People Before Profit to campaign against “Tory-Brexit”

Interesting article from the Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley on the People Before Profit MLA and Westminster candidate, Gerry Carroll’s views on Brexit.

From the article

Many commentators attributed the decline in the People Before Profit representative’s vote to his pro-Brexit stance.

But now Mr Carroll has said he will fight the general election on an “anti-Tory Brexit” ticket.

He told The Irish News his party was as opposed to “Theresa May’s Tory Brexit” as it was to the prime minister’s Remain position in the referendum.

“We remain opposed to the undemocratic nature of the EU and have not changed our position since the referendum but we will not support Theresa May’s vision of a Tory Brexit, nor her dismissal of concerns in devolved regions,” he said.

It continues

“If elected we will take our seats, just as Bernadette Devlin did, not to rub elbows with Tory MPs, but to vote against a Tory Brexit,” he said.

“We are committed to working with Jeremy Corbyn and other progressives in Westminster to do this – we will be calling for the devolved regions to be given a veto on any deal agreed with the EU to ensure that the north is treated as a special case.

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  • Brian O’Neill

    Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others. Groucho Marx

  • Nevin

    So the Don Quixote of Belfast West politics is going to tilt at the SF windmill once again!

  • Conchúr Ó Conghaile

    Lefties in Ireland tend to take after Groucho more than Karl.

  • Jim M

    This is a bit unfair I feel; PBP’s Brexit policy is incoherent rather than unprincipled. It is however one of several factors which have cost them my vote…

  • Fear Éireannach

    PBP entire policies are unprincipled.

  • Obelisk

    I will never forgive People Before Profit for their vote last year in the assembly on Brexit. Would the motion have changed one iota of our fate? No, not a bit, but the symbolism of the Assembly voting against asking for special status was too much to tolerate.

    I had hoped their party would be obliterated during the recent Assembly election, McCann falling was good but Carroll’s survival was an expected disappointment.

    If Carroll wants to stand let him. He doesn’t stand a chance but he has every right to stand in front of the electorate, who will promptly reject him.

  • Gaygael

    Indeed. The reason they slid right down my preference list.
    That and their ineffectiveness at Stormont.

  • The worm!

    Nail on the head!

  • Jim M

    Can you expand on that?

  • Gaygael

    I don’t think that’s fair either.

  • Redstar

    Think many of you are being a bit tough on Gerry Carroll. I reckon his hearts in the right place

  • Jim M

    I agree. I just wish I could agree with his Class War economic policy and his contradictory Brexit policy. He definitely seems like a decent guy (I loathe the SF insinuations) but…he’s a Marxist and I’m basically a centrist, God help me.

  • Redstar

    I have no problems with his political position and if we are gonna be really honest no Party flip flopped re EU like SF

    PBP found themselves on the same side as UKIP etc for very different reasons.- this happens in politics and every party here has at times ended up appearing to have strange bedfellows

    They did not support Brexit as per the Tory/ UKIP version. They are against the EU because they believe Ireland should be entirely free- instead of domination by London being swapped for domination by Brussels

    Am not a PBP supporter but there has been some tosh put out by their rivals

  • Mark Petticrew

    I had sympathy with PBP’s so-called lexiteer critique of the EU itself, but they should’ve foreseen how such leftist purism just wouldn’t wash with an Irish audience given our very specific context here; effectively disregarding the practical implications for Ireland that would come from an EU exit whilst the island is partitioned.

    Not that our votes made much of a difference – if all 1.2 million eligible northerners last June had of voted remain, the UK overall would’ve still voted to leave – but it’s that they, through openly endorsing Brexit, have now associated their party brand with the incoming negative consequences of it; not the shrewdest of moves.

  • Jim M

    I agree. It still annoys me that SF took no interest in encouraging a Remain vote, yet were very happy to use Brexit as a stick to beat PBP with. Their posters have also conveyed the nonsense claim that PBP somehow ’caused’ Brexit.

    Re their specific Brexit vision – this was fine pre-referendum. It would have been fine if the referendum had gone the other way. But now Brexit is a reality, it’s hard for PBP to say: ‘Brexit will be bad, but we favoured a different version of it. Trust us’. Also, they seem to be saying that the protests against a hard border will serve as a stepping stone to a socialist United Ireland. I personally find that kind of politics hard to stomach.

    Also, doesn’t the last paragraph – re special status- totally contradict how they voted in the Assembly?

  • Jim M

    You’re right. It wasn’t smart. SF were smart and lucky in equal measure.

  • Hibernia

    True Irish men and women out there should only vote for an unashamedly pro EU party like Sinn Fein.

  • Croiteir

    or Fine Gael for example?

