UUP courting Portuguese voters

The UUP leader, David Trimble, has written to all the Portuguese voters in his Upper Bann constituency urging them to vote for the UUP in the local council elections. Is it the case that EU nationals are automatically eleigible for council elections but not Westminster? And what of non EU residents?

  • El Dorado

    Presumably he didnt get Fred Crowe to deliver the letters…..

  • Jimmy sands

    EU nationals can vote in local elections and in EU elections, but not for Westminster. Don’t know what the position is for the assembly.

  • Alan2

    “Presumably he didnt get Fred Crowe to deliver the letters…..”

    Wasn`t that to do with a mosque?
    Some interesting articles on the balkanisation of the UK on religio-racial grounds.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/frontpage/4464461.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/frontpage/4461695.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/frontpage/4460565.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/frontpage/4467147.stm

  • Biffo

    Fascinating. What’s his angle? What’s he offering them?

    Is it just an impersonal, irrelevant begging letter, ot is he trying to empathise with them?

  • Stalford

    I was trying to put a leaflet together in Mandarin but couldn’t find anyone to translate it for me.

  • fair_deal

    Stalford

    For future reference I could have sorted you out with a Chinese translator.

  • Alan2

    Fair play tae ye Mr Stalford. Get it on the website.

  • Stalford

    Excellent. That would be much appreciated. 🙂

    In fact there might still be some time: e-mail me the details please to christopher_stalford@yahoo.com

  • fair_deal

    I’ll track my friend down this evening

  • Stalford

    Thanks!

  • Fraggle

    with the antics of Ruth Patterson during the past year, I fail to see how the DUP could appeal to South Belfast chinese. Also Stalford, what does the fact that you couldn’t find anyone who can write chinese (not mandarin btw. there is only one main form of written chinese that applies across all chinese ‘dialects’ including mandarin and cantonese etc., unless you count traditional chinese and simplified chinese script and different), tell you about your ability to empathise with and appeal to the chinese community. didn’t you meet any chinese students at university?

  • Biffo

    Stalford,

    What are you offering mandarin speakers? Is it just the usual stuff, or do you tailor the message.

    What I’m wondering is what any NI political party thinks would attract mandarin speakers or portuguese?

  • Stalford

    Fraggle

    No I didn’t meet many Chinese students at University – that’s something to be regretted. As to what does the fact that I couldn’t find someone to write something into Mandarin for me tell me? It tells me I couldn’t find someone who writes in Mandarin.

    The Chinese community in Laganbank are well-established, hard-working and deserving of support – I’m sorry if my attempt to reach out to them offends you so much.

  • Davros

    Is it coincidence that you decide you want to reach out to them in the run up to an election ? How bothered were the DUP about these voters in the past ?

  • Alan2

    “with the antics of Ruth Patterson during the past year, I fail to see how the DUP could appeal to South Belfast chinese.”

    Could you elaborate on the Ruth Patterson issue? I have forgotten.

  • peter

    I think it is something to be welcomed that N.Ireland is fast becoming a multi cultural society.

  • Fraggle

    it doesn’t offend me, it just strikes me as ironic given the racist attitudes of one of your party members when the chinese community centre was being discussed for the donegall pass.

    if they are ‘deserving of support’, where was your support for their centre?

  • no_racism

    Michael McGimpsey behaviour was no different to Ruth Patterson’s

  • Stalford

    Davros

    As someone who has been involved in the DUP in South Belfast for about seven years, I know that the party has consistently canvassed and chased down every vote that they could – no matter where it has come from.

    My intention in getting something written in Chinese would be to try and meet people where they are at, of course electoral considerations play a part, but at least I’m trying to make an effort.

  • fair_deal

    Stalford

    Emailed you about some further info I need

  • Biffo

    “know that the party has consistently canvassed and chased down every vote that they could – no matter where it has come from.”

    So, what were you offering the catholic/nationalist vote?

  • Stalford

    Fraggle

    I think you should be a bit more careful in your use of the word racist – given that it is one of the worst things someone can be accused of in our modern society.

    I think the issue surrounding the community centre were very complex and am pleased that a solution has been found that leaves everybody happy.

  • Stalford

    Biffo

    Dilligent hard working council candidates/assembly candidates.

  • Biffo

    ” think the issue surrounding the community centre were very complex and am pleased that a solution has been found that leaves everybody happy.”

