5 March 2009 Edition
Another View by Eoin Ó Broin
An ‘Alliance for Change’
IT IS TIME for a politics of hope and purpose. It is time for a politics of change.
For today people need concrete proposals for economic and social recovery; for tomorrow, they need a vision for political and economic transformation.
In his Ard Fheis speech, Gerry Adams set out Sinn Féin’s stall. He said, “Our society needs core values based on social justice, fairness, equality and decency.” He said, “There can be an egalitarian alternative to the politics of greed, inefficiency, waste and corruption.”
Crucially, he said, “I believe the time is right for a new alliance of all people and parties that want real and fundamental change.”
In the South, this new alliance should involve Sinn Féin, Labour, the Greens, progressive independents, the trade union movement, the community and voluntary sector and all those individuals and organisations who believe that a better Ireland is possible.
However, such an alliance will not happen unless people take the decision to make it happen and invest the resources to match. Political will and effort – from Sinn Féin and others – will determine whether Gerry’s Ard Fheis words are to become reality.
In the North, while the conditions are different, there is also a need for a new alliance for change. A stable and functioning Executive is vital if the promise of the Belfast Agreement is to be achieved. But there are opponents of change sitting at the Executive table.
The possibility of social, economic and political transformation is determined not only by what Stormont ministers do but also by what support they have in society.
A new alliance for change in the North, made up of trade unions, community and voluntary organisations and other progressive individuals and groups could act as a social guarantee for those aspects of the Belfast Agreement and Programme for Government that aim to build a more equal and democratic society.
This new alliance for change could also provide the space, North and South, for a national conversation about the kind Ireland we want to construct and how we intend to build it.
The aspiration for real and meaningful change belongs to no one political party. The 120,000 people who marched through the streets of Dublin on 22 February were from all parties and none, from all parts of the island and from many parts of the world.
They were marching in support of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions campaign There is a Better, Fairer Way. The campaign’s ten-point plan for national recovery provides a good starting point for the economic alternative that Ireland, North and South, desperately needs.
In the coming period, Sinn Féin will bring forward our own detailed proposals, the aim of which is to create a prosperous and equal Ireland.
As Gerry Adams said:
“Sinn Féin is ready to join with all of those who want real change and who recognise that the road to real change requires unity of purpose, of ideas and of energy.”
An Phoblacht Magazine
AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:
- The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
- It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
- There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.