  • SDLP supporter

    You’re having a laugh, aren’t you? Mary Lou was campaigning on the same anti-EU platform as Nigel Farage and in seven Dail election manifestos since 1974 they had explicit policy commitment to leave the Common Market/EU, plus they were against the whole idea of joining in the first place.

    Maybe you are doing satire here but, if not, just get a grip.

  • notimetoshine

    Carroll seems caught in a mass of contradictions, the inevitable outcome of seeing everything through an ideological lens. Ideological purity or practical politics?

  • Granni Trixie

    Yes and it would be fun to see him operate in Westminster. At least he is willing to give it a go, more than you can say for some).

  • Conchúr Ó Conghaile

    Ireland tried to be entirely free back in the 30s. It didn’t really work out.

  • Gopher

    On the contary they were the most effective party at Stormont. SF was unable to set a budget despite holding the finance ministry out of fear of PBP.

  • SDLP supporter

    PBP achieved nothing in the Assembly. They are a busted flush.

  • SDLP supporter

    There is no state in the modern world that can be “entirely free”.

  • Not Fooled

    The people of the west will give him the same answer as they gave Lord Fitt the so called Socalist Republican who also sat happily on the Westminister benches. People Before Profit should really stand for Profit before Principles. This grouping has no hope of success in a partition Ireland. The people of West Belfast are light years ahead of them politically. That why they will fail again they are simply a vehicle for the anti SF vote but there’s no allowing for ego. The irony for PBP is that no one would like to see them succeed more than the Conservative Party in Westminister. Unfortunately for Gerry like Fitt he’ll only get there via a Lordship. Lord Gerry of Ego Hill.

  • Redstar

    I think that’s pretty unfair. PBP ( rightly) are not viewed with anything like the justified disdain Fitt was

  • Redstar

    What did the SDLP achieve????

    And as regards a busted flush if it wasn’t for loyalist votes in many constituencies SDLP would be very much in that category

  • SDLP supporter

    I didn’t agree with Gerry Fitt taking a Lotdship but you omit to mention that the people of West Belfast elected Gerry Fitt five times, including during the worst of the troubles. Were they knaves and dupes for doing so?
    Also, Gerry Fitt had more socialism in his little finger and did more for civil rights than the whole crew of Sinn Fein careerists.
    Gerry Carroll also needs to explain what a non-Tory Brexit looks like.

  • Not Fooled

    That may be true but in the circles I work and live in there is more than a suspicion that he is little more than a career politician. Time will tell but for Gerry Westminister will be a good start. PS…..I hope your right.

  • Gopher

    I forgot to mention the SDLP had to adopt every single PBP policy. Hiliarious watching middle aged, middle class, conservative catholic men standing shoulder to shoulder with PBP out of fear.

  • Not Fooled

    You leave out one important fact. At that time in our history the people of West Belfast believed that Gerry Fitt was Republican Labour. Unfortunately for Gerry Fitt, Westminister and the House of Lords exposed him for what he really was. I would prefer to say that Gerry Fitt only had Socialism in his little finger, we now know what the rest of him consisted of. The British viewed him as a valuable puppet and paraded him during time of mayhem and crisis to condemn the people who elected him. He would often encourage people to give information to the RUC knowing that they were involved in the murder of his constituents. There were many occasions when honest analysis of dreadful events was needed but Gerry Fitt was not the man to give it.
    PS I hope I’m wrong about Gerry Carroll.

  • notimetoshine

    Petty nationalism in political theory could be considered to be much less advanced than Marxist theory so I wouldn’t laud the people of west Belfast for their political sophistication.

    The political theory of nationalism isn’t sophisticated and it has bred some of the worst impulses of peoples and nations, hardly something to be applauded.

    Too much focus on ideology though, ideologues rarely have solutions based on practicality, rather they posit ideas filtered through the lens of their own beliefs. Mr Carroll is a perfect example. As is PBP.

  • Dan

    What a load of balls from PBP.

    Farcical nonsense, trying desperately to find their own position on the Irish nationalist ‘hate the Tories’ spectrum.
    Clowns.

  • mac tire

    Plenty of Unionists and non-aligned hate the Tories as well. And quite right, too.

  • Not Fooled

    The people of West Belfast stood up to petty nationalism and paid a heavy price for it. Don’t forget people were initially only asking for basic rights but found themselves confronting one of the most powerful militaristic and nationalistic nations on earth. There were many things that happened that should not have happened but along with increased community awareness grew political ideas and yes, a political sophistication that enabled them to challenged the ideology of the political and church establishments. Today we have reached the point where the majority of people in West Belfast seek a peaceful but very different future. They have shown through their elected representatives that they aspire to a vision that includes all Irish people. We are at the beginning of the end of this little statelet. Let’s argue about the shape of the future. The days of the denial of nationhood, the denial of language and humans rights needs to be and will be addressed. Ideology will be central to this. It’s only by addressing and accommodating the different ideologies that exist in society that we can have a truly democratic society and your right, we need to be practical in our approach. We may not like the end result but that’s real democracy for you.

