L’ultimo discorso di Mark Durkan
Sabato 6 febbraio Mark Durkan ha fatto il suo ultimo discorso come leader dello SDLP, durante la conferenza annuale del partito.
Qui sotto il testo completo del discorso, in inglese.
Mark Durkan’s final speech as SDLP leader
Durkan made his final speech as leader of the SDLP. Here is the full transcript.
Mark Durkan, SDLP
My first message today is very simple: Thank you.
Thank you for the kind messages so many of you have sent to Jackie, Dearbhail and me over the last few months. And for your support throughout the last eight years and more. It has been my privilege to serve as Leader of the SDLP. While I will only carry that honour for another few hours, I will always carry this party’s banner with pride and purpose.
I won’t pretend that the journey has always been easy. I don’t deny or diminish the setbacks we have suffered. Nor will I forget all that we have achieved together – more than we get credit for and more, sometimes, than we credit to ourselves.
Right and rewarding don’t always rhyme. We’ve learned that the hard way. But this party has only ever done what we believe to be right. And we only ever will.
Right by the principles we uphold. The promises we make. The people we represent. And the better prospects they deserve.
Right for the community we serve and this country we love.
I made my mind up some time ago that it would now be right for me to stand down as Party Leader. Tomorrow a new Leadership team will be elected and a new chapter in the story of the SDLP will begin. Our incoming Leader and Deputy Leader will have my full loyalty and support as they get to work. They deserve yours too. Now more than ever a united and focussed SDLP is needed to deliver the sensible leadership people deserve and the sustainable progress they demand.
Yesterday we saw a deal announced at Hillsborough, after all the frustration and speculation of recent times. We welcome the fact of a deal. But we will have to work through its detail – or lack of it. It is not just a question of whether we approve the deal. But how we proof it against tests such as workability, consistency with the Good Friday Agreement and with Patten and its implications for a number of issues.
The SDLP welcome a date for the transfer of powers, given that we tried to fix one in law late last year. We have consistently said that transferring such powers was necessary for a number of reasons.
To complete the Agreement and Patten’s vision for transforming politics, policing and justice with inclusion, accountability and stability.
So that our Legislative Assembly can be worthy of the name, with responsibility for criminal law.
So that the Executive might become more competent, with a more complete suite of powers.
So that the priorities and performance of devolution could be improved, without the distraction or excuse of uncertainty.
And, not least, to counter the sinister plans of those who still resort to violence to attack policing and undermine democratic politics.
We have been making all these points longer and stronger than anyone else.
We reject Sinn Fein’s attempts to pretend that they alone pushed for devolution. They were attacking us when we made the first wave of devolution happen under Patten – when we ensured that powers then transferred from the British Secretary of State to the Policing Board and the accountable Chief Constable.
Many times, we have argued for implementation calendars with dates for transferring such powers. Sinn Fein resisted this, when they were so far behind on policing. When St Andrew’s came, it was clear to us that the May 2008 date was merely aspirational, with no commitment from the DUP and no guarantees from the Governments who had given the DUP the “triple-lock veto”. Sinn Fein mis-sold that agreement, while we told the truth.
Out of embarrassment and desperation in the summer of 2008, Sinn Fein conceded a new veto to the DUP, without getting any date for devolution. This was the “at all times” veto on the appointment of a Justice Minister, which meant that “no nationalist need apply”. Not for the first time, they violated the Agreement’s clear promise of inclusive government according to democratic mandate.
When we exposed their folly, first they lied. Then they tried to claw things back with a “sunset clause”, which could see the Department of Justice dissolved in May 2012. Let’s not forget, in all the hype of yesterday, the recipe for instability and stand-off then that is still out there.
So Sinn Fein have connived with the DUP to circumvent d’Hondt. They pretend that they will support an SDLP nominee for the Justice Ministry, when they have handed the DUP the very veto that would frustrate that rightful nomination.
Changing the rules to deny a due outcome, to discriminate against a nationalist party and confer patronage and undue power on a pro-union party used to be called gerrymandering. Today Sinn Fein call it “historic progress” and “the best agreement of all”.
Not very long ago, the Alliance Party were arguing against our push for devolution, saying they detected no appetite for it. We know what soon stimulated their appetite. The Alliance Party have spent several years preaching and posing as the party of “principled opposition”. As they preen themselves for undue office, the opposition will be no more. Because the principle never was.
