Friday, July 23, 2010

Labour Party Members in N.Ireland- they exist!

According to David Miliband anyway.
You wouldn't have seen a Labour leadership candidate risking something like this twenty years ago, progress indeed.

Thanks to Mr Guitar for alerting me to this.


Anonymous said...

Of course, according to Mr. Guitar the key is to involve the Irish Labour Party.

The Unionist wet dream of holding on to the Union by getting catholics to vote for a British "mainland" party is not what is being suggested here. If Mr. Guitar's proposal took hold there would be two non sectarian, indifferent on the constitutional question, parties: Alliance-centre and Alliance-left.

This would reduce the Unionist vote even further from just under 50%, which is where it will be in the next Assembly election, to somewhere in the mid 40's.

O'Neill said...


You shouldn't presume to second-guess the contents of my wet dreams;)

Curiously enough (and you would have known this if you had bothered to read my material since the General Election) the Unionist parties dropping below 50% wouldn't be particularly disturbing for me for the minute.

Speaking as a Unionist, I would welcome the "normalisation" of politics here (although your implied assertion that British Labour can still be considered as in any way belonging to the "left" is an interesting one)whether or not that would involve some kind of amalgmataion of British-Irish Labour parties, again, wouldn't particularly disturb me. The fact that British Labour denied its potential voters and supporters here the chance to participate does-did disturb me, it was simply undemocratic.

I do hope I haven't shaken you too far out of your comfort-zone with my reply here

slug said...

I agree with O'Neill.

I am a unionist but the demise of old style unionist parties and their replacement with issue based parties - even ones that leave position on the union to the individual conscience of their members - is better for democracy.

And a democratic union - with parties that can form positions on what they would do in government - is the only one worth having.

A Spectator of Life said...

If Labour and the Conservatives do run in the assembly elections it will be definitely make it much more interesting...imagine Labour and Tories getting Executive seats XD

Anonymous said...

I was only stating the obvious. The immediate (and probably medium term) future for "norn Iron" is a no overall control situation, which will suit nationalists just fine. Much better than the political slum that has existed since NI was engineered. By the way "democracy" implies the will of the people being listened to. 1801, a protestant only parliament takes Ireland into the Union. 1920, four protestant majority counties and two catholic ones are shoehorned into NI. There are many more instances of unionist "democracy" so forgive me if I am yawning a bit...

O'Neill said...

"There are many more instances of unionist "democracy" so forgive me if I am yawning a bit..."

You base your political philosophy on the events of 1801 and 1920?

Here's a quote for you:

"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity."
Roy P. Basler.

But, yes, whatever, if you're feeling tired, don't let us keep you up

belfastgreyhound again said...

Politics is like engineering - there really are no new ideas.
This appeal by Milliband is really depressing for a number of reasons - not least that he seems to have nothing to say to labour Party members and supporters in Northern Ireland.
Hollow intonations of the saintly work of Blair and Brown??? in bringing eternal peace reconciliation and prosperity resonate like like broken bells.
What is really depressing on several levels in the broader sense is the seeming realisation that the position of the late Northern Ireland Labour Party that the border was not THE issue is being rediscovered by people who wish to involve themselves in politics.
A pity that the labour party in Britain has not discovered the confidence to prosecute such a line and make an appeal for members in Northern Ireland and begin real politics.
Reg's attempt to recreate 'normal' politics was doomed to failure for a number of reasons, not least that it was a top down experiment BUT there is already a real link with the Government in Westminster through the Alliance (LibDems) the entry on a proper footing of the Labour Party would serve to strengthen politics here on a normal basis.
After all the most discredited gang of muppets who ever ran a Government in the Republic (FF) are actively recruiting in Armagh for members, so what has Labour to lose if it actually seeks to recruit and run an organisation in NI?
Hardly a reputation for risk taking.

Anonymous said...

You don't seem to appreiciate the significance of the dates quoted. They are dates when the status of Ireland changed.

Here are a few others:

1155 when an english pope purported to grant Ireland to Henry II.

1297 when the Irish parliament was founded. No Irish were allowed.

1494 the Irish parliament is made subservient to the english parliament. Much anti Irish legislation is also passed.

1541 because Henry VIII no longer recognises the papacy he reconstitutes his rule as now not depending on the papal grant.

1691 Catholics barred from the parliament of Ireland.

1728 Catholics barred from voting.

2000 DUP now say a simple nationalist majority is not sufficient. There has to be a majority of unionists in favour of any constitutional change.

See a common theme? I am not much impressed therefore by unionist "democracy".

O'Neill said...

It won't be a shock to you that all but one of the dates were a bit before my time. Even with the last one, unless you're a believer in the concept of collective communal responsibility (and as a Republican I'd recommend that you shouldn't be) is nothing to do with me or my own personal political beliefs.

If you don't believe me on my commitment to a liberal, secular democracy, well, in the end that's up to you.

Anonymous said...

My point is that in a true democracy Ireland would not have been part of the Union, or would have ceased to be at many points up to now. The last thing we need are more artificial attempts to prolong the Union.

O'Neill said...

Why do you think the Union has, despite all expectations to the contrary, been "artifically prolonged" up to this date? As long as the majority of people within that Union wish it to continue then it will do so.

Re the democracy question and lessons of history.

When Sinn Fein won the majority of Irish seats in the Westminster parliamentary election of 1918 and effectively put the wheels in motion for the separation of the 26 counties, Ireland, as whole, was (in international law) recognised as an integral part of the larger British nation.

Sinn Fein and their views were a small minority in that parliament and that parliament would not have assented to any part of Ireland separating. Weren’t SF then, as a small minority, acting undemocratically; if not what how would you justify them forcing the split?