Letting the side down

Maurice Hayes rebukes Fianna Fail and the SDLP (aka the Civil Rights party) for their joint fundraising breakfast for surcharged Newry councillors. He argues their behaviour was the opposite of the founding attitudes of the SDLP:

In taking their stance, the SDLP councillors seem to have lost the plot, at least as it was written by their founding fathers. Was it for this that Austin Currie squatted to protest discrimination by a local council, or John Hume led civil rights marches in Derry to protest at the exclusion of a whole community from civic life? It is hard to imagine Seamus Mallon or Gerry Fitt or that man of enormous compassion, Paddy Devlin having much time for this sort of petty discrimination. What raises it from the petty to the serious was the abuse of power in depriving a group of ratepayers of the use of a publicly owned facility (ironically called a community centre) on the same terms as it was available to others.

He also argues strongly that the ‘who’ in this case doesn’t and shouldn’t have mattered.