Who would you nominate as working peers for Northern Ireland?

No shrinking violet Nuala, who tells the Irish News she nominated herself for a working peerage years ago

.“I have chosen to do it because legislation is made in parliament and the House of Lords is part of Northern Ireland. The voice of Northern Ireland is not heard as strongly as it should be because there are very few working peers from Northern Ireland. It’s an opportunity for me to serve more widely.

(Should this read.. “the House of Lords is part of Parliament?) Her comments suggest she wants to put herself at some distance from any idea that she is an SDLP proxy. Fair enough. I assume she was nominated by Dowing St because her elevation was bracketed along with that of the Chief Rabbi for GB, Jonathan Sachs. The main alternative to party nomination is a supporters’ write -in to the Lords Appointments Commission, the misnamed “people’s peers.” Hard to see Nuala in quite that light. Who might be Slugger’s nominees as working peers in the Upper House? Whatever the distancing, the SDLP’s welcome of “Baroness O’Loan” shows that nationalists are not ruled out, especially with increasing Lords reform.

  • John Hammond

    Michael Longley

    Seamus Heaney

  • Glensman

    Eamonn McCann

  • Dewi

    Lembit Opik will need a job after the Election.

  • Greenflag

    Gerry Adams – he needs a real challenge/job or one that resembles a real job and/or challenge.This doddering old folks recreation club could do with a Tribune of the people to keep them awake during debate . The mere sound of Adam’s Belfast tones will have the ermines shaken out of their sleep everytime he speaks .He can remind them of the wrongful partition of Ireland every opportunity he gets and also remind them of the Lord’s ‘history’ of rejecting Gladstone’s Home Rule Bill which had been passed by the Commons 😉


  • exile

    Seamus Mallon. Obviously he’d reject it, but he deserves much more recognition than he’s hitherto received for the role he played in bringing relative peace to the north. If ‘Lord’ Trimble is worth one Noble Prize (and he isn’t) then Mallon’s worth three.

  • Michael Shilliday

    My understanding of the proceedure is that Downing St had nothing to do with either nomination, they were both nominated by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, who it should be said, encourage personal applications rather than nominations on behalf of others.

  • Rory Carr

    It should be remembered that these peerages are awarded and that those so ‘honoured’ represent none but themselves and of course the interests, often commercial, whose influence inspired their ‘elevation’.

    O’Loan’s appointment is merely a reward for her sevice as a British fonctionairre and the benefits of that experience she can bring to the upper chamber of the British political system.

    There will be a number in the SDLP who will be salivating at the prospect of ermine and daily allownces for ‘signing on’ to defray the cost of those trips to the delights of London but the party must be wary of any taint of ‘Fittism’ and how that might affect their prospects in those areas of democracy where they actually have to appeal for votes.

    The struggle of northern nationalists since the sellout of partition has been, for good or ill, for more democracy not less and the power that nationalism nurtured and built through great struggle and sacrifice can only but be diluted by allowing those who would be appointed by a British authority to don ermine robes and to claim they do so as representatives of nationalist aspirations. That would be a lie, a retrograde step in the forward march of nationalism and the most hollow mockery of all that has transpired since the advent of the first Civil Rights marches.

    As to the idea that Gerry Adams (or Eamonn McCann – though I suspect that suggestion was tongue-in-cheek) might sit in the British House of Lords – I find that even more shameful than the image of the great Sioux war chieftain, Sitting Bull (Tatanka-Iyotanka), demeaning himself and his nation as a stooge in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

    At least Sitting Bull (Tatanka-Iyotanka) eventually redeemed himself with his rejection of this mockery and his return to his people in calling for the Ghost Dance ceremony to be enacted for which embrace of his integrity he was murdered by reservation policemen while ‘resisting arrest’.