NI Labour Party members put pressure on party

I don’t know what, if anything, the Secretary of State for Wales, etc, said at the scheduled meeting of Labour Party Members living in Northern Ireland in October, or if he turned up at all.. but he might want to schedule another one quickly, especially if he wants to keep the trade unions onside for that campaign. As UTV report, Andy McGiven has instructed his solicitors to take the legal action against the Labour Party over the treatment of its members in Northern Ireland back to the courts after the party failed to meet his Christmas deadline for completing a previous agreement to create a forum for Northern Ireland members.
From the UTV report

“It is very disappointing,” he told PA.

“The agreement would have created a forum for Northern Ireland members that would have been like a constituency association.

“It would also have kept under review membership in the province with a view to the possible formation of association.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to again pursue a legal action against the party I am a member of.

“I find it staggering that it is taking more than three months to have an agreement typed up, signed and lodged with the courts.

“The deadline for this to be wrapped up was Christmas Eve and there is no possibility that it can be met. So it appears to me that the agreement is off.”

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  • Plum Duff

    Do we, after all these years, really want to lock up children’ swings again?

    OK, fair cop, guv, glib comment – that was the *Northern Ireland* Labour Party.

    Still, they’re now dead in the water while, regrettably, I fear Andy McG is, unintentionally, planning for a stillbirth. I admire his tenacity in trying to promote the Labour Party in NI, but all evidence points to the fact that that we are more than satisfied with our own little, twisted and gnarled parochialism and vote accordingly.

    Why else would the natural hinterlands of Labour, in Belfast – Shankill, Falls, Newtownards Road, etc. – vote for their own (separate) brands of ‘conservatism’?

  • Cahal

    Jeez, take a hint. No Irish need apply.

    Move to Britain or join the SDLP or Irish Labour Party.

  • Julian Robertson


    Just because the No Irish signs are up doesn’t mean you meekly accept it.

  • JD

    True Julian

    Such exclusion from governmental politics should not be taken lying down. However using the Irish Labour Party is of merit – their own website states the Irish “Labour Party only contests elections in the Republic of Ireland, the Northern Ireland Labour Forum is in all other aspects a branch of the Party and members participate fully in campaigning and debate. The NI Labour Forum is also seeking a formal structural relationship with the British Labour Party”.

    The fact Irish Labour members elected ex-Stickies to the leading posts shows they would not consider themselves a nationalist party. The important thing is to develop governmental politics. Take North Down the Tories will be fighting for the last seat with an all Ireland Green Party – the point being its is not a nationalist or unionist party, it just happens to be all Ireland which is different.

    How do you think the UUP would divide between Tory and Labour?

  • IJP

    I’m with Plum Duff I’m afraid.

    Admirable though the tenacity is, if it takes legal challenges just to get your party to stand, that should tell you something about its intentions. In the end the (British) Labour Party will decide whether it takes standing in NI seriously – and it’s obvious what the answer will be.

    You have to play the hand you’re dealt, even if it’s an unfortunate one.

    We are a people used to politics along sectarian lines. The first task is to end that. To achieve such, there are other options.

  • JD

    “We are a people used to politics along sectarian lines. The first task is to end that. To achieve such, there are other options.”

    It won’t dramtically vanish overnight.

    You can have dual membership of both Labour Parties. The best avenue to use is join UK Labour and then join the Irish Labour forum and use it for organisational purposes. If they use Irish Labour they can have more clout in dealing with British Labour as I’m sure Irish labour will want to cut a deal with British Labour to ensure it along with its affiliates doesn’t carry the entire cost of a Northern Ireland organisation.

    The fact is the NI Labour Forum has as policy that it wants “a formal structural relationship with the British Labour Party” – so why not use that organisation.

  • Bob Wilson

    Intersting perspective Ian but the truth is that the NI Tories were similarly unwanted in the late 90s but a combination or long term grass roots work inside the Party and the decline of the UUP (not to mention APNI and SDLP) means that attidues in the Party to contesting NI have fundamentally changed.
    Labour Party attitudes are being driven by a minority of (ironically) Irish Nationalist/left wing people who are a declining minority. Andy and co will beat them and begin a transformation of attiudes.
    Also agree dual Irish/UK Labour membership is the way forward