Dirty Tricks Department Caught Out?

The Belfast Telegraph this morning reports that the Alliance Party have reported the UUP to the Electoral Commission over accusaions of dirty tricks surrounding a leaflet recently distributed in key Alliance Party areas. This is the leaflet which Roy Beggs recently denied any UUP involvement in during the recent UTV Insight election debate.

The leaflet (front and back) purports to have been produced by ‘Concerned Citizens for a Shared Future’ which uses a PO Box as its contact address.

However, suspicion arises because the PO Box used by the group happens to have been registed by a company called Circle Creative Communications, the same company which has produced many recent Ulster Unionist Party leaflets including ‘Its Not Fair‘ and ‘Fair Deal‘.

After an outright denial of any UUP involvement in the leaflet’s production or distribution, any proof of involvement will be very damaging to the Ulster Unionists, particularly in light of the UUP’s ‘decent people‘ campaign.

No doubt the comparisons of the Tory ‘Back to Basics‘ campaign will yet again be raised.

  • Carrington

    UUP exposed as a shower of liars? Surely some mistake!

  • fair_deal

    I wonder if Circle Creative Communications are the ones who came up wuth the dismal ‘Decent people’ stuff?

  • Young Fogey

    Bitter Lemon strikes again!

  • Gonzo

    Hahaha! More hilarity on the campaign trail.

    So whose idea was it? Was it indeed Mr Lemon? I have a feeling the design may have been done by the same person who emailed me asking me to blog the other leaflets, but I’m sure he’ll let me know…

  • Davros

    What’s with the lemon references ?

  • Stalford

    It has Tiny Tim, Master of Disaster written all over it!!!

  • Young Fogey

    Tim Lemon (Eyes passim) is the UUP’s election campaign ‘supremo’. Which goes some way towards explaining why their election campaigns are always keek.

  • Davros

    Thanks Young Fogey – doffs pipe.

  • Jacko

    Get over it Fordy, politics is a blood sport.
    Excellent tactic, pointing up a reality.
    What’s the problem?

  • True Blue

    it just shows how desperate the uup are. They know that the majority of unionist voters will back the DUP and so are having to beg for votes from others to try and save themselves!! doesnt say alot for the party does it? but sure they should be ok if the decent people turn out!!!!!!!

  • Carrington

    Jacko

    Pointng out a “reality” is one thing – but doing so in a leaflet which has been designed, using Alliance’s familiar yellow colour scheme and made to look like an Alliance publication is dishonest and unnacceptable. To then deny any involvement only to be exposed as having been the originator of the publication shows just how dishonest and untrustworthy the UUP has become.

  • Davros

    just how dishonest and untrustworthy the UUP has become.

    “has” become ? Were they ever anything else ?

  • Gonzo

    Jacko

    “The problem” is all the UUP’s, I’m afraid.

    Every time they try to steal votes off another party – and this is the SECOND time in this campaign they’ve tried an underhand tactic to steal Alliance votes – they LOSE more of their own.

    Neither does the UUP understand the resentment felt towards it by those Alliance voters who ‘lent’ them a vote in 2001 to shore up pro-Agreement candidates.

    Their thinking seems to be along the lines of: “We gave them a chance and they blew it. Now, it looks as though even tactical voting won’t save Trimble, nor indeed, the majority of his MPs.”

    They have also witnessed the movement – slow, but steady – of the DUP and Sinn Fein towards less extreme positions. At the same time, they have grown frustrated by the shift to the extremes of the UUP and SDLP. The appeals to the centre are falling on deaf ears. Why vote for a party that’s trying to out-DUP the DUP while simultaneously attempting to blag Alliance votes – and failing in both cases?

    The only party left that the UUP hasn’t tried to politically prostitute itself with in this election is Sinn Fein. We wait with baited breath…

    I really hope the UUP keeps trying to use these tactics, as they always seem to backfire. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. More please Tim – you’re doing a great job (for everyone else)!

