Mallon's successor…

More candidates settling in for the Westminster elections, widely expected to be called next May. This time the SDLP has chosen MLA Dominic Bradley to compete with Conor Murphy for Newry and Mourne.

  • cg

    Not a mission of the SDLP keeping this seat.
    Conor Murphy will be the new MP.

  • Davros

    What are you doing up during daylight hours ? 😉

  • Young Fogey

    Ooooh, catttyyyyy. But Chris is right. There is no mission at all of the SDLP keeping this seat. Therefore using the ‘logic’ of people like Michael Shilliday, everyone else should stand down and let Conor Murphy be elected unopposed.

  • The Dog

    Dominic Bradley is the best that the sdlp can find – same as with Alasadair & Kelly in south belfast & upper bann.

    All fine and well but the shinners will take newry & mourne – are looking better in South Down every day and well I reckon that Foyle is too close to call.

    Then who knows what will happen in North BElfast where Alban seems to have lost the run of himself – if the pointless and probably desperate stuff on the Irish News Leters pages would appear to demonstrate.

    The probable SF card looks much stronger than the SDLP everywhere.

    Gerry Kelly vs Alban
    Caitriona Ruane vs Eddie McGrady if he stands
    Conor Murphy vs Dominic Bradley
    Mitchel McLaughlin Vs Durkan
    John O’Dowd or Dara O’Hagan vs Ms Kelly

    I just can’t see the SDLP going anywhere.

    Much of their recent stuff has been very weak particularly the attacks on SF.

    However I do think they should have involved themselves more in issues that are important for nationalists and republicans rather than look to score cheap and daft points of the highly impressive SF leadership.

    We know that the SDLP have given up on achieving progress on polcing – they should reconsider this because even uncle tom cobbly knows that the PSNI still run to the poilitical agenda and have no respect for the nat/rep community.

    Don’t start on what the sdlp did on the electoral legislation – which they wanted – but now that they can see that it has disenfranchised tens of thousands of people – are reconsidering their position.

    I personally think that it is a pity that the sdlp is so useless and lacking in any semblence of poliical leadership or wit.

  • Gael P

    Good analysis there cg.

    You could be right, but Bradley has surprised many people to date. If you look back in the archives you’ll see that most commentators on this site had him written off in the Assembly Elections also.

    Murphy has been anointed and canonised by Sinn Fein – no doubt about that – but that’s not the way it works just yet.

    Dominic Bradley has worked very hard as an MLA, has many of the same qualities as Mallon and is well respected as a genuine Gael (He was leading the Irish language movement in Newry and South Armagh back when the Boys were busy at much less constructive pastimes).

    Conor Murphy seems like a very decent guy, but he is no Mallon. As someone who lives there, I don’t think this one is going to be just as straightforward as many in the media are going to have us believe.

  • willowfield

    Conor Murphy seems like a very decent guy

    The man’s a terrorist, ffs! Is Johnny Adair on your list of “very decent guys”?

  • Young Fogey

    Maginness hasn’t a hope in North Belfast (please look at recent election results. The race is between Dodds and Kelly, with Dodds favourite by a very long way indeed. The SDLP weren’t much over a quota in the Assembly elections.

    ! Is Johnny Adair on your list of “very decent guys”?

    No, but Gary McMichael, David Ervine, Billy Hutchinson and sundry other UDA/UVF types our on your party leader’s list of “very decent people”, Willowfield.

  • The Dog

    North Belfast is a creeper – as in the possiblity of an SF steal could be on the cards – a fair swing from the sdlp to sf would take the seat for kelly.

    Given the way that alban has been performing recently you can’t discount that. There is even some mirth being generated by the suggestion that his recent anti-republican agenda is seeking to endear himself with the establsihment in order to open the door for advancement of his legal career.

  • willowfield

    Young Fogey

    No, but Gary McMichael, David Ervine, Billy Hutchinson and sundry other UDA/UVF types our on your party leader’s list of “very decent people”, Willowfield.

