SDLP Communications Manager…Job Opportunity?

The SDLP ar advertising for a Communications Manager to head up their Media Team.

I know what you are all thinking. Why have they not simply approached…me. Well obviously I am more than capable and would do it or half the Kings Ransom offered in the “package”. In fact, I have a bus pass and can travel for FREE so they don’t even have to pay me expenses except the small amount I will fraudulently claim. As I understand from the Leveson Inquiry…journos like to claim some dodgy expenses. It doesn’t effect their Ethics…apparently.

Well the SDLP have ignored me and put the Job out to tender. They are looking for someone with ten years experience in Print or Broadcast Media. This …you will note…rules me out. But it invites another “Poacher” to turn “Gamekeeper”. In Norn Iron EVERYTHING is about Public Relations. the one true (no pun intended) growth industry. The Norn Iron Government employs more journalists than all of Norn Irons newspapers combined.

Journalists are the very worst people to deal with Journalists. I declare an interest. In late 2010, before I joined the SDLP, I applied to be an intern (the worlds oldest) in the SDLP. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. And that is a great pity…because I thought I might enjoy handing out press releases to Martina Purdy (with optional flirting) and witholding the latest press release from Eamonn Mallie until he supplied some ID. Eamonn Mallie does not strike me as self-regarding or in any way pompous and he would have seen the funny side.

About a year ago, I mentioned my failed internship application to a senior SDLP person and explained I had all the aptitudes to work in the SDLP Press Office. His reaction was to say “oh Jesus…no”. Which was lacking encouragement.

But maybe SDLP are playing it smart. They get to pay a lucky ex journo a Kings Ransom and they get me blogging for them…for free.

But the job specifies TEN years experience…and this effectively rules out anyone under thirty years of age. That is disappointing. The SDLP has at least eight people under that age on the Party Executive.

So who will get the job? I suppose it will be a local based journalist and that could be interesting because the criteria includes a commitment to SDLP…so the pool of applicants with ten years journalistic experience seems limited. To make a short list of say five people from ten journalist applicants….then their “closet” politics would surely have to be known to SDLP insiders.

A thought occurs. I am an  occasional SDLP member. I publish a Blog which says nice things about the SDLP. I have presented theSLP cease on different sites. Will the SDLP Executive invite me on to the Panel interviewing candidates?

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31 Responses to SDLP Communications Manager…Job Opportunity?

  1. Sir Ike Broflovski says:

    Sounds a bit borderline discriminatory to me FJH. Experience may just be a proxy for age and that’s a no-no now. You should ask advice from your local MLA. I hear Sinn Fein have some experience of the tribunals.

    • LOL…it crossed my mind.
      In my view these jobs are almost impossible to get and pay a fortune if you get lucky.
      Id be surprised if it was less than £35,000.
      Im just extremely curious as to why it is so narrow.
      There might well be journos in the back room at Ormeau Avenue or working below the radar at a newspaper in Dungannon, who is committed to SDLP and it doesn’t mean they are public figures.
      But how many actually can get interviewed on that basis.
      I’m assuming Mick Fealty has ruled himself out.

  2. bangordub says:

    I think I may apply!
    I fit the age criteria and have considerable knowledge of the drinking habits of journalists. I am also familiar with how they gather stories. I can sort of string a coherent sentence together and generally avoid spelling mistakes. Grammatical mistakes annoy me. I know the difference between “their” and “there” and I know when “e” comes before “i”. I also have strong opinions on the misuse of the apostrophe issue.
    Ok that rules out any competition from the Bel Tel at least.
    I am nationalist and left of centre in political outlook, I can get a flashy tie and an Armani suit if required and I own a mobile phone with a long battery life.
    Haven’t a hope have I?

    • You’ve completely ruled yourself out.
      You are far too qualified.
      I tend to blame my errors on AUTO CORRECT…and on occasions this is the truth.
      I suppose we will know the name in due course…I hope they read our blogs.
      I suppose the safest option is to spend the next couple of months being nice to every journalist as one of them might end up in the SDLP Press Office.

      By the way I would make a brilliant journalist. I end sentences with a PROPOSITION.

    • bangordub says:

      Aha Mr Fitz,
      I bet you know what iambic pentameter is as well? I’ll be surprised if the new appointee does but it could be worse, they may opt for a “PR” person!