    I never heard about that, what was the solution?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Fraggle,
    How did you read into Ruth Patterson’s interviews, regarding the Chinese Community Centre, that she was a racist?
    As far as I was concerned, she was merely voicing the concerns of the South Belfast constituents that she represents…isn’t that what good political representation is all about, or would you rather she dismissed the people of Donegall Pass’ legitimate concerns as purely racist and something for her to steer well clear of?

  • Stalford

    An alternative site has been found for the Community Centre.

  • Alan2

    “So, what were you offering the catholic/nationalist vote?”

    The same as everyone else I would presume. An MP should work for everyone of his (or her) constituents. However how could a Unionist party offer anything on the “nationalist” front?

  • Biffo

    Where is the alternative site?

  • Stalford

    Cadogan Street.

  • Fraggle

    concerned loyalist, you are deluded. the ‘legitimate concerns’ you speak of were pure racist bigotry and RP pandered to these attitudes.

    a decent politician would have shown leadership and attempted to counter this. sadly, the UUP weren’t so decent either.

  • Alan2

    “Cadogan Street.”

    Is that near by to the other?

  • Fraggle

    and in the end, the chinese were forced to abandon plans to build in a loyalist area but are welcomed to a republican area instead. should the people of the lower ormeau have been out protesting about ‘legitimate cercerns’ too, CL?

  • Chris Gaskin

    Even RP own party members describe her as a “loose cannon”

  • Biffo

    “Cadogan Street.”

    Is that near by to the other?

    No, it’s a considerable distance, it’s in a different area.

  • fair_deal

    Fraggle

    “‘legitimate concerns’ you speak of were pure racist bigotry”

    If you are a car owner take a drive into Donegall Pass on Monday morning and see if you can find a parking space. A problem Donegall Pass shares with the Markets, Sandy Row and Lower Ormeau. Or is that concern racist bigotry?

  • fair_deal

    “people of the lower ormeau have been out protesting about ‘legitimate cercerns’ too, CL”

    At the new site there is room for parking.

  • Biffo

    fair_deal

    Parking space? What are you on about? explain

  • Stalford

    Fraggle

    Lets not go into historical revisionism – the bold Joe the Builder who was so quick to condemn the people of Donegall Pass and pointed to the example of the Chinese elderly fold in the Markets as a shining example of republican tolerance forgot to mention that the republicans in the area only supported the application after they were given an assurance that a certain proportion of the space in the fold would be set aside for long-term Markets residents.

    Re-development in areas like Sandy Row and Donegall Pass needs to be carried out in partnership, not simply imposed.

    Furthermore, I don’t think Irish Republicans are in any position to lecture about tolerance given their disgusting conduct over the last forty years.

  • La Dolorosa

    Boa Sorte ao Sr. Trimble – el fala portugues o canta o fado….??

  • Fraggle

    fair_deal, that is a pretty lame argument. are you claiming that opposition to the centre was over parking spaces?

    would you oppose the redevelopment of the derelict building on shaftsbury square on the same grounds?

  • La Dolorosa

    Boa Sorte ao Sr. Trimble – el fala portugues o canta o fado….??

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    One of the objections to the proposed site in Donegall Pass was that there was no provision of parking for either the staff or users of the Centre.

    According to fraggle this is a racist concern.

  • Stalford

    Fraggle

    It’s not only parking issues. In Sandy Row and Donegall Pass there are large aiting lists of people looking for houses, who can’t get them. These people who were born and reared in the area are often forced to leave because they cannot find a home. Free ground could be used for a greater provision of social housing.

  • fair_deal

    Fraggle

    You made a sweeping statement that all concerns about the development were racist. I provided an example of one of the key concerns raised at the public meetings. Parking was the most common objection.

    Neither was this made up to justify racism. In every public consultation and survey in the Donegall Pass area over the past five years has raised non-residential parking as a major issue.

    Some of the objections were racist but not all.

  • Alan2

    Wasn`t there something on the news the other day about racism against the Chinese in Belfast somewhere?
    Have to say we have Chinese and Portugese living in our village for a long time which is staunchly a Loyalist village which largely votes DUP.

  • Biffo

    Shortage of carking spaces, OK. But that would be a reason for not allowing any business to exist on Donegall Pass

    What I’ve heard recently is that a lot of Chinese people have moved out of Donegall Pass due to racist intimidation.

    I don’t know if it’s true that they are getting out

    A couple of years ago I thought Donegall Pass was going to naturally develop into Belfast’s China town. It seems that isn’t going to happen now, more’s the pity.

  • fair_deal

    Alan 2

    There was a Chinese fella got attacked a couple of weeks back near me in south Belfast, maybe that’s what you are thinking about.

