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FF and The SDLP to Merge? September 28, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

According to The BBC

The SDLP is involved in an “extensive internal engagement” about its future and the BBC understands that a merger with Fianna Fáil is back on the table.

Former Fianna Fáil minister Dr Jim McDaid said a merger should happen “sooner rather than later”.
He claimed that the move would help rebuild the “middle ground” and would give the Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin a strong foothold north of the border.

Interesting too that

But some within the party believe that Brexit is a “game-changer”.
Former councillor Thomas Conway from Claudy in County Londonderry supported the move when it was first raised 15 years ago, but he said there is still resistance within the party.

The Brexit dynamic being that both parties wanting representation both sides of the border.
A bit of a blow for Labour here too if it happens as I gather they help out the SDLP in elections and Vice Versa. It also brings the prospect of The UK Labour Party standing again in The North (although they had unofficial candidates at the last Assembly Elections)
I do think FF not being an All Ireland Party is a weakness for them with regard to Sinn Fein and of course Brexit. The talk also shows how difficult it must be to get a Party off the ground, even one as long established as Fianna Fail.
The Merger /Alliance “FFDP” or “SDFF” ?


1. EWI - September 28, 2017

About bloody time?


2. Dermot O Connor - September 29, 2017

New name: Fianna Fail the Labour party.

Take that last 6% from the Wexford Goblin.


3. benmadigan - September 29, 2017

“The Brexit dynamic being that both parties wanting representation both sides of the border”.

maybe in view of what the European parliament is proposing?


4. makedoanmend - September 29, 2017

I would think on some level that many nationalists will take some small relief that a “free state” party has finally had the gumption to represent itself in the six counties, but also the move will be viewed by a large segment of the populace with an extremely jaundiced eye.

FF – playing it safe – (seems to be their current theme as well as modus operandi). (Martin thinking outside but right up beside the box, and ready to jump right back in it if it gets too scary.)

Once the PR dust has settled after a few years, exactly what will FF be able to concretely do for the average voter in the six counties???

And if they’re seen to be a toothless PR party that can achieve nothing of concrete worth in the six counties because the UK austerity system demands never ending subjugation and theft of working people’s value, won’t that take some sting out of the tale that SF are really in favour of austerity? If an adult party like FF isn’t able to throw crumbs to the vulnerable, the working poor and the increasing proportion of the shaky working middle class because “austerity” then the barbs become less pointed when fired at SF.

And might not a broad, if only tenuous, association taint the entire Irish capitalist establishment on an island wide basis? Afte rall, FF is twiddle dee to the FG twiddle dum with Labour, well, being the perpetual bride’s maid.

From my viewpoint, SF has been the Irish capitalist’s formation target-of-distraction since the peace process took hold. Housing policy is bad, health policy is bad, education policy is faltering, rural infrastructure is disintegrating…so what?…how about them horrible SF people – les desplorables… look at them instead and forget your troubles. Now, what further sacrifices can you make for the wealthy?

On the whole if I was SF I would welcome FF with open arms.

Welcome to the spider web of the all Ireland political arena – are you a spider or a fly?

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 29, 2017

Very interesting analysis. It certainly could be that FF find being north of the border even only in name may present them with real problems and contradictions.


5. roddy - September 29, 2017

All the establishment parties “help out” the SDLP at elections and vice versa.The SDLP have canvassed for no less than Regina Doherty and Michael McDowell canvassed for Alisdair McDonnell of the SDLP.


sonofstan - September 29, 2017

Can you see it helping either party in any way? Would it peel any votes away from SF in the west?


6. roddy - September 29, 2017

They will take no votes from SF. An FF member called Martin McAllister stood recently as an “independent ” in Newry/ Armagh and was humiliated while all 3 SF candidates romped home.


7. murf - September 29, 2017

Presumably this means FF will join the 2nd international


8. Michael Carley - September 29, 2017

Where would that leave UK Labour’s arrangement with the SDLP?


murf - September 29, 2017

Sure Corbyn is like Micheál Martin with a beard 🙂


9. Pasionario - September 29, 2017

Whatever happened to the SDLP’s old association with Fine Gael during the FitzGerald years? Did John “Bull” Bruton’s leadership kill that off?

I wonder whether a merger would complicated the GFA, much like the DUP’s lash-up with the Tories. If a FF Taoiseach is negotiating with a Tory PM while both have allies in a future Norther executive, then it’s hard to see either can be seen as an honest broker.


Dr. Nightdub - September 30, 2017

I think that was just a one-off with Austin Currie trying to revive his political career rather than some kind of organic link


Dermot O Connor - September 30, 2017

And I recall an FF TD yelling at Currie in the dail “Go back to where ye came from”, as the pres election revved up in 1990.

My, haven’t FF come a long way, now aspiring to incorporate that strange northern enclave into the glorious Republic.


Pasionario - October 3, 2017

There was a bit more to it than Austin Currie. FitzGerald negotiated the Anglo-Irish Agreement with crucial support from John Hume, whereas FF opposed it.

Noonan also tried to resurrect the association with the SDLP when he was briefly leader of FG in 2001-2 and wanted to shed Bruton’s neo-Unionist image. There was never any formal alliance between the two parties, but Noonan said something at the time along the lines of: It was clear during the 1980s that FG stood with the SDLP and vice-versa.


10. yourcousin - October 3, 2017

Reading this thread made me think back to a time that I gave a fuck. I don’t see anything really different, then from now. Or maybe that just shows how out of touch I am.




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