Sunday, 27 February 2011

Drivers of Change

Sinn Féin are the drivers for
change across the island

Hundreds of Sinn Féin activists from across the nine counties
of Ulster gathered for the Annual General Meeting of Cúige
Uladh on January 22 to discuss the political situation. The
keynote speaker was Assembly member John o’Dowd.
Addressing delegates, Mr o’Dowd said: “This year we mark with
pride the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike. We remember the
struggle within Armagh Jail and the H Blocks. in doing so we should
not only honour the men and women of that era – we should also expose
a new generation to the principles of republicanism.
“But republicanism is not a spectator sport – we are not a historical
society, or a debating society.
“The most appropriate form of commemoration is to continue and
complete the task of comrades who have sacrificed everything in pursuit
of an idea, a belief that ireland can be united, independent and free.
“We are the drivers for change across the island of ireland.
“The calling of the elections in the 26 counties can be directly traced
to one thing – to Sinn Féin’s refusal to be diverted away from the task
of challenging the failures of the Fianna Fái/Green government.
“Pearse Doherty’s historic victory set the events in motion. This victory
did not come about by chance. it came about because the party in
Donegal made it happen. They worked over many years to build a base,
they made themselves relevant to the people, they showed leadership to
the people and only then the people of Donegal endorsed them.
Elections North and South
“The election in the 26 counties has been called for February 25. The
elections in the north to the Assembly will be on May 5, with Council
election most likely on the same day.
“These elections across ireland over the next three months could define
a generation; each republican has an individual responsibility in the
next few months to reshape the political conditions on this island.
“Sinn Féin will be fielding literally hundreds of candidates across ireland
and will be offering the alternative that many citizens seek.
“We offer credible alternatives to Tory polices regardless of which side
of the border they are delivered.
“We have produced economic polices which offer credible alternatives
to the Fianna Fáil/Green government, and to the simplistic economic
dogma which told us we just had to accept the British Tory budget.
“Sinn Féin refused to simply play along with the partionist economic
philosophy being enthusiastically broadcast by Unionist politicians and
the SDLP.
“We led the way in producing economic proposals – in showing there
was an alternative to the British government’s agenda.
Economic control must be transferred to Ireland
“The draft budget produced by the Executive in the Six Counties in
December is not ideal. it is not what we as republicans ultimately aspire
to achieve. However, by seeing alternative sources of revenue, it has
the potential to be £1.6bn better than if Sinn Féin had simply taken the
advice of the so called economically literate and laid down.
“We demand the return of fiscal powers across ireland – the people
of ireland have the right to be masters of their own economic destiny.
“in the Six Counties the economic powers are held by Britain and in
the 26 counties they are held by the iMF. We demand them back.
“The election campaigns, north and south, have begun.
“The task for republicans is to go out to work harder than we ever
have, to be more creative than we ever have, and to make ourselves relevant
to the people of ireland to make these elections the elections which
define a generation of politics.”
Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly

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