Brian Wilson to stand as independent in North Down #ae16

steven agnew brian wilsonFormer Alliance (and independent) councillor and former Green Party leader Brian Wilson is stepping back into politics and standing as an independent candidate in North Down in a move that will disappoint both the Green Party and Alliance.

The veteran politician will celebrate his 73rd birthday ten days after the Assembly poll. The News Letter reports his explanation:

When I left the Assembly in 2011 I certainly had no wish or intention to return but as I followed the action or more accurately the inaction of the Assembly over the past five years I began to despair as all the goodwill enjoyed following the Executive agreement was being rapidly lost.

The Assembly has become known for its allowances scandal, gridlock, refusal to hold Executive meetings, petty bickering, insults over language and point scoring over incidents of decades ago.

To many particularly the young it has become a sick joke. Instead of agreeing plans for the future the emphasis has been on point scoring and blame for events of the past. No wonder our young people are leaving in droves.

It seemed like the hatchet had finally been buried when over the past few years Brian Wilson didn’t leave any criticisms in the comments section under my posts about the annual Green Party Conference.
As well as a continued calling to public service, this move back onto the election paper – albeit at the very bottom – will be seen as a sign that old wounds have been reopened and dissatisfaction has spilled out into action.
Looks like his West Bangor News may have to be brought out of retirement.

 

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  • Zorin001

    5 years is a long time in politics and to put it bluntly a number of Brian’s previous core vote in Bangor West has likely passed on. I’ve lived in the area all my life and there is always movement, houses for sale and new families coming in so a lot of his past achievements may count for little.

    Saying that I do agree he’s likely to do damage to both the Greens and the Alliance. Interesting move from Brian, we will see what comes of it.

  • chrisjones2

    So the 73 year old plans to energise young voters ………………….

    now if he was a UUP member standing in Fermanagh that might wash …….

  • Kevin Breslin

    OKAY … well this is bordering on Ageism … two of the most energetic candidates in American politics right now are are Trump 69, and Sanders 74.

    And he’s around the age of Eammon McCann who is standing in Foyle.

    My own view here is Brian Wilson isn’t in the running, a good election might boost his profile for a council seat and if it boosts the turnout of transfers for both the Greens and Alliance it may be a generous thank you present to both.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It’s a PR election in one of the most lowest turnout constituencies in NI, there were two Herman gene-pool independents last time. If Wilson can boost the voting turnout and give a good word about the Greens and Alliance to first time voters it may actually work in their parties favour.

    The Independent label may bring out people who didn’t want to give the Greens or Alliance their number 1 to give them their number 2 instead.

    It’s a good way of putting the pressure on Stephen Farry without letting the DUP take advantage.

    Saying that if anyone reading this does live in North Down, then give Liam Logan a chance.

  • chrisjones2

    I am agest on this point. Being an MLA is a physically demanding job and by the end of the mandate he would be close to 80 years old. Sorry but personally I would not vote for him, no matter how good or nice or well meaning

  • chrisjones2

    Oh come on….imagine the leaflets – calling all students vote for a septegenarian who retired 5 years ago …he’ s really hip

  • Kevin Breslin

    I thought he went back to study/finish a dissertation?
    So isn’t he himself a mature student.

  • Brian wilson

    I don’t see age as a problem as I am much more active than the present MLA’s most of whom are merely rubberstamps for the existing parties and the status quo. For Example My campaign against the council decision to provide a gun club in the new Bangor community centre to replace the Clandeboye and District Ulster Special Constabulary Pistol and Rifle Club attracted thousands of supporters and I believe we could have stopped if I had received support from any of the parties .I am not stupid I lectured in politics for 30 years and I fought 15 elections mostly as an Independent and won a majority of them and in winning my Assembly seat I quadrupled the Green Party vote. Regardless of the result I have a vision for the future and the election will provide an opportunity to promote it.

  • Methinks you underestimate Brian’s energy and passion. He’ll stay in the running long after the NI Conservative and UKIP candidates are excluded.

    There are likely to be four or five candidates bunched together with less than 500 votes separating them.

    With the UUP running 3 candidates and Alliance running 2 again (Farry’s running mate in 2011 was Brian’s wife Anne Wilson) and with Steven Agnew in the race, there could easily be an upset depending on the order of exclusions and transfers. In 2011, the final 3 MLAs were elected under quota. That’s likely to happen again.

  • chrisjones2

    ….and an 18 year old will think ………………………………………

    As Zorin said above ” to put it bluntly a number of Brian’s previous core vote in Bangor West has likely passed on”

  • Reader

    I know a couple of people in the old gun club (neither of them USC, by the way), so I can ask around. Surely part of the deal with demolishing the old premises was that new premises would be provided? In which case you were asking the council to renege on a deal.
    But, since you’re here, how about getting Ballyholme Promenade patched up before it collapses again? Maintenance is cheaper than repair.

