Last candidate announced in South Belfast

The DUP has finally announced its candidate for South Belfast, Jimmy Spratt, a former head of the Police Federation. The Newsletter predicts this will be one of the most bruising contests in the whole election, with Spratt giving the much high profile UU candidate, the former Arts minister, Michael McGimpsey. Although hopes that the SDLP’s Alisdair McDonnell will be able to squeeze Alex Maskey’s vote sufficient to come in through the middle and steal this Unionist majority seat: despite the latter’s controversial public statements in the aftermath of the McCartney killing, look like a very long shot.

  • Henry94

    Nationalists in north and south Belfast should vote for the guy with the best chance of unseating the unionist.

    That means Gerry Kelly and Alisdair McDonnell. You don’t need an offical party pact to know that this makes sense.

  • bloggityblog

    Henry94

    well, you do realise that if you did organise a nationalist pact you would take the seat? Is that not worth talking to thr stoops?

  • Alan

    Nominations – and withdrawals – close on the 19th.

  • Occasional Commenter

    Henry94, surely SF don’t have much chance of taking South Belfast. In the Assembly elections, the SDLP got 23%, SF 13%. In the last Westminster elections it was 31% to 8%. From http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/asb.htm

    I could be any of UUP, DUP or SDLP, but SF seems unlikely to me.

  • Occasional Commenter

    I meant to finish that with “It could be”, not “I could be”!

  • PS

    Henry meant to vote SDLP in Suth Belfast and Sinn Féin in the north of the city.

  • Indeed

    Excellent candidate chosen by the DUP. Very articulate and certainly much more capable of uniting the unionist people of South Belfast.

    Interesting to see McGimpseys comments in todays Newsletter calling his opponent ‘splitter Spratt’ becasue he had entered the race. I wonder does Mr Happy call Tom Elliott the splitter in Fermanagh & South Tyrone-after all he declared his candidacy well after Arlene Foster did.

  • Jonty

    The DUp are really getting desperate now, whats up, no more wives/aunts/nephews to run?

  • fair_deal

    “Interesting to see McGimpseys comments in todays Newsletter calling his opponent ‘splitter Spratt'”

    Is Michael trying to get a part in the new Monty Python musical?

  • Indeed

    Lets see now Jonty

    That would be Michael McGimpsey, Chris McGimpsey, Gareth McGimpsey…….see what you’re doing there?

  • Sam Maguire

    Indeed, since FST was traditionally a UU seat, wouldn’t that make it Usurper Foster?

  • Indeed

    Sam Maguire,

    Thats a very tired and out of touch argument. Surely Strangford, East Londonderry etc where traditional UU seats. So in your eyes is it Usurper Gregory Campbell MP?

  • Sam Maguire

    Indeed, personally I don’t care, I hope both stand so Gildernew can romp home, I just love winding both sides up given the levels of venom between the unionist parties that exists in my neighbouring constituency 🙂

    But I do think it’s a bit rich though that the DUP ask the UU’s to stand aside in an area were they’ve no track record of being the largest party. Strangford and East Derry are unionist seats and will remain so, FST isn’t.

  • Frankly

    Word is, the NI Tories are going to run someone in South Belfast. I wonder if this will give traditional UU voters, who can’t stomach McGimpsey, a bolt hole before they have to consider the Paisleyites?

    That said, as Spratt has nothing in the way of a DUP profile, by definition there can’t be any great feeling of anti-DUP animus felt towards him by long time UU voters.

    But as for McGimpsey …… that man spent more time in the last decade chumming up to Martin McGuinness than he did to Martin Smyth. Indeed, few traditional Unionists are going to soon forget the way that he and Trimble sought to undermine Smyth at every turn. And now they claim credit for Rev Smyth’s parliamentary hard work: incredible!

    Losing South Belfast, thank God, is going have one golden lining. It’s going to do to Michael McGimpsey what F&ST did to James Cooper: finish him off for good.

    SDLP gain. One term nationalist until the seat is redrawn. And as there’s only going to be one Unionist party in 2009/10, someone new’s in with a shout.

  • PS

    Anybody a little surprised slugger’s very ownn Christopher Stalford isn’t the candidate?

  • Stalford

    Patrick

    No! Jimmy is an excellent candidate and I believe we are going to win!

  • The Gent.

    Re. the previous 2 comments.

    I suspect Chris will be the man in 2009/10!

  • Whistleblower

    Michael Shilliday is the editor of the YU weblog!

  • Visioner

    I think Michael McG is in with a much better chance than Jimmy whats his name. People know him on the ground better and for those people on the ground it won’t be a choice of whos more Unionist than who, it will be a choice of who will work best for them on the ground along with being a Unionist. People haven’t seen this side of Jimmy ‘am the candidate’ – hes just a name for the DUP to throw to the lions.

    The DUP have taken this choice of candidate for a reason. Jim Allister or Ian Paisley JR can’t look like losers. So you pick an unknown to lose the seat.

  • PaulPanther

    Bear in mind McGimpsey’s antics around Whitehall Sqaure last year ensures him a good vote in Sandy Row/Donegall Road/Village – areas that would vote DUP if the candidate wasn’t the Undertaker
    He will beat Jimmy by at least 5,000 votes.

  • facts

    Not sure about Jim Allister being a loser here – because he isnt allowed to run! Read your European Parliament rules chum

  • Black Nicky

    I don’t know who’s going to win this seat (probably the SDLP, but possibly the DUP) but can ANYONE tell me how the UUP are going to keep it?

