Sluggerette gets UUP position…

CONGRATULATIONS to Slugger contributor Rebecca Black, who has been appointed by Sir Red Empey to be an assistant to the UUP’s new education spokesman, David McNarry, who had previously contended for the party leadership.

  • alex

    Congrats to Rebecca on her appointment!

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Congratulations Rebecca.

  • Molyeaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    Ditto: never met her, but she’s doubtless a nice and intelligent person. But none of that detracts from the following (in fact it makes it all the more heartbreaking): A serious party doesn’t appoint youth activists as its spokespeople. Even serious criminal gangs masquerading as political parties don’t appoint them. The SDLP doesn’t. The DUP don’t. For all I know and the Greens and the Alliance *do*, but then that would rather prove my point.

    I think the UUP has now reached the point where, since my vote for it would be a gesture anyway (ie it couldn’t hope to achieve anything), I may as well make the gesture I’d be happiest with, and vote Tory, should they stand in my seat.

    Goodbye UUP, I’ll miss you. Though if the hyperventilating attitude of david Trimble supporters on this site is anything to go by, you won’t me, my vote, or the thousands of other Ulster Unionists like me.

  • Thomas

    Dito – DUP (men) beware!-

  • George

    I hope you get paid more than the political columnists at the Belfast Telegraph Rebecca.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Molyeaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter),

    “A serious party doesn’t appoint youth activists as its spokespeople”

    And why wouldn’t it? If you read the post you will see that it was for education. How is a young person not relevant in that area? Surely that’s what it needs: a bit of a personal touch.

    Also I don’t think you have read the whole link, Rebecca is not the only spokesperson: there are another two fellow UU’s alongside her assisting David McNarry.

    Next time read the full facts before jumping of into one of your little rants.

  • La Dolorosa

    It’s good to see more females in NI politics – maybe paries will start introducing all women shortlists!

  • bertie

    God forbid!

  • Molyeaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    “Fermanagh Young Unionist”, steady on son, you’re giving the Young Farmers a bad name. And before you have another toot on your flute, not merely did I read the link, here I still am, patiently explaining to the special needs posters, what my own post means. *I* said that I objected per se [that’s Latin, but your giving it up in favour of extra gym probably made sense] to Black being a spokesman. I didn’t say, as you’ve witlessly invented, that she was the only spokesman. My point was that her age, inexperience and lack of stature makes the Party look risible.

    To develop your argument [sic – that’s more Latin: maybe you should have dumped extra woodwork periods and stuck with it?] though, no, I don’t think that ‘the young’ should be appointed to speak on education, any more than I think that the sick should be appointed to deal with healthcare, the unemployed with unemployment, etc, etc.

    But your little message to Miss Black was very sweet.

  • Young Fogey

    Ahem.

    Let’s get our facts right.

    She was appointed as an assistant to a spokesperson.

  • Ginfizz

    Are these YU-types not just being added on as window-dressing, to make the party look a bit less fossilised than it actually is?

  • Molyeaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    Poor old Young Fogey, just not very au fait with modern(ish) spin-doctoring techniques, is he? YF: ‘Ahem. Let’s get our facts right. She was appointed as an assistant to a spokesperson’. Let’s try again, let’s, specifically, try the UUP press release:

    The latest round of spokespersons appointments comes as Sir Reg is putting the finishing touches to a revamped Ulster Unionist Party structure for spokesmen. This process is expected to be concluded before the end of the summer.

    “Supported”, “spokepersons”, I thank you. And I saulte the strength, courage and indefatigability of Alliance flacks and their commitment to self-satisfied flatulent inaccuracy. May God preserve you from all his sorrows.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “A serious party doesn’t appoint youth activists as its spokespeople”

    Actually, one of the DUP’s best and brightest in the press office is Simon Hamilton, who is frankly, frighteningly young. The SDLP have Sharon Haughey. Sinn Fein have press officers not long out of college too. All very capable people too. I have no doubt that Rebecca will be an excellent addition to the ranks of young Turks in the press offices.

    Congrats Rebecca.

    (Incidentally, describing any of the parties here as “serious” is rather, well…)

  • Neocon

    Although he acts at least 45, is Stalford not freakishly young also?

  • Young Fogey

    And I saulte the strength, courage and indefatigability of Alliance flacks and their commitment to self-satisfied flatulent inaccuracy. May God preserve you from all his sorrows.

    Another baby barrister?

  • Jacko

    Molyeaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    Let’s hope they appoint people who can at least spell the names of previous leaders.

  • Molyeaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    Press officers in our dear wee Norn Iron parties photocopy, answer the phone, and make Peter his cups of tea – and that’s the important ones. I couldn’t give a flying flaggon of fragrant fanta whether Rebecca Black, or any other Young Unionist, is co-opted into the press office. What I despair at the thought of – and what the party is fully intent on doing – is seeing her on screen, or hearing her on the radio, or reading her in print, being cited as ‘an Ulster Unionist spokesman’. That, not her, is what will make the Ulster Unionist Party look pitiful.

    I can’t repeat often enough for the fans and admirers of foxy Free State Unionism – I’ve never met her, I’ve no beef with her. However, using her in this way exposes the Party to well deserved ridicule. It’s a pity that someone who comes over as being polite is going to be exploited in this way by a bunch of useless, unimaginative old men. [Oi, Mcnarry, that means *you*]

  • molyneaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    My argument undone, a spelling mistake, and on the internet too. No wonder I am ashamed to use my own name.

  • New From Hasbro

    Hey kids, coming to shops near you: it’s all new the baby barrister! Watch him make members of the Alliance Party wince. See how his vice-like grip holds on to his collarette. Move the lever at the back of his head and see his realistic eyes flick first right, then further right. Pull his cord, and hear his dynamic action phrases, ‘David Brewster was right’, He was’, ‘Purple’, ‘Turtle’, ‘Listening to politician A debate with Politician B is like watching Football team X play Footbal team Y’, all yours for the price of the coachfare from the old folks home to the next UUC meeting.

    Brought you by the artiste formely known as Molyneaux-era UUP supporter, and before that, Molyeaux-era etc, which strictly speaking is the better Norman French, but I just don’t have the time to go into all that right now.

  • Fobo

    Molyeaux-era UUP voter-

    Rebecca Black has earned a degree and isn’t 11 years old. If she is too young in your eyes to participate in politics then what is your minimum age?

    Furthermore if we are going to be pedantic then I would advise you to describe Miss Black as a ‘spokeswoman’ and spell Baron Killead’s name as Molyneaux. Obviously those Latin classes didn’t do you any good when it comes to the English language.

  • Chris Gaskin

    molyneaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    “A serious party doesn’t appoint youth activists as its spokespeople”

    Why not?

    Young people have and do contribute to the political scene and it is for the better because of it.

    It has been said already about Stalford being high up in the DUP. He does act and dress older but he is still only young.

    In Sinn Féin there is always youth involvement at every level of the party.

    Rebecca, best of luck by the way, has been appointed to education. Surely as a political party it is crucial that you receive the views of the people your future policies are going to
    affect.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    molyneaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter),

    “to Black being a spokesman. I didn’t say, as you’ve witlessly invented, that she was the only spokesman”

    You were giving that impression.

    “My point was that her age, inexperience and lack of stature makes the Party look risible”

    Your point about her:

    1. Age – As it has already been mentioned it is not like she holds all responsibility for education. It is a collective responsibility. David McNarry is the party’s senior spokesman on the issue. During the leadership contest Sir Reg said that he would be bringing forward younger members of the party, that is what he is doing now. Are you afraid of young people?? Are you one of these people who believe anyone under 50 is too young to be involved in politics?? Surely if you are as you claim a UUP voter then you should be glad to see a young woman rising within in the party.

    2. Inexperience – Well you have to start off somewhere.

    3. Lack of stature – She is the YU secretary, representative for North Down, was UU representative in Trinity. Not bad if you ask me.

    “no, I don’t think that ‘the young’ should be appointed to speak on education”

    You seem to think that ‘the young’ should not have anything to do with anything.

    “What I despair at the thought of… is seeing her on screen…”

    You sad sad old man. Thats all I can say. Get over yourself. Shes a woman, shes young and shes capable, three things that the party needs. The UUP at present has an image among some people as being a party made up of old men representing old men. Sir Reg is trying to change that.

    “will make the Ulster Unionist Party look pitiful.”

    So would you like to see a 85 yr old man who can hardly hold his own head up being a UU spokesman? More like people like you make the party look ‘pitiful’.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    BTW ‘molyneaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)’ what name do you normally use when you post here?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    What age is Rebecca anyway? Too young is a pejorative comment but some perspective would help. If she is 15 and working hard at her GCSE’s I might agree but if she has graduated she must be 21-22 at least, I see no reason why she can not play a role? Now on the flip side the young folks will be annoyed but I would be cautious about how much of role. I don’t know her to make a judgment about her own individual capacity but I will confess that as the youngest member of the UUP Assembly team in 1998 and the second youngest Assembly member I made my share of rash youthful mistakes. The benefit of hindsight has highlighted some ways in which I could have been more diplomatic and more respectful of other peoples views. I also didn’t work hard enough at listening to my constituency association and working through peoples concerns. Those are things I would not recommend and I am sure Rebecca can learn much quicker than I did and make a success of her enhanced role. Besides what wrong with new ideas from new people?

