SDLP: Internal sectarianism on display?

As Stormont parties debate Dawn Purvis’ doomed motion on double-jobbing, supported by all from the start, that now faces defeat at the hands of a DUP cross-community initative – you’d think others that endorsed the legislational would make at least a superficial attempt to support the spirit of what they ‘agree’ with ?

Not the SDLP.

Tonight, South Belfast SDLP (I’m informed 150 odd of them – I don’t believe it) selected Conal McDevitt, unelected MLA, and Dr Alasdair McDonnell MP, MLA to run in next year’s Assembly election.

With McDonnell running again it is clear the SDLP have no commitment to ending double-jobbing but as Splintered Sunrise noted this may have as much to do with the long runnning sectarian squabble within the South Belfast SDLP branch as anything else:

It may also not be unconnected to the two warring factions in the SB party. Big Al can’t leave his back exposed

UPDATE: I’m happy to confirm that despite my scepticism the attendance was over 150 with 148 voting. An indication that internal divisions within the South Belfast SDLP may actually help it be a more active area for the party?

On the 2nd complaint the SDLP raised and yes they have complained – if you don’t understand all the meanings of words I suggest getting a dictionary. Sectarianism is a standard term used in relation to factionalism within political groups.

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  • Neither the SDLP or SF have moved to fast on their MPs holding double post; with the exceptions of Durkan who has good reason to stay offside now that someone else is leader, and Adams who has gone South.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Where is the reference to “sectarian squabble”?

    “It may also not be unconnected to the two warring factions in the SB party. Big Al can’t leave his back exposed”.

  • White Horse

    I think you should define sectarianism, Mark? It seems that you’re confused.

  • Justin

    He’s mischief making. He’s using the dictionary definition of sectarianism while knowing most people here interpret it quite differently. It’s a bit like how the term ‘republican’ is abused here.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Perhaps he means “sectional”

  • joeCanuck


    You might want to rewrite that. I don’t understand a bit of it, which is unusual for you.

  • Mark McGregor

    I meant/mean sectarian. Not my problem if supposed politically astute readers aren’t aware of the decades long faction fight within the SDLP in South Belfast

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    hes never struck me as a mischief maker.
    He refers to Conal McDevitt as unelected. Indeed thats true but he did actually replace an ill elected MLA and is actually standing for election himself. Which seems reasonable.
    Lot of talent in South Belfast SDLP……..and I dont suppose there can be “too much talent” in any party.
    I mean Ive never heard anybody say “sheesh that éirigí is full of talent”.

    Double Jobbing has never really bothered me. At the moment Id just like to have one. And it seems to me that Political Parties should not be hampered by limitations on who is selected to stand. A big name ….whether Jeffrey Donaldson, Gerry Adams, Naomi Long, Alastair McDonnell attracts votes in a way a comparative unknown cant.
    If the voter doesnt like double jobbing then they wont vote for the double jobber. Its simples.
    So clearly the 150 people gathered in South Belfast went for the two people who THEY think are likely to get most votes next year.
    They might be right…….might be wrong.
    But clearly the choice is theirs to make.
    The double jobbing charge will certainly be levelled against them. But I suspect most people would have already made up their minds.

    The SDLP Conference was of course held on South Belfast turf and clearly a lot of students attended. SDLP has carefully worked the student vote and will probably calculate that there is a permanent residents quota and a temporary resident/young graduate quota.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    No but I am willing to learn.
    I am sure a republican dissident apologist is uniquely placed to advise on sectarian faction fighting.

  • Rory Carr

    The link to Splintered Sunrise is to his Twitter account which, like all Twitter accounts, displays little but a series of poorly articulated grunts, so that we have no idea of this sectarian (or otherwise) squabble or faction-fighting within South Belfast SDLP.

    It is difficult to comment on what is not there.

  • Rory Carr

    Why does my above post at 9:43 am appear before Joe Canuck’s post at 4:51 am so that it appears that Joe has reported my post as being offensive?

