If you were a core-team blogger on a letsgetalongerist anti-SDLP weblog………a weblog of record……..how exactly would you set the narrative for todays “McCausland vote”.
Well of course there is no such weblog 😉 but lets say that you cannot really like Nelson McCausland…….a bit of a dinosaur, you would kinda be helped by Alliance deciding to support the SDLP motion. You might even give a tip of the hat to David McClarty, the Independent Unionist who voted with SDLP.
The awkward thing is that it was a nationalist party which led the motion……and a “lets get alongerist” weblog needs to be fairly well implanted in the “liberal unionist” UUP-Alliance Camp.
So today’s vote was bad news for “lets getalongerists”. The Alliance Party which gets votes from Protestants and Catholics voted with SDLP. The UUP….whose Leader Mike Nesbitt……spoke again of his desire to have Catholics vote for his Party voted against the SDLP motion. His much vaunted “outreach” oft spoken of by “lets get alongerists” ……..got another airing at his Partys Conference on Saturday. And it is hard to escape the idea that Nesbitt’s outreach to Catholics is phoney.
There will of course be a narrative that the debate was about SDLP trying to “out-green” Sinn Féin. But does that stand any serious scrutiny? I dont think so……Aside from an attempt to raise the Ministerial Code, there is a Civil Rights dimension as well as nationalist/republican dimension here.
SDLP is on its best ground when Civil Rights is an issue. I do not really see any difference between the SDLP attitude on (Orange) Parades than in 1997 when Drumcree was a hot issue. It is Sinn Féin who have moved more towards faux acceptance of these parades.
Put simply, it should never be the responsibility of a nationalist/republican Party to facilitate quasi-fascists in the Orange Order. Marginalise them first…..like the Ku Klux Klan…….and when rendered relative harmless………let them march all day and all night.