One thought on “Social networking

  1. I am not sure that the tinternet is actually a useful tool in this election. If it has any value (and I am a tecno phobe)it is to reach more people. But with six Hustings for Party members, four launches for the “public and members” and groups of branches getting together to host their own hustings, there has been ample opportunity for every single SDLP member to engage with all four candidates.
    Social networking….well I am a Facebook “friend” of the three candidates who use it….but Im not sure that Conall having 2,650 “friends” means anything at all. Indeed his use of the tintenet might actually be a turn off for me rather than a turn on. Knowing how to make an internet “twibbon” might be a good skill in audition for a Blue Peter presenter but its not a skill in the real world of politics. And being “liked” and having a campaign endorsed by some of those 2,650……enemies of the SDLP in the “letsgetalongerist” community is entirely counter-productive in a leadership contest.
    The manifestos are essentially meaningless and could be reduced to a single page. There is no real divisions on Health, Education, Job Creation, Irish Unity……the only actual issue is Leadership itself. If I had a vote….and I dont…..Id really want the candidates to just cut to the chase.
    In any case the manifestos paragraphs on organisation are meant to be expanded on and certainly at the two launches which I attended (one in Belfast, one in Derry), the two candidates put a lot of flesh on these bones. It can safely assumed thats the case at all those Hustings up and down North East Ireland.
    Theres also some scope for reading between the lines or understanding a sub text in a candidates speech.
    The only real issue is who can combine the three talents of (1)engaging with the SDLP membership (2) the broader SDLP family …the long suffering voters
    and (3)identify the real enemies of the SDLP in the EXTREME republican community,the unionist community and the letsgetalongerist community.
    I think the election at the weekend is merely a starting point for whoever is elected Leader. Time after that to utilise the membership, engage SDLP voters and turn its attention outwards.

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