Monday, September 29, 2008

Fair Comment

Today's Irish News suggested that comments made by SDLP councillor Niall Kelly on his blog caused "embarrassment" to the party leadership.

Niall suggested that "we need to do something to shake this party up," and pointed out that "we are no longer the largest party in the north (as we were in 1998); we are no longer the largest nationalist party (as we were between 1970 and 2001). At present, in the Assembly and in many council chambers across the North, we are bit part players."

He went on to say that "if Sinn Féin and the DUP are trying to cook up a deal with David Ford to cheat the SDLP out of the policing and justice ministry we should be shouting it from every rooftop," and concluded that "Fermanagh HAS to be a wake up call for the SDLP, or else people will begin to wonder if maybe the SDLP isn't sleeping, it's dead."

Now to me, this seemed like a perfectly reasonable article. Far from attacking the party, it was a call for it to get its act together and challenge the Hegemony of Harm.

The only thing embarrassing is the fact that a councillor has felt the need to speak out and is completely right in what he said about the party's predicament.

If the SDLP does not start to provide an alternative to the Sinn Féin/ DUP axis, it will be wiped out in 2011, as Niall points out. And even before then, if it appears that there isn't going to be much chance of success in that election, there won't be many young people like Niall hanging about just to demean themselves at the hands of the electorate.

Perhaps if more people removed the scales from their eyes instead of putting their heads in the sand, we might start going somewhere.

1 comment:

Fed Up said...

I am sad to say that I have to agree With Niall - the only embarrassment that the leadership should feel is that they are letting the activists down - (there are still some of us left!) it is time the leadership should start delivering - we need action NOw - not long winded statements that no one understands and that are rarely reported on!