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One Nation Labour

Posted on May 02, 2015 by

So there’s this, which isn’t the biggest surprise.


Having already told the people of Scotland to get stuffed and forget about having any sort of voice in government if they wouldn’t vote for Labour, there’s no major shock in Miliband doing the same to those in Wales.

But alert readers may have noticed that there’s one more Celtic nation in the UK that hasn’t been mentioned yet. What’s the Labour position there?

We’ve never professed to understand anything about the strange and unique world of Northern Irish politics, so it wasn’t until Daily Record cub reporter Aidan Kerr had this short exchange with Scottish Labour chief of staff John McTernan today that we fully appreciated the jaw-dropping absurdity and hypocrisy of the situation.


We’re not sure what McTernan thinks his “point” is by the end, and we suspect he doesn’t either. But the key fact is that Kerr is right – the SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party) stands for the reunification of Ireland, yet it’s affiliated with Labour, and Labour stands aside in Northern Irish seats to give the SDLP a free run.

So let’s recap:

– the SNP want independence for Scotland, breaking up the UK, and Labour absolutely refuse to work with them in the UK parliament for that reason.

– Plaid Cymru want independence for Wales, breaking up the UK, and Labour absolutely refuse to work with them in the UK parliament for that reason.

– the SDLP want independence for Ireland, breaking up the UK, and Labour not only work with them in the UK parliament but actively help them to win seats.

We’ll just leave you to ponder the numerous implications of that, folks.


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    127 to “One Nation Labour”

    1. Irene says:

      I want this to be over but I wish I could never hear about any of these people ever again. Some wish, eh?

    2. Salt Ire says:


    3. Susan S says:

      *head explodes*

    4. Andy Hay says:

      So…like this is an actual thing?

    5. Onwards says:

      Labour – The Party of Hypocrites.

    6. ScottieDog says:

      From the daily record.
      Should be spread far and wide.

    7. Roger says:

      BTW the DUP are UNIONIST, what’s Labour’s position on them? Surely, despite their being unionists, he would never do a deal with the party that wanted to ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’…but then, who, outside of England, WILL Miliband condescend to talk to?

    8. Mealer says:

      We really need to know what Mr Murphy has to say about this.

    9. Mark says:

      And 77% of Labour Future MPs would not rule out a coalition with the SDLP, even though 64% rule out any deal with the SNP:

      It’s also depressing to see that 46% of Labour MPs polled didn’t rule out a coalition with the reactionary, religion-obsessed, homophobic Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland.

    10. Croompenstein says:

      I have no idea what #McTernanPredicts point is either it is complete bafflement. I also don’t have much of a clue about Northern Irish politics but I do know that the British Labour party are a bunch of duplicitous bastards..

    11. Fiona says:

      Hmmm. It is hard to make sense of Mr McTernan’s final tweet in that sequence but I think he means that all labour candidates in scotland and wales are about to step down in favour of PC and SNP candidates. That is my best shot

    12. Pleidiwr says:

      To be honest rev

      We in Wales are just happy that Milliband has even mentioned us. When you’re country is as unimportant to the ruling classes as Wales is, even contemptuous hatred is deemed as at least attention.

      Allthough its more than possible that he might just think that Wales is a suburb of Glasgow

    13. BuckieBraes says:

      It’s the strange, mangled logic of Labour once again. The fact the SDLP is a ‘sister party’ sweeps all before it and renders any comparison with the SNP illegitimate. End of.

    14. Tinto Chiel says:

      Rev., what with your logic and that, you’re truly a cybernat.

      It’s so unfair.

    15. Chitterinlicht says:

      I never knew that


      Silly buggers

    16. Jiggsbro says:

      The SDLP take the Labour whip. Nationalists are okay as long as they’re prepared to be lobby fodder for Labour and not rock the boat.

    17. Colin Church says:

      Tories seem to be having success in getting their vote back from “insurgents”. Labour wielding big stick to try to get theirs back. Aye,right. Their sense of entitlement is enraging.

      Labour really are being played like a fiddle by the Tories.

      See Murphy had to go to Braehead to get real people in the background of his PR exercise. Obviously being ignored and even resorted to faking selfie that is now the Sturgeon signature.

    18. Johnsmithmaybe says:

      In addition to its obvious belief in eventual reunification of Ireland (or breaking up the UK depending on your point of view),the SDLP have also made a manifesto commitment to oppose Trident renewal : how does that fit in with Ed’s rather selective take suitable partners for one inclusive ‘nation’?

    19. joe kane says:

      Wasn’t John McTory described as the most intelligent man in Scotland after he was appointed by The Spectator ‘Campaigner of the Year’ Jim Murphy?

    20. Nick Heller says:

      I have asked this question in other places without any sensible answer. It’s hardly a shock that Labour might prefer not to answer but it’s a dereliction of duty for journalists not to have pursued the point since working with the SNP was declared off limits.

    21. Swami Backverandah says:

      In Labour’s fairytale world Ed believes he’s Prince Charming and thus SDLP is the lovely sister party whereas Plaid and the SNP are obviously the two uglies.

    22. Empire Biscuit says:

      It’s often forgotten that the “United” in United Kingdom refers to the Union between Britain and Ireland, as does pretty much any place-name with “Union” in it, eg Aberdeen’s Union Street.

      Perfectly consistent attitude from the Conservative & Unionist Party but considering the content of the GFA it appears that the use of violence* makes one’s political movement acceptable to the Labour Party. Only logical conclusion.