    Let’s just briefly run through the available facts:

    2001 General Election
    UUP: 17,008 [49%]
    SDLP: 11,609 [30.5%]
    Middle Class Wimmin: 2,968 [8%]
    Provos: 2,894 [7.5%]
    Alliance: 2,042 [5.5%]
    Loyalist thugs: 1,112 [3%]

    2003 Stormont election
    UUP: 8,469 [27% – clearly inc. anti-Turtle votes]
    SDLP: 7,176 [23%]
    DUP: 6,529 [20%]
    Provos: 3,933 [12.5%]
    Middle Class Wimmin: 2,150 [7%]
    Alliance: 1,849 [6%]
    Loyalist thugs: 495 [1.5%]

    2004 Strasbourg election
    The hand of man cannot encompass the divine, which is to say, WTFK? But, given the Province-wide split as between Farmer JIm, Ulster’s 3-time heavyweight champ, and slowcoach Jim, the Paisleyite neophyte, we can all agree that the DUP got more votes than the UUP in South Belfast for the first time ever in the two parties’ history, uh huh?

    So . . .
    Now let’s make a number of inferences (which ANYONE who can explain to me how the UUP’s choice of Smyth replacement, one Michael – I enjoy being in government with hoods – McGimpsey, can win, is free to challenge obviously):

    a.) the ‘peace process’ whatever else it has done has legitimised casting a vote for the Provos amongst those nationalist voters who would previously have been ashamed to do so;

    b.) there are, as compared to 2001, more nominal Roman Catholics in South Belfast;

    c.) there are, as compared to 2001, more ‘nationalists’ in South Belfast;

    d.) under Trimble’s leadership, Unionists have been demoralised and vote less often . . .

    e.) the UUP association in South Belfast is demonstrably split in a way that none of the other big 3 parties’ there are;

    f.) many Ulster Unionists, even members of the above association, will not vote for Michael McGimpsey;

    g.) in the absence of McWilliams, the WC votes will be flushed towards the SDLP (this being the assumption that most NIWC were Catholics who couldn’t even bring themselves to vote for the Alliance);

    h.) Martin Smyth, in the absence of a DUP challenge, held off the SDLP at the last election without a plurality of the vote another Unionist in the race must therefore make this more difficult for the UUP to do again, but …

    i.) instead of choosing a Martin Smyth carbon copy – had they one available – the UUP have selected a man more purple than turtle (that reads better in the original French), a man, in fact, disliked heartily by his fellow pro-Agreement Ulster Unionists, & finally …

    j.) South Belfast was always the one area were things like the Northern Bank job and the McCartney murder, and the bogus spouting of Adams yesterday were always going to fail to make an impact on new money/middle class/respectable Catholics.

    Thus the only thing that can stop the GP being the next MP for South Belfast, and hence the first Nationalist ever to represent the place since Man crawled out of the sea, or at the very least, stumbled drunkenly out of Ballymacall Orange Hall c. 546AD, is . . . SF’s voting rising regardless. But in this scenario what accounts for the Gimp winning? He by definition can’t hold onto all of Smyth’s vote, rather he is set to lose a significant section of it, either to abstention or a straight switch to the DUP. He has no ‘extra’ votes (pace the inclinations of 2001’s WC voters) to pick up which can to any substantial degree compensate his party for those he costs them. The DUP has nothing to gain from standing down. The UUP won’t cut a deal with them because the Fermanagh fanatics won’t have Arlene at any cost.

    QED. Michael McGimpsey = 2005’s Jim Cooper.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Indeed,

    ‘he declared his candidacy well after Arlene’

    Well you do realise that she announced it well before everyone else as far as I know. It was all a big stunt for they knew that the UUP majority would not stand by and they thought that they could play the pathetic – i said it before you said it – card.

  • Indeed

    FYU,

    Sorry to take you away from your homework again old buddy, but you’re a sceptical soul aren’t you.

    Arlene declared her candidacy early becasue she wanted to send out a signal to the Unionist people of the area-we’re ready to take this seat from Sinn Fein/IRA. Another reason is becasue in essence Arlene’s campaign started then. We in the DUP don’t just vainly rely on tradition to get people out to vote for us – we believe in working for it.

    BTW, is the Arlene/Tom thing in Portora tomorrow? Open to Old Boys?

    Also, shouldnt you be out putting up some posters? I thought from a previous post mass hoards of UUP activists would have been out first night!

  • Michael Shilliday

    Arlene declared her candidacy early becasue she wanted to send out a signal to the Unionist people of the area-we’re ready to take this seat from Sinn Fein/IRA

    SURE she did! i have NO reason to disbelieve that.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    She declared her candidacy well before most people had even thought about the next election. It was all a big stunt, it caused a bit of controvarsy at the time but then everything went silent until recently. I didnt see much sign of a DUP campaign. It didnt start off until Monday when the big man himself came down and started shouting his mouth off like usual.

    I have sad news for yas, sadly most of the DUP posters that were put up seem to have blown off (there are ones in the river and a pile scatterd through fields). Seriously though if the DUP cant even find anyone to put up there posters properly then they would be better off not trying at all.

    The tom/arlene is on tomorrow but I dont think its open to the public or old boys etc.

    There will and has not been problems for the UU here finding volunteers to help. They are dignified and in Fermanagh there is a schedule set out for canvassing etc. and they posters will be going up soon.

  • Indeed

    Shilliday,

    Nice reasoned argument there from the future of the UUP! Congratulations!

