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

  • Comment Building safer and more resilient communities

    Building safer and more resilient communities

    Despite the lowest crime for decades, many perceive that crime remains too high. Despite many child safety improvements, parents remain worried.Overall alcohol consumption is down, but many feel that drinking is out of control, particularly in city centres. Traditional drug use is lower, but ‘legal highs’ provide a new challenge. In a free and open society, the state cannot protect individuals from every conceivable danger at all times, or from the consequences of unwise choices.We can, however, help people make wiser decisions. How […]

    Read more →
  • News Seats and Selections Frank Dobson confirms he’s retiring as an MP

    Frank Dobson confirms he’s retiring as an MP

    As we reported last week, Frank Dobson is stepping down as MP for Holborn and St Pancras – and he’s officially announcing his decision this evening at a meeting of local party members. Dobson, who is retiring at the age of 74  began his career in politics at Camden London Borough Council, where he was elected as a councillor in 1971 before becoming leader of the council for two years later in 1973. Six years later he entered into the […]

    Read more →
  • News Shadow Home Office Minister steps down

    Shadow Home Office Minister steps down

    Shadow Home Office Minister Helen Jones is stepping down from the front bench. The Warrington North MP “wanted to spend more time in her constituency” Labour sources said – although her letter to Miliband announcing her decision appears to lack a clear explanation (it’s only 46 words long). Jones had been in the role since October last year (since the last reshuffle) and served as “Vice-Chamberlain of the Household” under Gordon Brown. A replacement for Jones will be announced “in […]

    Read more →
  • News The government have “lost sight of the diversity agenda in the civil service” – Labour will sort it out, says Dugher

    The government have “lost sight of the diversity agenda in the civil service” – Labour will sort it out, says Dugher

    At a speech to the National Trade Union Committee, Michael Dugher Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, said  Labour would set new targets for the percentage of women and black and minority ethnic employees in the Senior Civil Service. He highlight how women and black and minority ethnic people are underrepresented in senior positions and criticised the current government for losing “sight of the diversity agenda in the civil service”. He said: “Under this Government, things have either been stalling […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Weekly Survey: The NPF, Assisted Dying Bill and Miliband and Obama meet

    Weekly Survey: The NPF, Assisted Dying Bill and Miliband and Obama meet

    Labour held its final major National Policy Forum (NPF) meeting at the weekend to finalise positions on a whole swathe of of policy areas. LabourList covered it in depth – not only did we run a comprehensive liveblog all weekend and have first coverage of Ed Miliband’s speech, we also had reactions from those that were there. It was a weekend of “consensus, not conservatism” according to our Contributing Editor (and NPF delegate) Emma Burnell, while Mark Ferguson reckoned it meant a “reorientation […]

    Read more →