Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Labour in Northern Ireland edges us further towards equal citizenship

Although its mismanagement of the United Kingdom’s government has proved lamentable, I must join O’Neill in welcoming news that the Labour Party is officially organising in Northern Ireland. It should seek to fight elections here as quickly as possible.

If a small number of UUP members feel so alienated by the Conservative link-up that they no longer have a home within the former party then local Labour might represent a convivial alternative.

And ideally the SDLP would seek a similar arrangement with Labour as that established between Ulster Unionists and Tories, but there remains too traditional a nationalist streak within Mark Durkan’s party for that to become a likelihood.

Given the Northern Ireland party’s statist inclinations and tendency to support the government in crucial votes, perhaps the most obvious link up should be between Labour and the DUP.

Levity aside, anything which can edge politics here towards normality, and which gives Northern Ireland voters greater access to political choices enjoyed by the rest of the UK, can only be a positive development.


bertmart said...

I do think the Labour Party could do well here, appealing to those who want to go above tribal politics. If Kate Hoey was to fight a seat, I genuinely think she would win

Johnny Guitar said...

It has been a long hard struggle by people like Boyd Black and Andy McGivern just to get Millbank to concede this much. I don't believe the Labour leadership want anything to do with Northern Ireland. Can’t think why though. Looking at the opinion polls they should be fighting whatever UK seats are on offer.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia Hermon could join Labour and if she got re-elected as an MP she would have achieved a lot for the various causes she believes in.

Chekov said...


I tend to agree with Johnny Guitar that Labour has been dragged kicking and screaming to Northern Ireland. I'd be sorely tempted to vote for Kate Hoey mind you!

Anonymous said...

Kate Hoey may be in Labour but she is centre right and more likely to run on a CU ticket as she is now working with the Conservatives on specific projects.