Trimble: leader by gut instinct

Continuing with Frank Millar’s book, one of the most striking passages early on is the almost random way Trimble seems to have come into his kingdom. As many of his internal critics would probably recognised it seems to have relied more on gut instinct than and forward calculation.

His rising media profile, gave him a key advantage over the other candidates – not least that famous jig in Portadown. He’d also calculated that, barring John D Taylor, he was the most able candidate on offer to the party at the time. But the trigger he recounts to Millar was when:

One woman delegate bumped into me around lunchtime really upset, ‘What on earth are we going to do, if you don’t go for it?’, she demanded. ‘You have to.’ I was left in no doubt that she regarded it almost as part of the contract I had made with the party to be available for it. So all of that left me feeling not only that this could happen but this is highly likely to happen.

Previously: the slow pace of reconciliation

  • davidbrew

    how ironic that he can’t mention the D word

    Druncree was certainly a key factor in his succcess and Martin Smyth’s failure. He is accurate in saying he was the best communicator at Westminster too, though that’s all gone by the wayside now too.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Out of interest, did you vote for him David?

  • davidbrew

    Yes, after Willie Ross was eliminated. I had initially wanted him to run from the start but he said he wouldn’t, so I backed the most traditional Unionist in the field only to find out Trimble had-(and this is astonishing with the benfit of hindsight) either flipflopped or concealed his true intentions from all but a few