Talk:Social Democratic and Labour Party

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There is a strong school of thought that sees their position on the border as being rather more ambiguous than "A vote for the SDLP is a vote for a united Ireland" - some think the SDLP is first and foremost a party primarily representing Catholics, particularly amongst rural, church going and/or middle class voters, than a constitutional party pushing for changes in the border. And dare we mention the "Schoolteachers, Doctors and Lawyers Party" joke? -- Timrollpickering 15:35 Feb 9, 2004 (UTC)

This seems too substantial to be a "stub" anymore. Of course, everything can always be edited and improved, and nothing is really "finished", but this has several paragraphs of substance, not just a small amount of the barest of facts, and merits "promotion" in my opinion.

Rlquall 15:41, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Raw material[edit]

Somebody wrote a page on The SDLP. I'm about to transform that into a redirect to this page. However, there could be something of interest in it that could be merged into this article. Here (complete with odd Unicode entities, etc.) is a dump of its content:

THE SDLPØ Origins it was formed on the 21 August 1970 by six Stormont MPs and one Senator who represented a variety of Nationalist Republican and labour parties. Drawing on these roots the party established itself as a left of centre and became a member of the Socialist Group in the European parliament. Ø Its critics have described it as more of a Nationalist party than a Socialist one. It draws its support from middle class and middle class Catholics, Gerry Fitt its first leader resigned in 1979 claiming it had become more Nationalist than Socialist. Ø SDLP probably reached its Nationalist vote ceiling by 1980 and relied upon Republican votes to bolster its position. Ø This vote would potentially leave but if and when SF became more acceptable. Ø The party supports the reunification of Ireland by consent and has opposed violence. Ø It withdrew from the Stormont Parliament in July 1971 when the Unionist government refused to set up an inquiry into army killings in Londonderry/Derry. It supported the civil disobedience campaign of withholding rent and rates for public sector housing in protest at internment without trial. Ø The party refused to take part in the 1972 Darlington Conference but agreed to participate in the Power Sharing Executive that lasted from Jan to May 1974. Gerry Fitt was appointed Deputy Chief Executive and five of his colleagues held ministerial posts. Ø Under Hume’s leadership, the party engaged in a series of initiatives at home and abroad, that have had an impact on how the British, Irish and American governments view the conflict. Ø The SDLP supported the Anglo-Irish Agreement and used it in their attempts to involve Sinn Fein more closely in Constitutional politics. Discussions between the parties eventually led to the Hume/Adams dialogue whose proposals were believed to have informed the agenda on which the 1993 Downing Street Declaration was based. The SDLP backed the 1995 Framework Document And the 1998 GFA. Ø After more than twenty years as leader of the party John Hume announced that he was making way for a new leader. In one of his first acts as head of the nationalist party Mark Durkan addressed a Unionist Association meeting. Ø The approach of the SDLP Ø SDLP- positive and enthusiastic torch bearers. Strand one was largely an SDLP policy document dusted down from the New- Ireland Forum in the mid 80s.

NB I didn't write the stuff above; I simply moved it here. -- Hoary 14:27, 2005 Jan 21 (UTC)

Election box metadata[edit]

This article contains some sub-pages that hold metadata about this subject. This metadata is used by the Election box templates to display the color of the party and its name in Election candidate and results tables.

These links provide easy access to this meta data:

The SDLP's evolving position on a United Ireland[edit]

The party has changed a lot over the years - in particular going from Fitt and Devlin leaving it because it was first and foremost nationalist not socialist to talking about a "post nationalist" era to heavily playing up their nationalist credentials (arguably trying to out-green Sinn Fein). Even now it seems as though not all their leading figures are behind the current direction. Does anyone want to try to chart the course of their evolving position, especially on the border? Timrollpickering 13:47, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm dumb[edit]

Please remember that most of us don't understand Northern Ireland politics -- I'm British and I don't. Please assume that your readers are dumb and explain the basics...