  • Peggy kelly

    The ‘Now’ out ranks the past no?
    Fine Fáil and Fine Gael opposed divorce, they changed their minds thankfully and now we have it.
    Politicians often campaign on the same platform, that does not mean they share the same roots or ideology. That is just a desperate attempt to connect fire with water.
    In the past FF and FG opposed homosexuality, who gives a schist now?
    Change Is necesarry and it is good.

  • Peggy kelly

    Trilemma

  • Peggy kelly

    They should have stepped aside and let the greens take control, oh wait no sorry, nobody voted green so they dint have the seats. silly me.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Can you name a single elected unionist politician who hates the Tories? Im not saying there isn’t one. I’m just struggling to think of one.

  • NotNowJohnny

    You seem to forgetting that Gerry Fitt sat as an MP in westminster for seventeen years without any need for a lordship. You need to brush up on your history.

  • SDLP supporter

    Parties, like people, of course have a right to change policy. But let’s not pretend that on Europe Sinn Fein have any principled stance of being consistently and broadly supportive in the same way as parties like SDLP and Alliance have been.
    On so many issues Sinn Fein has shown itself to have no principles on anything. The latest example is the mooted amnesty for British soldiers: Sinn Fein do a dirty secret deal with Blair, Gerry Kelly dishes out the On The Run letters, a few get royal pardons and that leaves the way open for a blanket amnesty for soldiers.

  • SDLP supporter

    What are you wittering on about? What PBP policies has SDLP adopted?

  • SDLP supporter

    This from a supporter of a ‘republican movement’ that was stuffed with informers! Remember Robert Lean? You can’t link one single death to Gerry Fitt, and you know it. You’re just smearing the man when he’s in his grave. Lousy.

  • Gavin Smithson

    Whilst not a socialist, I do applaud PBP for their bravery in taking on SF in areas where such opposition can and does result in harm.

  • Old Mortality

    They were still part of a currency union, though. It’s hard to be free in those circumstances because of the constraints on monetary and fiscal policy

  • Jim M

    Gavin, I live in W Belfast (English blow-in BTW and I’ve never had any trouble). I’ve never heard of SF supporters physically intimidating PBP supporters, although they do get pretty toxic on social media. I think it’s good they are challenging SF but unfortunately I’m not on the same ideological page. BTW, do you support Alliance’s bravery for the same reason? 😉

  • Mark Petticrew

    As long as Ireland remains partitioned, those with criticisms of the EU are best sidelining overt euroscepticism in the interim, as the road map to Irish unification is ultimately one which is wholly intertwined with the EU; this having become particularly apparent since the vote for Brexit. Indeed, the thaw beginning some 20-odd years ago in Sinn Féin’s opposition to the EU was in effect a recognition of this reality.

    North or south of the border, there doesn’t appear to be much demand for a hard-line anti-EU perspective anyway; 84% of southerners in a 2015 B&A poll favoured EU membership, whilst 88% of northern nationalists voted to remain in last year’s referendum according to a 2016 QUB study. In light of this, the adoption of a smarter eurocritical approach is a snugger position to take in contemporary Ireland.

  • Gopher

    Sorry I should have qualified that every one except Abortion. Every protest you find PBP and the SDLP. What exactly are the SDLP for?

  • Not Fooled

    I have no doubt that Gerry Fitt was a man of non violence. It was one of his strengths but we were all caught up in a dreadful violent situation and the only ones with experience in this area were the British. Empire taught them how to manlipulate people and they did this very effectively with many of our leaders of that time. Gerry was a man out of his depth politically……indeed at that time most of us would have been the same. I am speaking with hind sight….easily done. I admire anyone including Gerry Fitt for standing up and arguing for his beliefs and I know he and his family went through unjustifiable attacks and the last thing I would want was to hurt them in any way. I suppose what I set out to say was we needed different leaders at that time and I suppose given this discussion we need to be careful about the leaders we pick for the future.

  • mac tire

    Well, I was talking about the electorate in general.

  • Gaygael

    Greens voted for special status. We have still have two MLAs having lost none in the most recent election unlike almost all other parties.

  • Gaygael

    Ummmm… have a look at their record. I think it’s quite a stretch to say that’s why there was no budget.

  • the keep

    That’s amusing but completely wrong.

