Happy St Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2012 12:25 pm

One of the major questions thrown up during Refounding Labour was how do political parties retain a sense of relevance to diverse communities in the modern world. With traditional voter allegiances less secure and class based voting on the wain, political parties need solid connections into real communities. For Labour, some of our best Socialist Societies help provide that link and the Labour Party Irish Society is a great example, we provide a direct connection between the Labour Party and the Irish in Britain.

I’m very proud of everything we’ve achieved in recent months in the Labour Party Irish Society, so this St Patrick’s Day will be a time to celebrate our heritage and look to what we can continue to deliver for the Irish in Britain. This year’s St Patrick’s Day reception was addressed by Ed Miliband and the Irish Minister for Trade Jo Costello TD, recognising both the contribution that the Irish make to Britain as well as the contribution the Labour Party has made to peace in Northern Ireland and relations with the Republic of Ireland.

Since last year’s St Patrick’s Day reception, we’ve the Irish Labour Party mark one year into Government in the Republic of Ireland, a long standing friend to the Labour Party Irish Society Michael D Higgins elected as President and our former Chair’s Sally Mulready elevation to the Irish Council of State and Conor McGinn elected to Labour’s NEC.

But the key factor in the success of a political organisation goes far beyond political positions and gets to the heart of the issues facing the community it seeks to serve. That’s why at our St Patrick’s Day reception was attended Irish community organisations who do so much to care for the vulnerable Irish. It is our connection to those groups and individuals that keep us relevant and informed on the needs of the community we represent in the Labour Party.
So societies like the Labour Party Irish Society help to generate a real connection between a political party and a community and will be essential to the renewal of the Labour Party as a party that is in touch with the needs, concerns and aspirations of the Irish in Britain. Societies like the Labour Irish Society help to integrate their communities into Britain and into the Labour Party and in turn, Labour becomes a stronger and more representative political party, closer in tune to the needs of the communities we serve.

So if you’re a Labour supporter with a connection, interest or passion for Ireland, join the Labour Party Irish Society, an affiliated Socialist Society of the Labour Party. Membership costs £10 or £6 reduced rate, don’t miss out on your chance to get an invite to the best St Patrick’s Day event this side of the Irish Sea!

Beannachtaí Lá Fhéile Phádraig daoibh go léir and please join us at LPIS.org.uk

Brian Duggan is the Chair of the Labour Party Irish Society

  • Bill Lockhart

    This kind of fawning to factional interests makes me less likely to vote Labour, not more. It smacks of the ludicrous faux-Oirishry which afflicts American politics at this time of year. The notion that British residents with Irish ancestry have “needs” different from anyone else is patronising, borderline-racist nonsense.

Latest

  • News Chris Leslie rules out raising National Insurance to pay for social care

    Chris Leslie rules out raising National Insurance to pay for social care

    The possibility of Labour pledging a specific tax to raise money for NHS spending resurfaced this weekend, with Ed Miliband apparently believing that the NHS is going to be a major issue in 2015. The supposed likely tax rise would be in National Insurance, and this has raised some debate on LabourList this summer, with MP Frank Field supporting the idea, while Andrew Harrop and Adebusuyi Adeyemi have both warned against it. In a revealing interview with Progress magazine, Shadow Chief […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Free School Meals: let’s avoid the sour grapes

    Free School Meals: let’s avoid the sour grapes

    This time last year, the government announced that it would introduce free school meals for all infant school children before the next election. The policy had been endorsed by the School Food Plan commissioned by Gove. It was being championed by the Lib Dems and brought forward so it could be implemented before the 2015 election in what appeared to be a pre-conference deal between the coalition partners. This week 1.5million children in infant schools in England, including my six year […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Weekly survey: Crime commissioners, Douglas Carswell and Labour defections

    Weekly survey: Crime commissioners, Douglas Carswell and Labour defections

    The role of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) has been in the news lately, with the low turnout at the recent West Midlands by-election and the Rotherham abuse scandal becoming focussed on the refusal to quit by the South Yorkshire PCC Shaun Wright. LabourList reported this weekend that Labour are planning to abolish PCCs after the election next year. Should the role be discontinued? Or is there just a better way of making them work? The defection of Douglas Carswell […]

    Read more →
  • Comment It shouldn’t cost so much to be a candidate

    It shouldn’t cost so much to be a candidate

    I love the Labour party. I enjoy canvassing, I pay my subs, go to the various fundraising dinners and vote in National Executive Committee (NEC) elections. I, like many, hate the constant barrage of ‘please donate’ emails and fear the dreaded fundraising call. And if I feel like that, imagine the dread felt by a candidate when they receive such a call. Don’t believe that happens? Hard to believe as it is, on more than one occasion now I have […]

    Read more →
  • News Jim Murphy resumes “100 streets” referendum tour after nationalist abuse

    Jim Murphy resumes “100 streets” referendum tour after nationalist abuse

    Jim Murphy is resuming his soapbox street meetings tour of Scotland tomorrow, after suspending it last week in the face of increasing co-ordinated abuse by supporters of independence. These protests at Murphy’s open-air meetings came to the attention of the media (and the police) when the Shadow Defence Secretary was hit with eggs last week. In a blog for the Spectator this weekend, Murphy explains how the organised groups go beyond the “normal cut and thrust” of politics that the meetings […]

    Read more →