SDLP in shambles?

I missed this from Chris Stalford a few weeks back. It’s a rare example of a unionist commentator giving nationalist politics some thought. He even manages to praise the calibre of Sinn Fein politicians in the process. The same hardly applies the other way round with Brian Feeney and others rarely letting Unionism off without a robust mention in dispatches.

  • irishman

    Not really a fair comparison, Mick. Feeney stands out- along with Jude Collins- because they’re the only nationalist voices in an overwhelmingly unionist field. Both have provided plenty of articles on unionism assessing the demise of the UUP and rise of the DUP. The ‘praise’ you refer to of Sinn Fein is couched in typical unionist waffle. What we really would like to hear unionists like Stalford disucss is how they’re going to disarm the unionist militias out there- you know, the ones DUP councillors in Lisburn meet with regularly.

  • peteb

    On the “plenty of articles on unionism assessing the demise of the UUP and rise of the DUP” – funny I was thinking the same thing when I read Chris’ piece.. to be honest I didn’t see much evidence of a lot of thought.. it reads as phoned in as the Feeney articles.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    There is a sizeable minority within the nationalist community that will never vote for SF under any circumstances, at least while there is some alternative.
    That being the case there will always be a place for the SDLP. I don’t think anyone from SF will be impressed by the false praise, nor do I those who vote for the SDLP will take talk of their demise too seriously.

  • aquifer

    To propose that the SDLP, having paid so much to bring Sinn Fein IRA back into the constitutional fold, and facing IRA threat more directly than the DUP ever did, now want to keep the IRA is unlikely going on silly.

    Admittedly the SDLP are useless at reminding us what a waste of time and lives the IRA’s efforts were and exposing the bankruptcy of the IRA’s economic thesis, but they are not the only ones, and in our wee Norn Irn no unionist expresses concern for the catholic welfare ghettos the IRA helped to engineer, and ‘Socialists’ have a soft spot for 70’s revolutionaries and dependent populations so don’t wait for them to bark either.

    That the DUP have a holy fear of competent middle ground and especially non-sectarian politics should not be surprising, and explains their choice of the SDLP as prime targets. The SDLP are in a very strong negotiating position, in the middle, owed favours by the sovereign powers, and to a large degree in control. Asserting that the IRA’s time has come, the DUP are actually praying that their own sell by date has not passed.

  • The Renegade

    I would pass no remarks about Stalford- he’s well known around Queen’s as a fundamentalist nut. He hasn’t a clue about the operations of the SDLP at Queen’s. It suits the DUP to raise the profile of SF- it makes it easier to them to complain about ‘terrorists’ being in power.

    Stalford’s buddy Jim Allister will testify to the strength and organisation of the SDLP @ Queen’s- after all, he attended a well received SDLP Youth organised debate with Alex Attwood there a couple of weeks ago. No other youth wing has such a good track record of organising events on politics @ QUB

  • carlosblancos

    Someone who works for the DUP (a party no SDLP supporter would ever vote for), who writes for the Newsletter (a paper that, save for the farming pages, no SDLP supporter reads) expounding on the future of the SDLP is laughable.

    It suits the DUP if the SDLP do badly. A strong SF means that the DUP can use scare tactics within unionism to increase their vote. Pathetic.

  • The Renegade

    Hear hear, carlos. The DUP and SF are best friends- they scratch each other’s propaganda backs with scaremongering drivel. SDLP have nothing to worry about from their rabid rantings.

  • Fraggle

    Didn’t Mark Durkan’s niece get elected president of the student’s union at queen’s recently?

  • Ciaran

    She did Fraggle but not on an SDLP ticket as far as I know as much as SF tried to make it into a political party decision for the students – it backfired on them!

  • The Renegade

    Yeah- Mary was president two years ago. She abstained from party political activity in her role

  • Fraggle

    out of interest renegade, are you involved with the sdlp at queen’s?

  • The Renegade

    I couldn’t possibly comment on my political affiliations and involvement. The Renegade is his won boss 😉

  • Butterknife

    I agree. I am honestly believing now that it suits the DUP to maintain Direct Rule at any cost.

  • ulsterman

    The SDLP reaped what they sowed. Gerry Adams and his murdering cohorts must be laughing at the idiots. To loose 110000 votes in an election is a disaster. The SDLP are now an irrelevance in the new Ulster Nation.

    Hume and Mallon like every national politician before them failed. Hume became only interested in his ego. Running to Clinton and running to Europe leaving third rate politicians like Durkan to captain the Titanic.

    The SDLP is dead in the water. The DUP are the masters now. Good riddance to them. Hume and go opened the door to SF Satanic scum. He sacraficed his party for a bunch of murderers and thugs.

    God Save The Queen.

  • Warm Storage

    This story may be apocryphal, but I recall hearing that during Mary Durkan’s presidency the Shinners were continuing to push the Irish signs at Queen’s issue. Being fluent in Irish, Mary allegedly invited a high-profile member of Sinn F

  • D’Oracle

    Promising perhaps but the comment in response that “The thing that Paisley never seemed to realise is that there will always be less on offer for him every time they return to the table” is a more profound insight

  • PS

    A little fact wouldn’t go astray Renegade, it was actually Jim Wells who faced Mr. Attwood in the debate at Queens. I really don’t think it is either fair or accurate to describe the SDLP as having the best record of organising political activity at QUB, although I do welcome the fact that they seem to have come out of the cobwebs this year, having seemed to have been more or less defunct last year.

    By the way, nobody actually gets elected on a party ticket at QUB, however the realities of the situation are somewhat different.

    I’m sure plenty of SF people could challenge individual SDLP members to a debate in Irish and find them scurrying away in embarrasment. You don’t neccessarily have to speak the language to a high degree in order to want to promote and foster it.