  • BelfastRedd

    Wee bit of spinning going there! In a significantly increased overall turnout the Green 1st preference vote went down and went down in three out of the four Belfast constituencies. Bailey limped home again and that seat will be gone with boundary changes. Any ‘surge’ has been turned back, reversed and has ebbed.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I know you were. Mind you, if your claim is accurate and given the fact that there must be around 50 elected unionist politicians, you’d think you’d be able to name one.

  • mac tire

    They are Unionist politicians, not Tories. The Tories just love losing their deposit in elections here – in both Nationalist and Unionist areas. Unionists have their opportunities to vote Tory. They don’t.
    Sylvia Hermon left the UUP when it attempted to dally with the Conservatives. Her voting record in the HOC suggests she would be closer to Labour on many issues.
    I said plenty of Unionists hate the Tories. That’s not an exact number, as I don’t have that data. It was a counter to the original point which suggested that it was an Irish Nationalist thing to hate the Tories. Much as I am opposed to Unionism, to suggest that there would be no Unionists who hate the Tories would be ludicrous.

  • Fear Éireannach

    PBP abstained on the Stormont vote for Special Status, did they not, ensuring that it did not pass? They are a blight on Ireland.

  • Fear Éireannach

    The only thing they believe should be free is handouts paid for by other people’s work.

  • Mark Petticrew

    The motion was only lost by a single vote too, making the absence of the party’s 2 MLA’s all the more significant. Indeed, their reluctance to support last October’s motion calling for special status is a bit odd when you read back Gerry Carroll’s comments in the above post, he urging “the north is treated as a special case” in any EU deal.

    Having nailed their party to the Brexit mast last year, PBP seems to have doubled down on their pro-Brexit stance; this despite being widely out of step with nationalist opinion on this issue. Fiona Ferguson characterised this in the run-up to the recent Assembly election, describing an anti-border protest by Sinn Féin in February as a “dress up exercise”, and that Sinn Féin was simply “scaremongering”.

    Whatever one thinks of Sinn Féin’s motives in this instance, it does not view well to be seen as demeaning the significance of the border issue given the potential threat of a hard Brexit around the corner, and the very real concerns some people have as a result. It all just goes to show really how amateur their approach to Brexit has been, and the lack of regard they seem to have for the context of the situation.

  • Not Fooled

    I think you’ve answered your own point.

  • Jeff

    What’s a true Irishman? Someone who agrees with you?

  • NotNowJohnny

    I’m afraid you’ve lost me completely there.

  • Not Fooled

    Sometimes I try to be too smart by half…..it seldom works. In short, when the British lost Gerry’s voice in West Belfast through the democratic vote they still thought he was an important enough voice that needed to be heard, mistake. He was already estranged from his own party and totally isolated from a large section of the electorate. When he accepted the Lordship as a Socalist Republican and joined an unelected chamber he was politically isolated. He was wheeled in an out at appropriate moments but before long even the British, who were up to their necks in all sorts of skullduggery recognised he was no longer of use. So I do know my history, early years as a principled politican, lost his way because he believed in the rule of law and Westminister but unfortunately they didn’t play by his rules…..and as we say the rest is history.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Perhaps then your error was in saying “Unfortunately for Gerry like Fitt he’ll only get there [Westminster] via a Lordship” when you knew that Fitt had got to Westminster by a more democratically legitimate route before he went there via a Lordship and therefore he didn’t “only get there via a lordship”.

  • Not Fooled

    Throughout my posts I made a number of references to his democratic electoral record before taking up his position as a Lord. PS…..how’s my history?

  • NotNowJohnny

    Your history seems grand to be fair. And you don’t seem to make things up either which is always a positive trait here.

  • Not Fooled

    Thanks. Enjoyed the conversation. Best of luck.

  • Gaygael

    We fought a defensive campaign to hold our seats. We did. PBP ran more candidates than ever deluded by their own hype. They lost McCann (sadly) and Carroll’s vote was almost halfed.

    Bailey was 400 off quota with and Ulster unionist to be eliminated with 5,255 votes. A conservative estimate would have given Bailey enough of that for easy election. Agnew was safe too. That looks like we have dig deep and held two seats moving them into the safe (all usual caveats) column.
    How many safe seats do PBP have?

    Our vote went down by 300 across the board. Arlene is not going to call people crocodiles again. In the two seats we fought our vote went up by 700 and 1,000 respectively. Now we start to expand those bases.

  • epg_ie

    Hates Ireland. Cares more about pushing ideology than well-being of people. Happy prosperous people wouldn’t want da revolution after all.
    SF may have been U-turners on the question, but that is their métier.
    Do PBP want all Ireland to rejoin the UK too, or is that just the Socialists?