    My party leader??

  • Gael P

    Willowfield

    Do I consider Johnny Adair to be a decent guy? No, not at all. But I haven’t met him, so I’m not going to start bursting any blood vessels at the suggestion.

    The only point I was trying to make was that Murphy seems affable and pretty easy going, – but those aren’t necessarily qualities that the people of Newry and Armagh are looking for.

    Notwithstanding Murphy’s terrorist past, I think Dominic Bradley comes across as a much more substantial and even ‘tougher’ character on the ground. People in that area like politicians who they can trust and who they can be confident is going to be smarter than the other guy.

    Murphy’s terrorist past hasn’t been a big issue up to this point, is there any reason to believe it will be this time around?

    Dominic Bradley has played things well up to this point – he hasn’t focussed on what Murphy did in the constituency back in ‘the day’, rather he has focussed on what he (Bradley) is doing now.

  • willowfield

    No reason to believe Murphy’s terrorist past (we assume it’s his past) will be an issue. More likely it’ll be of benefit to him.

    He’ll walk the seat. I think personality is less important than party allegiance and the Provos will win the seat.

  • Gael P

    By the way, has anyone heard a rumour that Davy Hyland (SF MLA in Newry& Armagh) is going to stand down as an MLA?

    Heard word in Newry that he wants to run again for the Council in May (he had to resign Council seat earlier this year because of his success in Assembly election).

  • Davros

    Connor Murphy seems to be of the Jekyll wing of the party. he doesn’t seem to seek conflict, or go out of his way to be offensive, so good luck to him !
    That said I’ll probably fins something on the SF News site now that will make me eat my metaphorical budgie 🙂

  • Davros

    Seems a strange priority Gael P .

  • peteb

    Davros.. you could try ferreting out his comments on former SF stalwart John Kelly for a start.

  • Gael P

    Agreed Davros, but he has totally disappeared from view since taking the Assembly seat.

    He doesn’t drive and word is that he was just happier based in Newry at the Council.

  • Davros

    I should have been clearer there Pete : I meant go out of his way to be offensive to my community. Was anything he said about John Kelly as bad as some of the insults swapped here and elsewhere within the Unionist (capital U ) camps ?

  • Davros

    Gael P – could this be a sign that S Armagh is going to declare UDI ? ( Arrogant beggars down that neck of the woods, aren’t they cg ? )

  • peteb

    Maybe not Davros, but it is an indication of how fragile the interpretation of the Jekyll and Hyde separation in that party is.. you do remember that they were the same person? 😉

  • Davros

    To be fair pete, we all have buttons that if pushed tend to drive us to a polar extreme. I dare say there are issues where Connor would see the red mist, same as all of us. I get hot under the collar about LHWs.

  • peteb

    Davros, his description of John Kelly as being ‘bitter about not being selected’ had nothing to do with a red mist.. the comments he made both directly contradicted the statements issues by the SF party Chairman Mitchel McLaughlin at the time and deliberately designed to undermine the message – by attacking the messenger.. a preferred, and frequent, tactic.

  • Caoimhín

    Just in case anyone was wondering, Eddie McGrady has decided to stand in South Down. Don’t think he believed Ritchie had a hope of holding his seat. It’s going to be tight between him and Ruane though, she seems a very approachable and down to earth politician.

  • Gael P

    “she seems a very approachable and down to earth politician”

    Good man Caoimhan, I haven’t had a laugh like that in a good while.

    It’s cheered up an otherwise dreary afternoon.

    ‘Approachable and down to earth’ Ruane. If they pull that one off, they truly are the masters of spin.

  • Caoimhín

    Aye good lad, laugh on. Met her have you? Damn sight more approachable than old man McGrady, he thinks he’s feckin Prime Minister some times! Ruane knows what she talks about and takes more of an interest in the area than McGrady and yet he’s the local man!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Another examplwe of poor organisation within the SDLP. It was known for quite some thime that Mallon was on his way. The SDLP made no attempt at all in grooming a successor or enhancing the profile of any potential candidates.
    Notice how the Shinners have been getting Joe O Reillys’ coupon on every available news programme in the last number of days, side by side with Gerry Adams.
    The SDLP seem to be stuck in the dark ages of getting the youth wing to write to the letters page in the Irish News, as a means of maintaining a profile.
    I think the retirement of Mallon, at a local level, will do more damage to the SDLP than Hume.