  • Young Fogey

    A wee birdie tells me this was being distributed in North Belfast ?!?!?!?! – where the UUP have come a distant fourth in every election this milennium! To win North Belfast the Fred Cobain wouldn’t just need tactical votes from Alliance, they’d need the Angel of Death to pass through the constituency the night before polling day and slay every Sinn Fein and DUP voter from Clifton Street to Rathcoole.

    Even then the Shinners would probably get enough of the dead to vote to win.

    Make of you will about these Concerned Citizens but if they’re really concerned about not letting the DUP in rather than desperately trying to shore up the Ulster Unionists’ core vote, why are they wasting time in a DUP/SF marginal with one of the lowest UUP votes in the country?

  • Hansolo

    It could backfire if it was UUPHQ as Ford has now publically stated that he is not backing moderate Unionists, whereas he was privately endorsing some UUP candidates before. i.e. note his decision not to give Neeson a run on UTV last tuesday.

    You are all giving the UUP a lot of credit as well, are they that smart?

  • Young Fogey

    Hansolo, do you have any evidence that David Ford was giving private backing to UUP candidates?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Jacko,

    Clearly there’s no problem with saying “Alliance are crap and will let the DUP in, vote UUP” (even if it isn’t true) as long as you say clearly who you are. The problem is that it is underhand to do it anonymously, and it is illegal to do it without being registered with the electoral commission.

    To me it is certainly possible that a non-aligned group of people may exist who want to keep the DUP out. But this organization is more than that; not only is it anonymous, but it appears to have the organizational capability – presumably backed up by funding – to distribute the leaflet in seven or eight different constituencies. Is it really the case that an unaligned pressure group would be able to muster up this capability out of nowhere and manage to avoid any political link ?

    And why would such a group want to remain anonymous ? What’s wrong with saying “my name is X and I’m scared of the Alliance Party letting the DUP in” ? Unless of course you’re another political party.

    Clearly this plan was conceived by a complete idiot.

  • yerman

    Hansolo
    Its hardly the work of rocket-scientists to have the same company you get to produce your propaganda leaflets to take out a PO Box to do your dirty tricks too!

    This isn’t even good enough to be desribed as ‘schoolboy’ – a small child at playgroup could have done it better.

  • Hansolo

    Young Fogey

    Yes, first hand. Furthermore, the word in East Antrim is very positive for Beggs and increasingly so. The media have also picked up on this i.e. Bel Tel yesterday.

    DUP are very short on the ground there too as their resources are focused on the big scalps. Beggs is not important to them and neither is Sammy.

    Yerman

    I did not realise it was the same company – no one would be that stupid.

  • Young Fogey

    Yes, first hand.

    As, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away, I was an Alliance activist and know David Ford, I decided to ring him and find out if he had backed Beggs privately. He says categorically that he said nothing that could be remotely construed as what your are saying he said. Are you saying he has just told me a direct lie?

    BTW, for someone who claimed (on the Insight thread) that they had always been an Alliance voter, and who lives in Amsterdam, you seem to know a lot about what David Ford allegedly said to Roy Beggs in a TV studio in Larne. Are you sure you’re not one of Roy Beggs’ canvassers or someone who works at Cunninghame House?

    Finally, maybe the DUP aren’t working East Antrim hard because they know it’s in the bag. In the Assembly elections, the DUP outpolled the UUP by 5.5% in East Antrim with a further 8% of the vote being cast for Jack McKee and Roger Hutchinson. Do you really think the Ulster Unionists can win any constituency they trailed by almost 14% in in the Assembly Elections?

    Furthermore, the word in East Antrim is very positive for Beggs and increasingly so. The media have also picked up on this i.e. Bel Tel yesterday.

    DUP are very short on the ground there too as their resources are focused on the big scalps. Beggs is not important to them and neither is Sammy.

  • Jacko

    Fordy is just trying to make him and his party seem relevant. First the wild story of being offered a peerage and now this.
    All part and parcel of politics here I’m afraid, so you shrinking violets should get used to it or get interested in something else like basket weaving or flower arranging.
    I hear jam making is quite the in-thing for those of a sensitive disposition.

