Battle to replace Alasdair McDonnell as an MLA gets going

Something that will put the cat the amongst the pigeons emerged today and that is the entry into the race of Botanic Cllr, Declan Boyle to replace the party leader, Alasdair McDonnell.

Boyle is up against the Balmoral Cllr, Claire Hanna, who came within just one vote of topping the poll last year and stood to replace Conall McDevitt in 2013, only to lose out to Fearghal McKinney.

When the party select a replacement on 25th June it will be interesting to see who will win. Hanna called for McDonnell to stand down on BBC’s The View a few weeks ago, whilst Boyle is thought to have a better relationship with the party leader.

I know it can be easy to get into analysis which turns out to be ‘muck’ when the final results are announced, but I will leave it open to you, who do you think will win on 25th June?

It is also worth keeping in mind that the second SDLP seat in South Belfast is marginal and we are less than a year out from an Assembly election.

 

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  • the rich get richer

    Lets get some youth in there.

    I am fed up of old men hanging on for dear life.

    Northern Ireland of All Places needs the Old Guards to fade away………please.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And the Greens bring some real politics into the equation as a pleasant change!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The time for “please” trgr, is long over……….

  • Granni Trixie

    A few months ago I was saying to a long standing SDLP member that surely Claire Hanna was a shoo in for when AMCD resigned one of his 2 jobs.
    She replied “but she’s a bit young yet,isn’t she!” (ie in her early thirties).

    Says it all really doesn’t it?

  • Granni Trixie

    Ought to add – ageism seems to be the new sexism nowadays (I find).

  • Granni Trixie

    Can you clarify? Put another way,is this a joke – in general I have plenty of time for the Greens but recently less so.

  • the rich get richer

    When you have In-affective Older People doing Something What are the chances of them improving.
    We have a load of Old In-affective Politicians showing no signs of Improvement.

    Its Time to give them the Opportunity to write Their Memoirs.

    Lets see if the Younger Generation can make some Progress.

  • Ernekid

    In politics it’s not ageism but a genuine desire for a generational change. Many of the politicians have been stuck in the same conflict based mindset for the past 30 years. Grey old men, who still think there’s a war on.
    They don’t appeal to anyone who’s reached maturity since the signing of the GFA.

    I want to see people in politics who don’t care or remember about the Troubles and just want to move this place on.

  • Granni Trixie

    There is something in what you say but only to a point as what is needed is “fresh blood” and greater diversity. I find that Some younger people in politics are just as entrenched in outdated views as their elders.

    On the other hand I have found examples of older people who get an enthusiasm to be active in politics really can bring new perspectives and experience to the table. For example, say a parent whose children are older and less demanding hence they have time or someone at a career crossroads in their fifties.

  • Ernekid

    I don’t disagree with you Granni. I’d love to see new fresh faces from all sorts of different backgrounds getting involved in politics. We need a change from the same old people who’ve been in politics for so long they’ve become totally institutionalised. An encouraging thing about the recent GE was the amount of new SNP MPs who were totally new to politics bringing new ideas.

    I’d be happy to see term limits in the Assembly. An MLA could only serve 2 Assembly terms ensuring a frequent turnover of new ideas and people within our. politics

  • Jenny Muir

    Saying Claire Hanna should get it because she’s younger is like saying she should have priority because she’s a woman. Truth is, she should get it because she’s good. I am not an SDLP supporter, but we all gain from improving the standard of our politicians

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Not facetiously put, honestly, Granni Trixie. They are the only party entirely outside the mud fight every other party here gets engaged in and actually have some important and radical policies, such as “Citizen income”, that would seriously revitalise the economy. Now i know they have had a considerable amount of negative publicity, especially the English Greens, as their electoral profile improves (“the Green Surge”) and they started to seriously challenge the dinosaur parties, but I’d hope your problems with the Green Party have not simply derived from this rather crafted propaganda masquerading as “news”.

    “Recently less so”? Can you clarify in turn, and perhaps I can suggest something why I use the term “real politics”.

  • Granni Trixie

    I absolutely agree. We are fortunate that an outstanding person like CH is prepared to be involved in politics given the cynicism which abounds.For me her gender adds value given the paucity of female representation.

  • Granni Trixie

    Joining SF and SDLP in Petition of concern over welfare reform.
    I wouldn’t altogether blame amplified news for why the Greens in NI attracted negativity from the mainland Greens.

    May i also say that the Greens always reminds me of the peace constituency in NI – people sign up assuming they all agree because of some central issue they have in common only to find that under the surface there are many conflicting views, Utopia mixes with humanity?

  • the keep

    So if she is outstanding what are her talents and why are we being so lucky to be blessed with them?

  • barnshee

    Claire won`t have time to be top dog— what with her part time studies at QUB —better give it to a full timer

  • Granni Trixie

    She comes across in media engagement as articulate and intelligent and certainly light years away from the car crash that Is the SDLP leadership presently.

    BTw, This is me being a turkey voting for Christmas (The party I support would be a rival for votes!)

  • Granni Trixie

    Like a landlord?

  • Granni Trixie

    Your’re on weak ground there Barnshee. I did a masters (in Irish Studies) when teaching full time and bringing up two children one of whom was disabled. I rest my case.

  • Jenny Muir

    She has a coherent and believable set of political principles and communicates them articulately. And like Granni, I should shut up about the merits of a rival candidate!

  • Jenny Muir

    Signing the Petition of Concern was about class politics, something Alliance may not understand.

