Stormont House deal: Twin hammers to smash the workers
There is no disguising the calamity facing workers in the North. Benefits for the poor and sick are to be slashed. Thousands of public sector jobs are to go and the services themselves cut back. Public resources are to be auctioned off. The plan means terrible suffering - much greater than that in Britain because it will be applied in a shorter timescale in a situation where there is little local industry and levels of poverty are already very high.
But that's only half the story.
The common view is that little progress has been made on resolving political issues. That's not the case. The reality is that unionism has successfully applied a veto and their version of virulent sectarian division will continue to apply, a vicious weapon against working class unity.
The political and economic elements are brought together by the sectarian way that monies are distributed. The DUP and Sinn Fein will share out the spoils as patronage to keep control of separated communities.
There are however grounds for hope. Sinn Fein, who a few weeks ago were denouncing "British cuts", are now attacking their working class base. That means an end to the pretence that they are a party of the left. The Trade unions, fervent supporters of all previous deals, have rejected the Stormont House deal and threaten to campaign against it.
Now we need a united democratic campaign that involves community and political groups. That campaign will have to face the dual nature of the Stormont administration: a mechanism for implementing austerity and a source of sectarian division.