  • Indeed

    FYU,

    ‘She declared her candidacy well before most people had even thought about the next election’

    Well, thats just typical of UUP attitude. Not seen from one election to the other. You reap what you sow kid.

    ‘when the big man himself came down and started shouting his mouth off like usual’

    Excellent response from the Fermanagh people to Dr Paisley on Monday. Shouting his mouth off? How exactly? Please elaboarte….

    RE posters: You just happened to see them in the river did you? That was good timing wasn’t it. Whereabouts in Fermanagh did that happen?

    Also, when you say the UUP are dignified are you implying the DUP are not? With comments like that from you and the Regal pass cronies it will only serve to alienate more unionists from the UUp. Keep it coming kid.

  • Ted

    Indeed

    Your clearly not worth your salt!

    In answer to your 11.15 BTW questions – Yes and (so far as I know No (though I’ll confirm a.m., on this thread)) respectively.

    As for UUP posters, I’ve heard that the photographs of Tom are almost ready, but James is unhappy because they haven’t been able to airbrush out the strings! Huh!

    Have you seen today’s (and last week’s) Imp Rep?

    BTW When did you leave PRS? (approx – to stop FYU delving into his school lists!)

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    When I refered to ‘most people’ I was implying the general public. Of course the UU look ahead but they dont get carried away that is what im saying.

    Well from what i have heard he took great delight parading up and down Lisnaskea and since you seem to know the local area you should realise that was not a sensible thing to do. Now there is nothing wrong with this dont get me wrong just from what some people are saying he sometimes spoke a little too loud for comfort

    I have heard that from a number off people from a certain area and i fully believe it. I have also saw the posters lying in the fields myself and to be honest im not surprised. If you dont believe me come here yourself and you will see.

    Yes I dont think the DUP are dignified especially some of its members (Arlene for example).

  • Tiny

    I see that on the day he announced his decision to stand jimmy Spratt called on God’s help, he has obviously had a bit of a conversion since his days propping up the bar at federation meetings, from now on ‘orange juice’ for Jimmy

  • Indeed

    FYU,

    Appreciate the info regrading the posters (i’m being genuine incase you think i’m being sarcastic(never!)) Unfortunately it seems thats all part and parcel of elections.

    As for your comments regarding the Docs visit to Lisnaskea, i belive nowhere should be seen as out of bonds to any man, regardless of religion, race, creed or poltical ethos. Are you implying that Paisley took enjoyment from the fact it is a mainly Roman Catholic area? I think if this your take on it you are mistaken. Dr Paisley is the same jovial characther whether he be in Larne, Lisburn, Limavady or Lisnaskea. i’m led to believe the reception he recieved was quite good from the Unionist community, with a few hecklers along the way as always.

    Could you elaborate as to what makes Arlene undignified?

  • Indeed

    Ted,

    Another Portoran? My goodness two with an interest in politics at the one time is quite an achievment!

    I’d appreciate your info regarding the meeting tomorrow. Haven’t been up in the old place for a few years now. Been a few changes since i left in teachers and even buildings i understand.

    Have to say your comment about the posters has me laughing – thats quality.

    Todays Impartial…well…letters page was indicitive of the verocity with which certain individuals hate Arlene. Coopers didnt make sense, Maginnis’ letters never made sense, Gary Wilson as always tried to sit on the fence and please everybody and Colin Armstrong sent one all the way from South Belfast so the Fermanagh people could read it and forget about it straight away again (what WAS it about?) Ever heard of the South Belfast News Colin – surely thats his local rag?

    Last weeks letters – enjoyed Fernando and Past Master. I’m sure next week will be good…..

  • Indeed

    BTW Ted & FYU

    As you both seem involved in this meeting, if i’m not allowed to attend could you let me know on this thread how it goes? Fair play to you guys for getting this up and running at portora, keep it up.

    Thanks

  • Traditional Unionist

    i belive nowhere should be seen as out of bonds to any man, regardless of religion, race, creed or poltical ethos

    That is true, but we are talking about a man who complains about romanist journalists, has to be ejected from a room if the pope happens to be in it and marched on city hall to demand the flag be raised from half mast when one died. Could anyone blame a catholic for thinking paisley was saying “I hate you and here I am, think you’re hard enough?”

  • Indeed

    Ted,

    I take it from your email address you enjoyed Fernando’s letter too…..LOL

  • Ted

    Indeed

    Yes, but I’d have enjoyed seeing Cooper (or Tom) answering the questions he posed even more!

    As for Lord Helpus, anyone with a Zapata moustache should know a thing or two about Mexico!

  • Karl Rove

    As an Ulster Unionist 2nd, and a Unionist 1st, they key thing for me is to see the greatest number of Unionist seats possible. Achieving this took only one thing: that the UUP faced up to reality, and realised we had to pick between F&ST and SB – inasmuch as we can’t have both (and clearly we can’t, as of right, as otherwise we would just reach out and take them, regardless of what others do).

    So why can’t we have both? Because we’re now, after a decade of David Trimble’s disastrous leadership, Northern Ireland’s third political party, and so we don’t have the votes to command abstention from others.

    As it is, Trimble is so weak that he couldn’t even offer credible pact proposals (F&ST and SB for two safe Sinn Fein seats for goodness sake!) precisely because he can’t offer up a sacrifice, as neither the Gimp nor the Cooper faction will put the party and the cause’s overall interests ahead of their own petty, personal ones in either seat. In the end, Unionism will lose both seats, and whilst the DUP will certainly be at fault, so equally will be the UUP.