  • Alan2

    “Boa Sorte ao Sr. Trimble – el fala portugues o canta o fado….??”

    He may have written to Portuguese speakers in both English and Portugese but confesses he is not fluent in the language.

  • Gonzo

    The site for the Chinese Community Street, is it not beside the Lagan, where the Holy Land meets the Ormeau at the bridge? You know that piece of grass beside (I think) the Securicor building (big red brick one that gets graffiti’d all the time)?

    Anyway, I think the DUP has let down the Chinese. While I don’t doubt Christopher’s motives as an individual, I do hope he would genuinely represent the Chinese community here.

    It WAS pretty heartbreaking for the Chinese here when the resource centre (not a community centre) got turned down for Dongall Pass, givent eh abuse they got from some people in the established community centre.

    I remember well, Ruth Patterson was more than reflecting the views of those constituents who didn’t want the resource centre in Donegall Pass. She went further and actually came out and said there would never be a Chinese centre anywhere in Belfast. Now why would that be?

    )And when a Prod got beat up in the Village, her statement condemning it was along the lines of “…and he wasn’t even a Catholic”. Ruth of course denied it, but the reporter (whom I spoke to afterwards) was puzzled by this denial.)

    The Chinese Welfare Association in University Street runs a translation service.

    Maybe Christopher, you will change things. But I hope this isn’t cynical vote-getting. Shaking hands at a dragon dance won’t cut it.

    What pledges will you publicly make to the Chinese community here that are specific to their needs? Let’s hear it.

  • sean west

    Bom Dia MR Trimble you are a bom damolle.
    Work that one out.

  • Alan2

    Think it was in a Nationalist area…only caught the tail end of the story.but seemed to have moved from a Loyalist area recently…got abused in both areas.

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    Parking is a legitmate planning objection (and was used against other non-Chinese developments in Donegall Pass). The biggest contributors aren’t the customers of businesses on Donegall Pass but the workers in the City Centre and the Gasworks site looking/needing free parking.

    There has been a decline in the Chinese population of Donegall Pass – some of it has been racist intimidation, some of it was the hard work of the people meaning the could afford to buy a bigger better house in the suburbs, some of it a mix of both. However, there are some Chinese families in the Pass who are now into their third generation.

    Donegall Pass being earmarked as Chinatown was a suspicion (valid or invalid) that didn’t help the development of good relations or understanding between the two racial groups.

    In the media circus something important actually got overlooked. In the public consultation the local white community persistently said they wanted to improve their relationship with the Chinese who lived in the Pass.

  • Friendly Fire

    Portuguese?

    Is Mandy’s bf still living in NI?

  • fair_deal

    Alan2

    There were a group of eastern Europeans intimidated out of Beechmount a while back.

  • Biffo

    Alan2

    It happens regularly in both areas. It’s one thing both nationalist and unionist communities in common.

  • Alan2
  • Alan2

    This is one thing that should get sorted out now.
    Got quite a shock (but a very nice meal) to walk into “China Town” in Newcastle Upon Tyne a couple of months ago. Are we going to balkanise on religio-racial grounds like England and the US?

  • Hmm…

    Alan2

    Wouldn’t English style (London, anyway) balkanisation be an improvement on what we’ve got? 😉

  • Biffo

    “Donegall Pass being earmarked as Chinatown was a suspicion (valid or invalid) that didn’t help the development of good relations or understanding between the two racial groups.”

    I don’t think it’s a question of suspicion. A Chinatown would have developed naturally in that location. That’s no big deal it happens in cities all over the world.

    It shouldn’t be problematic and Belfast shouldn’t be any different from anywhere else. It’s not as if Chinese were coming in and imtimidating locals to get out. Anything they got they were obviously paying good money for.

  • sean west

    How depressing.What have these people ever done to any of us.And this is the way we get treated.
    That is when i get so furious when i hear DT
    (the dear leader) talking junk about loving the muticultural UK.DT and co would stick living in London for about 2 minutes.

  • la dolorosa

    FF – I think you will find that Peter Mandelson’s boyfriend (I assume that’s whom you were referring to when you wrote “mandy’s’) is with him is no longer in NI as PM is now cimmutin between London & Brussels.

  • la dolorosa

    FF – I think you will find that Peter Mandelson’s boyfriend (I assume that’s whom you were referring to when you wrote “mandy’s’) is with him is no longer in NI as PM is now cimmutin between London & Brussels.