  • PS

    Nothing wrong with the youth writing letters in the irish News Pat!

    As far as the seat is concerned, i am by nature a cautious man but I can’t see how SF can lose this one, barring some very unforeseen circumstance. The SDLP have probably accepted this as a no hoper and will most likely concentrate on Foyle and South Down. However I#m very hopeful that there will be no so called Nationalists swearing an oath a foreign Queen come next mMy.

  • PS

    Nothing wrong with the youth writing letters in the irish News Pat!

    As far as the seat is concerned, i am by nature a cautious man but I can’t see how SF can lose this one, barring some very unforeseen circumstance. The SDLP have probably accepted this as a no hoper and will most likely concentrate on Foyle and South Down. However I’m very hopeful that there will be no so called Nationalists swearing an oath a foreign Queen come next May.

  • cg

    Agreed PS

    Gael P
    You must be Dominic Bradley in disguise.
    Two years ago I invited him and Davy Hyland in to talk to 7th year students on the importance of students. He spoke with nerves, no composure, pompous and aloof of the audience. Davy on the other hand was the exact opposite.
    When I questioned him he lost it and began to rant. If he couldn’t handle a 7th year student how could he ever handle the big boys?

    As for working on the ground, you must be joking.
    He has his picture in the local papers (perhaps because the editor is anti-republican) but he does nothing.
    There is not a mission of him keeping this seat. If he keeps this seat I will join the DUP.

  • cg

    “importance of students”
    Should read “importance of voting”

  • willowfield

    Who’s Joe O’Reilly?

  • Caoimhín

    Was in a similair position to cg recently. Invited Eddie McGrady and Margaret Ritchie in to talk to the Politics students in 7th year. Went along fine until someone had the bad manners to dare to question SDLP policy, Ritchie began to rant and actually hurling abuse towards the students! I think Eddie had fallen asleep.

    PS.
    Typekey seems to fuck up my name on slugger

    Caoimhín

  • Gael P

    “Gael P
    You must be Dominic Bradley in disguise”

    No cg, I’m not – but your response manages to make at least one interesting point. You criticise Bradley for ‘losing his cool’ when asked a question he didn’t like, but when you read a comment that doesn’t fit with SF’s view of Newry and Armagh you accuse me of being no less than the SDLP candidate himself! Pathetic.

    Also, I’m not entirely sure your amusing anecdote is true – Why would you invite Dominic Bradley to speak to students in December 2002? He wasn’t even selected as the SDLP Assembley candidate until mid 2003.

    Playing down Bradley’s work rate, you talk about his picture being in the paper because the ‘local editor is anti-Republican’. What paper are you talking about? The Crossmaglen Examiner? The Newry Democrat? The Newry Reporter? If you had any local knowledge you’d know that these three editors are actually decent people who try to maintain balance in their coverage.

    If anything, they are regularly criticised by SDLP types for bias in favour of local SF people. But no matter, Newry and Armagh SF aparatchiks haven’t let the truth get in the way of campaigns before and shouldn’t start now.

  • Young Fogey

    North Belfast could be won by a Nationalist some day but its not going to happen next year. Maginess’ challenge to Kelly will be more credible than whoever the UUP puts up against Dodds and the Unionists still have a slight but significant sectarian head count advantage. The other problem for the Shinners is that some of their heartland areas are starting to depopulate as people move out to the suburbs. Kelly will come a good second, but won’t do any better. I’d guess something like:

    Dodds 13,000
    Kelly 9,000
    Maginness 5,500
    Ulster Unionists 3,000
    Bar

    On yet another reduced turnout.