Labour Party Elects Irish Republican as Leader

Jeremy Corbyn – a man who has never made a secret of his closeness to Sinn Fein – has just been elected leader of the Labour Party (with nearly 60% of 1st preference votes).

So Irish Republicanism has just scored its greatest victory through a democratic process on British soil. There’s something weirdly ironic about that.

It’ll be interesting to see if the SDLP continues to be Labour’s “sister party” in Northern Ireland.

But I suspect Andy Burnham’s aspiration for Labour to properly organise and contest elections here is little more than an aspiration from a failed Labour leadership candidate.

  • the rich get richer

    Labour people have taken back their party from the New Tories of Blair,Campbell and Brown.

  • Jeff
    You’re wildly over-reaching in your attempt to make this decision by the Labour Party relevant to Northern Ireland.

  • Jeffrey Peel
  • 241934 John Brennan

    If Corbyn survives as Labour leader until 2020, and then wins the next general election, but needs coalition support from Irish nationalists to form a government, there is every chance that there will be a matched pair of ancient bearded ones as UK PM. and deputy P.M.

  • Yes, I do.

  • submariner

    Shameful lies by the mouthpiece of a bunch of political thugs

  • Dan

    I watched his acceptance speech.
    Did I miss the bit where he set out an inspiring vision for the future of the United Kingdom?

  • the rich get richer

    Blair gave speeches but really only became truly effective at gathering £millions since he done his runner from office !

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah…. I look forward to it

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Irish republicans don’t sit in the House of Commons Jeff. This kind of silliness is beneath you.

    The world does not revolve around Northern Ireland and the attitudes that others have towards it.

  • Darren Litter

    “Labour Party Elects Irish Republican.”

    A bit sensationalist, don’t you think? Corbyn, within his brand of socialism, subscribes to the Irish Republican idea that there is a moral case for a united Ireland. But does agreeing with a specific position equate to one’s overall political identity? David Cameron sees merit in the constitutional analysis of Ulster Unionism; so would the following description have been fitting in the wake of his election:

    “Conservative Party Elects Ulster Unionist.”

    No, it wouldn’t. Corbyn is a Labour socialist that agrees with the Republican position on Northern Ireland. Cameron is a Conservative unionist that agrees with the Ulster Unionist position on Northern Ireland. But neither should be viewed exclusively in those terms.

  • Gingray

    Jeff, calm down! It’s irrelevant. Should he even get elected prime minister, have no doubt he will give as much attention to Northern Ireland as one nation Cameron.

    ie none at all

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I’d agree. He only has to show interest if his party seeks a mandate here. It doesn’t.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I think it’s interesting because I’m not sure we’ve ever had a Labour Leader openly support Sinn Fein before. By the way, I didn’t suggest being an Irish Republican defined his political identity – but that doesn’t make him less of an Irish Republican. This site tends to focus on Irish/Northern Irish issues so in that respect Corbyn’s Irish Republicanism is relevant. Also I think it shines a clear light on the fact that all local politicians should focus on Westminster to achieve their ideological ends rather than anywhere else. The Shinners want the Brits out – as do the Scots Nats. They now have a friend (with power) in Westminster. Meanwhile Unionist influence is waning.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    I didn’t suggest it did. But this site tends to focus on NI/RoI politics. Nor am I suggesting that Corbyn is only an Irish Republican. He’s a Bennite Socialist. He doesn’t like Tory Bastards (just like Len McCluskey). But it’ll be interesting to watch what might happen to the Bi-Partisan position on NI.

  • Darren Litter

    “By the way, I didn’t suggest being an Irish Republican defined his political identity”…

    I think that is patently what you did, Jeff:

    “Labour Party Elects Irish Republican As Leader.”

    Again though, is Corbyn an Irish Republican, or is it just that his brand of socialism shares the Republican view of Northern Ireland? I would say the latter.

    “They now have a friend (with power) in Westminster.
    Meanwhile Unionist influence is waning.”

    It wasn’t too long ago that the DUP enjoyed a lavish reception with David Cameron at Downing Street. Who’s the more influential friend: a two term Prime Minister, or an unproven maverick trying to lead Labour out of its worst GE since 1986?

  • Gingray

    That makes him no different than the vast majority of British politicians 🙂

    Cameron only showed interest when he was able to make a sectarian pact. He didn’t do it to make northern Ireland better, just to gain a couple of extra seats if he needed them. Politically expedient eh.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Indeed. That’s why I resigned as Vice Chair of the Conservative Party here.

  • Gingray

    So describing him as an Irish republican makes as much sense as describing Cameron as sectarian surely? Do you?

  • Jeffrey Peel

    Had I been writing a post for Conservative Home I wouldn’t have described him as such. But on this site his Irish Republicanism is more relevant because we tend to discuss (mostly) Northern Irish related issues. Correct me if I’m wrong but have we ever had a Leader of HM Opposition who was so clearly an Irish Republican? Or, indeed, a British Republican (he has stated he wants to abolish the Monarchy)? The former is very relevant for this site. The latter perhaps more relevant as a headline on another blog.

  • chrisjones2

    Come come. Labour arent that bad are they?

  • Paddy Reilly

    The funny thing is that these days Hamas and Hezbollah may be becoming the acceptable face of Levantine politics. They are certainly better than ISIS and Al Qaeda. The Jews don’t like them, but we are not the Jews.

