Two members of Labour's Socialist Campaign Group have hit out at Keir Starmer after he said he would back Northern Ireland's status within the United Kingdom in any future Irish border poll. Starmer visited Belfast and Londonderry at the weekend and was asked about his position in an interview with BBC Northern Ireland: "I personally, as leader of the Labour Party, believe in the United Kingdom strongly, and would want to make the case for a United Kingdom strongly and will be doing that". Starmer added that he would make the case for the Union regardless of whether the question was Irish unification, Scottish independence or Welsh independence.
The member for Brighton Kemptown clearly took exception to Starmer's position and declared that Labour were 'not Unionists'. Lloyd Russell-Moyle pointed out that Labour is aligned with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) who have always campaigned for Irish unification. Diane Abbott agreed as she retweeted her comrade.
There are a couple of issues with what these far left buffoons had to say about the SDLP. Firstly, the SDLP is not a Republican party, they are Irish nationalists (albeit simultaneously socialists like the SNP and Plaid Cymru). The main Republican party in Northern Ireland is Sinn Fein, a party whose luminaries Diane Abbott has enjoyed the company of for many years. Photographs of Abbott cosying up to Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams and his successor Mary Lou McDonald are easy to come by, while photographs of her alongside members of Labour's actual 'sister party' less so. By referring to the SDLP as Republicans, Abbott and Russell-Wotsit bely their true loyalties - to the murderers and terrorists of Sinn Fein/IRA.
|Abbott pictured at an Easter Rising commemoration in 2016 with Sinn Fein|
leader Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein activist Jayne Fisher
Secondly, we can also take issue with Lloyd's assertion that he 'takes a lead from the SDLP and the people of Northern Ireland'. If he took his lead from the people of Northern Ireland then he would be a Unionist. In the 2017 assembly elections, the SDLP returned just 12 MLAs to the Northern Ireland Assembly from a total of 90 members. It currently has just two MPs at Westminster from a total of 18 Northern Ireland constituencies. That's not exactly a persuasive lead.