  • Granni Trixie

    Then you agree you are agest, yes?

  • Zorin001

    I fear I’ve probably come across a bit harsh on Brian. I have time for him and have voted for him and his wife in the past, he was always highly spoken of by my grandmother for his work in the early days of the Bangor branch of Alliance and his commitment to Bangor West cannot be denied. I will more than likely give him a preference, but to come back on the ballot after 5 he does probably have the stigma as yesterdays man.

    Saying that I can understand his reasoning for wanting to come back and I would take him over probably 90% of those currently sitting in the assembly.

  • Granni Trixie

    AND this time round Farry’s running mate is Andrew Muir who has a raised profile since his time a as Lord Mayor and with various local campaigns.

  • Zorin001

    If Brian could finally get the council to sort out Queens Parade I would nominate him for Dictator for Life if I thought he would accept it.

  • Granni Trixie

    Much as I want Alliance wins it would be good if you lot had to eat yer words.
    ( but then I’m thran,according to my husband).

  • Brendan Heading

    What did you do with your four years in the Assembly Brian ? I seem to recall a motion about banning Christmas cards ..

  • Reader

    alaninbelfast: (Farry’s running mate in 2011 was Brian’s wife Anne Wilson) and with Steven Agnew in the race, there could easily be an upset depending on the order of exclusions and transfers.
    Looks like I’ll be wasting my first preference on Farry’s running mate – again. Too many candidates in the middle ground in North Down!

  • Tochais Siorai

    Indeed…..it could never happen. Oh hello there Jeremy.

  • Gingray

    Thats the Ulster Scots, SDLP guy? Has he really got a chance, do the SDLP even get a councillor elected in the wards in and around Bangor?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Do people forget that Ian Paisley Snr was First Minister in his 80’s?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Just 1 councilor in bordering Ards, Joe Boyle who is standing in Strangford.

    In the 3 Bangor wards I think it was around 250 votes for one candidate in Ingrid Logan, so beaten by both NI21 and Community Partnership the organisation Jamie Bryson emerged from across the 3 wards.

  • Brian wilson

    Just to clarify a few points I have not been away for 5 years .I was an extremely active councillor until end of March last year. Away for less than a year and since then I have been leading campaign against gun club. I left Assembly because I had promised Green Party I would sit for only one term and during that time I groomed my research assistant Stephen Agnew to replace me. On leaving Assembly I stood again for the council and again topped the poll with my highest ever vote 1.7 quotas. Re Brendan’s query. Most of my main speeches are on my web site http://brianawilson.com/ In addition I did raise many green issues Climate change nuclear power pollution protecting green belt animal rights. I introduced bill to ban fox hunting and cosponsored the Autism Bill.
    My first speech called for parity with GB on rates rebate for single householders something I had campaigned for10 years previously .The first budget introduced similar measures. All my Budget speeches highlighted the underfunding of the health service and I advocated plastic bag tax, increase rates on out of town shopping(taken up by Sammy) and land value tax .All this and much more can be seen on my web site

  • chrisjones2

    I confess on this one …..yes I am

    Far too many MLAs are in the male / over 65 classification

  • chrisjones2

    …and your point is?

  • chrisjones2

    Sexist … HIlary is pushing 69 too …..and looking at the USA sort of proves my point

  • chrisjones2

    …and that is working out sooooooon well innit

  • chrisjones2

    Well good luck to him but ……………………

  • chrisjones2

    I dont know him and dont wish him ill ….my gripe is with a system that only values old white men

    Is this the best they could do? Is this the best way for him to make a difference?

  • Tochais Siorai

    Who knows how it will end, point is he, an oul fella, got elected as Labour leader by people, the bulk of who I suspect were both younger and possibly even hipper than our good selves.

  • Lord Coleraine

    Why is it always the research assistants who get groomed for these things?

  • Lord Coleraine

    I think if any constituency is to be the first to return three “Other” MLAs, it’ll be North Down.

  • Lord Coleraine

    I think his transfers will help Alliance and the Greens. My prediction: 2 DUP, 2 Alliance, 1 UUP, 1 Green.

    Also, in reference to people asking how an extraordinarily old man could energise young voters, I would point to one Mr Jeremy Corbyn. Age isn’t a barrier to inspiring young folk.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Hillary is 68, too young to be included. 😀

  • Kevin Breslin

    Or another way of looking at it, too many young hopefuls don’t yet have the capacity to beat a 70 year old at politics.

    If younger candidates have the advantage they should be winning easily. These are independents we are talking about, not even party candidates.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Big Ian was capable of getting to the very top in local politics here. And on another point the DUP have dominated the constituency of North Antrim for literally generations.

    The old politican for old voters, young politican for young voters line doesn’t really work there.