  • Young Fogey

    Hi Jacko,

    having completed the hat trick of Alliance, DUP and SDLP, when does Trimble go scrounging round the Shinners for votes?

  • Jacko

    YF
    I believe he has west Belfast pencilled in for tomorrow. Should be an interesting canvass.

  • yerman

    Hansolo
    Some people could be that stupid! Never underestimate the UUP’s capacity for arrogance/stupidity!

    I very much doubt that the “DUP are short on the ground in East Antrim”. From what I know of any party at election time its much much easier to get a team out for a ‘new’ seat than it is for a seat that you already hold. That’s why the DUP teams in places like South Belfast and East Antrim will be good – people like a fight and esp the chance to knock out an Ulster Unionist.

    Why would somone who voted for Sammy Wilson/any DUP candidate in either 2001, 2003 or even the Euro 2004 now vote for Roy Beggs? I can see lots and lots of reasons why the Alliance votes Beggs got in 2001 wont be there this time and I can even see why some people might switch from Beggs to Wilson. But the worst case for the DUP should be that they hold their 2001 vote and the UUP lose the tactical votes – DUP win. What I suspect will actually happen is that the DUP vote will grow and even the Alliance votes couldn’t save Beggs.

    Also, on the Circle Communications company – any truth to the rumours that the ‘partner’ of a newlywed works there???

  • Hansolo

    Maybe I should just do the decent thing and admit it, i’m voting Woman’s Coalition.

    If you heard DF tell you that then who am I to argue with you.

    Why has he stood neeson down when he was asked to go on the show. Or did they ask for Ford?

  • Gonzo

    Wasn’t that explained on another thread? Did UTV not just request him? Looking at the other panellists, it wasn’t even specifically an East Antrim line-up, so I’m not sure what your point is.

  • Hansolo

    No
    Fergal said at the beginning that Allaince has been asked to put forward their EA represntative and they opted to put Ford on instead. That is 100%.

    An Allaince source told me they had words over it after the show.

  • IJP

    Hansolo

    So you now accept that you do not know what David Ford said. I repeat to you what he did say: that had the Ulster Unionists sent out the leaflet in their own name, it would’ve been an entirely legitimate electoral tactic.

    It’s the hiding behind mysterious groups and mysterious posters on Slugger O’Toole who do not reveal their identity that is underhand…

    Fergal said at the beginning that Allaince has been asked to put forward their EA represntative and they opted to put Ford on instead.

    Yes, and he was wrong (as both Nationalist parties will comfirmed), and Alliance has raised this issue with UTV. But you already knew that because I’ve already clarified this on a thread on which you participate, so why did you choose to bring it up again?

    UTV never asked for the East Antrim candidate otherwise Sean Neeson would’ve appeared.

    UTV also managed to turn up late for the Alliance manifesto launch the same day.

    A disorganized shambles that reminds me of a place on Holywood Road…

  • Young Fogey

    Maybe I should just do the decent thing and admit it, i’m voting Woman’s Coalition.

    Yeah, whatever, on the Insight thread you said you had always voted Alliance. Do I smell a Lemon fresh fragrance around here?

  • Young Fogey

    Did anyone else notice the couple being canvassed on the front of the Ulster Unionists’ water charges leaflet are UUP Members?

    http://www.uup.org/welcome_watercharges1.htm

  • Hansolo

    IJP
    Lets clear this up once and for all.
    1)David Ford said after the programme that had it been Beggs alone he would have endorsed him. That is a fact.
    You do not have to accept it.
    Perhaps you did not hear him say it as you sound like you were there.

    Why on earth would DF have let his candidate in EA miss a chance to debate the issues with the two main candidates?

    Young Fogey

    I don’t wear purfume and Lemon is not my squeeze.
    The man in question is not me.

  • Young Fogey

    David Ford said after the programme that had it been Beggs alone he would have endorsed him

    ??? As opposed to Beggs and whom?

  • Hansolo

    Well some of the UUPs candidates couldn’t attract alliance votes could they.

    The leaflet wasn’t just handed out in EA was it?

