McCann calls for working-class DUP voters to back People Before Profit

Eamonn McCann of People Before Profit.
Eamonn McCann of People Before Profit.

People Before Profit candidate Eamonn McCann has directly appealed for working-class DUP voters to consider voting for a left-wing alternative tomorrow.

He said: “Huge numbers of people from all communities have to be careful how long they leave the heating on. But those in the know can blast heat out into empty barns and pick up a bonus for every bag of wood-chips they burn.

“Very few of these people in the know are to be found in the Fountain, Irish Street, Nelson Drive, Newbuildings, Drumahoe etc.

“The RHI scheme served the interests of people with land or business interests and a bit of money in the bank - not the people who supply the DUP with the great majority of its votes.

“But the DUP here think they can shrug their shoulders at all of this because they believe that when it comes to marking the ballot paper, ‘their’ voters will more or less automatically put down DUP Number One again.”

Mr. McCann claimed the DUP has done nothing to address poor levels of educational attainment among working-class communities, particularly working-class Protestant boys.

“The DUP has its face set like flint against ending selection in education. But every piece of analysis that’s been done suggests that it’s working-class Protestant boys who do worst of all in our schools. They are more likely to leave school without any qualifications - into a world where you nearly have to have a degree to get any sort of job at all. They are not getting a fair crack of the whip.

“Yet every time the issue comes up, the DUP argues against any change.

“The same judgement could be passed on the DUP across the board. They have lost touch with the people,” he said.

Mr. McCann said people want an alternative.

“The DUP and Sinn Féin might seem to be at daggers drawn. But they have this in common - that they don’t come into a community seeking support. Instead, they claim the community’s allegiance.

“A leaflet distributed in some parts of the constituency last week referred to “a direct challenge to Unionism in Foyle.” What there is, in fact, is a direct challenge to DUP - including from People Before Profit.

“There’s a change under way in a society which has always seemed frozen in its attitudes. It is interesting that the Bands Forum is coming to the fore as a pole of political attraction, particularly for younger people. How this works out in the future, it’s impossible to know. But it does represent the emergence of an alternative voice - and we need alternatives,” he said.