The SDLP’s attitude to Unionists seems to have taken a bit of a step backwards under Ritchie. A few weeks ago Conall McDevitt stated:
“The question tonight is whether UUP and Conservative policy is that no Irish person should seek to represent people in this part of Ireland, and if they do will they be opposed at all cost?”
Which clearly contradicts the long held nationalist view that Unionists are equal members of the Irish nation. Today the SDLP manifesto contains the following phrase:
“a Conservative government could be persuaded to appoint a unionist as the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland”
This forgets the principle that a Conservative Government would be a Unionist Government, no persuasion is necessary, the next SoS will be a Unionist.
I believe what the SDLP are getting at here, is that no Irish need apply.