Stormont elections - a mandate for British rule
Stormont elections - a mandate for British rule



Sean Bresnahan looks at the upcoming elections in the North. Sean Bresnahan is a member of the Thomas Ashe Society in Omagh and National PRO of the 1916 Societies.


With yet another election in the Six Counties around the corner it’s worth stepping back and looking at its purpose in context. The reality is that all of the goings on around this election are nothing more than the meaningless outworkings of a game within a game, with ringmaster Britain pulling the strings from above, as ever in control of us all. The only game that matters is the one she plays and she plays alone with the rest of us mere pawns. That is the real context to this election.

It is a simple fact proven over and over, borne out by a record eighteen years in the making, that none of those standing - whether parties, Independents or whoever - should they get to Stormont will make the slightest difference to the lives of people in West Tyrone, Derry City, Belfast, Mid-Ulster or anywhere else. The system, with Stormont merely its regional hub, ensures otherwise as the real power lies elsewhere, with Stormont no more than a well-paid, glorified Council.

The place and its record of delivery are a farce. Yet bizarrely, everyone still dances to the same tune come election time - which in reality is the British tune. People would be far better served if they refused to vote in this election and brought the turnout below 50 percent. That, and the ‘crisis of legitimacy’ it would herald, would represent a much bigger statement and a far greater challenge to the status quo than anything that might come from the foolish notion we can somehow change the system from within.

The truth is that what we need in Ireland at this moment are not more pantomime elections - that do no more than uphold that same status quo - but a fresh start, where the people of this country are finally granted control of their own destiny in a reconstituted All-Ireland Republic. Stormont and its elections serve to frustrate that end and there is no root to the Republic through Stormont or its Border Poll. Indeed the reality is that Stormont is a bulwark to prevent the Republic being realised.

Its reputation could not be lower and with savage austerity and cuts to every budget conceivable ahead the likelihood is that this will only worsen - and considerably. Were the incoming Assembly to have a mandate from less than half of those on the six-county register that would have serious repercussions on its ability to push through its attacks on ordinary people. There would be a clear lack of support from the people it purports to govern for policies to be implemented on behalf of their masters in London.

The mind then boggles as to why some republicans believe it worthwhile to run candidates to Stormont through the backdoor. Worse though is the pretence it’s not happening or that they’re somehow not involved. Their dodging aside, can they not see they will help no cause here only the British cause - which is to entrench British rule in Ireland and bolster its perceived legitimacy? Whether they know it or not they are already on the road to doom. We should be careful they don’t take us with them.

Rather than encourage people to ‘play the game’ and participate in this farce we should embrace instead a revolutionary analysis. Rather than give legitimacy to this useless and utterly servile institution we should instead be doing all in our power to undermine and expose it, in the process empowering our own institutions which proceed from the people themselves. These alone are what will serve us, as will no doubt be required, in the looming battle against corporate finance and its impending assault on us all.

Where republicanism should be, coming into this election, is not with those set on propping up the failing Stormont Assembly, its crumbling, undemocratic ‘mandate’ with it, but set on empowering a grassroots alternative capable of impacting on power and realising meaningful change in our country. We will never expose the facade of Stormont rule, which is British rule from behind, by helping prop up its collapsing mandate. That is what all intent on the Irish Republic should understand - now and not tomorrow or after this election. By then it will be too late.

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