It is clear that the relationship between the Minister and the Executive was an issue between Sinn Fein and the DUP. And one of the issues on which we made clear submissions in the Hillsborough talks.
But are we not also right to be concerned about the relationship between the devolved functions and those that will not be devolved? Relating to national security and intelligence services, SOCA, anti-terrorism legislation, no-jury trials and the ability of the Attorney General in London to instruct a supposedly devolved DPP to collapse a prosecution on the grounds of “public interest”. How do we uphold the integrity and credibility of the devolved justice system, if the Justice Minister is reduced to pleading impotence and/or ignorance when any of these controversies arise? And can nationalists be fully confident that, on top of being denied the devolved Justice Ministry, they will not also be faced with a Unionist Security Minister for here in any future Tory Government?
We will pursue such questions and more in exchanges with other parties and the First Ministers. We will work to fill the gaps and narrow any doubts. We are a party of building-up, not holding-up. When the resolution for devolution comes before the Assembly on 9 March, we will vote for it without prejudice to any of the misgivings we have had.
As we consider the deal’s implications for the parades issue, our concern is not to set the clock back. To ensure that the three highly-charged wires of policing, parades and politics – which were carefully separated – are not dangerously crossed again. We must not give planning permission to those of ill-will, who would want to contrive new problems on parades and revive old ones, on the back of uncertain or ill-considered change from the current regime.
Something that we particularly welcome about the deal and the talks at Hillsborough, is the DUP/Sinn Fein admission, after long pretence otherwise, that the Executive has not been working as it needs to and that devolution is not performing as we all want it to.
Peter Robinson was born again as First Minister this week and now he and Martin McGuinness say they want a fresh start for the Executive. In the most positive ways, we will test them on that. Not just with ideas to make the Executive’s work more inclusive, more effective and more strategic. We will again put forward proposals to enable the Assembly to do a bigger and better job in terms of controlling the cost of government, improving performance on capital expenditure, ring-fencing front-line services from undue Budget cuts.
We have long highlighted the shortcomings of the current Executive, the short-termism of decisions taken and decisions avoided and the short-changing of the public by a Budget and Programme for Government whose flaws we tried to amend. At last the penny has dropped. But only as millions of pounds are being cut.
As the media reflect the disenchantment of the public on so many issues, we can tell them that no one has been more frustrated than the SDLP. We haven’t just tried to face the issues, but we have fashioned ideas to use the machinery of devolution and the tools of North South to solve problems and improve prospects.
In proposals at the Executive, in motions to the Assembly, in our ‘New Priorities’ document, we have shown that we are out to make devolution work better. We have come forward with ideas for achieving better outcomes. We have pleaded with other parties to back such initiatives, to rise to the challenge and live up to the promise of regional democracy.
To show that devolved government understands people’s problems and the solutions we need better than Direct Rule ever did – or ever could.
By acting decisively to help businesses stay afloat as they navigate the choppy waters of recession.
Supporting innovation and new enterprise. To be ahead of the curve when recovery comes.
Giving workers the help they need right now and hope for the future.
Growing the green economy. Maximising renewable energy.
Developing tourism throughout the island. Offering value for time, as well as money.
Guaranteeing children, parents and teachers the certainty of education that both enshrines excellence and upholds equality.
Giving the most vulnerable the care they deserve. And those who care for them the resources they need.
Honouring the promise to victims and survivors that they would not be left behind as the rest of us move on.
Keeping our word on a shared society. And a sharing society.
Delivering the Bill of Rights promised by the Agreement.
Driving North South opportunities – for every citizen in every county.
Transforming our country – North and South – for the better and for all.
The SDLP are champing at the bit to deliver all that and more. Bursting with good ideas for better government. No party feels more frustrated at all the messing and missed opportunities than we do.
People are crying out for change. Fed up with all the instability. Frustrated by the lack of delivery. Sceptical about more hype and spin. We have to persuade them that the best antidote to DUP/Sinn Fein failure is a successful SDLP. Convince them that we offer a better way forward. That we are not just a party of deep principle, but of clear purpose and ready service as well. A real alternative with radical ambition.
It is not just the years of broken promises here that have so severely damaged the public’s faith in politics – and in some politicians. It’s the serial crises, stand-offs and never-ending ‘process’.