    The Paisleyites don’t ‘split the vote’ by standing, indivdiual Unionist voters ‘split the vote’ because they don’t weigh in behind one candidate. They don’t do that because the old, dominant party no longer commands their respect, but nor yet does the new one thus far.

    One Unionist party, without Paisley, without Trimble, without McGimpsey is the way forward. Actuarial reality will take care of the first factor soon enough; Unionist voters, or more precisely, lack thereof, will take care of the other pair.

    We’re just going to have to suck up a 10/8 Unionist/Nationalist split for a parliament until we have finally sorted ourselves out, and can get things back thereafter to 12/6.

  • Ted

    Indeed

    I promised I’d confirm about the forum at Portora this pm. I’m afraid to say that it’s not open to the public (pupils and possibly some of the teaching staff only) though I will provide a reportage of the proceedings later.

  • Indeed

    Ted,

    Thanks for the info – who said no?????
    Make sure you grill Elliott as to his conversion from anti to pro Agreement and anti to pro Trimble.
    Also ask him why he consdiered Arlene the best candidate last time over him, but now he’s suddenly more capable?
    Thridly, make sure FYU doesn’t go all shy and back out of calling Arlene ‘devious’ to her face. That should make for an interesting discussion!

    I also hope that when there the candidates encourage you all to remain in Northern Ireland for your third level education. This for me is a very important issue for young Protestants.

    All the best

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “I also hope that when there the candidates encourage you all to remain in Northern Ireland for your third level education. This for me is a very important issue for young Protestants.”

    Well there’s one point we agree on. University education isn’t valued enough by unionists, especially in working class areas. The disappearance off to mainland universities will just result in a decline in standards at home, as QUB/UU have to accept people with lower abilities just to make up numbers.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    GREAT NEWS!!

    Yesterday was a major success for Tom Elliot, he cleary came out the best out of the three speakers and Arlene left probably regretting she even showed her face!

    Unfortunately I had an unexpected event i had to attend so I was not able to stay and hear them speak. From what i have heard is out off the 40+ senior boys that were there only 2 of them would have been supporters of Arlene. Apparently it started of when a upper 6th tackled into her for defecting and how she betrayed many peoples trust etc. It would have been fun to watch her there trying to dig herself out off that hole. Then what happened was when she was walking down the stairs a number of people got their claws into her again, and then if that was not bad enough for her then when she seems to have got downstairs some off the younger members told her what they thought.

    Congratulations Tom, you’ve just earned a few more votes from the Portora boys.

  • Ted

    As reported by FYU Tom, Arlene and Tommy Gallagher were at a forum yesterday afternoon in Portora.

    Arlene was indeed the centre of attention, with her defection from the UUP a key issue. One of the more cerebral members of the throng told her she was ‘….. a tratur… that’s a fact. Your just a tratur.’ before having to run off to get his bus.

    As for more votes from Portora boys, are you 18? I thought Alister Patterson had no involvement in politics currently :-O

    The most remarkable statement of the day belonged to Tom Elliott, who claimed he is absolutely opposed to the Belfast Agreement and yet pro-Trimble. “Eh surely some mistake here…..” But he hasn’t even got the nous to be embarrassed at this contradiction!

    Church of Ireland, Orange Order, UUP Tom says he never left anything in his life (except school early obviously!)

    So that’s the Road to Damascus and, apparently, an Epiphany, so far. Mind you, the wind was from a different direction!

    Overall, I got the distinct impression that Tom wishes he wasn’t in this fight. But he won’t (be allowed to) stand aside for Arlene!

    The ABBA campaign must succeed at any cost!

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    By Alistar Patterson i take it you mean Michael Patterson (maths teacher) I think he was chairing the the event, picking the people asking questions etc. No I am not 18 but I would probably say not many voters in portora after yesterdays performance will give her their vote.

  • Eliiot Better than Arlene – My arse!

    Fermanagh Young Onionist/Pimply-faced Cooper fanatic – I’m sure Arlene was terribly intimidated by all your pathetic little Official Unionist wannabes at Portora.

    Given that you’d find more brains in a bag of chips, I doubt very much that Tom (I’ll Run because Clarence the Cross-Eyed Coop wants me to) Elliot outperformed the Enniskillen Solicitor!

    With your obseesive, anti-Arelene rantings one could almost be forgiven for thinking you fancied her – love and hate, two sides of the same coin and all that…….

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    hmmmmmm yea so I take you havnt spoke to anyone about yesterday. How do you work out that im a ‘cooper fanatic’?

    ‘more brains in a bag of chips’
    Portora was one of the best preforming schools in Britian especially GCSE’s so your view on that is wrong, many important politicains have studied at portora.

    Big wow she was a solicitor, it didnt help her yesterday. Oh yea by the way a teacher sent in a question to be asked, it criticised her immensely.

    You would have to be hard up to fancy her and BTW it is quite hard for a lot of people here not to have strong anti arlene views.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Fermanagh Young Onionist/Pimply-faced Cooper fanatic – I’m sure Arlene was terribly intimidated by all your pathetic little Official Unionist wannabes at Portora.

    Given that you’d find more brains in a bag of chips, I doubt very much that Tom (I’ll Run because Clarence the Cross-Eyed Coop wants me to) Elliot outperformed the Enniskillen Solicitor!”

    hmm, sophisticated arguing there.

