The Labour Party has denied us access to left of centre politics in Northern Ireland

A letter from Boyd Black:

By Letters
Friday, 6th August 2021, 2:10 pm
Updated Friday, 6th August 2021, 2:22 pm
Keir Starmer at 2018 Labour conference. Boyd Black says the party should bring Northern Ireland communities together on basis of shared Labour values
Keir Starmer at 2018 Labour conference. Boyd Black says the party should bring Northern Ireland communities together on basis of shared Labour values

Henry Hill (‘Keir Starmer could help Ulster and the Union by reviving the old NI Labour Party, ’ August 4) has identified the damaging effect the suppression of Labour Party politics has here.

People are denied the democratic right to vote for a party which seeks to govern us and set our taxes.

We are denied access to left of centre cross-community politics.

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Letter to the editor

This has a very damaging impact on relations between communities and the possibility of reconciliation.

It also contributes to a dangerous alienation from politics which should be of concern.

Henry advocates a retro solution — a revival of the old 1960s NILP, to be a mirror image of the SDLP.

Not cross-community Labour, but two communities Labour (not that we consider the SDLP, now in partnership with Fianna Fail, a Labour Party).

No thank you!

The historic task of Labour is to bring the various communities here together on the basis of their shared Labour values.

They can also unite around their common interest in tackling the ‘bread and butter issues’ that arise out of the many unfairnesses of Northern Ireland society.

These are presided over by an uncaring and historically bankrupt political class.

We experience sustained inaction over a shortage of good jobs and insecure working conditions, horrendous health service waiting lists, growing housing waiting lists and poor educational opportunities and outcomes for many.

To address these issues we need a party that designates as ‘Other’ in the Assembly and appeals across the board and to places that other parties do not reach.

In an ideal world this party would have the full backing of the Irish Labour Party in bringing about reconciliation here.

That might require some sort of innovative arrangement such as that which works well for student unions.

Unfortunately, it seems that the leadership of both UK and Irish Labour are currently part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Boyd Black, Secretary, UK Labour Party in Northern Ireland (LPNI)

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