Time 2 party…

BRITISH Labour Party members in Northern Ireland have struck a deal with the leadership that appears to pave the way for the party to stand in elections Here. Meanwhile, independent Assembly member Kieran {encode=”http://u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?id=82558&pt=n” title=”Deeny has formed his own party”}, the Independent Health Coalition. Critics might slam him as a one man band, but if being a party entitles an MLA to better accommodation and a larger office allowance, who could blame him?

  • joeCanuck

    If you’re a medical doctor, I wonder how easy it is to get access to mindbending drugs.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Excellent on the Labour front. Slow learners that party but they’ve finally realised that NI is part of the UK.

    The way things are going, the next election could see candidates from:

    DUP
    UUP
    SDLP
    SF
    PUP
    Greens
    Workers Party
    FF (you never know)
    FG (you never know)
    PD (well they need some votes from somewhere)
    Labour (how about Irish labour joining too just to confuse things)
    Tories
    IHC (Deeney)
    Rainbow George
    Various Independents

    Any others?

  • páid

    Heretofore I believe NI residents who applied to the British Labour Party for membership were referred to the SDLP.

    Who now may feel free from any obligation not to look South…….

  • GavBelfast

    “Labour (how about Irish labour joining too just to confuse things)”

    Why not – after the British Labour leader’s loud endorsement for Bertie, the two ‘Labour’ parties are hardly bosom pals are they?

  • heck

    just what we need, another party lead by someone with a problem telling the truth.

    Unionists claim to have problems with fenian elected representatives who they claim are responsible for over 1000 deaths but then they want to be represented by the poodle’s poodles. People who voted for an illegal war that has killed at least 650000 people.

    If we what a british political party to organise in Nor Iron why not lobby for the Monster Raving Looney Party. At least they are better that Blair’s f***ing lobby fodder.

  • Dec

    Electoral humiliation and lost deposits all round.

  • slug

    “Electoral humiliation and lost deposits all round. ”

    Wrong thread?

  • Labourman

    Finally it happens!

    This is essentially what was agreed at the NEC in January, the delay is inexcusable.

    We now have the opportunity to deliver Labour politics in Northern Ireland which will be a beacon to all of those frustrated with the tail-chasing-dog politics that we have currently.

    Time too for a rapprochement between both Labours in the North, before a SF, injured by the election in the republic, starts targetting the Unions.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dec is right. If the Labour Party runs here, it will fail dismally in the same way that the Conservatives have. There is already a “Northern Ireland Labour Party”, various socialists, and so on, all of whom have failed – why would the “official” UK party do any better ?

    That said, they should never have been restricted from running.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Labourman:

    We now have the opportunity to deliver Labour politics in Northern Ireland which will be a beacon to all of those frustrated with the tail-chasing-dog politics that we have currently.

    Plenty of people have run on a “Labour” ticket before, and failed to get many votes. What makes you think that this will change ?

    Time too for a rapprochement between both Labours in the North, before a SF, injured by the election in the republic, starts targetting the Unions.

    I’m beginning to think you’re living in some sort of fantasy world. The unions have had little or no relevance in NI politics for a very, very long time.

  • noel adams

    Labour politics are relevant in both jurisdictions on this island, witness a unionist health minister and SF TD both lauding the praises of a health service universal and free at point of use.QED.

  • Labourman

    Thank you, Joseph Vissarionovich.

    The Party locally will be holding a dinner on Thursday at which the keynote speaker will be Rt Hon Alan Johnston MP Minister for Education and contender for the Deputy Leadership.

    We will also be launching a booklet on the first Labour Party Conference which was held in Belfast in 1907.

    I would also mention that anyone wanting to vote in the Deputy Leadership contest can join the Labour Party before 12 midnight on the 31 May. You can join at http://www.labour.org.uk/leadership/join_to_choose

    Interested, Pete Baker ?

  • slug

    Very welcome news.

    Labourman – hopeful of getting your 200 member threshold?

  • seanzmct

    Comrade Stalin,dec and heck are completely and dismally missing the point.

    Labour’s electoral boycott of Northern Ireland was a disgraceful denail of democratic accountability by a governing party. In addition,
    the absence of Labour helped to give sectarian politics a free run. There are plenty of Catholics and Protestants who would be more at home in the Labour Party than what is currently on offer.

    It will obviously take time to build the Labour electoral base in the north but what matters is that those who wish to do so have now been given the democratic opportunity. They will not be standing as independents or provincialists, but as members of a national party. And, by the way Comrade Stalin, I used to be a member of the Northern Ireland Labour Party. It no longer exists
    and when it did, it suffered from not being an integral part of the Labour party like Labour in Scotland and Wales.

  • The agreement as reported puts the British LP on the same level of organisation as Irish Labour, which has had a forum for several years now, has sent delegates to party conferences, and has a co-opted members on the NEC.

    The crunch point is standing in elections, as this threatens the relationship with the SDLP which both parties still have through the Socialist International. I may be wrong, and I hope I am, but I get the impression that this will be far more difficult for both Labour parties to achieve as the respective Head Offices are happy with the status quo.

