McCann hits back at McCartney over '˜little Englanders' jibe

People Before Profit MLA for Foyle, Eamonn McCann, has hit back at claims made by Sinn Fein that he has aligned himself with 'Tory little Englanders'.

Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 8:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:38 pm

Mr. McCann and fellow People Before Profit MLA, Gerry Carroll, abstained from a motion that requested the North be granted special status within the E.U.

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney, said, Mr. McCann’s decision to abstain from the vote meant that he was guilty of “aligning himself with Tory little Englanders”.

“Sinn Fein has a hard cheek accusing People Before Profit of taking the same view on E.U. as British Tories,” said Mr. McCann.

“This is the party which, after months of play-acting and prevarication, implemented the Tories’ “Welfare Reform” policies which will have a devastating effect on working-class people in Foyle and in every other constituency.”

“In contrast, People Before Profit called for determined opposition to the welfare cuts, including if necessary civil disobedience. But then, Sinn Fein’s days of disobedience are long gone.”

Mr. McCann explained his reasoning behind his decision to abstain and said People Before Profit’s stance on Ireland’s relationship with the E.U. has been consistent.

“We have an objection in principle to the EU, which we have put forward for many years. We urged a “No” vote in every EU referendum in the South throughout that period. So did Sinn Fein. Now they have flip-flopped. We have not.

“The EU is totally committed to imposing austerity. Its un-elected bankers, representing the one percent against the 99 percent, treated the wishes of the Greek people expressed in a general election with contempt. It ordered the Dublin government, too, to abandon the policy it had been elected on and, instead, to cut jobs, wages, benefits and social spending. There are citizens in pain on trollies in hospital corridors in the South at this minute as a result.”

Mr. McCann added: “Meanwhile, people from countries ravaged by war and poverty which EU countries helped bring about are barred from entry. No freedom of movement for them.”

“What’s the difference between the barbed-wire fences keeping hundreds of thousands of decent people out of the EU and the wall which Donald Trump wants built to keep Mexicans out of the US?”

“Our slogan during the referendum campaign was ‘In or out the fight goes on.’ We advocated a fight against austerity and neo-liberalism whether in out of the EU.”

“That’s still our position.”

“We said we would fight tooth and nail against new-liberalism, whether imposed from London or Brussels. That, too, is still our position.”