Another fantastic step for the politics of Northern Ireland took place today. The Labour Party has formally organised at last. (Belfast Telegraph: Labour Party to become official party in Northern Ireland) Congratulations to all those who have campaigned and argued for this over the years, finally overcoming the resistance there has been in the party. Now the Labour URL, labour.org.uk, is finally accurate.
Some of you might be surprised that a Conservative is so welcoming of a new rival party. I will not deny that in part this only helps Conservatives who wish to move the politics of Northern Ireland onto a traditional right-left axis by providing the left of it. But I have also long felt that proper organisation of the main parties can only help the politics of the province. If that means a few extra seats go Labour then that's a price worth paying.
Of course it will be a while before the party stands - the members are cautious about the next general election and clashing with the SDLP. I have a suspicion that this will only prove a temporary issue.