh provides an viable alternative voice. The party is still relatively new, however there is a strong structure in place and hopefully we justify people's faith by building around that.
    Got your name down for a prospective canvasser in North Belfast.

    PS I the comment wasn't directed entirely at you, as I stated, they were queuing up with scathing commentary, thankfully though the positive feedback did and continues to outweigh the negative.

    I can't answer for your Facebook experience, I should imagine however there has to be a degree of discretion in place or at the very Least a comment awaiting the administrators yes or no process.
    I have read some pretty destructive crap that was posted and I would say, it is not undemocratic to remove unbalanced claims that have no credence or substance.
    Harldly mimicking Sinn Fein, they don't allow such comments when they allow comments at all??

  13. Stevie R,
    I heard alternatives to the status quo all my life the only problem was, those alternatives came from those now in working the status quo.
    Was there an alternative, of course there was. People did not die on the streets or in the prisons for a reformed Stormont or an agreed Ireland that includes a devolved British administaration here in the North!!

    The fact that we remain colonised and ruled from Westminster does not mean Republicans now shut up shop and go home, otherwise what was it all for.
    Any person has the right to challenge a corrupt government and call for it's abolition, here in the North it usually spells a term of imprisonment for the caller, but Republicans now view that as part and parcel.

    The Republican alternative remains what it always was, and that it is the call for British withdrawal.

  14. PSI
    I agree within anyone's right to air their views. I might not agree with the views, but I'll agree with the right to express them.

    Austerity has shaken people to the core. In West Belfast especially, there is a realisation that the former revolutionaries they voted and once housed and fed and clothed have now departed so far from their former base they are barely recognisable.

    As a member of Saoradh I don't see myself as merely a member of a new party. I consider myself as being part of an unbroken Republican lineage and for me it was a returning home.

  15. Fionnuala Perry

    You are not looking as out of kilter as many of us may have though you to be up until to now post 1998.

  16. Fionnuala Perry,

    And that is still nothing more than a commentary on the status quo.

    Where is your strategy to get rid of the said State? How do you convince enough people that your alternative is better? Especially when the vast majority of both Catholics and Protestant got utterly sick of the past and are prepared to work with the devolved Government?

    The aspiration for a Republic is a perfectly valid one but not one that is a panacea for all societal ills, I mean, what's the mechanism for dealing with those pesky million or so people who oppose you in the NE of Ireland?

    There are plenty of questions to be answered by Saoradh, perhaps you can address these first?