Around The Councils

A few snippets from around the Councils.

Mickey Coogan, Chair of Down Council, has left Sinn Féin. Seems it is nothing more than the usual in-fighting and personality clash. Sinn Féin is a minor player on Down Council. I dont see any real legal problem. It is a power-sharing council. It was SFs turn to take the Chair in May. The other councilors fully expected him and SF to be there until May next year. Nor is it likely that SF will object to a man from the same  political “gene pool” chairing the Council.

Of course, it is always a bit of a laugh when people in same party fall out. Down Council area……partly in Strangford and South Down constituencies is not a big SF area……one of the few areas where SDLP is dominant. Coogan was a candidate in the 2010 Assembly Election (Strangford) and it could be he is being eased out in favour of Naomi Bailey from the Ards Peninsula.

This story merits a thread on Slugger O’Toole.Which is fair enough………but a double standard…..for as yet Slugger has not noted that Cllr Frank McCoubrey, previously of the UDP (which spoke for the terrorist organisation UDA) has now joined the DUP on Belfast City Council.

A fellow member of the UDP was John “Coco” White……….who as a UDA/UFF man stabbed Cllr Paddy Wilson (SDLP) to death in North Belfast in 1973.

UPDATE: A thread on Frank McCoubrey has now been posted on Slugger O’Toole.

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4 Responses to Around The Councils

  1. bangordub says:

    Mr Fitz,
    Delighted you enjoyed the conference and interesting to see the party enjoying a resurgence in certain areas. Of course these pointers are yet to translate into votes and seats. The sense I am getting is that the SDLP are reclaiming “lapsed” voters. Are you winning any converts?

    • Mr Dub…youve been missed. Good to see you back.
      The whole idea of a party Conference is to make the members feel good about themselves. So the question I ask myself how much of the feel good factor was “real” and how much just “whistling in the dark”.
      On balance….and remember Im NOT neutral….is that it was a good Conference. I think the real achievement is getting the SDLP on the agenda at all.
      The degree to which the Youth Party has taken moved centre stage amazes me. Seven elected to fourteen places and another co-option from SDLP Youth (ex officio) means that at least eight people (from about 22 including ex officio members) are under 30 …that is simply an amazing stat which nobody has picked up on.
      Of course I have been blogging against the lazy stereotype that SDLP is a Party for old men.
      I suppose deep down politics is generational. There are now people on the Executive who were at primary school when Good Friday Agreement was signed.
      Just what this means I cant really tell.
      Im not convinced about “lapsed voters” or even “new voters”. I know that other parties are making mistakes and SDLP is now relevant enough for Newton Emerson to let his mask slip (a few weeks ago).
      The only thing I can really say with certainty is that the SDLP is back in the Game.
      No more. No less.
      Whether lapsed voters or new voters actually vote SDLP is one thing.
      But I reckon that more will actually consider it.

      • bangordub says:

        My absence was due to certain strenuous exams, the last of which I passed yesterday afternoon! 🙂
        I suppose my point is that it is one thing for the SDLP to regain some self confidence. It is another entirely to convert that into electoral success. The emergence of a vibrant youthful wing is a healthy sign but it should be balanced with experience

      • Congrats on success.
        Gaining self confidence creates a different kinda dynamic. SDLP is much less apologetic about itself. And THANK CHRIST has found its own voice rather than listening to wastes of space from other parties. Whether any motion was good or bad, it was at least discussed by ourselves. Thats crucial.
        When I saw the runners and riders for the Party Executive……24 I think chasing 14 posts, it was obvious that the Youth Group would get 3 or 4 posts. …at least.
        Quite a surprise they nabbed seven…which will be a hard result to replicate next year.
        I dont think they really look on themselves as Youth Group candidates…rather they are diverse individuals. They wont be voting en bloc or as a party within a party.
        They will certainly have a lot to learn.
        But these people are absolutely dedicated.

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