Article from the Mar. 2005 issue of the Socialist
newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI
Socialist Party stands in May elections
Socialist challenge in Fermanagh
THE SOCIALIST Party have decided to challenge for a seat on Fermanagh District Council in the local elections on 5 May. Paul Dale, who is well known for his local campaigning work on job losses, cuts in public services, water charges and other issues, will be the party's candidate.
When local independent socialist Councillor, Davy Kettyles, who has held a seat on the Council for more than a decade, made a surprise announcement that he was stepping down, Paul was approached by many workers in Enniskillen to run.
Davy Kettyles has also endorsed Paul and will be urging those who voted for him to back Paul and ensure that there is still a socialist voice on the next Council.
Paul told The Socialist; "There is a need for a new political alternative, which speaks out for working class people, and refuses to take part in the failure of sectarian politics.
I am currently organising the We Won't Pay Campaign in Fermanagh, which is calling for mass non-payment of these hated water charges. The campaign is receiving great support from people. It is clear the politicians from the main parties have no idea what to do to stop these draconian charges.
A lot of local workers and community activists have agreed to help out in the election campaign. It will be a tough campaign, but we are determined that working class people in Enniskillen have a real choice in these elections."
Paul has in the past organised campaigns against the closure of the local cheese factory, organised trade union rallies against sectarian killings, played a central role in campaigning against the war on Iraq, organised packed meetings in support of term-time education workers and has highlighted the issue of low pay locally through the End Low Pay Campaign.
Paul is currently a member of the Civil Service Executive and the General Council of NIPSA. He is also a leading member of Fermanagh Trades Council. Paul is married with three children and works in the Ordnance Survey Department in Enniskillen.
Other Socialist Party candidates so far...
Jim Barbour, Belfast, Laganbank
JIM BARBOUR is standing for the Socialist Party in the Laganbank ward in Belfast.
Jim is a well-known trade union leader, representing Northern Ireland's firefighters on the Executive of the Fire Brigades Union. He has played a leading role in building the We Won't Pay Campaign in South Belfast, and successfully debated with Minister John Spellar against water charges on TV. He was also a very active participant in the movement against the war on Iraq and calls for the withdrawal of troops and for a socialist Iraq.
Jim has also constantly fought against the privatisation of public services, especially of education in South Belfast. Jim told The Socialist, " I believe the main sectarian parties have utterly failed working class people. They all united in the last Assembly Executive to privatise our education, our hospitals, and many other parts of our public services. I will be standing in the local elections in the Laganbank ward to give the people of South Belfast a fighting socialist alternative to their cul-de-sac politics."
Tommy Black, Belfast, Pottinger
TOMMY BLACK is standing for the Socialist Party in the Pottinger ward in Belfast.
Tommy, a well-known community and trade union activist and the organiser of the Water Charges We Won't Pay Campaign in East Belfast, told The Socialist; "There is a need for a new political alternative, which speaks out for working class people, and refuses to take part in the failure of sectarian politics.
"The main parties have failed ordinary working people. They agreed to introduce water charges in the last Assembly Executive, but are now claiming that they had nothing to do with them. I will be making water charges a central issue in my campaign."
As a local community activist, Tommy has taken up many issues such as low pay and has spoken out against job losses and privatisation of public services. He is currently actively campaigning against the cuts in education and library serices in Belfast.
As an active member of NIPSA, Tommy represents workers in education. He works as an assistant building supervisor at Ashfield Girls High.