Disillusionment has also come from the nature and scale of the downturn and the clueless devolved response to it. More widely, people are also indignant at having to underwrite banks that can ask for a lot, but still have so much more to answer for.
Public cynicism is compounded by disturbing allegations of corruption and cover-up. But not allayed by unconvincing spin and inconsistent versions being offered to side-step serious and obvious questions.
But it’s not just politicians’ excuses. It’s expenses too. Not only the outlandish and outrageous claims appalled people, but the lack of clear controls and credible standards. That’s why, as well as our strong submission to the Kelly Review, we were to the fore in pushing through the legislation for an independent parliamentary standards authority, when others resisted. And, thanks to SDLP amendments, those standards now cover tax declarations, as well as expenses claims.
I know eyebrows were raised when I was challenged over a claim I had made for a London hotel room. Thankfully, the matter was easily cleared up and I wasn’t asked to pay back anything. However, I’m pretty sure I’m now in a fairly unique category: perhaps the only politician who ever got into hot water for sleeping with his wife.
But more than the apparent personal failings of politicians have been switching people off politics. People still question the folly of Parliament on Iraq. How could hundreds of MPs be misled into fighting a war on a false prospectus, when millions of people knew well enough to campaign against it?
Only three Northern Ireland MPs voted against the Iraq war. John Hume, Seamus Mallon and Eddie McGrady. They refused to buy Tony Blair’s dubious justifications at that time. And none of us now fall for spurious explanations at the Chilcot Inquiry. We might take comfort from the fact that history records our clear, firm stand. But we take none from the ongoing damage to the credibility of wider politics.
Last year, millions campaigned for serious decisions in Copenhagen. Young people in particular are seized of the impact of climate change and the need to tackle it. After all the commitments given by governments, they are bewildered that international political processes could conspire to frustrate what most people – except Sammy Wilson, of course – know is needed.
It is to SDLP Youth’s credit that they are not resigned to just accepting some of the failures at Copenhagen. Instead, they join a renewed campaign to promote urgent global effort on climate change that protects the world’s poorest.
Surveying all these issues, in spite of the SDLP’s own good record on them, it is easy to see why so many – and young people in particular – now feel turned off from politics.
I appeal to young people. Do not to allow frustration at poor politics and shallow dealing to repel you from democratic engagement. Instead let it impel your demand for proper politics, deeper principles and stronger leadership.
I applaud the committed young activists here today. I assure you that – through politics – you can cherish your ideals, polish your ideas, listen to needs and make a difference that matters.
I started out as a lone voice in Derry City Council, arguing for a gas pipeline to the Northwest and a new power station. I ended up as the man who gave the Ministerial Direction to subsidise that pipeline.
In politics, you can help others make a difference by creating funds that can reach them. And enable them to support children, the elderly or those with a learning disability. We did all that and more with our Executive Programme Funds.
You can meet a man with a plan to transform cancer treatment and research here. Fed up with endless appraisal and lack of priority planning for a new cancer centre, he was getting ready to give up. I gave Paddy Johnston a promise in Joe Hendron’s house. And I pursued my plan to engineer the complete funding for the new Regional Cancer Centre. It was my single biggest priority when I brought forward the Reinvestment & Reform Initiative, which built it. The quality of that Centre and the talent of those working there are performing miracles every day. Delivering results that answer people’s prayers.
A politician could also help to secure an answer to the prayers of one wee woman, who was a giant of a human. I made Sarah Conlon a promise in her own kitchen. She needed an apology and full declaration of innocence from Tony Blair for Gerry. He needed them for her. They both needed them for Giuseppe. Back in Sarah’s kitchen, after watching the apology on TV, she hugged me. As she thanked me, she whispered into my ear “I’m not afraid to die any more”. That’s when you know your work in politics has helped to make a difference to someone. That’s the real power of real politics. Service – not status.
The other politicians here today – and in other parties – will have other examples of doing what was needed for people when it counted. So I ask you not just to believe in the purpose and possibilities of democratic political service, but to step forward and prove these. In your own terms. In your own turn. In your own time.
If you want to come forward in politics and see beyond the poor repute of politicians, you might look for some profiles in courage, conviction and consistency. Today, you need look no further than the politician who has made the single biggest difference in delivering the new beginning to policing and all that comes from that. Alex Attwood has skilfully followed through on the ground created by Seamus Mallon. He has persisted, insisted – and never desisted – in driving the implementation of the Mallon/Patten vision for new policing, alongside new politics.
