Alasdair McDonnell…The Maiden Speech…Oops.

On Saturday night, the SDLP was in euphoric mood. At the Annual Dinner…they partied hard and long.

The scene was set for Alasdair McDonnell’s first speech as Party Leader. Live on BBC Norn Iron’s “Politics Show” Sunday lunchtime. The three other Leadership candidates Conall McDevitt, Patsy McGlone and Alex Attwood were in the front seats. The first day of the SDLPs fightback.

And it all went horribly wrong. Car Crash Television. Problems with the Autocue and Lighting made the headlines rather than the Speech itself.

Of course the enemies of the SDLP enjoyed it. Rather too much.

It was of course a stumble. Even a backward step. But really the story of the weekend was of the SDLP taking two or even three steps forward…..before than single backward step. The reforms the SDLP will endure over the next few months will not be happening in front of TV cameras.

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