  • la dolorosa

    FF – I think you will find that Peter Mandelson’s boyfriend (I assume that’s whom you were referring to when you wrote “mandy’s’) is with him is no longer in NI as PM is now commuting between London & Brussels.

  • fair_deal

    Biffo

    “That’s no big deal”

    It might be a big deal if you perceived yourself to be ‘in the way’ of such a development

  • La dolorosa

    ooops – I pressed the ‘post’ button too many times… sorrry!

  • PaulPanther

    It is a matter of public record that the UVF have a quota on the amount of Chinese allowed to live in Donegall Pass

  • La Dolorosa

    Alan 2 – why did you get ‘quite a shock’ when you went in to China town’ in Newcastle?? Maybe you should get out a bit more , they do say that travel broadens the mind…….that’s the problem with NI – not enough diversity – either ethnic, cultural or religious it’s like 2 bald men fighting over a comb.

  • sean west

    Mandys friend is called Reinaldo.And comes from Rio de Janiero in Brazil.Rio de Janiero actually means january river.Citizens of rio are called carioca’s.Just thought you might like to know that.

  • Biffo

    fair_deal

    “It might be a big deal if you perceived yourself to be ‘in the way’ of such a development”

    It wouldn’t be because, thankfully, I don’t live in cloud-cuckoo land.

    The thing that gets me is that both the UUP and DUP have pandered to the intolerance and bigotry of their traditional vote in south Belfast (McGimpsey in Sandy Row, Patterson in Donegall Pass).

    It seems they then feel no shame in holding out their hands for immigrant votes.

    Stalford, you are a bad lot.

  • sean west

    Like the Tory’s and the BNP.They condemn the BNP
    but in essence they agree.

  • PaddyCanuck

    I wonder if davy will be able to swing a rule change within the Orange Order, to allow the admission of portugese kethlicks, that surely would have the portugese flocking to the polls to give the ulster unionists there votes!!!

    Keep up the good job David!!!

  • Biffo

    What was I talking about there now “McGimpsey in Sandy Row, Patterson in Donegall Pass”

    These legendary thoroughfares are practically adjacent to one and the other.

    Have the UUP and DUP been trying to outdo each other in keeping them safe for white Anglo Saxons Protestants?

    Are there votes to be had? Of course there are.

  • Alan2

    “That’s no big deal it happens in cities all over the world.

    It shouldn’t be problematic and Belfast shouldn’t be any different from anywhere else.”

    People are free to do what they want but why come to NI to simply set up a China town just like where you came from? Defeats the point of moving surely?

    “why did you get ‘quite a shock’ when you went in to China town’ in Newcastle??”

    La Dolorosa – because I wasnt expecting it up that far North. Just walked round the corner and there were all these little Chinese style buildings. Kinda cool but is it not a sort of benign sectarianism like what is developing here in NI? The same thing in Birmingham but much more so. We were over with a bunch of guys not so long ago at an Indian (Hindu) wedding and it`s interesting how the Hindu and Muslim communities are a bit like Protestants and Catholics.

  • Biffo

    Alan2

    “People are free to do what they want but why come to NI to simply set up a China town just like where you came from? Defeats the point of moving surely?”

    Oh, not really, it’s the same reason your ancestors came here a few centuries ago during the plantation. It’s an economic opportunity to a better life.

    And like the planters they obviously have the same urge to make the new place as close as possible to the one they just left.

  • Alan2

    “Have the UUP and DUP been trying to outdo each other in keeping them safe for white Anglo Saxons Protestants?”

    I think thats a little unfair. “White flight” happens in the US and now also in England.
    And to be fair I see plenty of immigrants going to Protestant Churches particularly the Elim Pentecostal one and have seen numerous foreign missionary speakers and indeed members of congregations at the Free P`s.

  • Beechy

    There were a group of eastern Europeans intimidated out of Beechmount a while back

    Not absolutely true f_d. Approximately six weeks ago a house on the Falls, close to Beechmount Avenue, which housed a number of Eastern Europeans was attacked and had its windows broken. The next night the West Belfast branch of the Anti Racist Network organised a rally outside the house to show solidarity with the occupants. Several hundred residents from the area attended the rally along with local councillors and MLA’s and the occupants of the house were subsequently persuaded to stay. However they did leave the house approx ten gays after the incident. If you care to have a look around the Beechmount / Cavendish St area you’ll find a fairly high concentration of people from a non Irish ethnic background which live in relative harmony and assimilate with no serious problems into the host community. There have been minor incidents previously which have been construed as having a racist motive however when this happened the local community were quick to rally round.