SDLP McDonnell – ‘Opinion growing that SDLP should pull out of Executive’.

In policy terms observers might have noticed the first glimpse of clear blue water between the two candidates in the SDLP leadership on Inside Politics in an interview with South Belfast MP Alasdair McDonnell.

McDonnell said there was a growing body of opinion amongst party supporters arguing the SDLP should not accept being denied the Justice Ministry and instead should pull out of the executive.

Under Durkan’s leadership the party continually avoided any discussion over their participation in the executive, with sometimes calamitous results, particularly around the budget debate. Is McDonnell putting the issue on the table the signposting of a new approach under his leadership?

With Margaret Ritchie clearly relishing the challenge of ministerial office it will be interesting to see how this debate plays amongst the party faithful…

  • Panic, These Ones Likes It Up Em.

    In politics I would say that is “real politic” to desert a sinking ship.

    If the sinking ship gives you a real good reason to dis-embark it would almost be bad manners not to leave with your head held as high as possible.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Interesting to hear Fionnuala O’Connor instantly ridicule this strategy after the interview with McDonnell on Radio Ulster.

    Also noteworthy was the attempt to deflect attention from the SDLP’s support of Poots’ attempt to unilaterally alter the council boundaries.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The only way for this to work would be for the UUP, SDLP and PUP to join the rest of us in trying to establish some kind of a workable opposition to the executive, rather than try to operate under the yoke of the DUP-SF axis. The SDLP cannot go it alone.

    However, I don’t realistically expect this to happen. Alex Attwood still keeps referring to “my community” and the UUP are attempting to conspire with other unionist parties in S Belfast to keep the taigs out at all costs. It’s a real shame that there is no real prospect of a coalition being built without the extremists.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Yip! I think they should trot off into the sunset. All the Hibs, half-loafers, brown envelopers and the Beast(865) himself. Good bloody riddance.

  • Expenses111

    It seems that already the SDLP is in turmoil and the leadership election has only just started. I know both big al and wee maggie said it would be a friendly discussion but it is turning into a dog fight. Big Al thinks the SDLP should pull out simply because he wants to be Justice Minister. Margaret wants to stay in the Executive for the money.

  • [i]Big Al thinks the SDLP should pull out simply because he wants to be Justice Minister. Margaret wants to stay in the Executive for the money.[/i]

    Evidence?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    How sweet – we have SF and the DUP ably, though belatedly, assisted by the Alliance Party trying in their own ways to implement the agreement/s and we have the UUP and the SDLP making a variety of funny anti-agreement noises – “it cant work” (UUP) and “we wont let it work” (SDLP).

    Great Stuff from the 2 parties of the middle-muddle.

  • allstar

    There is no reason why the SDLP should stay in Executive.. their sole Minister has said repeatedly…she has been bullied, ignored, kept in the dark etc by the political carve up ( her definition) of both SF and DUP. Mc Donnell actually has not said anything and is trying too hard to appease everyone and it will end in tears. In a few weeks only the wonks and the nerds will care about this race!

  • ghgh

    “There is no reason why the SDLP should stay in Executive.. their sole Minister has said repeatedly…she has been bullied, ignored, kept in the dark etc by the political carve up”

    Wait then allstar till their sole minister gets a taste of life under the people person should he win.

    SDLP policy is now being defined not by how to save the party but how to achieve short term gain over an opponent in an internal election.

    This could get very enjoyable indeed. I am guessing Maggie wants will stay and if big Al wins then I guess he will want to then stay in as well.

    Does big al have the stomach to spend time out of the executive rebuilding a party when that rebuilding might take years. dont think so Ted.

  • JoMax

    Post 2:

    Chris Donnelly, you’re one big joke. I think the SDLP should come out and say that Cllr. Brian Heading was on a solo run and speaking only for himself. As an SDLP member I have no hesitation in saying that the SDLP centrally was asleep at the wheel over the Belfast boundary recommendations.

    However, the bigger elephant in the room is the connivance between Sinn Fein and DUP to disadvantage the nationalist-majority electors of Limavady, Armagh and Moyle.

    Why don’t you say something about that instead of being so blatantly self-serving?

  • Expenses111

    1967,

    Wee Maggie said last november time that she was bullied week in week out in the Executive by Robinson and McGuiness. Then at the December Monitoring round she claimed there was a smash and grab raid on her budget. Then she stated that if it happened again or she was bullied she would walk. Mark Devenport on inside Politics asked her would she go and in her usual “wee girl lost act” she said no she wouldnt be bullied.

    draw your own conclusion….

  • spiritof07.com

    Frankly I am pleased to hear of any prospect that the SDLP might finally do something of note to expose and isolate the chaos at the heart of the Executive. If that is what McD will be about as leader then bring it on.

    Any chance at all the SDLP would pull out of the Executive under an Attwood / Ritchie leadership team? Think we know the answer to that.

  • LabourNIman

    ‘There is no reason why the SDLP should stay in Executive.. their sole Minister has said repeatedly…she has been bullied, ignored, kept in the dark’

    And this woman feels she can be a party leader? Being a junior party in a coalition government should include fighting your corner and not bitching about it. You are there to serve the people not be a door mat to the shinners and dupers

  • Rory Carr

    By threatening to ‘pull out’ of the Assembly I don’t suppose for one minute that the SDLP intend that they should resign their seats.

    They wouldn’t go and do anything as silly (and principled) as that surely?

  • frustrated democrat

    CS

    As you well know the UUP are not fielding ANY candidates in the up coming election so how can they do deals with anybody.

    There will be 18 C&U candidates – no deals.