  • Kate Nicholl

    When public services come to a standstill who will be hit the hardest?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Admire the Greens point of Principles Jenny but good luck on changing the NI Political Arena into Class Politics !

  • Granni Trixie

    Cheap remarks are hardly ” fresh,new politics”. Plus although APNI traditionally draws support from Middle class areas you will find that commonly many activists have a social conscience or would normally support Labour (myself included). You seem also to be assuming that we lack experience of what it’s like to lack resources.

    I think to get out of the present hole requires pragmatism and be solution focused not directed by ideological score making.

  • Mike the First

    Comes across a tad…watermelon-y?

  • barnshee

    Politics is (supposedly) claimed to take all their time -looking after constituants etc -not a minute to spare.

    PS In my day (admittedly a long time ago– in Accountancy) we worked full time and studied in the evenings and weekends -also, incidentally at our own expense ( with the odd bone thrown to us by our employer especially when we approached qualification and panic set in.)

  • barnshee

    Well he/she would propably have the time to spare and the funds to employ all that support

  • Dan

    I’m intrigued as to why there was a sudden clamour for his resignation just after the election….

  • Granni Trixie

    Family friendly Time management government is one of the areas in need of reform as part of creating a political environment appropriate for 2oth Centurary; it benefits all.

  • Gaygael

    Curious as to why less os recently? And im talking NI greens, not english, irish, scottish or welsh greens.

  • hugh mccloy

    Rate payers are not getting much value for money for paying for her to go through uni?

  • Chris Jones

    “These are my principles ….and if you dont like them, well I have otehrs”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Just as long as we get a little more Utopia I’m perfectly happy. I fully agree that the Greens are a “broad church”, but for me that’s a good thing, lots of discussion, lots more real thinking, as against some of the hard headed conformities that continue to divide our community.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    We very nearly made it in 1968………….

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Yeah Seaan Close but not Close enough it needed to be like Larkins Movement in 1907 with masses off working class people from all backgrounds of life, unfortunately the protestant lower working class was side lined and excluded or regarded as an enemy ! That was the Mistake !

  • chrisjones2

    Will the Stoops ever get around to something as democratic a as selection process or do they just acclaim a new MLA, challenge them to pull a sword from a stone, fight to the death in bath of mud, trial by fire, ???

  • SeaanUiNeill

    They sidlined themselves, T.E. in supporting the likes of Ronnie Bunting Senior. No one in the PD or NICRA (that I ever met anyway) spoke ill of them other than the “Friedkorps Bunting” boys and anyone who appeared was very welcome. The habits instilled over long years of unquestioned Unionist dominance had ensured that the protestant working class sided, activly and passivly, with the likes of Paisley and Bunting and and rejected their friends as they had rough handled good men like Jack Beattie in the past.

    Anyway, from my experience of the Green Party, no-one even thinks what anothers religion (or background) might be, just like during a few golden months in 1968…………

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The Banksters actually, Kate as the nerviousness about a possible Greece default is clearly reveiling…..

    And as Greece has showed, simply sitting on the sidelines and hoping the cuts will make everything all right if everyone but the monied simply tighten their belts is simply the first course before even worse things. There were people dying in the streets there……….

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Respect your point of view Seaan but one of the critism that will always be hurled at PD and NICRA is they hid themselves up at Queens University Student Union and did not take their message down into the Protestant Working Class masses as Jim Larkin had did 50 years previous. Agree about your comment on the Green Party but again they should be taking their message into the streets to the ordinary people

  • Chris Jones

    Yeah …low class in the case of the Stoops

  • Chris Jones

    According to her website

    “Claire works as Policy Officer for an overseas development agency”

    Will she give this up too?

  • Kevin Breslin

    She leads the bloody council group that Declan Boyle is a part of.
    Surely she already has a more senior rank than Declan Boyle in that regard?

  • Chris Jones

    “I find that Some younger people in politics are just as entrenched in outdated views as their elders.”

    They must suckle on the teat of sectarianism and tribalism to survive

  • tmitch57

    Maybe the younger generation should learn to spell first before giving the older generation political advice.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sorry, T.E., I did not get back to you sooner, off at Trinity for “The North Began…” seminar.

    My own feeling is that the very targeted and highly successful effort by O’Neill to entirely marginalise the old NI Labour Party after their “worrying” success with urban protestants in the 1962 election ensured that this would always be a difficult call. I simply do not feel that the NICRA and PD were given the time to build the necessary bridges before Ronnie Bunting Senior and Paisley introduced violence into the equation. But the turning away of protestant working class to the NILP in 1962 showed that this could be done, and that the NILP could have offered a medium to do this in other circumstances.

    A considerable number of young middle class socially aware people, many from Catholic backgrounds, turned to the NILP in the early sixties as a way out of the impasse of Unionism/Nationalism. Cyril Toman for example led the Labour Party Young Socialists who were the most significant contributing group that fed into the early PD and Mick Farrell was also a NILP member.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Hope you had an enjoyable and successful seminar at Trinity. I have always believed that the urban protestant working class constituency is out there especially in East Belfast but sadly it always gets squeezed into taking sides in the Constitutional Head Count. Watch out for next years NI Assembly Elections and East Belfast. With these elections being PR it will give an opportunity if this electoral constituency exists to express its preference to a working class unionist political party. Should be an interesting fight for that sixth seat !

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I entirely agree, T.E! East Belfast’s showing i the 1962 election and the hard core of firm support Jack Beattie received across his inter-war career show despite old style Unionist slurs that the Constitutional Head Count is just one of the stories East Belfast has to tell. So let us hope…..