      *No, Mr Deerin, I’m not suggesting that.

    23. Calgacus says:

      This is turning into the hypocrisy olympics. Why are Irish nationalists, who have a long history of violence, acceptable while the Scots Nats (who have never lifted a finger to harm anyone) are classified as untouchables?

    24. G H Graham says:

      More important than that, can anyone confirm the identity of the new royal baby’s father?

    25. Richardinho says:

      Interesting, does Aidan Kerr not like working for the Daily Record?

      The point is well made though (and one I’ve been banging away at in various forums recently). The Tories actually do stand in Northern Ireland but the Labour party does not so they really can’t make any excuses regarding the peace process or anything like that. It really comes down to the SDLP providing them with some extra votes in the HoC which they don’t want to disturb.

    26. Macsenex says:

      The Cornish Nationalists must be worried.

    27. Aceldo Atthis says:

      McTernan means there’s no point in fielding candidates against their own side. What matters is their loyalty to the imperial masters, Labour, not the banner which they go under.

      They have all the advantages of support from SDLP in terms of the commons and passing policy, what does it matter if they are called the SDLP, labour, or chopped chicken?

      People need to grow up.

    28. BJ says:

      This is a ridiculous situation. If the majority of voters send a SNP MP to Westminster to represent them but PM refuses to acknowledge or work with them, where does that leave people who voted no but are respectful of the outcome of a SNP MP?

      Who is talking for the no voters. Do Westminster have the right to tax people they won’t allow to have a say

      They want our money and our votes provided it’s who they want us to vote for.

      It’s nothing short of a dictatorship

    29. Calgacus says:

      I am beginning to think that the SNP have run rings round Miliband.

      They knew fine well that the plonker would reject “the hand of friendship”.

      At the rate he’s digging he’ll soon meet up with McTernan’s Australian losers.

    30. BJ says:

      Mr Miliband you are a coward and a hypocrite !!!

    31. Davy says:

      It appears the red tories are running out of playmates and its just because they think it’s their ball and no-one else should play with it.

      They are rapidly looking like a bunch of selfish pricks, infact just like the blue tories with their it’s all mine mine mine attitude.

      They don’t want us and we don’t f-ing want them, lets vote them all out of Scotland.

      Vote SNP, and get your country.

    32. Thomas Valentine says:

      You forgot Cornwall / Kernow.

    33. galamcennalath says:

      Here’s a suggestion for Milliband. Why doesn’t he do the same deal for Scotland and Wales as he’s done for Northern Ireland? He could pull Labour out of Wales and Scotland giving ‘sister’ social democratic parties a free hand in their respective nations.

      Since Labour clearly accepts already that chosen partner parties can have policies for their respective nations to leave the UK when their citizens so choose, there should be no problems chumming up with SNP and Plaid. Should there?

      Sounds an obvious step forward in democracy to me.

      Or, perhaps there’s another rather hypocritical agenda here. Could it be something to do with with the oil, exports and international prestige a UK including Scotland presents?

    34. Joemcg says:

      Hmmm…well do I deduce from this (not deriding NI) that Scotland is not the subsidised parasite that we are made out to be? I’m shocked at this revelation. Tongue in cheek.

    35. Fiona says:

      I wonder if the SDLP understand that they are really the labour party in Ireland? I wonder why they have a different name? Maybe they don’t actually realise they are not butter?

    36. Iain More says:

      The Necromancer works in mysterious ways.

    37. asklair says:

      An other great post, thank you.

    38. johnsmithmaybe says:

      Oh, and ‘prosperity not austerity’ demanded by dr. mcdonnell (though haven’t noticed him featured in anyone’s poster pockets). are you deaf, mr milliband ? as for journalists asking these kind of questions, or thinking that laterally – forget it – did you hear radio scotland this morning ? a few days before polling, listeners sitting at home with postal ballots and they tried to convince us that last night, jim murphy had made the ‘political speech of his life’, snp protesters had been ‘aggressive…even intimidating’, snp voters weren’t really rational (citing anecdotal snp voter saying ‘why bother about the snp financials when all the other parties’ figures don’t add up’ etc. zero counter-balance. meanwhile, over in ireland, ed’s pals, ed’s bestest, bestest pals…/

    39. Colin Church says:

      If he rules out the Greens next then obviously it is because he didn’t get a hug after the TV debate.

      They broken him. Now bitter and twisted.

    40. muttley79 says:

      Before the 1997 election British Labour got rid of their shadow spokesman for Northern Ireland, and brought in Mo Mowlam. I think they also downgraded their support for a united Ireland, and replaced it with a more neutral policy, to appease Ulster Unionists before all party talks began.

      I presume they would explain the apparent paradox between their positions on Ireland and Scotland by pointing out that Ireland is an island, and Scotland, England and Wales share an island. However, a united Ireland would have a very similar population to Scotland, and it is difficult to reconcile supporting a united Ireland and opposing independence for Scotland.

    41. Fiona says:


      To be serious for a moment, I think that the difference is that SDLP take the labour whip. SNP and Plaid will not do that, at least I sincerely believe they will not. Though I am told that the SDLP do this only informally – they do not seem to be bound by it in the way that a clp would be

    42. Joemcg says:

      “Are the SNP a sister party?” What a stupid fucking question. Pissed off with these wankers. Boot them out on Thursday.

    43. iheartScotland says:

      Has he officially ruled out doing a deal with the tories yet?

    44. Iain More says:

      The dirty Harry of British Politics. He is making Farage sound like a pussycat.

    45. Ben Donald says:

      I want to know what the SDLP themselves have to say about the SNP and Labour’s attitude to them. Are they alive to/comfortable with these levels of hypocrisy in their “sister party”?

    46. muttley79 says:


      I think John Hume thought about calling the SDLP the Labour Social Democrats (LSD), but for obvious reasons they settled on the SDLP!

    47. Fiona says:


      Mr Attwood said that unlike Sinn Féin the SDLP it took its seats at Westminster and with the Scottish National Party would use its strength and its influence to combat the austerity agenda if Labour was elected. “We will not support the Tories if there is a hung parliament. We take the Labour whip and we will support a Labour government, on the right terms, he added.
      “We will see if the collective strength of the SDLP, SNP and others can be directed to confront austerity and support working families and workless people,” said Mr Attwood.


    48. Rock says:

      “One Nation” hypocrites, the whole lot of them.

      The contents of this article should be front page news in The Sunday Herald tomorrow and in The National on Monday.

      But I won’t be holding my breath.

    49. heedtracker says:

      It sure is illogical captain. Its also weird watching a high paid boss of Vote SLab or else like Macternan make such fool of himself so publicly too.

    50. jimnarlene says:

      For the first time, in my nigh on 50 years, I have face palmed. FFS, Scotland wake up and get rid of these duplicitous fekers.

    51. Alan Weir says:

      An excellent point by Rev. Stu.

      Labour supporters in N. Ireland had to take legal action against the party even to become members of the Labour party:

      ‘In September 2003, after legal action, the Labour Party conceded that, in denying people living in Northern Ireland membership of the Party, they were discriminating against them on grounds of race (the people of Northern Ireland are defined in law
      as an ethnic group).’

      This is from a Labour Party in Northern Ireland document at:

      See their website at:

      But, as Boyd Black and other leading members of LPNI bitterly complain, the Labour leadership still refuses to stand candidates against ‘One Nation’ Labour’s sister party, a social democratic party which wishes to see the end of the UK! You couldn’t make it up!

    52. Alastair says:

      Its in their 2015 Manifesto

      “As a nationalist party, the SDLP’s goal has been not only to secure an Agreed Ireland but to achieve a United Ireland.”

      “During the next mandate, we will seek a referendum on a United Ireland, for which the SDLP will campaign vigorously in favour of a ‘yes’ vote.”

    53. AnneDon says:

      I think it’s because, when that decision was made, Labour was far more principled than it is now.

      However, I know that unionists like Kate Hoey were really pissed off about it.

      But then, she’s was only in the Labour Party because the UUP are as sexist as they are sectarian, and she wanted a career.

    54. Snode1965 says:

      Labour Party exposed. Party before the people, as long as you are lobby fodder big brother will love you. No social democracy, no principles, no policy commitment, only PARTY!! Thanks Stu, top class work again!

    55. gillie says:

      The DUP are just UKIP with bowler hats.

    56. muttley79 says:

      @Ben Donald

      As far as I am aware the SDLP have a vague aspiration for a united Ireland, in the same manner that both of the establishment parties in the Irish Republic have towards it. Sinn Fein are really the only ones who have a real drive for a united Ireland. However, since their (former?) Military wing spent around 30 years blowing up and shooting a lot of people, including a lot of innocent people, it has probably set back the probability of actually achieving a united Ireland at least a few decades, possibly more.

    57. MikeG says:

      As an NI resident and a long time reader of Wings (and Stu’s older stuff from his previous life) I was thoroughly depressed when I recieved my polling card last week. I had long assumed that voting in this pantomime masquerading as a devolved parliament is irrelevant as the same bigots/careerists from both sides win every time. I had contemplated voting for the SDLP as a moderate, fairly left leaning party but after now finding out that they’re in bed with Labour I can’t really see another alternative. Alliance Party perhaps?

      Just wish I could vote for the SNP, a party that genuinely seems interested in all the people they represent and not just those who share their views or background. When you guys and gals in Scotland proudly put your X in the SNP box on May 7th be very thankful you have that choice!

    58. jimnarlene says:

      Aye, one nation and it isn’t ours, unless we are subordinate to London rule.
      Vote SNP, save Scotland.

    59. Joemcg says:

      Maybe a good line of attack for the SNP in the final days this story. Never get a better example of Labour hypocracy.

    60. Giesabrek says:

      McTernan will be furious with the Daily Record after that – I can see him demanding Aiden Kerr’s head on a plate for not towing the Labour line. Wait and see if Kerr receives his p45.

      Good of Kerr to ask these obvious questions but doubt they’ll make it into the DR.

    61. JPJ2 says:

      Labour screw with their own heads-both Murphy and Brian Wilson are Irish nationalists.

      The mental contortions they go through to justify that stance while being bitterly opposed to Scottish nationalism has obviously turned their brains to mush.

    62. Fiona says:


      I just tried to go to the SDLP home page,and I got a message I have not seen before:

      checking your browser. Please wait, this will take a few seconds I paraphrase cos I did not remember it word for word. Is this usual? Why does it happen? Anyone know?

      Anyway; it seems they explicitly support a united Ireland. It is not a vague aspiration so far as I can tell. It is just that they prefer peaceful and consensual means: just like the SNP wrt independence, in fact.

      So they oppose austerity; seem to wish to work with SNP and other progressive parties in terms which sound very like those proposed by SNP (ie work where they can with labour but promote a leftist agenda, not unlike putting backbone into the party’s values etc) The do take the labour whip but on the right terms; and they favour independence for ireland

      What is the difference that makes a difference, asks the Rev. I can’t see one

    63. Alastair says:

      Ed Miliband at the Glasgow rally-

      “He said Labour could not “do a deal with a party that wants to break up the UK when we want to build it up”. ”

      Some interesting questions now nee a response.

      I think they have started to dig a very big hole. If this applies in NI ( and the statement is crystal clear) it will play havoc with the parties and voters.

    64. Alan Weir says:

      An addendum to my last. I think Labour’s position on the SDLP has little to do with them taking the whip (if you read the LPNI document you will see that, and the interesting comment that Miliband behaves towards them like a ‘colonial governor’).

      Officially it is because they want to be an ‘honest broker’ in NI. More importantly, large numbers of the Labour Party, particularly in the West of Scotland, do not believe N.Ireland is a nation, and believe in a United Ireland.

      You can see that perhaps more clearly in ex Labour man George ‘No sa bonnie’ Gallaway. Ireland is a proper nation which deserves to break free of English rule, not so Scotland. Perhaps Murphy is of the same view. Murphy is a bit like the Queen: she turns from an Anglican into a Presbyterian when she crosses the border; Murphy turns from a Unionist into a nationalist when he moves through Derry (or ‘Londonderry’ as he’d likely call it) into Donegal.

      It all seems to hinge on the idea that Scots were oppressors part of the Empire, the Irish oppressed. All such drivel. None of the working people of England, Scots, Ireland or Wales can be blamed for the empire, at least until universal suffrage in the 20th century. Huge numbers, of Irish every bit as much as Scots, served in the Empire, and if they were Protestant many served at very high levels, for example the Duke of Wellington, who was Irish.

      But British nationalism induces hypocrisy of very high levels in its proponents. That, even more than the economic benefits, would be the greatest boon of independence and equality for the Scottish nation and its parliament: breaking free of this narrow, rancid Bully Boy nationalism which is British Nationalism.

      But patience folk, not yet! Let’s try to work for full fiscal responsibility in the next parliament (here I disagree with Rev Stu) and hope that builds the confidence for a 2nd successful referendum as soon after 2020 as possible.

    65. Alastair says:

      “He said Labour could not “do a deal with a party that wants to break up the UK when we want to build it up”. ”

      Sorry folks forgot to attach my reference.

    66. muttley79 says:


      Thanks for that post. It looks like the SDLP are more committed to a united Ireland than I had thought. They are a very good party by the way. They were consitent throughout the Troubles in advocating a negiotated settlement.

    67. Joemcg says:

      Always thought Geldof,Connolly,Murphy McCartney etc coming out against Scottish Indy had some cheek. Just wished a decent journalist would ask them and their ilk if they would like to see Eire rejoin the UK. That would shut them up.

    68. icyspark says:


      Ian Davidson Tweet 🙂

      Freudian slip?

    69. heedtracker says:
      What its like with Macternan in the bunker this Sunday? They still have THREE business to days to pack up all their shite and head for Glasgow airport, on expenses.

    70. The Earthshaker says:

      Ed’s words are even more stupid in Wales’s case because Labour and Plaid Cymru were in Coalition in the Welsh Government from 2007 to 2011, so they’ve already worked with nationalists in a formal coalition.

      And I don’t believe Ed for a minute, David Axelrod the US advisor on Obama’s campaign gave and interview today saying the tough line on the SNP was his idea. It’s backfired spectacularly, more Scots are voting SNP and the South East of England seats aren’t falling Labour’s way, top marks all round folks

    71. gillie says:

      BBC, 1st April;

      SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell has said if Labour leader Ed Miliband becomes the next prime minister “it will be with our support, on our terms, that he takes power”.

      He said: “With significant Tory and UKIP power blocks in the next parliament, we will be the left-of-centre backbone of a Labour administration.

      “Along with the SNP and Plaid Cymru, (we) will ensure that the next Labour government remains true to its values.”

      Dr McDonnell said that, while his party had always worked closely with Labour, the SDLP was not tied to any other party.

    72. Cadogan Enright says:


      Repeat – that the GB MSM are refusing to cover.

      The Torys have not run candidates in 2 of the 18 constituencies in order to maximise the ‘protestant vote’ for the DUP candidate in North Belfast and Fermanagh/South Tyrone. (in the other 16 constituencies 13 are employees of firms in the city of London who have never been to NI)

      SO this means the one-nation Torys intend to win the election by;

      1. Anti Scottish racism AND
      2. Stoking up sectarianism in Northern Ireland

    73. Marcia says:


      You have linked to the previous Yougov poll. The new poll tables will I expect be issued in the morning.

    74. gillie says:

      BBC,1st April.

      SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell has said if Labour leader Ed Miliband becomes the next prime minister “it will be with our support, on our terms, that he takes power”.

      He said: “With significant Tory and UKIP power blocks in the next parliament, we will be the left-of-centre backbone of a Labour administration.

      “Along with the SNP and Plaid Cymru, (we) will ensure that the next Labour government remains true to its values.”

      Dr McDonnell said that, while his party had always worked closely with Labour, the SDLP was not tied to any other party.

    75. johnsmithmaybe says:

      @muttley79 : Kevin McNamara was the shadow labour northern ireland minister you’re thinking of ; he had spent many years painfully constructing and securing consensus within the party for its policy of actively promoting ‘irish unity by consent’ only to be removed and see this official policy binned by Blair, who preferred to adopt the conservative government view (at that time, dependent on ulster unionist votes to remain in power) of consent within northern ireland being paramount. McNamara was livid and forever held a very dim opinion of Blair because of the change. If you want a little more precise, quality detail, search on google under ‘kevin mcnamara united ireland policy’ and you should get to page 178 of ‘northern ireland : conflict and change’ by jonathan tonge. (the link is too long to paste here).

    76. Free Scotland says:

      Quoted from the SDLP website:

      SDLP leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell has reasserted the SDLPs commitment to cutting the renewal of the nuclear deterrent programme Trident. Dr McDonnell said that any future Labour Government relying on SDLP support must reflect the considerable opposition to maintaining Trident in the devolved governments.

      He said: “The SDLP have consistently argued that the maintenance of a nuclear deterrent in the UK is a cold war era defence strategy that is embarrassingly out-dated. Running Trident costs the public purse £3billion a year and its renewal carries a £100billion price tag.

      “The Tories seek to sink billions into this white elephant and in the same breath they claim that the most brutal cuts seen in decades are a necessity. This is an insult to the millions living under their austerity agenda and we along with the SNP and Plaid Cymru, would aim to ensure that this is not one continued by a Labour Government.

      “The most effective way a future UK government can protect the public is by defending frontline services in health, policing, social care, education and skills training. More lives in Britain and Ireland have been lost through cuts to hospitals than to nuclear war. It is time that our public spending reflected that.”

    77. Cadogan Enright says:

      @Fiona 10.21

      Don’t worry, its only MI5 logging onto your computer

    78. BTW Labour and the unionist Politicians and media happy to lie about Scotland receiving £1200 per person more than those in England (forgetting to tell them that we earn £1700 per person more than them down south) but they fail to tell them that NI receives more money from the treasury than they alleged Scotland did.

    79. Marcia says:

      Sunday Herald front page;

      Vote SNP on Thursday.

    80. dunx says:

      Seem to remember (vaguely) that way back in 1979 it was two SDLP members that brought down Callaghan’s government. Gerry Fitt and the other one. Oh and also Callaghan wouldn’t do a deal with Enoch Powell’s Ulster Unionists.

      Just before any of them go rushing into marriages of conveniences and usher in another era of Thatcherism,maybe best to learn from the histories of their own parties.

    81. gillie says:

      WoS should contact SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell and ask his thoughts.

    82. Fiona says:

      slightly tangential but this paper answered a lot of questions I have been wondering about. I think it is well worth reading on the question of what happens if there is no overall majority after the election

      It explains what Mr Miliband is going on about when he says no deal, and it also confirms that Ms Sturgeon’s statement that it is not about the queen’s speech but about the ongoing votes at Westminster over the life of the parliament

      Worth a read, if you have not already done so

    83. Fiona says:

      @ Cadogan Enright

      Thanks: I feel a lot better now 🙂

    84. JLT says:

      It would not surprise me in the least that the SNP are going to chuck a grenade into the Labour camp in a weeks time if it is a hung parliament. We can see that Labour are getting themselves into a right tangled mess over coalitions, deals or vote-by-vote issues.

      They have been played for fools by the Tories, who have literally got Ed to rule out coalition with anyone, while the Tories have ruled out literally no-one.

      If it is a hung parliament next week, then if Ed refuses to work with the SNP, I can see the SNP raising certain issues such as Trident, an end to austerity, and thus try and capture the attention of Labour MP’s. Would a mini-rebellion in the Labour Party take place next weekend if Labour MP’s tell Ed to cut a deal with the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists. After all, how can these MP’s go back to their constituents and tell them, ‘Yeah! We could have been in power, but Ed didn’t fancy working with the Nationalists …so instead, he believed it would be best to hand power to the biggest Nationalists of them all!’ I can see 1000 yard stares from those constituents if Ed passes up being PM and puts Cameron back into No. 10.

      It would certainly be the death of the Labour Party, and turn the name of ‘Ed Miliband’ into a figure of derision, and a name that revolves around calamitous failure; a failed MP who snubbed being PM; a man who committed fratricide against his brother; a man who sent his party into oblivion. We talk about Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock …well, Ed Miliband will surpass them by a country mile if he ignores Nicola’s olive branch.

      I can’t remember who said it a couple of days ago, but the concept of Nicola phoning Ed Balls and asking ‘Fancying being PM’ might not be too far-fetched.

    85. Sassenach says:

      Surely this point must now be raised in every radio/TV interview that any SNP candidates take part in.

      The level of downright Labour hypocrisy is staggering, and it just gets covered up by the pliant media. Until we have a fair broadcaster and a share of print bias, we are going nowhere, I’m afraid.

    86. One_Scot says:

      I am not a political expert, but even I can see that British politics is seriously F’cked up.

      What will it take for Scotland to wake up and say enough is enough, we no longer want to be a part of this corrupt system

    87. heedtracker says:

      Cheers Marcia! They do loads of them too. Check out Electoral Reform yougov poll for electoral reform, oddly enough:D

    88. Fiona says:


      Read my link above. It is really interesting on the rules after a hung parliament

    89. Edward says:

      The Earthshaker

      I hope Labour havn’t paid Axelrod upfront
      (fee of £ 300,000.00 apparently )

      I had a feeling employing an American to understand the nuances of the British to be a mistake, after all they don’t even understand our ironic humour

      But hey, why mention something to alert your enemy 🙂

    90. Mark says:

      @Fiona says:
      2 May, 2015 at 9:41 pm
      “I wonder if the SDLP understand that they are really the labour party in Ireland? I wonder why they have a different name? Maybe they don’t actually realise they are not butter?”

      In fairness, the SDLP have been struggling *peacefully* for decades to win a united Ireland. In the meantime, they have done more for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, and more to secure basic civil rights for Catholics, than any other party. Their former leader, John Hume, took huge political and personal risks (including years of venemous abuse in the NI unionist press and in some of the Republic of Ireland’s papers) to work for peace and was one of the major figures driving the peace process forward. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with David Trimble, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.

      The SDLP remain a nationalist party, committed to a united, independent Ireland, free of British rule, but they are obviously willing to operate within the parameters of the Good Friday Agrement for the time being without compromising on their ultimate goal of full independence for all of Ireland.

    91. Mark says:

      @Pleidiwr says:
      2 May, 2015 at 9:14 pm
      “To be honest rev

      We in Wales are just happy that Milliband has even mentioned us. When you’re country is as unimportant to the ruling classes as Wales is, even contemptuous hatred is deemed as at least attention.

      Allthough its more than possible that he might just think that Wales is a suburb of Glasgow”

      Here’s a very good account of how Aneurin Bevan’s home town has effectively been abandoned to its fate by Labour. It’s taken a foreign newspaper (The Irish Times) to publish it.

    92. stewartb says:

      McTernan’s comments on Labour’s sisterly relations with the SDLP and the latter’s nationalist, united Ireland aim, IF fully exposed in the MSM, could be a game changer and not just for GE2015!

      I suspect, like me, few people in Scotland, England and Wales have fully appreciated the SDLP’s position on ‘breaking up’ the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland whilst still having such a close, familial relationship with Labour.

    93. Fiona says:

      @ Mark

      That post was not serious. No criticism of SDLP intended at all. McTernan? That is a different matter

    94. call me dave says:


      Thanks for the link. Very interesting indeed.

    95. ben madigan says:

      nice to see all the sources posters have found about the SDLP, which are supported more by middle class professionals while Sinn fein supporters are more working class and more numerous.

      In my opinion Labour “talks” to its “sister” party the SDLP because

      1) the SDLP are more like the old pre-WWI Irish party of Constitutional nationalists rather than real separatists. Even though that’s what’s written on the tin they have never done anything (as far as I remember) to further the aim of a United ireland.

      2) the SDLP worked with Mr Blair to bring about the GFA/Belfast Agreement, ending the internecine strife in NI – which Westminster very much appreciated. Of their founder members in the early 1970s – a couple are dead, one after being made a Lord, another is retired from politics due to ill health after gaining many international peace awards and another has retired from being a Fine Gael Senator (Fine Gael= right wing party currently in government in the republic of ireland). No one was/is rocking any boats

      3) To be honest, I think Labour sorta overlooked them (factor in stupidity) – the SDLP have been in sharp decline since the Peace Agreement and have only 3 MPs in Westminster .

    96. Lesley-Anne says:

      I think there is only one thing I can say to this:

      Come in number nine your time is up! 😀

    97. Mark says:


      No problem – I have great admiration for the SDLP. They were almost alone in working for a fair and peaceful solution to the problems of Northern Ireland for decades.

      McTernan has been caught out in two big contradictions today alone. He must be one of the worst political consultants ever. I wonder if his contract with Labour allows them to ask for a refund? 😉

    98. Mark Wilkinson says:

      Welcome to the utterly bizarre world of Scottish politics with a hint of Irish.

      Jim Murphy, and many others within Scottish Labour (Lord John Reid, Michael Kelly, George Galloway) have been pro Irish independence, and have mined that particular vein of support for all it is worth. Their support for Scotland staying under Westminster rule meant they had to argue about how great being British was to a section of the electorate who had long supported them and who considered themselves Irish rather than British.
      This was all well and good pre referendum but has returned to bite them on the bum. British Nationalism Good, Scottish Nationalism Bad, Irish Nationalism harrumph…. look, squirrel!

      In the last few weeks in Airdrie we have seen some Labour activists going round the doors of “protestant” areas showing pictures from the local press of an SNP Councillor campaigning with Sinn Fein activists in her ward. The sectarian card is being played, and it’s a sign how desperate they truly are.
      Meanwhile they are out on the streets with members of the Orange Order swelling their ranks, and the message is passed on more subtly here. The well kent faces nod to one and other. They will soon be marching together under Union Jacks and Red Hands, but for now they will be marching to the ballot box to keep the SNP out by voting Labour.

      The strange thing is that despite what Miliband is saying, Labour no doubt will be propped up by the SNP. The Loyalists should at least have the courage of their convictions and vote Conservative and Unionist.

    99. Robert Peffers says:

      Ye cadna whack Labour wi a muckle stick.

    100. Scunterbunnet says:

      Alan Weir @10:27 and Mark Wilkinson @11:55 have nailed it.

      Labour have maintained control in their West of Scotland ‘heartland’ for many decades by fomenting and maintaining sectarian divisions. It’s the standard divide and rule tactic of any efficient imperialist branch office.

      Over many years I’ve heard/seen (at first-hand) Labour activists suggesting to working class Scots of Irish Catholic/Nationalist descent that they’d be a persecuted minority in a presbyterian/orange state if Scotland was independent – that they need the impartial rule of British law to keep them safe.

      Similarly, they want working class Scots of an Ulster Unionist/Protestant background to believe that Scottish Nationalism is just a ploy to get rid of the queen, and the kirk… all secretly sponsored by the Vatican of course.

      That’s why Jim M wants booze back at the fitba, a few Old Firm riots could bring back the SLab glory days of mutual distrust and collective impotence for the poor of West Central Scotland.

      Too late Jim, yur cuddy’s boltit.

    101. Kevin evans says:

      Yea this is a strange muddle – the only thing that makes sense to me is that after his Thursday gaff the polls in Scotland showed a slight increase in labour support and in Wales plaid is high in the polls also and he’s tryin to pull off the same result in Wales of s slight up in labour polls. That’s all I can think.

    102. Lola says:

      Northern Irish politics is complicated and fragile. I’ve been in Scotland 20 years, I’m voting SNP and I voted yes in the referendum, but as someone who is originally from Northern Ireland, the above, while it is a legitimate a question, makes me nervous. Essentially the answer is that neither Labour nor the Conservatives want to poke that hornets nest (Northern Irish politics). Although how they thought they’d get away with what they’ve been saying about the SNP, and now Plaid Cymru without that happening, I have no idea! It’s either stupidity or wrecklessness.

      Also, after many years of conflict over that very question, they know Northern Ireland is not about to become part of the Republic of Ireland tomorrow. A tentative fragile and prickly peace means that various compromises have resulted in a deeper and more practical connection with the Republic of Ireland and with a tacit (not necessarily stated) assurance that there will be no border changes anytime soon. The history is different, the situation is different and the consequences are different. Much as I’d love to see Labour called out on what they’ve been saying the last few days, I’m praying that this angle is dropped, another is found and Northern Ireland is left out of it.

    103. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Plucked from YT – here’s what ‘Labour’ meant to people, just a lifetime ago (watch out for the young Harold Wilson!):

    104. woosie says:

      Dare we hope that oor Andras ( Marr and Neil ) will push this game changing point on ebc this morning?

      Minibrain’s statement re no deal with SNP, who want to break up the uk, made headlines on all channels and papers; so should lab – and tory – responses to the SDLP question.

      Murpheratu never gets asked about his stance on a united Ireland. Maybe that should be raised now.

    105. JLT says:

      Hi Fiona

      Interesting article, but in one sense, the Queen would be papering over the cracks, and for Scotland, it would be a snub.

      MacDonald’s minority government in 1923 lasted 9 months. Ed could be facing exactly that too …unless the Tories or the SNP back him. Even without Nicola’s help, Ed will need to ‘threaten’ her with a ‘vote for what I and the Labour want or I dare you to bring me down’. I can’t see Nicola putting up with that! This is an enlightened Scotland. Labour are a burst flush up here. Seeing a Labour Leader threatening Nicola will only anger the Scots. The threat will be remembered as a stupid PM who brought down his own government rather than listen to the SNP. Such threats will only hurt Labour even more in Scotland. That’s another form of the old domestic abuse; the husband threatening the wife of severe consequences if she should ever disagree with him.

      If Ed goes it alone, and follows through on ‘his’ cuts, then his party is going to become toxic pretty quick in Scotland. Red Tories, Blue Tories …it makes no difference.

      Well …we’ll know in a week’s time, but I don’t think Ed’s appointment is going to end the arguments that exist between the parties. It could in fact accelerate them to a point where Labour lose confidence from the other parties, and even with their own if some proposals by Ed disenfranchise his own party members.

      Ed may win …but it could be a pyrrhic victory, and he may end up regretting the promises he made about not working with the SNP …all because he wanted to ‘big’ himself up in front of the Tories. The Tory strategists must be quietly smiling at this point in time…

    106. Ally McEwen says:

      Didn’t see Orkney & Shetland in Herald’s pic. Are they not part of Scotland? I don’t think we can blame them if they don’t want to come with us. We constantly treat them with this same contemptuous attitude we complain of the English treating us (BBC weather forecast maps for example). Funnily enough, when it’s oil and gas fields, Orkney & Shetland magically reappear.
      Come on Scots, let’s show our respect for our northern isles.

    107. Craig P says:

      I guess the point is Labour are never going to stand in NI, so no skin off their nose supporting SDLP. Whereas SNP and PC threaten Labour seats, so they will whine like spoilt children about nats in Scotland and Wales. 

    108. Robert Peffers says:

      Did I just hear BBC Radio, (against), Scotland say they are going to feature “What can be done about Cyberbullying”.

      Don’t tell me they are going to highlight the Britnats abuse of independence supporters?


      Well I didn’t really think anyone could tell me that.

    109. Caroline Corfield says:


      We are now responsible for BBC weather maps are ‘we’? The maps you see will be seen on TV and mainstream media for weather and much else, I think it’s been made patently obvious that ‘we’ have no control over them. That’s we here on this site, we in Scotland and indeed we in the UK of GB and NI. So, who’s this we that ignore the Northern Isles until oil is discussed?

      You’ll have also noticed that all oil is North Sea oil I suppose even the new fields west of Shetland. Think about who you heard using the word North Sea and who describes it as west of Shetland, that might begin to help.