  • JoMax

    I think the SDLP should stay in this coalition and see DUP and Sinn Fein tearing themselves apart. It’s a complete negation of the power-sharing model that Hume envisaged-people working together. Rather, it’s power division run by two pathetically inadequate “major” parties and, yes, it’s what their voters wanted, so they have to live with the consequences.

    The way things are going, either DUP or Sinn Fein-probably the latter-will cut and run from this Executive well before May 2011. Both these parties are running the Executive as a two-party coalition. They get the credit for the very few positives it has achieved; more importantly they will increasingly get blamed for the economic and financial downsides and the days of running to London with the begging bowl crying for more money or “blaming it on the Brits” has gone.

    I was in Magherafelt recently-the most SF- dominated place in the world-and was taken aback at how disillusioned some of their core support was, people mostly who were employed in the construction trade, who have nothing to get up in the morning for, and who are lumbered with big mortgages.

    It’s slowly dawning on them that Peter and Marty can do nothing for them and, more importantly, that Marty (described on this site some time ago (not by me) as “a semi-literate oaf”) is so busy preening himself that he doesn’t care.

  • Rory Carr

    If Marty is indeed ‘ a semi-literate oaf’, which description you seem all too happy to repeat, JoMax, then he surely must be in a comfortable office partnership with Peter who on his best day would hardly be mistaken for Melvyn Bragg.

  • Expenses111

    JoMax

    I think people blame politics in genral. All MLA’s are living it up and the majority of people are now disguisted with it. The DUP is looking over its shoulder to Jim Allister, UUP to the Conservatives and Sylvia Hermon and both SDLP and Sinn Fein are losing ground and have no ideas how to turn it around.

  • Dave

    Stormont certainly needs to be benchmarked by means that are other than what is in essence sectarian rivalry, e.g. one side’s ability to progress an ILA, some Maze project, P & J devolution, etc, and the other side’s ability to impede the progression of same. If an opposition helps to set targets in the areas that seem to concern ordinary folks more (e.g. jobs, crime, etc), then that can only be for the good. As it stands, I haven’t clue if it has achieved anything and neither do most folks. What sort of a democracy is that?

  • John O’Connell

    Pancho’s Horse

    Yip! I think they should trot off into the sunset. All the Hibs, half-loafers, brown envelopers and the Beast(865) himself. Good bloody riddance.

    I think we should keep the focus on Gerry Adams (the beast 666) and how he will deal with the remainder of the Gordon Brown era. You may recall that Gerry is to go in disgrace, much in the same way as Paisley, only more decisively, under the rule of Gordon Brown, the seventh PM of the Troubles.

    If Gerry Adams is to go soon, the SDLP would do well to be ready to take advantage in that complete transformation in fortunes.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I think people blame politics in genral. All MLA’s are living it up and the majority of people are now disguisted with it.

    I’m a firm believer that the electorate get the politicians they deserve. We have some truly woeful examples here. There are MLAs sitting in Stormont who are illiterate. And that’s just among the number that turn up. Other MLAs (such as one Mr Gerry Adams) are hardly ever there.

    Send them a message by voting elsewhere. Doesn’t have to be anyone in particular. It’s the only way to make them jump.

  • slug

    Sympathetic to this view.

    Why should the SDLP or UUP sit in the Exec that is run by DUPSF when there is a role of opposition that is worthwhile politically?

  • J Kelly

    This is typical sdlp bluster and as usual will come to nothing. This is putting it up to Mags more than anything. I didn;t see the interview but from the blog it seems that as usual this a threat not a policy.

    John ODowd stated today that he believed that the executive isn’t working so maybe the sdlp mghtn’t have a decision to make.

  • picador

    Conniving with Poots to gerrymander the city boundary in favour of unionism is not going to win the party votes in Belfast.

  • borden

    I think most posters should go on i player and have a careful listen to what McDonnell is saying. He isn’t committinf the stoops to anything in the near future and is playing his cards close to his chest. Of course there are strong arguments for and against this but I would prefer if McDonnell does become leader that he does offer up some working arrangement with the UUP/Green and Alliance parties to offer an alternative to Sinn Fein/DUP.
    Of course the typical PSF response is that they’ll blow the house down anyway if they don’t getr their way. (if you pardon the pun)

  • question mark question mark

    Of course the typical PSF response is that they’ll blow the house down anyway if they don’t getr their way. (if you pardon the pun)

    Leave Sinn Fein alone. They’re our friends!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Inclusive government – SF and the DUP have had to drag Wee Reggie kicking and screaming into the executive after the Wee fecker told us for months that – he wouldnt be part of anything that couldnt work – as shocking a piece of self-serving jibber-jabber as you are likely to hear on a day’s uninteruppted non contentious marching in Norn Iron.

    So now that belatedly the tricky little fecker is safely in the tent we have the SDLP coming out with and even more shocking piece of self-serving jibber-jabber as you are likely to hear on a day’s uninteruppted non contentious marching in Norn Iron.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Getting my Wee fellahs mixed up – the first para should say Wee Davey not Wee Reggie.

  • YelloSmurf

    I think that the SDLP would be perfectly justified in walking away. Everyone needs to realize that the SDLP are either part of the executive or they aren’t. We can not have the DUP and Sinn Fein cutting them or the UUP out of the process. Likewise the SDLP need to realize that they can not be in the executive and in opposition at the same time and their current approach is duplicitous.

    Oh, and Frustrated Democrat, the fact that the UCUNF leadership prevented a deal with the DUP in South Belfast doesn’t change the fact that the grass roots wanted it. The fact that such a deal was even discussed shows that the UUP membership have a long way to go.