SWOTing the parties: Strengths of the SDLP…

Right, having had a break and a new leader we return to our SWOT analysis of the SDLP. We started backwards with threats and then weaknesses. Now we move on to strengths, and then finish tomorrow with a separate thread on opportunities. Remember for this thread we have a specific format. Just bullet points and just strengths. No discussion please. At the end we want to construct a chart so there is a reason for asking for short hand comments.

  • Kevsterino

    * Civil rights record
    * Never linked to paramilitarism
    * Take seats in Parliament

  • Gael gan Náire

    1. Patsy McGlone, whilst not vocal on Irish language issues, nor active on the ground on Irish language issues according to my sources, is an excellent Irish speaker. Some Irish speakers would vote for him on that basis alone.

    2. Dominic O Brollachain / Bradley is both an excellent Irish speaker and a radical and hard-working activist on the ground. He gets the support of Irish speakers at election time – even those who are actually Sinn Féin supporters.

    3. They (the SDLP) are not Sinn Fein.

    4. They have the support of the GAA

    5. They have the support of the Catholic Church

    6. They have the unquestioning support of the Irish News, known to them as ‘The Truth’.

    7. They are at least percieved as exclusively middle class and therefore ‘decent’.

    8. As they dont have any real aim, no one is ever disappointed

  • Mack

    1. The party held in the highest regard in the south (they really should be looking for a ‘permanement’ Seanad seat or two)

    2. The nationalist party best placed to attract Protestant members and candidates (they should actively work in this area – seek and promote Protestants who share their vision)

    3. Possibly the nationalist party best placed to attract relevant high achievers – if they can sort themselves out first – top barristers, businessment etc

    4. Not perceived as complete economic no-hopers amongst the business community

    5. The nationalist party best placed to pursue biculturalism as a strategy

    6. The intellectual owners of the current arrangements in NI

    7. Not a revolutionary party – they pose no threat to the sourthern state. Therefore they are the best placed party in NI to pursue a united Ireland (the integration for NI into the _existing_ Republic)

  • Wabbits

    1. Social democratic principles.

    2. Female leader.

    3. Architects and originators of the “peace process”.

    4. Experienced elected representatives.

    5. They have no connection to death of innocents.

    5. Improving party machine

    6. New faces are coming through, if a little too slowly.

    7. Have retained a core vote which can be built upon again.

  • David Crookes

    1. One of its four founders was a Protestant (Ivan Cooper).

    2. It didn’t give up and go out of existence like most of the high-principled splinter-group unionist parties.

    3. Although it started life as a coalition of very disparate individuals, it has become a cohesive party.

    4. A genuine split in the battle-hardened SDLP is almost unimaginable in peacetime.

    5. Hardline republicans can’t accuse its members of being Castle Catholics.

    6. It has displayed more patience than any other party.

    7. Whereas the Alliance Party still gives off a faint whiff of do-goodish superiority, the SDLP does not.

  • slug

    1. The only nationalist party in NI that allows elected reps to take their full salary; hence will attract professional and skilled people.

    2. Takes the Labour whip in Westminater. Thus, if you want to support the Labour government you can by voting for them.

    3. Unlike any other actual or potential nationalist party, takes up its seats at Westminster both in the Commons and in the new elected upper chamber that will probably eventually come about.

    4. Has a Social Democratic / Labour name that means it can develop as the Social Democratic/Labour option in NI, something currently absent.

  • John O’Connell

    1. Has a woman leader.

    2. Has a female value system.

    3. Has a New Testament value system opposed to fighting wars, and upholds non-violent strategy.

    4. Highly intellectual like the Catholic Church.

    5. Supports unity of the people rather than domination of Sinn Fein which will one day provoke civil war.

    6. Still hold Derry, the Jewel in Nationalism’s crown.

    7. Idealistic personnel rather than Sinn Fein’s plea to be socialists, which defines a socialist as someone who has nothing but wants to share it with everybody (unfair but what the hell).

  • Wabbits

    I forgot to mention

    1. It takes up the seats it wins at Westminster thereby fully representing those who choose to vote for them and fights their case fully.

    2. Whenever they accept expenses to do a job they actually do the job fully (linked to number 1 above.

    3. Can articulate their opinion successfully on other issues of global importance which are affected by UK Government policies. Simply by taking up their seats in the Commons. Thereby reflecting the concerns of their voters to the London government.

    4. Are the original “power sharers” as is evidenced in local Councils where they had significant representation or a majority of Councillors (Derry for example).

  • slug

    1. Mark Durkan contributes very well to the big issues in the Commons. Watching his contributions to those debates, it is clear he is an intelligent and well educated person, with good values. He is an asset.

  • David Crookes

    The SDLP was a broad enough church to make room for John Turnley, a Protestant and a former British Army officer. From the start it was always far more than a ‘Catholic party’.

    [A piece of party history can be reactivated and made into an element of party strength.]

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Mr Crookes,
    Its often forgotten that the original SDLP included 6 Stormont MPs and two were Senators, one of whom was Derry Protestant Claude Wilton.

  • aquifer

    Links to other social democratic parties in europe.

  • KateMcC

    Has woman leader
    Well versed on policies
    Articulate and broader view of politics than SF
    Broadly middle class, well educated (double edged sword)
    Non-violent
    Pro-Europe
    Less insular and non-sectarian
    History and representatives not contaminated with abuse of human rights
    Values and belief system remained constant and consistent
    Willing to sacrifice self for perceived greater good
    Politics not power seems to be main motivation unlike SF for whom power is everything.

  • Mack

    Links to other social democratic parties in europe.

    That’s got to be a big plus.

    Compare John Hume’s European and International record with that of Bairbre De Bruin.

    She is completely anonymous, surely the SDLP should be making that seat a priority and compare and contrast their records in order to bolster their chances. I’d guess the electorate will vote for who think will deliver (and SF have been in the driving seat locally) – but this is one area where the SDLP clearly trump SF..

  • seosamh

    1.* Civil rights record
    * Never linked to paramilitarism
    * Take seats in Parliament

    Posted by Kevsterino on Feb 11, 2010 @ 05:24 PM

    Paddy Devlin?