South and East Belfast Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Opinion/Bárúil

Alex Maskey MLA has been a regular contributor to the South Belfast News, supplying a monthly opinion piece to the newspaper on local, national, and international issues.

Here, we have made available a number of these articles for you to read.

No hierarchy of victims (September 2009)

As the DUP placed a motion before the Assembly calling for compensation from the Libyan government for victims of the IRA, Alex explains the Sinn Féin position; that there can be no hierarchy of victims and that any call for compensation for victims must include ALL victims of the conflict here. Read more


Policing and Justice transfer - time to move ahead (October 2009)

As the Sinn Féin officer board concluded discussions on the issue of the transfer of Policing and Justice powers to the Assembly, Alex writes of the need for the transfer of these powers to proceed swiftly. Read more


Grammar school lobby holding onto an unjust system (November 2009)

As the second in a series of unregulated private admission tests are held for eleven year old children, Alex calls upon those opposed to academic selection to commit themselves to supporting the ending of it and welcomes the Catholic schooling sector's commitment to moving away from the practice of academic selection. Read more


Climate change - we all have a part to play (December 2009)

With the failure of world leaders to produce an agreement to tackle climate change at Copenhagen Alex looks at the lessons learned from a Sinn Féin hosted climate change event which took place in South Belfast and was attended by Bairbre deBrún MEP and Friends of the Earth. Read more


Opportunity for change (February 2010)

Written in the wake of the Hillsborough Agreement which saw Sinn Féin strive to get an agreement which would see the leaders of unionism working genuinely to secure a new beginning, a new beginning which would see the proper functioning of joined-up government based on equality and citizens' rights. Read more


'PSNI must suspend use of stop and search powers' (March 2010)

In the wake of the ECtHR ruling that the use of s44 stop and search powers was illegal, Alex Maskey argues that the PSNI must now suspend their use of this legislation. Read more


Sinn Féin take electoral initiative to maximise nationalist vote (April 2010)

As the Orange Order intervened politically in the Westminster election to try and unite unionism; Sinn Féin, in an attempt to maximise and protect nationalist representation, wrote to SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie offering discussions on an electoral pact. Despite the offer being rebuked by the SDLP, Sinn Féin took the decision to withdraw it's candidate in South Belfast in order to maximise the nationalist vote. Alex Maskey, writing on the day he withdrew his candidature, explains the Sinn Féin decision to the people of South Belfast. Read more


South Belfast politicians must work together to maximise the potential of South Belfast (May 2010)

With the rejection of anti-Agreement elements at the recent Westminster election, Alex, writing in May 2010, argues that the politicians in South Belfast must find common ground and work together with residents and community groups to ensure that South Belfast's potential is maximised. Read more


Executive must work to protect the most vulnerable in society (June 2010)

Written at the end of June, as the British government announced severe budget cuts Alex contrasts the damage which will be caused by the cuts with the billions of pounds being spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the replacement of Trident. Arguing that an All-Ireland economic recovery plan is needed to protect front-line services and jobs, Alex explains Sinn Féin's commitment to ensuring the Assembly Executive protects the most vulnerable in our society. Read more


Time now right to push for greater fiscal autonomy (August 2010)

Writing in August 2010, Alex argues in this article that greater fiscal autonomy is required here if we are to overcome the current economic problems and map a way forward for our economy. The need for this has been recognised in Scotland, why not here? Read more


Attempts to resolve Holyland issue gaining momentum (September 2010)

While the issues faced by the Holylands community have been well rehearsed, they are by no means unique to that community. That means that resolving the problems of that area are in the interests of the wider South Belfast community. Read more


British government waging war on the most vulnerable (Oct 2010)

The decision by the British Government to cut Child Benefit, the latest benefit cutting measure which has been promoted by the Tory/Lib-Dem coalition, has been dressed up as a belt-tightening measure needed to help cut the economic deficit. Remove the dressing, however, and it becomes clear that the Tory-Lib Dem attack on those receiving benefits is part of an ideological attack on the poorest sections of our society. Read more