Monday, 21 January 2013

The Left and Unionism in NI

There's an interesting article on the Blog  open Unionism asking "Where is the  Pro Union Left"? pointing out that nearly all the Unionist Partiesin Northern Ireland  are  the right of Centre.

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
British unionism,National conservatism Populism Euroscepticism[
Political position
Right-wing to centre-right

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
British unionism Conservatism[Internal Faction: • Liberalism • Euro-scepticism
Political position

Traditional Unionist Voice (TUP)
British unionism, Conservatism Euroscepticism
Political position

The article does not mention the Progressive Unionist Party possibly because of its link with the para military  Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF),

Progressive Unionist Party  (PUP)

British unionism.Democratic socialism,Social democracy
Political position

But the article seems in reality to be a call for the UK Labour Party to organise in Northern Ireland

The writer Deirdre Nelson acknowledges the  Labour still on paper supports a United Ireland which it did not drop unlike Home Rule All Round which was officially dropped  in 1951.

But she doesn't address the fact that the SDLP is a sister party of Labour taking the Labour whip in Parliament and who would suffer if Labour where to fight NI seats to the extent that Sinn Féin' would take even more seats at the SDLP expense.

Mind you it is hypocritical for Labour who lead the pro-union "Better Together Campaign" in Scotland not to promote the Union in Northern Ireland by standing there.

Perhaps Deirdre Nelson and other left leaning Unionist should think about moving to the PUP taking it away from its Para Military Associations and making it an ltruealtenative to right wing unionism.

Or seeking to promote a Left of Centre and non sectarian  Northern Ireland Party that would seek greater autonomy for the province even Northern Ireland Independence in the European Union?.

Which bears the question should they be allowed to join the European Free Alliance ?

Tricky one for Jill Evans I would think.

Still its hardly going to happen in the immediate future.
However ; Which ever way the Scottish referendum goes the current constitutional settlement in the UK is doomed

The politics of Northern Ireland seem unlikely to move from the Unionist-Nationalist-Republican spectrum but  whatever happens the solution does not lie with the British Labour Party.

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