Alex hasn’t just held the line for policing change. But with Alban Maginness and others on parades, on justice reform and in asserting the rights of all the Troubles’ victims. And on the need to address the past in terms of truth, justice and sensitivity, I do not know if any MLA is more concerned or credible than Alban Maginness.
Alban’s credibility showed in the European campaign too. As did his work rate and a passion for issues far beyond his Justice brief and his Belfast base. This party hasn’t just missed out on a good MEP, the whole community has.
Now we look forward to the Westminster election. We remind ourselves that in the last such poll in 2005, we dramatically increased our vote from the previous year’s European vote. With a strong record to run on and a positive agenda to push, we can better that achievement this year.
There will be big issues in play in the next Westminster Parliament. The stakes will be higher, if it is a hung or tight Parliament. Seats here could count for a lot on issues that matter to everyone here. Those not taken will count for nothing for anybody, except the party that claims expenses for not going there.
It is clear that the next British Government will heavily reduce public expenditure. This could involve a severe squeeze on our devolved Budget and also on social security spending.
We have already been making the case that, rather than attacking key public services, the British Government should focus cuts on Government “prestige follies” costing billions. Replacing Trident. The Eurofighter. The over-ambitious NHS Database. ID card plans. And underwriting nuclear power.
Similarly, before any government taxes poorer families to curb the deficit, we will continue to press to recover the missing billions in tax evaded and avoided by those who can afford it. Our record in this Parliament proves that we will be vigilant for people here. We were among the first to oppose the abolition of the 10p tax rate, because it would hurt so many lower-paid workers. We have fought for improvements to the Tax Credits system. And we led the Commons opposition to the move to abolish Childcare Vouchers with their tax exemptions, which matter so much to so many families here and to childcare providers.
The North has a high dependency on benefits, with concentrations of high unemployment and high levels of economic inactivity. Representing some such areas, we have warned that some social security reforms are mis-targeted on people in places where the problem is lack of work, not lack of work ethic. The undoubted attempts that will be made in the next Parliament to hit benefits – and the people on them – will require MPs who will be advocates of the real needs of real people. SDLP MPs.
The ongoing fallout from the financial collapse and its impact on our regional banking market is all handled at Westminster. Where we are on the case for businesses – who need better, fairer lending – not least from banks that have been bailed out after their own mistakes.
In other financial services too, we fight in the Commons for people here.
Urging the Treasury Select Committee to come to hear from PMS savers.
Changing the law to solve the Desmonds’ pensions travesty.
Fighting for compensation for Equitable Life members.
And – building on the work we brought to the Assembly – now pushing in the Commons for the changes to the law that will allow our Credit Unions offer far more services to hundreds of thousands of members.
We will take this record and some of these causes into the next Parliament too.
One of the big issues in that Parliament will be the need to defend the Human Rights Act. Sadly, Labour figures now want to water down one of their great achievements. The Tories want to throw it out altogether. As well as fighting for our own Bill of Rights here, it will fall to us to defend those rights conferred by the European Convention staying enshrined in domestic law.
The SDLP will be the only party from here defending the Act and the rights it guarantees. When Liberty and other groups campaign to save those rights, they will want to know that SDLP MPs will be there to defend them too.
Our interventions against 42-day detention and special, secret inquests proved that we can have a say bigger than our size, when it comes to civil liberties.
Our success in forcing the withdrawal of the Hain-Adams Bill – the so-called ‘On The Runs’ legislation – shows that when even a strong Government tries to undermine fundamental rights, the SDLP can still stand up to them.
We also need to be there to stand up for the rights of others in the world too. As we have shown on cluster bombs. On Gaza, Lebanon, Burma and Tibet. And in supporting the world’s poorest countries on world trade and now on climate change measures, the SDLP speak not just as proud Irish nationalists, but committed internationalists.
We can offer people compelling reasons to vote SDLP. And to join us in all these causes and more. Even without exposing the confused and contradictory positions of other parties.
But, this is a Conference speech. Today’s my last one. Honestly, I’m giving up after this.
If you buy a DUP Westminster manifesto, you can elect a party who can be bought. But for how long and how often?
A vote for Sinn Fein is not just a vote for empty seats, but empty promises and empty gestures. Not to mention empty flats. But more leverage for Unionists in a hung or tight Parliament.