  • Paddy Reilly


  • Paddy Reilly

    The Rev Iain Paisley used to preach for the Orange Street British Israelite Chapel near Trafalgar Square. No amplification was needed. The trouble with the British being Israelites is that the Irish can’t be as well (or can they?) and so must be Palestinians. I have many friends in Derry whose constant invocation of the Palestinian cause would lead you to that conclusion.

  • Archie Leach

    I see that Slugger is now using click bait headlines to draw people in. Sad times. I can’t believe you published this nonsense Mick.

  • Jack Stone

    “I do believe ultimately that Ireland should be reunited, but I also never believed there was going to be a military victory for either side in Northern Ireland.” – Jeremy Corbyn leader of the British Labour Party – Sounds like the SDLP party line to me …

  • Kevin Breslin

    Frank Maguire? SDLP members? Bernadette Delvin …
    Sinn Féin don’t have a monopoly on Irish Republicanism, nevermind Irishness or Republicanism. There have been plenty of Labour, SNP, even Lib Dem members (and perhaps even a Respect member) from Irish backgrounds, support Irish unification, and support all nations on both islands being republics.

    Who are we to deny their self determination?

  • Darren Litter


    Corbyn gave that response during the Labour leadership debate moderated by Andrew Neil, didn’t he? In my view, he’s rather conveniently taken a hindsight position. Corbyn engaged with the Provisionals simply because his Trotskyism was empathetic to their analysis. He was far from some lone visionary that reluctantly brought them into the equation on pacifist grounds – which is the type of revisionism being spouted.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My grandfather used to be faintly amused by his acquaintance with Isabel Hill Elder, a Bangor woman who was the doyen of British Isrealite “philosophy” in her time.

    It’s all very convoluted but this might help:

    So as you can see we are all descendants of one of two lost tribes. It helps if you are willing to readily connect similar looking words. It is glaringly obvious to an experienced BI that “Dannites” “Danes” and “Tuatha de Danaan”, and possibly even “Dennis the menace” all link up to explain the unique specialness of the wee six. The other links on the site are a delight, should you be sunk in ennui and need something to cheer you up this wet afternoon.

    I can never find out just how seriously the late Lord Bannside actually took all of this, but perhaps someone reading this could enlighten me!

  • kalista63

    And out in the world, the bit that gives a toss about here, sympathy for republicanism and nationalism is common quite common. There’s a meme doing the rounds, comparing what Corbyn and Cameron were doing in the 80’s, Corbyn being man handled by cops as he protested against apartheid, and Cameron in that infamous Bullington Club photo. Back in those days the anti apartheid movement was hand in hand with the Palestinian struggle and the unification of Ireland, the latter becoming official Labour Party policy for some time.

    I’m also reminded of the outrage when Anna Lo said that a UI would be a good thing. Plenty of her party were pretty clearly pro union and there is no outrage at that. Not only did Cameron declare himself unionist, last May he took part in the unionist pact by not fielding candidates where there was a pact.

  • kalista63

    You should have warned us to pop on out tinfoil hats before clicking on the link.

    Captain Red Sky also, famously, believes that crap.

  • kalista63

    Watching BBC New 24, you’d swear Britain had been invaded. Of course, their journalists are well known to have connection to the Tories and Blairites. What have both delivered to Britain? Well, there’s complete wastelands in the north, a transport infrastructure that would give you a reddener when you experience foreign services, deregulation that delivered cartels and price fixing, rather than the promised competition and at least 3 big crashes preceded by ridiculous housing bubbles.

  • Jack Stone

    While I do believe that he is probably more succinct about it now than he was during The Troubles, He did attend marches in Northern Ireland campaigning for British troops to be withdrawn. He was a loud voice for The British government to come to the table for peace. His views themselves at the time do not differ greatly on the Northern Ireland issue from SDLP leader, John Hume. Most of what he said in the House of Commons is available for you to read. His politics on the Irish question certainly make him a Republican.

  • Paddy Reilly

    During the 19th Century, I believe the entire Irish race were referred to as the ‘tribe of Dan’.

    Quite how Lord Bannside decd incorporated the British Israelite thing into his theology I do not know: but I am certain that of all the chapels in London he chose the Orange Street British Israelite chapel to preach in, and could be heard bellowing half way across Trafalgar Square.

  • Reader

    What do you think of his position on the Anglo-Irish Agreement?

  • Reader

    There was a Unionist pact in 4 constituencies, wasn’t there? How many constituencies had no Conservative candidate?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Kalista63, I have this vision of them all (the Tories and Blairites) glued to those websites that are so common in the US, on “How to make a few million in a falling market”……….

    My wife says we have at last broken out of that loop where the bland are endlessly leading the blind……..

  • Jack Stone

    I agree that the limited consultative role given to Dublin in the Anglo-Irish Agreement was a valid criticism, The SDLP later negotiated a larger role for the Dublin government in future agreements (Something Unionists should look into within the actual agreements before scuttling Stormfront … they wont like the spectre of dual sovereignty) and it was later remedied in future agreements. But to my original comments, it certainly mirrors the current view of the SDLP and reflects his bona fides within the greater republican movement.

  • Barneyt

    Is Charlie boy not a Republican 🙂