Cartoon – In with the new (backed by the old)


The young contender from Derry took the SDLP leadership from the sitting South Belfast MP Dr Alasdair McDonnell, winning 172 to 133 with the ringing endorsement of the party grandees.

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  • mushroom man

    Sdlp are definitely the party of old

  • Kevin Breslin

    Disagree, it seems more old people vote DUP or Sinn Féin, given that older people are more likely to vote than young people, and older people are more likely to get into politics anyway. That’s a basic law of average.

    The bigger a party is generally the older its membership, even with high young recruitment.

    Older people need politics more and are involved in politics more than the young.

    In Summary, I’d be happy if the SDLP was a party for the old.

  • Acrobat_747

    Not any more. I would say SDLP must be one of the youngest parties in the British Isles. After next year’s assembly elections the vast majority of elected members will be under 40. Extremely young. Even the conference was mostly under 40. There has been a massive change in the SDLP.

    It’s basically a new party emerging. Keep an eye on them…

  • Greenflag 2

    You mean like New Labour -remind me where that led ?

  • Acrobat_747

    I don’t mean like New Labour but you should remember that New Labour had a landslide victory for labour in 1997 after nearly two decades of Tory rule. That was followed by another landslide in 2001 and a 66 seat majority in 2005.

    Of course in politics EVERYTHING ends badly eventually. It did for New Labour, SDLP and UUP and eventually it will for Sinn Fein and DUP. Politics is cyclical.

  • Zig70

    Everyone loved new labour at the start, even now still better than tories

  • the rich get richer

    Well I hope so. We definitely need new and different blood.

    The current mob are mostly crazy

  • Greenflag 2

    I don’t see any landslide victory for the SDLP next year nor for any other NI party either . But good luck to Mr Eastwood and his followers . If they succeed in helping to raise the number of the electorate who actually vote they’ll have done NI’s trainee democracy some good . More than that given the nature of Unionist politics and the limitations of the Assembly I remain unconvinced .

    I’m aware of the New Labour record -phenomenon etc but politics in Britain are very different from the NI variety for reasons which might take 1000 paragraphs to explain so I won’t 😉

  • chrisjones2

    “Everyone loved new labour at the start”

    Glitter can be so deceiving

    “even now still better than tories”


  • tmitch57

    If politics is so different in Britain, then why did you bring up New Labour?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh I don’t know, did Thatcher not say that Tony was her greatest acomplashment? Other than the occasional sentimental red tie, I really was having trouble trelling them apart from the Conservative loosers from 2nd May 1997……….

  • Greenflag 2

    Politics may be different as regards priority of issues dividing the parties e.g British politicians avoid NI issues like the plague . But some comparisons are useful . NI is not an island -yet anyway.

    But it might be no bad thing if ‘new politics ‘ were to evolve in NI . The writers suggestion of ‘newness ‘ to the SDLP was a hint . The SDLP ‘s existential crisis is not of it’s own making but resulted from the party’s flirtation with the UUP in a short lived acrimonious coalition which led to SF dominance . The SDLP might not want to create a situation which would make SF even more politically dominant .

    The ‘newness ‘ of New Labour turned out to be the light blueness of Old Toryism which is the British political face of neo conservatism and a road down which the new SDLP might not wish to travel .

    The newness of the SDLP is a story yet to be revealed . Deja Vu cannot be discounted .

  • Greenflag 2

    64% of voters did not vote Tory -36% did . So just over a third of voters in the UK supported the Tories and only 23.76% of the total electorate voted Tory . In Scotland the Tories got 14% of the vote .

    Yes glitter can be deceiving but the numbers don’t lie . Most voters opposed the Tories but their wishes were not taken into account because of the FPTP voting system which the UK uses .

  • mac tire

    Those voters are now learning their lesson big time. They’ll not fall for Tory lies so easily again.

  • aquifer

    And the Tory party is held to ransom by gang of little Englanders.

    Fraction of a minority rule.

    If only new Labour had not been so sectarian they could have brought in Proportional Representation, also Public non union non business Party Funding, and have been back in government by now, making the Lib Dems and Greens pay for their mistakes, or maybe having them stop them making big ones like Iraq.

    Will we really see an end to tax credits? Are the Torys writing a suicide note or do they already know how the poor will vote?

  • Greenflag 2

    The Tories are dependent on the poor not voting – In this respect the ‘poor ‘ have themselves to blame

  • Zig70

    I’m getting more at what people thought they had elected in 1997 and to me, even looking back on it, it is still better than the tories. If the SDLP ended up looking like labour in 97 then I could see it reaping benefits at the polls. Unlikely though, quick look at the website, top 3 issues, United Ireland, Irish and tractors. The economy doesn’t even make the list.