How To Explain SDLP….People Like Sarah

I saw this yesterday. I thought it was interesting. A feature of SDLP Conferences is the election of people to positions in the Party. It is not all about Leadership and famous faces that you see on TV.
A lot of it is about people dipping their toe in the water for the first time.
I will read a lot about SDLP this weekend and I wont like a lot of it. It will be written by Mick Fealty, Alan Meban and David McCann…people who regard politics as a spectator sport…not something you actually DO. Watching Politics is a bit like watching Football, Rugby and Camogie. No Balls are required.

So luckily there are people who think Politics is about real people and real issues. And not just headline issues. So this little biography is interesting, not least because it references Dominic Bradley MLA….who is stepping down from electoral politics. Dominic was never a headline grabber but a very effective backbencher. His Autism Bill is a good legacy to leave. No Drama…just Decency.

And probably fair to say that his example has brought people into SDLP. Another legacy…Justin McNulty and now Sarah Devlin who met Dominic thru his work on Autism.
The thing is if you get involved in one campaign, you tend to find yourself involved in other campaigns. It is not always easy standing up for yourself. There was a time when I considered myself too “shy” to advocate for myself. But sometimes I was forced to stand up….for my mother in an old folks home and sons at school or whatever.
And it becomes easier. Maybe thats what SDLP is all about. Finding a voice for our own and then using that voice for others, who we dont know.
Whatever the internal divisions that you can read about on Slugger O’Toole, this is a point that wont be covered by Mick, Alan and David.
Theres nothing headline-grabbing about Sarah. Just political reality….and if you are involved in Politics (any Party), you will “get” it. If you merely watch Politics and sneer, then you wont “get” it.
Oddly Sarah begins her manifesto by thanking people for reading it.
The strange thing is…it is exactly the kinda thing SDLP members will want to read.

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