    I’m surprised someone hasn’t carded you, isn’t it supposed to be attacking the ball not the player?

  • Ted

    FYU

    No, I did not mean Michael Patterson. Go ask a grown up who Alastair Patterson is.

    Rebecca

    I have to agree with you

    If you kids can’t play nice, then go somewhere else.

    Did you meet your big deadline Rebecca?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Ted,

    Yes off course I know who Alastair Patterson is(former returning officer for FST) but what has he got to do with the portora boys?

    You’re very hostile towards the slightest bit of young interest in the UUP arent you? Just because the Fermanagh DUP cant start to organise any sort of young group does not mean you have to take out your jealousy here.

  • Ted

    FYU

    I’m not going to spell out every tag line for you.

    As for being jealous or hostile, on the contrary I’m delighted to see an active interest in politics at Portora.

    Mind you, the level of debate needs to be raised above the puerile hectoring which seems to pass for political argument.

    Thought you’d be out putting Tom’s posters up/pulling Arlene’s down!

    Has the bus not reached Garrison yet?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    I dont live in Garrison. Why would I be pulling down Arlene’s, remember last year with certain DUP people and the UUP posters and your calling ME childish. I think posters should be left where they are put, they serve very little purpose and lets be honest not many people decide who theyre going to vote for by looking at a poster.
    BTW is it just me or have the DUP went all shy putting up the posters. Well they have around here anyway compared to the last euro election.

  • Indeed

    Well doesnt it look like Portora was fun on Friday afternoon….

    A few points i’d like to make:

    FYU-

    Sounds like this mob of boys organised to tackle Arlene really impressed you! Isn’t it big and noble to jostle and heckle a woman on her own in such an environment.

    Important politicians who have studied aty Portora – name me current polticians who have. Ok so there’s Nigel Dodds…who else…did Tom manage to get a grammar school education?

    As for the teacher who sent the question in? Any chance of a name? My money would be on king of sarcasm Mr Richard Neill, who, correct me if i’m wrong, is related to…wait for it…Cooper. Big suprise if that was critical!

    As for your comment regarding a lack of youth group for the DUP in Fermanagh, it may come as a novel idea that young people in the DUP are treated like any other member of the party, and play an active role in the party itself regardless of their age. We aren’t put to one side in the creche to come up with cheeky plans like hijacking websites! That was really constructive by the way!

    On the poster issue, the DUP were hardly shy putting up posters on Tuesday night while the UUP were probably having wine and cheese, or maybe waiting for the Popes funeral to pass?!? I see they’re going up today. Well done. As for this area where you hang out…i’m guessing in between Belleek and Garrison…if the lack of DUP posters is bothering you i’ll endeavour to rectify that ASAP. I don’t like it when you spit the dummy…..

  • Tiny

    Indeed, what do you mean by “or maybe waiting for the Popes funeral to pass”, are all DUP members anti catholic?

  • Ted

    Indeed

    Ricky had no role in the proceedings.

    The question FYU refers to was posed by WJMcB through a fifth year called Stephenson,who struggled to cope with the convoluted punctuation,(you can imagine) sufficiently mangling the question as to render it barely comprehensible, but the gist of it was blah blah blah…. stole UUP votes?

    At least the Headmaster had the grace to look embarrassed, though I don’t know if it was because of the question or the (mis)use of English at the school (ever ably demonstrated by our friend Mr Ovens)

    BTW James Cooper is also an OP (you can make your own mind up what that stands for!)

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Ohhh but your wrong! Yesterday does seem to have been good fun, well thats according to the people who went to it and if they think it was then how does the idea that it wasnt come about??

    Actually it wasnt a mob and it wasnt a organised.They were single questions asked by single people. People at it yesterday cant help it if they all dislike of Arlene, it was especially her cheek when Tom and Tommmy were answering their questions that put people of her even more.

    ‘did Tom manage to get a grammar school education?’
    No he didnt and does it really matter – NO. Are you saying that you have to went to a grammer school to be interested in politics? I bet a lot of your voters wouldnt like to hear the DUP members slaggin off the devenish college for example.

    For your teacher point- you are wrong it was not ricky neill, it was billy mcbride and he didnt really make the question very nicely towards Arlene. He said he would have asked it himself only he had to leave early. Just for your information ricky neill is not a big commentor now these days about politics and he never mentions the UUP.

    No the amount of DUP posters is not bothering me I was just making the point that they definitely have a lot less posters here than last year. Would you care to explain why?

    How do you work out I am from Garrison/Belleek??? Im nowhere near there!

  • Keith M

    I think Karl Rove’s contribution to this thread is probably the most insighful. Like him I don’t believe that the UUP realise that after 80 years of being Northern Ireland’s biggest party, they are now second and about to be third or even fouth biggest. They are not in a osition to decide the terms of a voting pact. As the smaller unionist party they are the spoilers.

    Personally I think South Belfast cannot be won by the SDLP, no matter how many Unionist (or even Conservative) candidates are in the field. This is a stright fight between the DUP and the UUP. This may have been a UUP seat in the past, but Smyth was clearly in the anti-appeasement camp, therefore his natural successor should be should also come from that camp. The UUP have the more high profile candidate, but McGimpsey has the charm of camel with haemaroids and in an increasing PR driven election campaign, I would not be surprised to see a shock defeat.

  • Tiny

    Keith M, so the DUP are anti-agreement, what fundamental changes did the DUP make in the good Friday Agreeemnt before Christmas?

