Just in from the Labour Party in NI stalwart, Boyd Black…
Jeremy Corbyn has said it is ‘extremely unlikely’ there will be official Labour candidates in the Stormont Assembly elections.
This comment is unhelpful. It is also not surprising, as the promised official review by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has been disgracefully delayed, in part by last year’s party leadership election.
Since it is the NEC that will make the decision about us fighting elections (albeit with a major input from Jeremy), this decision is ‘unlikely’ to be made until after the formal review of our position is completed, which will be after the Assembly elections.
This means the public are once again denied the opportunity to vote for an anti-sectarian party which offers an alternative way forward to the failed status quo.
The local party are due to discuss it on the 21st of this month, although on the current timing that may be too for them to enter the fray.
The party’s NI membership are thought to be sending £120k in dues annually now. That’s not just a lot of money for any local party, but represents lot of commitment and energy.
Not only is Jez against it, but Jon Lansman (kingpin of Momentum – non-existent in large parts of the UK, including NI) is close to Gerry Adams, who, for obvious reasons, is not that keen.
That said, this might be one to sit out. The competition for seats in the middle ground is likely to be fierce if the Fresh Start parties can effect a Big Billy/Big Mickey crush.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty