Alan McFarland and the North Down conundrum

New 'New labour' supporter?
The BBC is reporting the resignation of North Down MLA Alan McFarland from the UUP.

He has been MLA for North Down for 12 years and claims he is leaving the party because he is uncomfortable with the electoral link up with the Conservative Party and that the alliance was detrimental to unionist interests in Northern Ireland.

A bit odd since the interests of unionists is to remain part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Is it not a bonus to have Her Majesty's Official Opposition (at least until 6 May) having a selfish and strategic interest in supporting that union?

I know Alan, and have a great deal of respect for him, but I can not see how he can so suddenly become a New Labour supporter.  Throwing his towel in with Sylvia may not be the best thing for him to do. Nor the best thing for protecting the interests of unionists in Northern Ireland. 

Labour have resisted giving British and Irish citizens living in Northern Ireland equal status with the rest of the UK. Where is the Labour Party in Northern Ireland elections?  Labour Party activists have had to fight tooth and nail to become recognised here.  I don't subscribe to the New Labour ideology (mostly selling of the national assets to drive us even deeper into debt), but I do support Labour activists in Northern Ireland gaining equal status with England, Scotland and Wales.  I welcome normal national politics seeping into Northern Ireland electoral choices.

At least the Conservatives are providing the electorate here an opportunity to vote in UK wide democratic politics.

I googled Alan and found already a lot of chatter on twitter about him resigning and checked out his website. But it did not tell me a lot.  In fact it is not very informative at all.  About anything.

I don't believe this is a set back for the Conservatives and Unionists in the long term.  If Alan could not 'thole' it then he has every right to make his choice to follow his own 'Sylvia' lining.  But it is a very Sylviaesque stunt to try and create as many problems as possible during an election campaign.  I fully expect to see Alan out and about working for Sylvia, but it will be interesting to see if North Down follows down that New Labour route.


Anonymous said...

Good to see that analysis or thought doesn't get in the way of unadulterated adoration for UCUNF.

Ivor Whitten on 11:17 pm said...

Thanks. Analysis and/or thoughts are always biased anyway. I do think the Conservative link up is a good thing. Should have been an option years ago. But circumstances happen.

Its not unadulterated adoration, but I do support it.

Thanks for leaving the comment.

iCarryduff said...

Did Alan McParland explicitely state that he was a (New) Labour supporter? Is it not possible that he was opposed to the UCUNF project despite being economically centrist/right of centre but believing (rightly or wrongly) that it would be detrimental to the union or the UUP, or Northern Irish people as a whole?

"Is it not a bonus to have Her Majesty's Official Opposition (at least until 6 May) having a selfish and strategic interest in supporting that union?"

No. If they are in favour of the union, they are in favour of the union. It neither strengthens nor weakens the union them not sitting in all constituencies. If they do seek to maintain the union, I'd like to think they'd do so on principle or, even better, in respect of the democratics wishes of the people of northern Ireland, as opposed to a short-term party-centred seat grab. It would show a commitment to the concept.


Hand of History. Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Revolution Two Church theme by Brian Gardner Converted into Blogger Template by Bloganol dot com | Distributed by Deluxe Templates