    You will be never be old enough anyway I recall in the 1995 leadership election I was trying to persuade a UUC member to go for Trimble and his complaint was that DT was a fine young man but was much too young(at 49) to be leader.

  • soapy

    QED (that’s Latin, by the way): This has been a fresh reminder of the aloofness and class snobbery which imbued Jim Molyneaux’s UUP.

  • Ringo

    Nice one, Rebecca.

  • Rebecca Black

    Thanks for the kind words everyone, and just to clarify, I am assisting David McNarry MLA who is Education spokesperson along with Cllr Andy Wilson and Cllr Diana Peacock.

    *Duncan, I am 23

  • talanted minority

    “3. Lack of stature – She is the YU secretary, representative for North Down, was UU representative in Trinity. Not bad if you ask me.”

    This is not a substitute for talent, which this young lady is sadly lacking in.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Talented Minority,

    “this young lady is sadly lacking in”

    How do you know?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Rebecca thanks I wasn’t aware and was guessing. My advice, find yourself a good mentor and listen carefully. You have a great opportunity to learn from this and hopefully in a few years find your way into elected office. Good luck.

  • Rebecca Black

    Thanks, I am looking forward to it.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Mr. Molyneaux era
    A very entertaining interjection. Accius had this to say on the subject.

    “Probae esti in segetem sunt deteriorem datae fruges, tamen ipsae suaptae enitent”

  • Keith M

    It appears that Empey’s strategy to keep the rump UUP supporters on-side is to find a job for everyone with the party. Any suggestions for head of funny walks?

  • The Watchman

    May I extend my very best wishes to Rebecca as well. These will be rocky years for the UUP, so she deserves credit for giving it a go.

    I do hope that as a reasonably literate person (it appears so from her postings) that she might be able to assist her senior spokesman. He began his utterly woeful leadership election literature with the misspelt word “unmistakeable” in the opening sentence, suggesting he could be in need of some education himself.

    Oh BTW, Rebecca, don’t adopt DSD as a mentor.

    Please will someone give Fermanagh YU a job – doesn’t Cunningham House need a janitor?

    Oh, and how about Carrington Peacocke as Childcare spokesman?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Watchman sorry, I am too busy I have the offer of a place to read history at Cambridge. When I finish at Harvard of course!

    Although after meeting Nick Boles I have been giving a lot of thought to heading to the mainland and rejoining the conservatives.

  • The Watchman

    Would you not just stay in America, Duncan? Given your reverse midas touch (NI Tories, UUP), couldn’t you stay to join Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign?

  • Molyneaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    I think Ovid got there before me when it comes to the UUP – probae esti in segetem sunt deteriorem datae fruges, tamen ipsae suaptae enitent.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    I actually prefer General Wes Clark myself. But I reckon the tories need lots of help.

  • beano

    Well done Rebecca, having read some of your posts both here and on ATW (I even think you posted at EU once or twice although I could be wrong) you seem an intelligent young woman and I hope you go far.

    All the best.

  • Karl Rove asks that Mr Dalton should remain within these United States

    Why does it not surprise me that Trimble Unionists are Clinton Democrats [& what, if anything, are they teaching you btw Duncan? – Clark was the Clinton candidate in 2004]?

    For the benefit of those Unionists who wonder what President Clark would have done for us, please go here.

    Or read below (from Wes Clark’s campaign website):

    STATEMENT FROM WES CLARK TO THE IRISH-AMERICAN COMMUNITY

    Thank you for your interest in my candidacy for President. I am excited about the energy I see across our country for new leadership, new direction, and new purpose for America and its place in the world. I am particularly grateful for the support that my candidacy has received from Irish Americans across the country.

    I care deeply about peace, partnership, equality, and mutual respect in Northern Ireland and throughout the world. Our vibrant Irish-American community shares these goals, and I commend the invaluable contribution it is making here and in Northern Ireland. I regret the current Administration has not lived up to many of the commitments it made to the Irish-American community in 2000.

    As President Clinton did so successfully, I will support high-level U.S. government involvement in the Irish Peace Process. I will insist on full participation by my administration (including the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor) and on full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. As President, I will travel to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to lend my personal support to the peace process. In shaping my administration’s policy, I will consult closely with former President Clinton and former Senator George Mitchell.

    Great progress has been made in Northern Ireland in recent years. Today, a new police force is being established to gain the confidence of both communities. A North-South Ministerial Council, British-Irish Council, a Human Rights Commission, and an Equality Commission have also been created. Political violence is at the lowest levels since the troubles began. Despite the current polarization following the most recent elections in Northern Ireland, that vote demonstrated again that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland are still in favor of the Good Friday Agreement. It is time the politicians listened to their people and to the two governments. All parties to the problem must make every effort to move the process forward, and no party should have a veto on progress.