    All. voters have backed Beggs in the past and had they simply been asked to endorse moderate UUP candidates they might have again.

    You’re still thinking about it aren’t you?

  • Young Fogey

    Actually what Ford said after the programme was that if it had have been an open, honest attempt at a squeeze openly coming from the UUP it would have been legitimate, not that he would have ‘endorsed’ it.

    Please try and get your facts right before casting assertions.

    You’re still thinking about it aren’t you?

    Yeah, let’s support an integrated NI by giving the UVF back pats when they intimidate Chinese people out of their homes. Wise up.

  • fair_deal

    YF

    Spotted the UUP members too. However, this is the same party that tried to pass off Ian Adamson’s young wife as an ordinary member of the public in a party election broadcats (this shortly after they had both appeared prominently in the regional and national press.)

  • Hansolo

    There is one MP in perticular who has spoken out for ethnic minorities in the last parliament.

    Look at the last Northern Ireland Grand Committee debate on race hate crime, i think it was last december, its on the web anyway.

    Ask Patrick from NICEM what his opinion of him is and what he has done about racial problems in NI over the last 4 years.

    Also I noticed in the NI papers about four weeks ago that the same MP was kicking up a stink about ethnic minority teachers getting cut in belfast and racist bullying.

    Those comments are way out of line.

    Just becasue you are an alliance voter does not mean you have a monopoly on tolerance.

    Plus I was being sincere. I have always voted All. in local council elections and assembly elections

  • Young Fogey
  • Hansolo

    I wasn’t refering to anyone mentioned in that article. However his record is of sticking up for people in SB as he speaks out on the issue frequently.
    I am sure i has not gone unnoticed in the All. party leadership, if they pay attention to race issues when they are raised in parliament.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Anyone fancy a laugh – it is friday evening:

    Democratic process being perverted: Alderdice
    29/04/2005
    North Down Alliance candidate David Alderdice has stated that the democratic process is being perverted by dirty tricks.

    Dr Alderdice stated: “I spoke to a number of people in Holywood and Bangor tonight who were confused by leaflets making out they were from Alliance but calling on people to support the Ulster Unionists at Westminster.

    “These leaflets did not come from the Alliance Party, yet they have been deliberately branded as if they did.

    “This is a deliberate perversion of the democratic process by people who haven’t the guts to stand up and defend their policies on their merits. Decent people wouldn’t do this sort of thing.

    “Small wonder people are turning away from the democratic process if it degenerates to a level where people have to rely on such pathetic ploys to get a vote. But I am calling people to turn out in record numbers on polling day and send a clear message about what they think of such tricks — by voting Alliance, and by voting for honesty, integrity and progress.”

    ENDS

  • IJP

    Hansolo

    Your lies are getting very tiresome.

    David Ford told me that after the programme, he told Beggs that if the UUP
    had issued that leaflet openly, Alliance would not have liked it, but could
    not have objected in the same way. The main issue was deception, pretending
    it came from Alliance.

    David never said he would have endorsed Beggs. Indeed he made it very clear
    back in November when the peerage was offered by Trimble that there was no
    question of Alliance endorsing anyone from the UUP or SDLP.

    There is surely a difference between whether or not a leaflet is legitimate
    and whether or not a candidate is endorsed.

    Hansolo

    These lies really are getting tiresome.

    1)David Ford said after the programme that had it been Beggs alone he would have endorsed him.

    This doesn’t even make sense.

    David Ford actually said what Young Fogey said he said. I found out in the same way Young Fogey did, by phone.

    That is a fact.

    No, it’s a tiresome lie.

    You can repeat it as often as you like, it’s still a lie.

    You do not have to accept it.

    You’d make a very good Shinner!

    If something is fact, we all have to accept it.

    Here’s a fact for you to accept – Mr Ford said no such thing.

    And another fact: you know fine well that he didn’t.

    If you have a point, why do you insist on lying?

    Why on earth would DF have let his candidate in EA miss a chance to debate the issues with the two main candidates?

    Right, for the LAST time: Alliance was not asked to send its candidate and, since it was its only invitation to a UTV panel, it quite understandably sent its leader.