Saying the SDLP is one of the two nationalist parties is all well and good, but:

What's the other one, then? Pray do tell...

I can *never* remember which side of the argument is 'nationalist', please don't just use a technical political term without explanation (particularly when the wikilink is irrelevent). The wikilink isn't helpful; based on that article *both* sides are nationalist, it's just that they want to be part of different nations.

The NI 'nationalists' are the people who would prefer NI to be part of the UK nation rather than the ROI nation? I think that's right... But surely this article should tell me, a clueless reader, whether SDLP would rather NI be part of UK or ROI in the first para in no uncertain terms...

Roy Badami 01:09, 30 July 2005 (UTC) (wearing a dunce hat)

Actually, now I'm confused. Maybe 'nationalists' are people who want to be part of ROI? Yes, I could google for this, but I expect Wikipedia to give me a useful answer... :-)

Roy Badami 01:13, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Roy you are correct in your assumptions: the unionists (who want Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom) are indeed a nationalist party - in respect of the UK (I hesitate to use the term "British nationalists" because that would imply a link with the BNP). But the SDLP, Sinn Féin and the Workers' Party are also nationalists in respect of the Republic of Ireland. They could also be regarded as separatists. I could help clear this up for you if you feel that the article is still unclear in this regard. I appreciate this is an old comment, so I will leave you a message on your talk page about it. Cheers. --Mal 19:28, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. It appears the wikilink was changed some time ago to point to Irish nationalism which is rather more helpful in this context than nationalism Roy Badami 22:34, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

The terms "Nationalist" and "Unionists" are linked, so if the reader is not aware of these terms, they simply click the word and it will bring them to the Nationalist or Unionist page that will explain the terms. Like every wikipedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:26, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

If you read this discussion section you will see that an editor raised it as a problem in 2005, but in 2006 they left another comment to say that the situation was resolved due to an update of the wikilinks in the article. As the situation has been resolved for over 2 years there is little need for further comment. Road Wizard (talk) 13:37, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

What is the correct name of the UK's Olympic team?[edit]

Is the UK's Olympic team "Great Britain" or "Great Britain and Northern Ireland"?

see Cfd discussion: Wikipedia:Categories_for_deletion#Category:Great_Britain_at_the_Olympics_to_Category:Great_Britain_and_Northern_Ireland_at_the_Olympics --Mais oui! 22:30, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Joint authority[edit]

Why does the joint authority link bring me a page about home ownership? If no one has any objections I'm going to change it.

You've made another redlink. Is there an article on coalition government? (let's see if this link turns blue) --Mal 19:33, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Merger with Fianna Fail[edit]

Is this a genuine idea/proposal, or merely a rumour? I find it quite difficult to accept that FF and the SDLP could merge, beyond the Irish nationalism, FF is a conservative, centre right party, quite at odds ideologically one would think to a party that is a member of Socialist International. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:38, 17 February 2007 (UTC).

Relationship with UK Labour[edit]

The article mentions their unspoken electoral agreement, but never actually explains it. I'd be very interested in learning more about this relationship, does anyone have something they can add? -MichiganCharms (talk) 22:36, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