      • Hmmm…maybe from a PR Company.
        I am not so sure.
        The advertisement specified print and broadcast journalism and seems to rule out those grubby wannabe influential types who have been floating round the fringes of politics in godawful lobbying and PR companies.
        Journalists are bad enough but giving a lucky break to one of those losers would be a step too far.
        Am I being too harsh?

      • bangordub says:

        Perhaps someone from strategem? No, maybe not.
        I have it 🙂 There’s an ex BBC journalist whose name escapes me for some reason, he writes frequently for one of your favourite sites, perfect for the job based upon the criteria you relate, now let me think of his name………..

      • I’ve not thought of him as pro SDLP. LOL.
        We should send each other emails with “a name”
        Only to be revealed when SDLP make the selection.
        Realistically most journos are completely under the radar and realistically there is a 50% chance that the name would only register with other journalists.
        But high profile journos (and I think Fearghal McKinney is an exception) might have difficulty in the corridors at Stormont dealing with five parties if their politics are widely known to politicians and the public.
        I think the pool of WELL KNOWN eligible journos available is limited.
        Importing a Labour type from London…or getting a Dublin based journalist might be an option.

      • bangordub says:

        You know perfectly well who I mean, lol.
        Actually, I think Fearghal would be perfect for the job although it would be a step down for him from vice chair.

      • Well it makes sense.
        Fearghal is the obvious person and I’d welcome that.
        But I’d rather see it as a direct appointment. I don’t think it needs to go to tender.

  3. Derek says:

    You wouldn’t have the luxury of grumpiness as a communications manager. Don’t think you’d be able to hack having to suppress the inner grump. 🙂

  4. bangordub says:

    I would consider grumpiness an asset. All the best Press Secretaries were grumpy. PJ Mara, Bernard Ingram, Allistair Cambell etc. Grumpy as feck, the lot of them and entertaining, challenging as well. Give me that any day of the week rather than eh, a PR pro like my fellow Dub Mr McDevitt.

  5. Mick Fealty says:

    You really have it in for the SDLP, doncha?

  6. factual says:

    I think you have previously said that as a voter you deserted SDLP and voted for SF even before the first CF and thus deserted them even before the great loss of voter-share for the SDLP and even before John Hume retired; thereafter you continued to vote SF for many many years. It follows, surely, surely, that you could not claim to have had a commitment to the SDLP, properly so called.

    • I have SDLP tattooed on my right arm.
      I think this is COMMITMENT!
      Lest you be in any doubt I was a member of SDLP 1973 to 1981-82.
      My reason for leaving the Party was more to do with getting married and moving away from West Belfast and Dungannon where I had been a member.
      My wife had lost family in the Troubles and was hesitant about involvement in politics.
      My wife has only ever been a SDLP voter.
      I voted SDLP for 20 years to 1993.
      I voted SF to 2009,
      As I have repeatedly said our family is essentially pan nationalist.
      So you say I voted SF for “many many years”
      It was 15 years….so that means I have voted SDLP for 24 years. “Many many many years”
      I neither want or need paid employment in SDLP.
      But your understanding of COMMITMENT is probably based on the Sinn Fein Stalinist “activist” rather than “member”.
      Necessarily this means that if I lived to be 90 and applied for a job in Sinn Fein, they would be ruling me out because of my lack of commitment to YOUR exacting standard.
      Ultimately this is a Sinn Fein failing. Their obsession that those involved in the Conflict….are more senior than the Paddy Come Latelys or younger folks is their Achilles heel.

      • factual says:

        It does depend how you define commitment, but as you do yourself say above you stopped voting for the SDLP in 1993 – for what reason ?- and stayed away from them for more than 15 years and the SDLP would need to think about whether that constitutes commitment to the SDLP. Let me put it this way: there is a possible question mark.

      • Again Factual….the reason I stopped voting SDLP in 1993… And I have said this before several times was a legal dispute.
        My wife, a much nicer person than I am never let this affect her vote.
        I would say that 1993-1998, this personal dispute was the main reason I voted SSF.
        From 1998-2009 it was more “political”.

      • factual says:


    • It would be a really good thing if you based your comments on what I actually DID say….and not what you THINK I said.

  7. Political Tourist says:

    The next decade should see off the original 1969/70 SF leadership going by age.
    Gerry and Martin being now into their 60s.
    Even the hungerstriker wave aren’t youngsters anymore.
    Only then will we see where SF politics is going.
    Do you think the Brit State bother anymore with informers inside SF.
    What would be the point?

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