Labour Party moves to stand in Ulster
All of this is effectively a step closer to permitting Labour Party members to fight elections in the Province.
Cranmer has always believed that Unionist parties should stand in all parts of the Union; to do otherwise is to manifest oxymoronic tendencies and to deprive British subjects of their democratic rights. The case against Labour was that its members in Northern Ireland had been given second class membership compared to their English, Scottish and Welsh colleagues, and this was manifestly discriminatory against the Irish. Quite why Labour has been fierce in its quest to bestow equal rights upon Conservative-supporting homosexuals but not upon the Labour-supporting Irish is bizarre, but they now have their democratic right to participate fully in the party and shape its policies. To prevent them from standing in Ulster’s elections is to perpetuate their second-class status, and to risk further threats of litigation.
One wonders if this has anything to do Mr Cameron’s Unionist overtures in the Province. Cranmer mused a few months ago of a possible Conservative-DUP coalition in the event of a hung parliament. Ulster’s First Minister, the Rev Dr Ian Paisley, has held several meetings with Mr Cameron, and has confirmed that he would be ‘very interested in doing business with the Conservatives’. With the demise of Labour’s SDLP friends, and the ascendancy of the Conservative Party, Mr Brown is left with no alternative but to play catch-up.