As I understand it, the agreement is mostly the understanding that Labour Party do not stand candidates in Northern Ireland.--Free Socialist 23:06, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
It's worth noting that when SDLP MPs speak in the Commons, they seem to sit and speak from th--Milzo1986 (talk) 00:20, 12 August 2010 (UTC)e Labour/government benches. I am watching Mark Durkan speaking now from the government benches on BBC Parliament. 94pjg (talk) 16:29, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
The SDLP MPs have traditionally taken the Labour whip although I'm not sure how long for formally (Gerry Fitt famously abstained in the 1979 No Confidence vote that brought down the Callaghan government, something that would have been difficult if he'd been taking the whip). The British Labour Party's constitutional position on Northern Ireland is historically complicated and long predates the formation of the SDLP - my rough understanding is that before the First World War they agreed to not organise in favour of the Irish Labour Party and after partition the labour flag in Northern Ireland was flown by the Northern Ireland Labour Party who didn't take a position on the border until 1949. There were strong links between the British and Northern Irish parties but the NILP rapidly declined as a force during the Troubles. IIRC the formal policy position of the Labour Party as decided internally (which is a different thing from their manifesto for government) was that there should be Irish unification and it's possible that the ban on organising in the province stemmed from that. This policy may still be in place though legal advice in 2003 was that rules that banned residents of Northern Ireland from joining (technically they couldn't join a constituency party as there weren't any and they couldn't join as overseas members because they weren't in a foreign country) were illegal. In more recent times the SDLP affiliated to the various trans-national Labour groupings and I've read that there is an understanding or rule that member parties do not stand against one another. Timrollpickering (talk) 20:49, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Do you think this is notable enough for a section in this and/or the UK Labour article? -MichiganCharms (talk) 01:52, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

The only relevance to the SDLP article is their taking the Labour whip and how strong this is - for instance in the recent vote on 42 days detention without charging they voted en bloc against the government and I've not seen anything about this being a defiance. "An unspoken electoral agreement" isn't terribly accurate as for as long as I can remember the announced Labour position on who Northern Irish voters should vote for is the SDLP and Labour's absence from elections in the province has very little to with the SDLP. As for the Labour Party article I'm not sure how much prominence this has to be included but that's best discussed there. Timrollpickering (talk) 14:57, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Hold on, this section implies there is an agreement between all three parties, meaning that an agreement also exists between UK Labour and Irish Labour, I'd like someone to explain where these two parties might field candidates in the same constituencies--Milzo1986 (talk) 00:20, 12 August 2010 (UTC)--Milzo1986 (talk) 00:20, 12 August 2010 (UTC)--Milzo1986 (talk) 00:20, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Full Manifesto[edit]

My site has a copy of the full SDLP Manifesto and their 'Policy Overview' section. We're driving towards having all English-language political manifestos of every political party in the world on our site in the same/similar format. All the content, except the Policy Summaries are contained in PDF files on the SDLP website. As more and more manifestos are added over time, in my opinion, it could become a useful resource for Wikipedia. SDLP Manifesto Declaration of Interest: I own the site so shouldn't add the link myself. Jdfjurn (talk) 04:33, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Straight from Margaret's mouth[edit]

Is this section

With the collapse of the UUP in the 2005 UK general election and Sinn Féin's continual abstention from Westminster, the SDLP is once more the second largest parliamentary grouping from Northern Ireland at Westminster. The SDLP sees this as a major opportunity to become the voice of Irish Nationalism in Westminster and to provide effective opposition to the much enlarged DUP group. The SDLP is consequently paying more attention to the Westminster Parliament and working to strengthen its ties with the Parliamentary Labour Party, whose whip they informally accept. The SDLP has been a vocal opponent at Westminster of the proposal to extend detention without trial to 42 days and previously opposed measures to extend detention to 90 days and 28 days. SDLP Leader Mark Durkan recently tabled an Early Day Motion on cluster munitions which gained cross-party support and was quickly followed by a decision by the UK government to support a ban.

taken straight from the SDLP Manifesto? There are no citations and the whole thing seems very biased —Preceding unsigned comment added by Milzo1986 (talkcontribs) 00:15, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Images of pictures[edit]

I have started a discussion on images of pictures at Talk:Provisional Irish Republican Army#Images of pictures. --Scolaire (talk) 07:37, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Catholic party?![edit]

I dispute that the SDLP is a "Catholic" party. It was founded by a mixture of Protestants (e.g. Ivan Cooper) and Catholics, and has been avowedly non-sectarian since the beginning.--MacRusgail (talk) 13:31, 14 May 2011 (UTC)