    Who totally embarrassed your candidate, Mr Beggs, in case you missed it…

  • IJP

    Hansolo

    You want to talk about race issues?

    What about your candidate in South Belfast protesting against a block of flats because its residents happened to be Catholics and Chinese?

    And him a ‘moderate’…!

  • yerman

    I think we should all stop worrying about hansolo. He is clearly just an Ulster Unionist posting on this board, not with opinions or views, but he is posting lies in some attempt to distort other peoples views.

    He has clearly tried to peddle something on this thread which does not stand up – it seems that similar stuff has appeared in relation to fictional NIO polling.

    There’s no point getting worked up about phantoms trying to bolster their own false position.

  • Young Fogey

    No, but when a political party is so hell bent on telling lies to win votes, yerman, I like to make sure the electorate know about it.

    BTW, hansolo claims to have voted Alliance at every council and assembly election. Of course I’ve voted Sinn Fein at ever council and assembly election. And SDLP. And Ulster Unionist. And DUP. Because I always vote the ticket. Whether hansolo has cast his first preference for Alliance at every council and assembly election is something I rather doubt.

  • Gonzo

    hansolo said:

    I am sure i has not gone unnoticed in the All. party leadership, if they pay attention to race issues when they are raised in parliament.

    No, and neither did his speech to the Springbok Club in 2004, if indeed it is Martin Smyth to whom you refer.

    Their
    “>website informs us:

    The Northern Ireland Branch of the Springbok Club held a special meeting to celebrate the achievements of the British Empire in June 2004, where the guest speaker was the Rev. Martin Smyth MP, the UUP MP for Belfast South. Quoting extensively from Niall Ferguson’s book Empire, the Rev. Smyth was able to show how, in spite of some failings, the British Empire was one of the greatest ever forces for good in the world, and ended by quoting Kipling’s famous injunction “Take Up the White Man’s Burden”.

    I have no particular beef with Smyth (apart from his election poster from 2001 winning the record for also being seen at the next three elections), but he appears to have some odd ideas about race.

    I believe his heart is in the right place, it is for the wrong reasons. He seems to have a very colonial mindset – the ‘white man’s burden’ reference from Kipling, seems to be in keeping with one of the aims of the group he addressed: “To lobby the powers that be in the outside world concerning the anarchic state of current day Africa, and to advocate that steps be taken to restore civilised rule to the continent.”

    Such attitudes seem almost quaintly outdated, but simply serve to reinforce the notion that ‘uncivilised’ races are incapable of governing themselves. Some people see the Springbok Club as a white supremacist group, but maybe you’d disagree.

    Thank God those poor immigrants have Ulster Unionist MPs looking out for them, eh?

    :o/

  • Hansolo

    Look it up yourself,
    Northern Ireland Grand Committee debate 9 dec 2004
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmnirelg.htm
    There was only one party sticking up for ethnic minorities there and whilst some of you might not like ti, it was the UUP.
    Perhaps they thought it was a major vote winner…or it was some dirty trick to steal David Ford’s thunder drempt up by

    IJP

    I don’t have a candidate – as an alliance voter race relations are something i feel very strongly about. I like to see politicians taking the initiative on the issue.

    In Holland society is becoming polarised by race/religious issues.

    And as for Ford, i’m sorry guys, but I heard him say it to Beggs and some other UUP people.

  • Nicholas

    Hansolo’s story is changing so rapidly I can’t quite work out what he wants us to believe!

    First of all he had it from “an Allaince [sic] source”. Now, despite residing in Amsterdam, he expects us to believe he was able to hear what was said in Larne!

    Repeating a lie over and over again doesn’t make it true, you know!

  • Hansolo

    Well Nic, it works for the DUP and Sinn Fein!

  • Hansolo

    Well Nic, it works for the DUP and Sinn Fein!

    I can’t be any more clear or transparent about it than I have.

    If it doesn’t fit in with what others wish to believe then so what.

  • Nicholas

    Of course, you can be more clear and transparent by revealing your identity. But since that would blow a massive hole in your story, you just can’t do it.