      Yours from the ‘desolate north’ , north of Hadrian’s wall

    110. SquareHaggis says:

      @Ally McEwan

      You didn’t look properly @@

    111. Ally McEwen says:

      Forgive me. On closer inspection the northern isles are indeed there. Back to bed. Pulls duvet over heid.

    112. Ally McEwen says:

      Forgive me. On closer inspection they are indeed there. Apologies to Herald. Back to bed. I’ll pull the duvet over ma heid.

    113. muttley79 says:


      Yes I forgot the name, Kevin McNamara is was.

    114. DAODAO says:

      Unlike the SNP, the SDLP are not a true nationalist party, in that they accept the status quo of the 6 counties being part of the UK and merely try to represent the interests of the catholic population there. The real Irish nationalists (SF) there refer to them as the “Stoop Down Low” party. Some strands within PC are also of this tendency, e.g. “Lord” Dafydd Ellis-Thomas, but certainly not Leanne Wood. How can any self-respecting nationalist take a seat in the House of Lords?

    115. Fiona says:


      The SDLP say they want independence, but only through consent. That is also the position of the SNP. It happens that it is also my position, and I think it is the position of many who intend to vote SNP. Others trust the party to hold to the need for consent, and so will vote for SNP even though they do not want independence. That trust matters

      I do not think it is for you to say what constitutes a “nationalist” party. Do you have any evidence that they do not believe what they say they believe? For example they explicitly state that they are not only interested in the catholic population, in arguing that a united Ireland must ensure minority rights, just as they have sought the same for catholics within NI.

    116. ben madigan says:

      O/T about the SDLP but ON Topic as far as regards Labour

      Many thanks to Ian Brotherhood @1.00 am for that You tube link – it opened up many interesting clips.

      I have added one here at the end of this post

    117. Dave says:

      You forgot Cornwall. A nation being treated like a county. Internal colonialism at its finest. I do hope the SNP will use its power in Westminster to help a fellow Celtic nation achieve something as fundamental as recognition.

    118. Alan Weir says:

      @DAODAO You say ‘the SDLP are not a true nationalist party, in that they accept the status quo of the 6 counties being part of the UK’

      as opposed to the ‘real nationalists’ of Sinn Fein. It may have escaped your notice, but Sinn Fein are part of the government of the 6 counties, Martin McGuinness is deputy first minister working under the DUP’s Peter Robinson.

      The SDLP explicitly argue for a united Ireland and for a referendum on the border issue. It is true their support comes overwhelmingly from the Catholic population but they are not a sectarian party: I say that as a Protestant (by upbringing) who lived in Belfast for 25 years and always voted for them, even though they are far from perfect.

    119. Christian Schmidt says:

      Labour wont work with Plaid? And what sort of government did we have in Wales 2007-2011???

    120. Scotish Independence Now! says:

      Sinn Féin are the biggest nationalist/republican party in Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland give them some credit. They don’t get enough recognition as other nationalist/republicans partys.

    121. Gary says:

      It’s because, because….reasons! That’s why!

    122. robert graham says:

      the nicest comment directed at mcternan on his invitation to leave Australia under the cloud of visa violations amongst other questionable practices all denied was “Don’t let the door hit yer arse on the way out cobber” I think the aussies were getting their own back for the English sending them so many criminals in the past maybe they thought they should return at least one of them for old times sake

    123. Dafydd Wiliams says:

      Labour have based their whole strategy in Scotland on a big lie but the Scottish people aren’t buying it. I hope Wales will see through this falsehood before too long.

    124. TorrENS not TorrANCE says:

      This is interesting especially considering the Scottish Labour split story the other day. It is worth remembering that relations between Lab and its sister party were not always so amicable. The idea that labour don’t stand in NI because the SDLP are there ignores the fact that they both existed together in the late 60s early 70s until NI Labour eventually lost their support.
      There are many reasons for this but central is the party’s inability to deal with the local situation they found themselves in. The party was involved (eventually) in the NI Civil Rights Association and advancement of social justice but struggled to cope with the constitutional and sectarian aspects unique to NI.
      By adopting a unionist position in the late 40s NILP lost a large amount of catholic support (and led to the formation of the Republican Labout Party, of which Gerry Fitt, first leader of the SDLP, was a member). Then in the civil rights era the hesitancy to tackle sectarianism whipped up by Orangism further eroded confidence in the party. For these reasons Labour people like Gerry Fitt and Paddy Devlin left the party behind and brought Labour together with John Hume’s Social Democrat ideals (and, as mentioned above, narrowly escaping becoming the LSD Party).
      As the Troubles escalated the remants of the NILP became quiet on shootings, internment etc and the plight of the working class in NI that they lost all relevance to a great number of people on the left in NI to the extent that they atrophied and all but disappeared into other groupings (SDLP, IRSP, Workers’ Party).

      While there are obvious differences you can see similar problems to Scottish Labour that NILP faced 40-50 years ago. Their electorate and party leadership are at odds and it is presently quite clear that all but a few Scottish MPs are prepared to defy their Party in support of the principles their electorate. The upshot is the electorate vote for a party who represent them and not the policies aimed at wooing the middle class swing voters of England, while the people who make the party defect to be with likeminded folk. The result is the decimation of Scottish Labour in terms of votes, MPs and party activists.

      Who knows, once the initial animosity goes, perhaps in forty years on the SNP can look forward to also being a sister party to English Labour?

      Here is a good link to the formation of the SDLP

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