  • Indeed

    Well i guessed you where an Ovens when you said you where at Garrison polling station at the last election. Hence the guess at the area you are talking about.

    As for your question posed as to why there appear to be fewer posters in your area than last time, its a bit hard to answer if i don’t know where in the fair county you’re talking about.

  • Indeed

    Tiny,

    How do you construe from that comment that i am somehow anti-Catholic?

    It was simply a question to the UUP kid out of interest as to whether that was a reason for the delay?

    Grow up Tiny, and stop trying to pick faults that arent there

  • Ted

    Tiny

    “are all DUP members anti catholic?”

    Possibly not, but I imagine that they are all anti-agreement.

    The UUP in FST, on the other hand, are running on an Orange ticket!

    But it’s OK: Tom Elliott (County Grand Master of the Orange Order, ergo, vehement pro-Catholicist clearly) says he’s anti-agreement and pro-Trimble.

    That’s the way to run an election, confuse the electorate into voting for you! Egh!

  • Keith M

    There is one thing I will give credit to the UUP, that is their website. This morning I decided to check what candidates were running for each party.

    The SDLP site was leading with Durkan telling us how sad aloss the Pope was, a lot of annonymous cheerful faces but not a sign of the info. I wanted.

    The DUP site had every press statement I could ever want directions (but no direct link) to a special election site, which looked exactly the same as the main site, and no information on candidates in an easy to access way.

    THe SF/IRA site looked like it had been designed back in 1999 (they hayday of frame) and was completly unnavigable. A complete horror of a site. Surely some webmaster will take Northern Bank £50s?

    The UUP site was easy to use, fast and got me the information within 30 seconds. It was nice to see Little Jimmy Osmond back, but I wouldn’t give him a chance against Paisley.

    The APNI site was easiest on eye but again not the info I was looking for. The UKUP site seems to be neglected since 2002.

  • fair_deal

    Its not just the Clarke’s, more bad news for Michael. (Source todays Sunday Times) with no endorsement and some criticism from Smyth.

    “In another potential blow to the UUP in a key constituency Rev Martin Smyth, their retiring MP in South Belfast, has refused to endorse his party’s candidate, Michael McGimpsey. On Friday evening two UUP councillors, the husband-and-wife team Jim and Margaret Clarke, issued a statement through the DUP press office saying that they were backing James Spratt instead of McGimpsey.

    Smyth said: “I am endorsing nobody because over the years I have worked with people and I was never altogether happy with some of them. Michael very often did his own thing.”

    Asked if he would vote for McGimpsey, Smyth replied: “What a person does in the ballot box is for his or her conscience. I am telling nobody how I will vote, not even my wife, and I won’t be telling her how to vote either.”

    Keith M

    If you used the BBC website it refers you to the old SF website.

  • Keith M

    Thanks fair-deal, I did indeed use the BBC link. SF/IRA should really set up a re-router. That old site is a horror. Mind you the new site doesn’t have what I’m looking for either.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist aka Mark Ovens

    Your right im a ovens but your wrong about where I live im nowhere near Garrison and a right bit away from Belleek. Yea I have been at the garrison station now for the last couple elections but that doesnt prove anything.

    For the posters i am refering to all over!

    Ted, since you now know who I am, who are you?

    Oh yea indeed, I will admit i was at the meeting on friday afternoon, since Arlene questioned people there who FYU was she will now see it is me. Now, honestly answer this indeed; are you arlene in disguise? If not then you will not be afraid to tell me your name and since you have already said you are an old portoran then I could varify that tomorrow in the school books?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist aka Mark Ovens

    Your right im a ovens but your wrong about where I live im nowhere near Garrison and a right bit away from Belleek. Yea I have been at the garrison station now for the last couple elections but that doesnt prove anything.

    For the posters i am refering to all over!

    Ted, since you now know who I am, who are you?

    Oh yea indeed, I will admit i was at the meeting on friday afternoon, since Arlene questioned people there who FYU was she will now see it is me. Now, honestly answer this indeed; are you arlene in disguise? If not then you will not be afraid to tell me your name and since you have already said you are an old portoran then I could varify that tomorrow in the school books?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist aka Mark Ovens

    Your right im a ovens but your wrong about where I live im nowhere near Garrison and a right bit away from Belleek. Yea I have been at the garrison station now for the last couple elections but that doesnt prove anything.

    For the posters i am refering to all over!

    Ted, since you now know who I am, who are you?

    Oh yea indeed, I will admit i was at the meeting on friday afternoon, since Arlene questioned people there who FYU was she will now see it is me. Now, honestly answer this indeed; are you arlene in disguise? If not then you will not be afraid to tell me your name and since you have already said you are an old portoran then I could varify that tomorrow in the school books?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist aka Mark Ovens

    Your right im a ovens but your wrong about where I live im nowhere near Garrison and a right bit away from Belleek. Yea I have been at the garrison station now for the last couple elections but that doesnt prove anything.

    For the posters i am refering to all over!

    Ted, since you now know who I am, who are you?

    Oh yea indeed, I will admit i was at the meeting on friday afternoon, since Arlene questioned people there who FYU was she will now see it is me. Now, honestly answer this indeed; are you arlene in disguise? If not then you will not be afraid to tell me your name and since you have already said you are an old portoran then I could varify that tomorrow in the school books?

