SDLP Election Manifesto, Westminster Election, 1979
Date:3rd May 1979
Organisation: Social Democratic and Labour Party
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Westminster Election, 1979

Please note: The Irish Left Archive is provided as a non-commercial historical resource, open to all, and has reproduced this document as an accessible digital reference. Copyright remains with its original authors. If used on other sites, we would appreciate a link back and reference to the Irish Left Archive, in addition to the original creators. For re-publication, commercial, or other uses, please contact the original owners. If documents provided to the Irish Left Archive have been created for or added to other online archives, please inform us so sources can be credited.

Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

14th September 2009

Here’s a first, documentation from the SDLP. As the local branch of the Socialist International in Northern Ireland it clearly deserves inclusion within the Archive. So, that said, what do we see within? Well, it’s a document without a guiding left ideology. The emphasis remains clearly focused on the constitutional issues. Indeed the only mention of the word ‘socialist’ or even social democrat (the name of the party is not detailed in full anywhere) comes after a list of the failings of Direct Rule…

In these circumstances it is fair to ask what Britain’s contribution has been to the good government of Northern Ireland. Indeed, could any system of government have been more incompetent? Could any so called ‘Socialist’ administration have achieved less?

This isn’t to say that there is no consideration of social and economic issues. Indeed it explicitly deals with Employment, Family Poverty, The Health Service, Housing and such like. And while the criticisms are well made they lack a clear ideological point.

While Unionism is referenced, as is “Unionist intransigence”, and security force repression is engaged with, no mention at all is made of Republicanism, or indeed any of what one might imagine would be the more obvious aspects of living in a society wherein an armed conflict was being waged. Violence is mentioned tangentially as ‘communal violence’.

And there are some curious statements, for example…

The voters should be aware that the primary aim of British policy in NI is to break the SDLP. Roy Mason has left no-one in any doubt that the British government wish to move towards the restoration of unionist control, in order to extricate themselves from NI. The strength of the SDLP has been the only major obstacle to that strategy, and therefore we must be broken.

Just a few observations on what is in many respects one of the most intriguing documents from this period to appear in the Archive.


Comments

No Comments yet.

Add a Comment

Formatting Help

Comments can be formatted in Markdown format . Use the toolbar to apply the correct syntax to your comment. The basic formats are:

**Bold text**
Bold text

_Italic text_
Italic text

[A link](http://www.example.com)
A link

You can join this discussion on The Cedar Lounge Revolution

  • By: D_D Mon, 14 Sep 2009 15:04:04

    Funny, my circles never regarded the SDLP as part of the left at all. At all.

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 14 Sep 2009 15:33:44

    Well, I thought long and hard about whether to include it… and was very tempted not to…

    But surely the SI can’t be wrong… 😉

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen (und nicht so radikalen) Linken « Entdinglichung Fri, 18 Sep 2009 08:58:52

    […] Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP): Election Manifesto […]

    Reply on the CLR