Thursday, 22 April 2010

SDLP Westminster Manifesto

I would like to discuss and respond to the SDLP manifesto and the attitudes of the party in general.

Firstly, Ritchie begins her speech by saying Westminster is important, this doubled with SDLP denouncing abstensionism is hypocritical, considering the appalling attendance record or the SDLP in the past year. They have the lowest attendance record of anyone in Westminster, including independents. So Sinn Féin are condemned for not taking a salary or a seat, when the SDLP deem it okay to take a Salary, and may as well take no seat.

Sinn Féin do not take their seat, as they will not give any legitimacy to British occupation of Ireland. However Sinn Féin work in the corridors, where the real work is done, where the work is done for you and me.

At this stage Ritchie brings up what she calls a sectarian head count, referring to Sinn Féin's offer of a joint candidate in South Belfast and Fermanagh/South Tyrone, in response to the unionist joint candidate in the same area. Now wether one sees this as a stunt, tactic or legitimate political decision, the logic of the SDLP to this move is beyond incomprehensible.

To try and convince the electorate, that Sinn Féin's decision to pull out of South Belfast, is an attempt to seat an Unionist Politician is completely ridiculous. I honest believe that even the most hardened of anti PSF "dissidents" would find it hard to be convinced of this. I will say that in the same situation as the people of South Belfast, I would need a lot of convincing to vote for the likes of the SDLP, however I can see how Sinn Féin believe that this was a good move. It was in fact an act of "Nationalist Solidarity".

She claims she is planning for Irish unity. Now lets consider this for a second. The SDLP have no agenda or manifesto at this stage for Irish unity. The SDLP are a 6 County Party, and thus has no real understanding of the requirements, needs or desires of the people of the 26 counties of the partitionist free state. To claim any understanding of what is required for the unification of Ireland is ridiculous. This is the same party that said they are ut to "build a better Northern Ireland" and that their number one enemy was Sinn Féin. Not Capitalism, Elitism, Unionism, Loyalism or British Rule; Sinn Féin, the biggest Republican party in the Occupied Six. This statement means she deems the majority of the Republican electorate as enemies. Furthermore the SDLP are a Middle Class party, that are not in step with the people of the struggling working classes, and will not be able to instill a socialist Republic on this island.

To claim that any one party, let alone her own, can single handedly solve the economic crisis in the occupied region is actually so naive that I can't believe she believes this herself. She claims to believe in devolution but out rightly stood in the way of the devolution of Policing powers, albeit not at the same degree as the Ulster Unionists.

Quite a lot of the rest of her 12 minute talk is wrapped up in the usual political nonsense of "We will make everything better, but no I won't tell you how we plan to do it", as all Political manifestos has a habit off, that is no jibe at the SDLP.

Then she moves on to a United Ireland once again, claiming that her party believes in it. Where is the evidence of this however? And what kind of United Ireland does her party believe in? A Middle Class United Ireland? The very thing the people of Ireland rebelled against in the first place?

I mean let us get something straight, National Sovereignty for the people of Ireland, is only a single part of the Irish struggle. The struggle on our island is not so much about Dublin ruling Ireland. The struggle is about empowering the people, and empowering Ireland to be a great nation, not just economically, but socially. For the people of Ireland to live in peace in an equal society, where the money can't crush the workers. But back to the manifesto...

More of the same really.

The fact is that the SDLP has steered so far away from what they were started out to be. They no longer represent the working class, or nationalist people as a whole.

Críostóir MacAodha

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