    (You didn’t, Joe, did you? This is not a case of Et tu, Brute? I hope.)

  • Rory Carr

    See what I mean?

  • cynic47

    Could Joe be writing from another International time zone??
    Five hours behind.

  • Ceisteanna

    What a clever article. It takes what is undoubtedly a fair point – and buries it in innuendo and sophistry – no doubt a first for Slugger.

    Maith thu Mick – your pet troll gets us biting again.

  • Rory Carr

    Joe has now been put in his proper place, that is he now appears to find Ceisteanna’s remarks offensive but at least I am off the hook. (This is blogland nimbyism).

    All I get from that bloody Splintered Sunrise link is a bunch of geeks wittering on about coffee machines and smelly Cheddar cheese. Some people !

    Can’t you fix the link, Mark ? The whole thread makes no sense otherwise.

  • Rory Carr

    Fuck me ! I’m back in the frame.

  • Language can be both confusing and slippery, Mark. Jude Collins has joined ranks of the confused; he’s labelled Owen Polley an SDLP apologist 🙂

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Yeah………I had to scroll thru a lot of stuff to find something which was meaningless. It made me feel like I was eavesdropping.
    Is it actually ok to publish tweets which the person involved might not want published more widely? I have no idea. But it seems theres no way of taking out third party comments.

  • bemused

    Maybe MIck / someone in authority should give us the line on this, but perhaps any comment on the offensiveness of a post should be posted as a reply to the offending post. This would have the additional advantage that, if mods delete the original post, the now-irrelevant comments on its offensiveness will also be removed.

    I am guessing that Joe’s comments refer to something that has already been taken down, which makes the thread confusing. Otherwise maybe he took Rory’s comment at 1:20 too literally and was offended 🙂

  • joeCanuck

    I have never regarded anything you posted as offensive. Quite the opposite; i really enjoy your comments.
    As to what I was complaining about, I confess I don’t remember even complaining (hope I’ve not been hijacked). As bemused suggests, the comment I didn’t like may have been removed.

  • Mark McGregor

    It has and you were right to complain.

  • Rory Carr

    It’s a pity in a way that they don’t leave these offensive comments to remain with a yellow or red card attachment. They would serve as warnings, like corpses of the executed hanging on the gibbets of old, to those who would think to offend in future and indeed might serve as an example of the line that must not be crossed.

    I’m not sure how to take your comment that you have never regarded anything which I have written as offensive, Joe. Is it because I is Irish?

  • Mark McGregor


    As the ‘offenders’ so far seem to be treating them as a badge of honour or in the case of the ‘black’ card have immediately worked around it, those that get them are unlikely to be embarassed. So what example can be set?

    I’m more likely than most to get one at some stage but if they result in business as usual the whole exercise seems completely pointless

  • mike scott

    Purvis’ motion rules out MLA also being councillors. The SDLP havenominated an MLA who is an MP – something quite different.

    Know what? Double jobbing matters not a damn among the general public, i.e the electorate. Only some politicians and ‘commentators’ get worked up about it.

  • Munsterview

    I have suggested to the ‘powers that be’ that in addition to the date and time tags, all incoming site posts should also automatically get a number. Such a numbering system would allow posts to be quickly identified and traced in sequential order.

  • Ulsterman

    Double jobbing as Councillor and MLA is not appropriate, but with MLA and MP, it is mainly a media fixation. An MP in England does everything that a double jobbing MLA/MP in Ulster does. I would actually ask the question why do MP’s here get so much money for having such a narrow remit of dealing with non-devolved issues.

    Reality though folks is that if I were a constituent looking for help, I’d go for the best and most effective politician, regardless of double jobbing or not.

    SDLP have at least the courage of their own convictions. If the electorate don’t vote for them, then they lose, but too many people get fixated in judging them as losers before they run for the 2nd job. Let’s get real and concentrate on whether we are getting value for money and not some over-hyped diversion