More on Fianna Fáil’s excellent adventure in the North: on Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics today, SDLP deputy leader and South Belfast MP Alasdair McDonnell was almost effusive in his welcome. Now, for some curious reason, Bertie and the boys have their sights set on the 2009 local elections and after that may take a run at Stormont, but, probably at the heel of the hunt due to the FPTP electoral system, are ruling out running for Westminster.
Alasdair thinks they are being too modest. Dúirt sé: “I have no doubt they will very quickly decide that if there’s an opportunity there and a representational job to be done, they will avail of it… They are very pragmatic and very effective.” Well, pragmatic and effective are two adjectives you could apply to the Soldiers of Fortune. Do I detect, though, a nod and a wink to FF with an eye to candidate selection? Possibly – but why? Electorally speaking, Alasdair is a dead man walking – does he think being the Fianna Fáil candidate for South Belfast will be a winning strategy?
In any case, Alasdair may need a couple of extra suits if he’s planning on strutting his stuff in island-wide politics. You can’t go to the FF Ard Fheis in a jumper with a zip up it.
You can read more on the headline-grabbing FF move in Jim Fitzpatrick’s newsletter at the Beeb.