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Thread: British Labour to Organize in the Six Counties

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    Default British Labour to Organize in the Six Counties

    British Labour to become official party in NI - The Irish Times - Tue, Feb 17, 2009

    Interesting news from the six counties.

    British Labour to become official party in NI

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    The British Labour Party is organising itself as an official political party in Northern Ireland, it was confirmed today.
    The inaugural meeting of a country-wide constituency association is to take place in Belfast next Monday.

    Activists have been battling for years to have Northern Ireland treated in the same way as other parts of the UK by Labour.

    However it will be some time before any decision is taken to stand for election - but local members have their eyes fixed on the local council elections set for 2011 for a potential first outing.

    Queen's University lecturer Boyd Black - who made history last September when he became the first Northern Ireland constituency representative to address a party conference in 100 years when he took the platform at the conference in Manchester - said next week would be a landmark occasion.

    "Next Monday we are being formally constituted within the Labour Party organisation - up to now we have been unofficial members. Now we will have a party constitution and have elected officers," he said. "We will as of right have a seat on the National Policy Forum, the body which sits in permanent session and develops policy for the party."

    He added: "I think it is a big step forward. It's been a long fight, with the Labour high command - mindful of its links to the SDLP - having to be dragged along.

    Some four years ago, it was only the threat of legal action which led to the party agreeing it would accept membership applications from Northern Ireland.

    More recently it was the issuing of another writ which led to agreement for formal organisation of a constituency association.

    There was a requirement for the association to sign up 200 members and hold them for three months before it could be formally constituted.

    The 200-mark was passed last summer, numbers are heading towards 300 and Monday's inaugural meeting is the result, said Mr Black.

    "Standing for elections is down the road a bit, we won't be standing in this Parliament or for the European elections. In an ideal world I would like us to contest the local government elections in 2011," he added.

    However, what happens is likely to depend on the SDLP.

    "For a spell it looked as if the SDLP was going to merge with Fianna Fáil, that would have had implications for us," he said.

    He added he suspected the reality was the SDLP would be around as a political force for the next general election with the potential to win three seats in what could be a hung parliament. "We are going to have to tiptoe around all of this," said Mr Black.
    It seems they will not however be standing in the Euro elections as that is too soon adn they are looking at the local elections which will not be held unti 2011... I wonder if the SDLP would do a six county arrangement with them just as UUP and Conservatives did?
    Last edited by factual; 17th February 2009 at 06:46 PM.

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    The SDLP is an Irish party. They won't be doing any deals with the Brown government. I predict embarrassment and lost deposits all round for any candidates Noo Labour wish to run. If they can find any, of course.
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    Its quite clear that the SDLP will be re branding as LABOUR IRELAND over the coming years.

    New Labour are too far to the right to do well in the north.
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    With the society of angry 16th century unionist party (TUV) grabbing at the DUP's mandate and with these parties coming over from Britain (for their own selfish reasons) - things arnt looking good for the DUP who could lose a percentage of their vote at the next election.

    If SF gets the education matter sorted out by then, they could find themselves in an ideal position considering the fact that they only have the SDLP to contend with.

    The next elections in the north will be very interesting as they could be the first unpredictable election ive ever seen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftOfCentre View Post
    Its quite clear that the SDLP will be re branding as LABOUR IRELAND over the coming years.

    New Labour are too far to the right to do well in the north.
    Agreed on the second point.
    As to the first, that's very much a moot point. It wasn't so long ago some leading members were flirting with Fianna Fail.
    There remains a social democrat wing and a nationalist wing within the party, and it is by no means assured that they would remain integral outside of the aegis of the SDLP itself, which in any case has no plans whatsoever to do a PDs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkinner View Post
    Agreed on the second point.
    As to the first, that's very much a moot point. It wasn't so long ago some leading members were flirting with Fianna Fail.
    There remains a social democrat wing and a nationalist wing within the party, and it is by no means assured that they would remain integral outside of the aegis of the SDLP itself, which in any case has no plans whatsoever to do a PDs.
    I can't see the SDLP wanting to lose their particular brand somehow, which has survived now for the best part of 30 years. (Not as long as Sinn Féin-the oldest party in Ireland which is over 100 years old, mind).

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    Quote Originally Posted by factual View Post
    I can't see the SDLP wanting to lose their particular brand somehow, which has survived now for the best part of 30 years. (Not as long as Sinn Féin-the oldest party in Ireland which is over 100 years old, mind).
    Or as old as the Tories, which runs into centuries.
    Did you have a point to make, apart from contradicting your own opening post?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkinner View Post
    Or as old as the Tories, which runs into centuries.
    Did you have a point to make, apart from contradicting your own opening post?
    My opening point was really a question, to start discussion. That said, the SDLP could do an arramgenemt with British Labour which preserves their party and brand, that is (I understand) what the UUP and British Conservative Party are doing. So it's not necessarily a contradiction in and of itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factual View Post
    My opening point was really a question, to start discussion. That said, the SDLP could do an arramgenemt with British Labour which preserves their party and brand, that is (I understand) what the UUP and British Conservative Party are doing. So it's not necessarily a contradiction in and of itself.
    In your opening post, you wondered about the possibility of the SDLP entering into an alliance with British Labour, a suggestion you quickly acknowledged was nonsense.
    Perhaps I should open a thread or two speculating on Sinn Fein forging links with the Qaddafi regime, FARC guerillas, ETA and other entities involved in terrorism?
    Except that would be a blatant attempt to smear a rival party on my part with no supporting evidence.
    Oh wait...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCSkinner View Post
    In your opening post, you wondered about the possibility of the SDLP entering into an alliance with British Labour, a suggestion you quickly acknowledged was nonsense.
    Perhaps I should open a thread or two speculating on Sinn Fein forging links with the Qaddafi regime, FARC guerillas, ETA and other entities involved in terrorism?
    Except that would be a blatant attempt to smear a rival party on my part with no supporting evidence.
    Oh wait...
    JC, why do the SDLP sit on the Government benches in the Westminster House of Commons?

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