If you want to vote for all sorts of change, vote Alliance. They have shown that there is nothing they cannot change – about themselves, if they think there’s a job in it.
If you don’t want to back change, but instead to change back – you’ve got the TUV. Jim Allister – the man who takes all the ‘fun’ out of fundamentalist.
Or you could vote for the Ulster Unionists. They have certainly become interesting and are making the news again. But only because they seem to be lining up more partners than Tiger Woods. And some dodgy ones at that.
For the SDLP, this is a time of some change. And opportunity too. Both Margaret and Alasdair have been flat out on the campaign trail. Using every means possible to get their message across.
We have all been bombarded with leaflets and literature. I know some of you reckoned you got more letters in December than Santa. Most of you have had a phone call – or two, or three. “Call my mobile anytime”. In Alasdair’s case; even when he’s on live TV.
New technology has also been embraced. They have both really taken to Twitter. With much greater ease than I have, to be fair. So many messages, so few words. Why is it a problem for me? They’re on Facebook too. And, yes, we are all friends. Then there are the texts and e-mails. At this stage, some of you have more messages in your inbox than Selwyn Black.
I want to pay tribute to both Alasdair and Margaret. Not just for the boundless energy they have shown or the endless miles they have covered. But for the positive debate they have helped to generate and the fresh ideas they have offered. Each has illustrated just how much they care about our party. Either would be a worthy Leader. As we all work together – not just to consolidate the base we currently have, but to cultivate new support as well – both will have a crucial part to play.
I have demonstrated my faith in both Margaret and Alasdair before.
When Alasdair was elected Deputy Leader six years ago, I gave him my full support to deliver his pledges to concentrate on party organisation. On top of all his public duties, he has still attended almost every meeting of the Elections & Organisation Committee. I also charged him with working with MLAs on developing constituency plans. He has again vocalised his strong commitment to the task of party organisation in his campaign.
When we needed someone with guile and guts to serve as our only Minister in the Executive, I knew Margaret was a capable choice. Margaret brings the best SDLP instincts to the heart of government. She is the voice of the people at that Executive table. The DUP and Sinn Fein may outnumber her. They may be able to outvote her. But they have yet to outmanoeuvre her.
Facing the future, we will look to our new leaders to deliver change. But we also have to look to ourselves and to each other. More change has to come in the SDLP, if the SDLP wants to deliver more change. For our community – all of it. For this country – and all in it.
Not for the first time, Carmel Hanna has given a positive lead. Carmel has always had a keen eye for the big picture, without ever losing sight of the small things that really matter to the people she so diligently represented. Outstanding in every role she has held, Carmel has more than earned a good rest. We wish her health and happiness for the future.
We warmly welcome Conall McDevitt into the SDLP team in Stormont. He brings both youthful vitality and thoughtful vision to the job. With Carmel to steer him in the right direction, Conall will do a great job for the party, for South Belfast – and for a long time to come. More new SDLP MLAs need to join him. And more women among them.
Four of our Assembly members have stood down as councillors recently, with more to follow soon. Their replacements – and others recently co-opted – are rising to the challenge. Showing the same work-ethic and ability exemplified by so many SDLP councillors through the years.
I want to pay tribute to the first generation of SDLP representatives. When the violence and intransigence of others was wounding hope and ruining lives, you stood up to keep the hope of peace and democratic sharing alive. You took risks and made sacrifices in democratic politics when it offered no rewards or personal prospects. That selfless service deserves to be acknowledged at a time when all politicians are branded as selfish profiteers. In the words associated with the SDLP’s late, great friend, Edward Kennedy, you “did not bend with the wind or break with the waves”.
We lost two of our best in recent months. Peter O’Hagan in Lisburn. And Ignatius Fox in Craigavon. They stood in difficult territory and led in dangerous times. Both bringing the highest standards to public life. We miss them. As SDLP members, we are honoured they were ours.
We rightly recognise all that the SDLP has delivered – and all who helped deliver it. We are proud of past achievements. But not fixated by them. Our sights are firmly fixed on all we have to achieve now and for the future.
No party gave more to delivering the agreed Ireland we now see than the SDLP. But Good Friday 1998 did not signal an end of our ambition for Ireland and its people.
Our mission now is to fulfil the promise of ‘a reconciled people living in a united, just and prosperous new Ireland’.