  • Indeed

    Master Ovens,

    Care to explain how in the one post you can say i am Arlene in disguise, and then go on to rightly point out that i am Old Portoran. I think you’ll find a problem there, but i can spell it out to you in case you’re having difficulties.

    why did you say on the one post that you didnt attend the meeting and now admit to being there? I know its not unusual for an Ulster Unionist to go back on what they say, but is it possible that you just didnt feel courageous enough to call Arlene ‘devious’ to her face, as I challenged you to do in a previous post. To me that reflects very poorly on your character.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist aka Mark Ovens

    Indeed,
    Ok then, this is what I think. Now if you are not Arlene then tell me your name and I will check the portora register. You should have no difficulty doing that since you have already admitted to being an old portoran and if you fail to do so then you will only increase my suspicion.

    I started saying that i was not there when Arlene started questioning who the ‘ FYU on slugger’ was. I did not want her to know but since she does now I am not really bothered. If you are Arlene then you will realise I did not back out on you. If you are not then I can tell you that when i got a chance to speak to Arlene without any teachers watching then I actually did take my anger out on her. You will be glad to hear that she called me “incredibly rude”!!

    Message to Arlene:
    Oh yea just to inform you (whoever you are here) that did you notice Tom had a good afternoon there. You left quite suddenly didnt you? Could you not stick all of us (btw were only 16)asking you all these sensitive questions? It must have been embarrasibg for you infont of Tom Elliot when patterson actually had to come over and tell us to back off and leave you alone! After you left Tom stayed on for about another 25 mins speaking to boys answering any questions they had, then he had a good chat with the headmaster about water rates etc. Its ovibous who the better politician was there! Notice the way you didnt get any of those sort of questions.

    Hard luck Arlene!

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist aka Mark Ovens

    Indeed,
    Ok then, this is what I think. Now if you are not Arlene then tell me your name and I will check the portora register. You should have no difficulty doing that since you have already admitted to being an old portoran and if you fail to do so then you will only increase my suspicion.

    I started saying that i was not there when Arlene started questioning who the ‘ FYU on slugger’ was. I did not want her to know but since she does now I am not really bothered. If you are Arlene then you will realise I did not back out on you. If you are not then I can tell you that when i got a chance to speak to Arlene without any teachers watching then I actually did take my anger out on her. You will be glad to hear that she called me “incredibly rude”!!

    Message to Arlene:
    Oh yea just to inform you (whoever you are here) that did you notice Tom had a good afternoon there. You left quite suddenly didnt you? Could you not stick all of us (btw were only 16)asking you all these sensitive questions? It must have been embarrasibg for you infont of Tom Elliot when patterson actually had to come over and tell us to back off and leave you alone! After you left Tom stayed on for about another 25 mins speaking to boys answering any questions they had, then he had a good chat with the headmaster about water rates etc. Its ovibous who the better politician was there! Notice the way you didnt get any of those sort of questions.

    Hard luck Arlene!

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist aka Mark Ovens

    Indeed,
    Ok then, this is what I think. Now if you are not Arlene then tell me your name and I will check the portora register. You should have no difficulty doing that since you have already admitted to being an old portoran and if you fail to do so then you will only increase my suspicion.

    I started saying that i was not there when Arlene started questioning who the ‘ FYU on slugger’ was. I did not want her to know but since she does now I am not really bothered. If you are Arlene then you will realise I did not back out on you. If you are not then I can tell you that when i got a chance to speak to Arlene without any teachers watching then I actually did take my anger out on her. You will be glad to hear that she called me “incredibly rude”!!

    Message to Arlene:
    Oh yea just to inform you (whoever you are here) that did you notice Tom had a good afternoon there. You left quite suddenly didnt you? Could you not stick all of us (btw were only 16)asking you all these sensitive questions? It must have been embarrasibg for you infont of Tom Elliot when patterson actually had to come over and tell us to back off and leave you alone! After you left Tom stayed on for about another 25 mins speaking to boys answering any questions they had, then he had a good chat with the headmaster about water rates etc. Its ovibous who the better politician was there! Notice the way you didnt get any of those sort of questions.

    Hard luck Arlene!

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist aka Mark Ovens

    Indeed,
    Ok then, this is what I think. Now if you are not Arlene then tell me your name and I will check the portora register. You should have no difficulty doing that since you have already admitted to being an old portoran and if you fail to do so then you will only increase my suspicion.

    I started saying that i was not there when Arlene started questioning who the ‘ FYU on slugger’ was. I did not want her to know but since she does now I am not really bothered. If you are Arlene then you will realise I did not back out on you. If you are not then I can tell you that when i got a chance to speak to Arlene without any teachers watching then I actually did take my anger out on her. You will be glad to hear that she called me “incredibly rude”!!

    Message to Arlene:
    Oh yea just to inform you (whoever you are here) that did you notice Tom had a good afternoon there. You left quite suddenly didnt you? Could you not stick all of us (btw were only 16)asking you all these sensitive questions? It must have been embarrasibg for you infont of Tom Elliot when patterson actually had to come over and tell us to back off and leave you alone! After you left Tom stayed on for about another 25 mins speaking to boys answering any questions they had, then he had a good chat with the headmaster about water rates etc. Its ovibous who the better politician was there! Notice the way you didnt get any of those sort of questions.

    Hard luck Arlene!

  • Indeed

    FYU,

    I am not Arlene. How can i be when i am an Old Portoran. Arlene went to the Collegiate. Your imagination is in overdrive kid, calm down with the conspiracy theories.

    ‘when i got a chance to speak to Arlene without any teachers watching then I actually did take my anger out on her’.
    Well aren’t you the big fella. Bet that made you feel good didnt it. Why not do it in front of the teachers though? The word ‘coward’ springs to mind.

