Tuesday 9 March 2010

Did the SDLP take Campbell's bait?

The BBC have reported that the DUP's Gregory Campbell has stated that Derry's "name change issue is 'dead'"

Apparently Derry City Council failed to reach agreement at a meeting on Monday, when proposals put forward by Sinn Fein and the SDLP were both rejected. It can only be assumed – given that the two parties together have 24 of the 30 Council members – that each party voted against the other party's proposal.

Given that both parties are in agreement that the only valid name for Derry is Derry, and the vast majority of its citizens agree, the issue will not go away, despite Gregory Campbell's attempts to gloat.

However, as this blog pointed out a few days ago, Campbell had dangled the carrot of unionist tactical votes in front of the SDLP in the lead-up to this discussion. Could it be that the SDLP engineered the failure of both their own and Sinn Féin's proposals in order to be able to avail of these precious unionist votes?


Paddy Canuck said...

5/6 of the council and the place is still "Londonderry". That's astounding. But it's amazing how often everyone's last choice squirts up the middle.

Years ago a couple of towns on Lake Superior amalgamated and they had a referendum to name the new town. The three choices were "Lakehead", "The Lakehead", and "Thunder Bay". Between them, the two Lakehead varieties polled 60% of the vote... but "Thunder Bay" had the plurality by about 500 votes, so Thunder Bay it was, and Thunder Bay it is.

And when nationalists can't agree, 1/6 gets you London.

paul said...

not sure it was a direct vote on the name change though.

Horseman said...


No, I'm pretty sure it was a convoluted procedural motion, but Joe Public doesn't know that so Gregory Campbell can get away with his sound-bite politics, because few people are going to look any closer.

Campbell knows, of course, that the issue isn't dead, and won't die.

New times, New approach said...

The SDLP may or may not be dazzled by Unionist carrots, but they are certainly treading the same pathetic 'look at me' path as the UUP.
The UUP are now adopting any policy on any pretext simply to try to differentiate themselves from what is now mainstream unionism (the DUP). An example is policing and justice devolution. They can no longer assert that the population do not want it, as recent surveys have overwhelmingly demonstrated that they do, so floundering around for some other reason they have now come up with the economy (Danny Kennedy) and education (Reg Empey).
Answers on a postcard as to what either of these have to do with Northern Ireland managing its own policing and justice. Had only they known about the dog insurance requirement currently being considered by Westminster then they could have included that. It would certainly seem to have more to do with policing than either the economy or education.

However, the prize for attempting to differentiate your party from mainstream unionism or nationalism by refusing to agree with any policy must surely go to the SDLP and their brainwave of not voting to reinstate the correct name of Derry simply because Sinn Fein have proposed it. One can't help feeling that if Sinn Fein were to propose a 32 county republic then the SDLP would give themselves a crisis of confidence by feeling obliged to vote against it.
Lets hope this brainless strategy by both parties is fully reflected in the votes they receive in the impending election.

Paddy Canuck said...

Hear, hear, NTNA. :)

paul said...

i hear that m8...

paul said...

it looks like Sinn Fein wanted to petition the queen about the name change, the SDLP's excuse is that it would have been defeated legally, by the Queen's inner council apparently.

u probably know this by now...


Anonymous said...

SDLP are a disgrace