Our document ‘A united Ireland and the Agreement’ sets out our compelling case for guaranteeing the Agreement and all its core provisions into a United Ireland. It explains how the review provisions could make the changes that would be needed, given a United Ireland Parliament. This shows the depth of our commitment to the Agreement and the strength of our commitment to unity.
Our thinking on unity is clear. Our ideas are more fully considered than anyone’s. But our positive stance alone is not enough. Parties who claim to want a united Ireland need to agree a common vision for it.
In the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in the mid-90s, Sinn Fein denied and prevented nationalist consensus on unity by consent. Of course, their position has now shifted. We now need to collectively pick up the Forum’s unfinished business, perhaps with a smaller strategic cross-party commission.
Democratic nationalist Ireland has the right to develop that shared vision of unity. And, I believe, a deep responsibility. By collectively committing to a United Ireland achieved peacefully and democratically, we can nail the recruiting lie from so-called republican dissidents that only they are pursuing unity and only violence can deliver it.
Together, we can set out a modern, progressive vision for unity. One conveyed in language for this century. Carrying no baggage from the last one.
A prospectus for unity written more for the positive expectations of a new generation than from the negative experiences of previous ones.
Not just an argument for unity that is about redressing grievance or righting wrongs from the past. But an agenda for unity that is about achievement, potential and rights into the future as well.
By respecting the mandate the Agreement got from the people of Ireland, nationalist and unionist alike, we can ensure that a United Ireland need not be denounced as a unionist nightmare and cannot be dismissed as nationalist fantasy.
That is the vision for which the SDLP reaches. The nation to which we aspire. The new Ireland we are determined to build.
As a party leader, I do have one confession to make. I did – once – use my position as SDLP Leader for personal, family considerations.
When I was in Washington for St Patrick’s Day last year, I bought a copy of President Obama’s Inaugural Address. I brought it to the White House and asked the President, the Vice-President and An Taoiseach to sign it as a little keepsake for my daughter.
Brian Cowen wrote: “Be safe”.
Joe Biden: “Keep the faith”.
And President Obama: “To Dearbhail – Dream big dreams”.
Great messages to a then four year-old child. But they are also messages that speak to a soon to be forty year-old party.
“Be safe” sums up what we want to guarantee all our children. Particularly as we still take in the scale of abuse, the layers of neglect and the years of denial exposed in the reports of the past year. Every child is our child.
When I became SDLP Leader in November 2001, children going to Holy Cross School were being terrorised. I said then that the only thing that any child should have to fear going to school was the traffic.
We have more to do to make everywhere a place of safety. One reason why we have worked to take forward the Policing and Justice agenda. We want young women to be safe on our streets. Young men to go safe on our roads. Our old people to sleep safe in their homes. And we want all policemen and women who work to ensure these to be safe to serve us all.
For forty years, the SDLP has kept faith with non-violence, equal rights, sharing and unity. All that we have stood for and worked for since our foundation out of the Civil Rights movement is summed up in three tenets. Opportunity through social justice. Community through partnership. Unity through peace.
Terrorism and suppression. Intransigence and negligence. Intimidation and indifference. We met them all. But still we stayed our strong course. Never losing faith in what we knew to be the only way forward.
We renew that faith today, not just as we look to our own new Leadership. But also as we hope that a more settled process offers a better landscape in which we can build our vision for economic growth, social emancipation, environmental care and cultural renewal.
This is a party that dreams big dreams. Not just content to dream, we work to make them happen. For real. And for all.
We have delivered our dream of an agreement accommodating all our rights and relationships, mandated by the Irish people and forged in peace.
We are delivering the dream of a new dispensation for policing and justice, upholding rights and underpinning new politics.
We now pursue the dream of a new Ireland. Vital with diversity. Pulsating with prosperity. Maturing with reconciliation. Uniting with equality.
And I dream that the day may not be far when political difference here is no longer thought to be about people’s different religions, but instead about how best to use democracy to ensure what people of all religions actually pray for. Well-being and betterment for themselves and their families. Welfare and justice for others. And peace for the world.
That is our work. These are our words. Those are our ways.
We are the Social Democratic & Labour Party.
We never fear to dream big dreams.
We stand for better ways and better days.
We stay true.
We rise to the challenge.
We answer the call.
SDLP: Lead on.