    In the end, political parties are about fighting elections and if both Labour parties are not in a position to do this then they are really only pressure groups. The question of whether people will vote for us can be resolved once we have permission to put up candidates.

    And does anyone else think it’s ironic to celebrate the centenary of the first Labour Party Conference in a part of the UK in which Labour doesn’t contest elections?

  • IJP

    The unions have had very little relevance

    Oh I don’t know, Comrade. The fire fighters’ union guy stood in the last election and got, er, yes, see your point…

  • seanzmct

    It is all to easy for our socialistic hurlers on the ditch to denigrate the role played by the trade unions over the years in the north. They have been a progressive moderating influence on society here and many workers would have been a hell of a lot worse off without them.

  • Labourman

    Slug,

    We could have had organisation already if we had been able to move in January. I do not see 200 as an obstacle.

    I expect to see all of the party moving forward together on this. Relationships with the party will now shift from an individual to a representative basis.

  • Pounder

    Is there room for the Labour party in NI? The last Assembly election was the death knell for a lot of smaller parties, we now have 5 main parties (DUP, SF, UUP, SDLP and Alliance). As an Alliance activist I don’t see what Labour can bring to the left that Alliance doesn’t.

  • Dec

    Comrade Stalin,dec and heck are completely and dismally missing the point.

    No we get that point. Super. Local nobodies can now stand at elections, reveal to a disinterested electorate about how finally they can play their part in ‘National’ politics, receive 100 votes, send the bill to London, go home and not bother anybody again for 5 years. Meanwhile, somewhere in London, Labour purse-string holders will try to rid their minds of the mental image of a dog pissing up the wall.

  • Bic O’Front

    Do these so-called Labour supporters really think they are doing the party a service by devoting resources away from areas where finances are needed by to win seats and keep us in Government (where we actually have a chance of winning)?

    I would have much more respect for this group if they set up a Labour structure there and affiliated to both the Irish and British Labour Parties. If last week’s election in the Republic proved anything it is that NI politics aren’t ‘national’ in either the Irish or British sense. NI is a unique place with unique politics – not just ‘another part of the UK’, and people there need to accept that.

    As it stands, this campaign is simply the remnants of the Peking Branch of the Orange Order posturing and begrudging to advance a failed agenda of direct rule politics. Power is being devolved away from London to NI and therefore the island of Ireland, and there will be no roll-back of that and Labour should stay well clear of those who support that failed agenda.

  • Bic O’Front

    First paragraph: devoting should of course be diverting.

    Now where did I leave those rosary beads?

  • Bic,

    NI is different from the rest of the UK but is still part of it and in particular we still share a common tax and benefits system, as well as defence policy (re. the latter, I’m sure many people here in NI wish we didn’t). The all-Ireland agenda is also important given that NI and the Republic share an island. So rather than being part of neither as you suggest, we are actually part of both. That’s what people here have to accept, and by and large I think they do.

    You also assume devolution is a precursor to a united Ireland. Have a look at some of the coverage from the RoI election last week. They don’t want us any more than you do.

    As for Labour getting back into power in GB (if that is where you are writing from, it’s not clear), if that’s going to be a struggle I think you’ll find it’s got nothing to do with NI.

  • Elvis Parker

    Love the dismissive attitudes of the mainly nationalist posters. Truth is most of them come from the Kevin McNamara school of thougt on Irish politics.
    For those of you unaware McNamara (once a Labour MP) famously argued behind close doors that we mustnt let people in NI get involved in Labour or Conservative parties because there was a danger that people (particualrly the Irish Catholic master race) might get used to normal politcs and become increasingly happy to remain in the UK.
    Strangely this facist bigotted nonsense was never highlighted by the Guardian, etc. Thankfully too this thinking has largely been routed from the Labour mainstream who have a better understanding of democracy.

    After four years of crap govt by SF/DUP/SDLP/UUP the people might actually welcome any alternative!

    I suppose I should be more sympathetic to nationalist posters esp as wheels have just come off the SF bandwagon.

    Truth is with violence and/or threat of SF are on a hiding to nothing

  • Labourman

    Mr Bic,

    You make some interesting, if entirely fallacious, points.

    1. Labour campaigns in NI will use funds raised in NI. We have been paying our full wack as members for a number of years with no return. We have also been paying the Unions political levy for decades with no return. Yet you begrudge us receiving the same central funding as all CLP’s ?

    2. There have been structures established in the past that consistently failed. We now have a situation in which we have two organisations which have full membership of the principle Labour Parties. Now the two organisations have to pull together and agree joint arrangements. Interestingly, Pat Rabbitte was involved in similar negotiations over the NUS/USI arrangements back in the seventies.

    3. To be honest I find your comments about the Orange Order completely irrelevant – and your use of racial language probably says enough about your whole xenophobic argument.

    4. I think all of us are aware that devolution has finally been restarted. Local Labour members have consistently supported devolution and strongly believe that local ministers should decide local priorities. We simply intend to contest future elections to ensure that Labour priorities are offered to the electorate.