  • Hansolo

    I’m the guy that gets all the snogs in Star Wars.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Way back in the 1990s a group of nursing students from the RoI who had made the mistake of moving into rented accomodation on the Donegall Road were threatened by a series of posters which appeared around the area, refering to “nationalist scum invading the area” and giving them a week to get out “or their safety could not be guaranteed”.

    Martin Smyth was quoted in an Irish News article (Jun 25th 1997) at the time to saying he wouldn’t condemn the posters because Gerry Adams wouldn’t condemn similar things. He said that they were the result of provocation by republicans and were “understandable”.

    I was wondering what you thought of that sort of thing, “hansolo”. Is putting female nursing students out of their houses understandable under any circumstances ? Do you really think it is remotely convincing that an MP who refuses to condemn such attacks emanating from certain quarters has a real interest in building a shared future or working hard for racial equality ?

  • Hansolo

    No CS I certainly do not.

    I think any refusal to condemn any form of racism is totally unacceptable and spineless.

    The whole debate on the mainland is off the wall. London, nevemind the NHS, simply would not function without migrant workers.

    Most of the nurses from overseas are specially trained in their own countries.

    An example – the nurses from kerala in South India were hand picked by Mater Hosiptal so they would fit into the existing Indian Christian community in Belfast and found suitable accommodation.

    Yet they still get abuse.

    Some politicians have bad records on this matter and others don’t. I was simply pointing out that some have spoken out recently and frequently on the issue.

    I didn’t mention anyone’s name – I don’t think the issue should be a plug for votes, just something all politicians should engage in as a duty.

    Some parties are clearly better suited to this and free to do so by their leadership.

    other parties are not.

  • Roger

    A good quote by an earlier poster

    The more alliance and nationalist voters the UUP try to steal the more unionists ones it will loose.

    Incidentally Trimble predicts his party will gain a number of extra seats as well as holding on to their present ones are there any grounds for this prediction.

  • Gary

    Hansolo’s NIO polls?
    Perhaps he’s like to share them with us after the election?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Hansolo, if you won’t name the politician you’re referring to then really it’s bugger all use making the point to begin with.

    “I don’t think the issue should be a plug for votes”

    You’re an Alliance voter who lives in Amsterdamn. Why would anyone ever suspect you of plugging for votes ?

    In general the UUP record is pretty pathetic when it comes to standing up to loyalist paramilitarism. Whether it’s Trimble having a wee chat with Billy Wright, protests over Catholics burying their dead at a publicly-owned city cemetery, or Catholics moving into an apartment block in Sandy Row, or Catholic students taking up accomodation in a loyalist area, the UUP’s response has to be either to ignore or to tacitly endorse the position of the bigots. The DUP is even worse, but at least they aren’t trying to nick Alliance votes on the basis of some imaginary utopian shared future where petrol-bomb throwing thugs and regular civilians live together in harmony.

    Roger, too right. It’s the UUP’s arrogance that’s the problem. I loved the way they thought they could simply buy off Alliance with a peerage. Now they’re running scared.

  • Hansolo

    CS

    You can see for yourself on the link i posted. The UUP’s record speaks for itself. I don’t need to pat them on the back for it.

    The point does need to be made. You picked one individual and everyone knows were he stands – with the bigots in the DUP.

    I doen’t mean everybody else does.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “If it doesn’t fit in with what others wish to believe then so what. “

    Er, two people here claim to have spoken directly to Ford and apparently he has denied what you have claimed. Since you’re anonymous and you can’t substantiate your comment, never mind explain how you overheard the statement despite living in another country, it makes you look like a liar.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Hansolo, blimey, you seem to be very defensive of the UUP’s record for an Alliance voter.

    I didn’t pick one individual, even though the individual in question was a senior member, MP, and at one point party leadership candidate (you’d imagine someone who had gotten that far in the UUP would have some sort of support). In my 6:36 post I listed several cases where various different UUP politicians acted, in their own way, in a manner which excused the activites of loyalist paramilitarism.