I may be a cynical battle-scarred old veteran but sometimes it seems right to take up the fight again.
I honestly dont know whats going on with SDLP. But I feel angry.
Yer like a breath of fresh air
The beginning of the end?
I don’t know.
I just don’t know.
To some extent I have taken my eye off the ball for several months.
And beyond that I am thinking of the times that I have been patronised by some and “played” by others.
Getting “played” is bad. Allowing myself to be “played” is worse.
Really have to going to analyse what looks like is going on and more so what is REALLY going on.
I know some people who are SDLP members in North Belfast – I am informed it’s a nice sorta club of elderly professionals, speaking to their own sort, doing good, raising money for worthy charities.
I imagine they would be happy getting into bed with FF (the chance of power is a heady aphrodisiac!) – if they ever could agree on the bedroom furniture, sheets, colour and pattern of the duvet cover and mood lighting! And what of the scented candles?
I don’t really know much about North Belfast. SDLP.. but I just never felt any groundswell of support for merger with FF. There is a history of trying to have good relations with all southern parties. Of course for several months I have not had my eye on the ball.
Almost forgot – the all important mirror placement in this putative shared bedroom! For reciprocal admiration, of course!
Might make space for Conall McDevitt to return to politics. FF would probably choke at how paltry his crimes were in comparison.
I cant see McDevitt ever coming back to Politics. There are still some who think of him as the Lost Leader and others see him as a very negative influence. He was over-estimated. Actually he over-estimated himself.
I met him a few times and thought he came across very dedicated. Though I completely lack the ability to bull on my feet so I’m impressed by anyone that can face a camera and not stutter.
If Claire Hanna splits and brings the Irish Labour Party up here also then it will be one of the most selfless acts in Ireland’s history by a politician and like to think I’d do the same as Colum. SDLP was split anyway internally. Could the northern Irish Labour Party be brought on board? It cements the point that NI is just to small and insular to be run as a separate economic entity.
Theres a lot of different strands making up this story. And I think its not just something over the last few months.
I am not a member of SDLP and readily admit that I have taken my eye off the ball since the 2017 Election. But Id have to say that Id been unhappy since late 2015 when plans re 1916-2016 were torpedoed.
Finance is certainly a factor.
Employment opportunities Constituency offices) seem to shrink yearly and maybe that will be the case with councillors later this year.
So really a lot of people who were brought into politics as students ten years ago have not had the careers they might have expected.
With each successive leadership challenge, relations decline.
And I think some people have just run out of political friends.
From what I hear, most members do not want a merger (although they might be the most vocal) and it might be pragmatic.
My own view is that SDLP has a unique selling point but just because nobody is buying SDLP at the minute, there is nothing inevitable about further decline “events dear boy …events”.
My view is tainted. Since 2010, I have been patronised or “played” by just too many people. There is a part of me that wants to speak up….here or on Slugger. After all, I am gene pool SDLP and I don’t have to like the people I vote for. But it would be nice if some SDLP people “played” the media and other parties as well as they play their own members, especially me LOL.
Even if I had a notion of going back into membership or supporting them more on (say) Slugger….then Mrs FitzjamesHorse would probably kill me. She will vote SDLP but has very little time for most members.
Regardless of the pragmatism of needing Finance (the loss of those three seats hurt badly), we now have a leader, Colum who was supported in November 2015 by Claire…who supported McDevitt against McDonnell in 2011.
New thinking? Splits and Mergers?
Would Alasdair for all his faults come up with this Big Idea?
Its too soon to talk about re-alignment of the “left” in the North. There could be a SDLP rump, Irish Labour wont come north (they know nothing about the north), the Greens are too weird, the NILP types are too pro British. People Before Profit are a possibility…….a link with Tim Attwood could bring a second seat in West Belfast and shore up the Derry seat as well as Claire of course.
More likely to come on board is the Workers Party.
You can forget McCann and the Stickies, unless your joking of course.
All the SDLP can do now is wait and see and hope for the best post Brexit, or maybe disaster post Brexit.
FF is laughable. The SDLP might as well join up with Nicola Sturgeon.
Europe of the Regions, oh well.
WEll earlier this year…there wasa Civil Rights event in St Marys University College. The main organisers Claire Hanna and Tim Attwood. Hugh Scullion veteran Workers Party man in Mid Ulster was on the panel.
Likewise an event …a Tribute to Paddy Devlin …….same venue around November….Claire and Tim the main organisers. Seamus Lynch Workers Party was on the panel.
Boyd Black, the local “British Labour” party man is always in the audience at these things and of course he also got his spake in.
Now a couple of points.
I liked Paddy Devlin but he did not leave SDLP on good terms.
Yet the Vice Chair of SDLP, trailed the event in Slugger highlighting “what would Paddy Devlin do ie Fianna Fáil merger”
Its impossible to overstate how much animosity there was in the 1970s between the SDLP and the Stickies in West Belfast.
Seamus Lynch told some anecdote about getting on so well with Gerry Fitt and Paddy Devlin that he knew more about SDLP thinking at the time than the SDLP members did.
Curiously many SDLP members present thought this was hilarious.
But surely an insult to loyal SDLP members. For two years n the 1970s I was the Secretary of the Falls Branch of SDLP.
Should I be offended?
To be honest, this whole merger-split thing is really troubling me.
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