    With regards to your message for Arlene, i’m not sure whether she looks up the pages of Slugger or not, but i will pass on the message to her. I’m sure the cowardly, vindictive, immature views of a non-voter will be paramount in her thoughts in the run up to the election.

    BTW, can you explain to me how the statement on Tom’s posters that only Elliott can win is accurate? Surely it is possible that any candidate can with enough votes?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    See you still havnt said your name! If you wernt so busy trying to think of a way to get out of this one then you would have realised that I meant you could be her and just using the OP excuse as a way to hide your identity and since you are still refusing to give a name then you are only increasing that thought!

    You honestly believe that i could have called her some of the things i did infront of the headmaster?? I would have been told to leave immeditaley and banned from coming to any of the meetings again. Since you seem to know her (still not not convinced about your indentity) then why dont you ask her about friday.

    Arlene does look at these pages for she even said on friday that she took great interest in reading my posts. Oh and you do realise that on friday tom and arlene were there to hear the “immature views of a non-voter”. Got ya there!

    Yea anyone can win with enough votes.

    Now whatever you do dont forget to tell me your name next time…… Im getting the distinct impression that your trying to hide something from me?? The name Arlene Foster keeps ringing to mind.

  • Karl Rove

    Look, as the last Ulster Unionist voter about the place (or at least, I rather fear I will be in a few week’s time), I’d suggest everyone takes a step back from baiting a 16 year old on the internet. I mean, I’m not even sure it’s strictly legal. It’s embarassing (and now for *all* parties concerned, given that the fact it *is* a school boy is plainly established) and scoring points off him really doesn’t reflect credit on anyone, surely?

    Meanwhile, on F&ST, I hover between two contradictory views: namely that, perhaps demography being what it is, and Durkan’s leadership of the SDLP being what it is, even a solitary Unionist will struggle to win the seat. And alternatively, that maybe Arlene can win the seat (she’ll certainly beat Elliot – who earth do Turtle people posting on this thread think voted for her in 2003? Trimble-loving UUP half wits? Or maybe, just maybe, largely anti-Agreement Ulster Unionists, who’ll now follow her to the DUP standard, to which of course we can add, for Westminster, their Stormont tally) but only if there is a miracle SDLP recovery.

    Nationalists need to be split at least 2/3:1/3 for us to win the seat. If we’re split ourselves, I don’t us standing a chance. Elliot’s snake-like shift from Agreement-scepticism to Cooper-devotion convincces no one though. He’ll struggle, even with Durkan’s help, to avoid coming 4th.

    All that said, Arelene and Jeffrey inside the DUP have certainly modified it as a party, both intrinsically and in terms of popular perception. If the UUP does implode after the götterdämmerung our 5th rate academic from a 4th rate department inside a 3rd rate University has finally led us to, it’ll be fascinating to see what the new, post-Paisley DUP, presumably stuffed with Danny Kennedys, will look like. My guess is, well, the UUP circa 1984. Funny old world, isn’t it?

  • PS

    I think Karl Rove’s contribution to this thread is probably the most insighful. Like him I don’t believe that the UUP realise that after 80 years of being Northern Ireland’s biggest party, they are now second and about to be third or even fouth biggest. They are not in a osition to decide the terms of a voting pact. As the smaller unionist party they are the spoilers.

    Keith M

    The UUP are already the third largest party in the north. In the last two elections, Sinn Féin have obtained have obtained more votes than the UUP and have the same number of seats in both the European Parliament and the Assembly.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Sorry to correct you Paddy but we have more seats in Europe than the UUP, are you perhaps forgetting Mary lou 😉

  • Indeed

    Karl Rove,
    Look, as the last Ulster Unionist voter about the place (or at least, I rather fear I will be in a few week’s time), I’d suggest everyone takes a step back from baiting a 16 year old on the internet. I mean, I’m not even sure it’s strictly legal. It’s embarassing (and now for *all* parties concerned, given that the fact it *is* a school boy is plainly established) and scoring points off him really doesn’t reflect credit on anyone, surely?

    I’ll take your point Karl and leave the topic as it is. In defence though i dont believe because the lad is young he should be exempt from questioning and debate on the views and position he holds and advocates on this site. Surely that is the point of Slugger?

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Ok we’ll leave it there then but I noticed you didnt give a name indeed. No need to reply, my suspiciouns have been confirmed.

  • Karl Rove

    Sometimes Slugger makes me want to cry (good tears, like Hedgehunter at Tuesday prices did, in the end). The joyous ending of this thread is not truly the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is the beginning of the notion that Unionists can abstain from slagging each other off. Let the word go out from this place . . .

    Next step? Arelene adopted as the sole candidate before the 16th, the Gimp ditto in Belfast, or, or course, vice versa, with Tom and Spratt getting the big pensions and the free air travel.

  • Keith M

    PS “The UUP are already the third largest party in the north. In the last two elections, Sinn Féin have obtained have obtained more votes than the UUP and have the same number of seats in both the European Parliament and the Assembly.”

    All well and good, but the way that political parties are traditionary ranked is by seats in the national parliament. Ranking by seats in a local assembly that hasn’t hasn’t even met would be rather surreal. Measuring by popular votes can be distorted by the number of candidates who run for each party. let me say that I have no doubt that SF/IRA will overtake the rump UUP in May, and it wouldn’t shock me if the SDLP managed to overtake them.