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This is the exact reason I have always regarded the refusal of British political parties to organise in Ulster as moral cowardice and a disgraceful abdication of responsibility.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 2nd, 2017 at 02:39:24 PM EST
If you wanted proof that N. Ireland isn't just another region of the UK, it is the utter failure of either Labour or the Conservatives to achieve a significant presence there. 765 Northern Ireland Labour members voted in Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2016" (Corbyn 541; Smith 224), but they don't put up candidates because of their small membership and association agreement with the SDLP.

Officially the UK Conservative party is the titled the Conservative and Unionist party and they have had a close relationship with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). They have also run separate candidates and attracted 0.4% of the vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 2016.

So while both major UK parties have some presence in Northern Ireland, their support base is derisory, even from fellow unionists, and most Nationalists would of course not support a UK party, although Corbyn has a long record of supporting a United Ireland.

The bottom line is that the major UK parties don't organise in N. Ireland to a greater degree is because their support base there is, and is always likely to be, derisory. The current Conservative party's confidence and supply agreement with the DUP isn't going to change that.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 2nd, 2017 at 05:16:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that the labour party refuses any application of memebership from Northern Ireland, referring them to the SDLP. It is my understanding that any LP member will be somebody who is an existing member who re-locates to Ulster.

Sadly, the SDLP seems to have degenerated into a largely pointless organisation which represents no particualr train of thinking within NI.

Many people have, over the years, requested that Labour organise officially there. But they refuse

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 2nd, 2017 at 05:55:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And why is that?
by Bernard on Sat Sep 2nd, 2017 at 08:38:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's a historical hangover from when Ulster, although nominally a full part of the UK, was effectively a colonial state practicing apartheid. A state of affairs that only changed in the 80s.

Previously, the right to vote was restricted to property owners. Loyalist protestant organisations had  massive strangelhold over unionised, well-paid secure employment such as in the docks and shipbuilding, the two principle employers in Ulster. This meant that their workers were able to afford to live in private housing in "nice" meighbourhoods.

Catholics, trapped in low wage insecure jobs, were largely restricted to large council house rented ghetto estates and were, thus, denied the vote.

So, you had the strange anomaly of unions, supposedly a socialist organisation, protecting the rights and privileges of people whose attitude towards catholics was archetypally alt-right.

this state of affairs was heavily protected officially and ahem, deniably. During the late 60s the Labour party was supportive of the demand from Ulster catholics for voting and human rights. Indeed, the army was first sent to Ulster by the then Labour govt to protect catholics from the increasingly violent militarised protestant police force.

However, it is likely that certain secret organisations in whitehall such as, but not only, MI5 began to orchestrate a change of direction in support of the protestant unionists. This led to the needless imposition of internment, detention without trial for indeterminate periods, a situation made worse by increasingly provocative Unionist behaviour during "marching season".

However, by 1972, the Labour party regarded the pursuit of catholic voting rights in Ulster as likely to cause more problems than it solved, so it was dropped.

After that, they lacked crediblity until recently

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 2nd, 2017 at 09:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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