The Sunday Times reports that Sinn Fein have been trying to re-engage the SDLP in a pan-nationalist approach to political developments. The republican leadership hoped for a joint statement by Adams and Durkan to respond to the latest political initiative of the government and Irish government. However, this was rejected.
As Sinn Fein has spent the post-agreement period trying to destroy the SDLP, why the shift in policy? The SDLP gave Sinn Fein a bloody nose over the On-The-Run legislation and has been making strong running on the republican form of restorative justice, is it to avoid more of the same? A SDLP insider seems to think so:
“When we are a position of greater strength than we have been for two or three years, we are not going to give other people political cover.”
Is this part of its “national movement” strategy? Or post-Comprehensive Agreement/Northern Bank/McCartney et al is it another sign of strategic drift among the republican leadership that it has opted for communal solidarity?