    As President, I will support the recommendations of the Patten Commission’s Report of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland calling for the creation of a police force representative of the population of Northern Ireland.

    ****************

    Tasty, eh?

  • Moderate Unionist

    Molyneaux era
    I thought your comments were worth saying and well said. Not politically correct of course but not necessarily wrong. We need people to sound words of caution at the appropriate time.

    Still as Accius said “A good seed, planted even in poor soil, will bear rich fruit by its own nature.”

    I wish Rebecca all the best and hope that Virgil will prove prophetic “Aspirat primo Fortuna labori”

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Trimble supports King George W. I am afraid. I think I was one of the only Democratic supporters.

    That statement is exactly what I would expect of someone seeking the Democratic nomination and means bugger all. Wise up.

    As for the USA love to stay, hate to leave but the more you protest the more I feel the need to return! Anyway this thread is supposed to be about Rebecca not my travel plans.

    So Rove what did you tell Matt Cooper? Looking forward to jail? Its ironic that someone who yaps so much about loyalty chooses a traitor as his moniker, Freudian slip?

  • Tim

    You’re clearly a frightfully clever chap Duncan, but I do rather get a sense of deja-vu when I read you posts. Its like Bob McCartney all over again – “I went to Harvard don’t you know?”.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Not really someone has to prop up the grading curve I suppose. I don’t recall Bob ever saying anything like that and I hope I am not turning into a mini Bob, so thanks for the heads up. I will try to moderate that tendency a bit more.

  • Tim

    It was more a sly (and slightly unfair 😉 ) dig at Bob’s tendency towards “I’m a barrister don’t you know?”.

  • Niall

    DSD,
    I thought you might have gone for the Commissioner job that the fella from RTE got? I remember that you mentioned looking into the one that MMcW got until you found out that the vacancy was being tailored for her (is this allowed ?).

    How’re the Boston Police treating you? I’m sure history from a C’bridge viewpiont or the Conserv’s would be more suited for you.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Niall, The Cambridge comment was a facetious in joke aimed at Watchman. I don’t really have a place. The conservatives I am still considering and I have some friends who suggest it would be a good idea but I still feel a nagging sense of loyalty to the UUP and somewhere deep down I like to think it could be rebuilt and it would be a worthwhile thing to try and help that happen. I have a year here yet so I will see what turns up. Maybe I will go work for Wes Clark’s campaign!

  • me

    Who cares, its over!

  • Niall

    what about Commissioner DSD? that’s a grand sounding title? First MMcW (Crooked Charlie’s cousin) and now the fella from the RTE – surely there could have been a job for yourself there somewhere?

    I can’t reconcile you being a Gen Clarke supporter and yet Trimble and probably most UUP being Republican (the irony of writing that ?!?!)

  • maca

    Well done Rebecca.

  • Thomas

    By all accounts she is a stunner too so maybe this is to seduce the male and female (sic) upper sixth and college vote?? You never know….

  • David

    Having had the pleasure of meeting Ms Black at a recent North South forum, I am delighted that she has been appointed to this position. Having only met with her for a brief time I still got the impression that she is more than capable of doing this job well and hopefully will bring about a resurgence in the Ulster Unionist Party. Good luck Rebecca

  • David

    I meant to add my congratulations to Rebecca on her recent appointment

  • Andrew

    Congratulations to Rebecca, hopefully in a few years she will be able to influence policy and halt the touted partys move to the left.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Molyeaux-era UUP voter (and *still* not DUP voter)

    “Press officers in our dear wee Norn Iron parties photocopy, answer the phone, and make Peter his cups of tea – and that’s the important ones.”

    Actually they are the “spokespeople” you read about in the paper. When you next pick up the Tele or the News Letter and read a story in which a “spokeswoman” for the UU is quoted, that may well be our own Rebecca. She and others in the press office are the first point of contact for journalists and they provide an important service as they are always on point, 24/7, to make sure the party isn’t left with nothing to say on a given issue.

    When it comes to appearing on TV though, it is almost always an elected representative that gives the party line – you’ll never see some anonymous party spokesman on UTV Live.

    “What I despair at the thought of – and what the party is fully intent on doing – is seeing her on screen, or hearing her on the radio, or reading her in print, being cited as ‘an Ulster Unionist spokesman’.

    As I said, we’re unlikely to be seeing her on TV or hearing her on radio until she has an elected office to her name. When she appears in print it will most likely be as an anonymous “UU spokeswoman”.

  • thomas

    So how old is she?

  • steve48

    Congratulations Rebecca

    I must say I find the comments from the parties detractors very interesting. The party having been told by our detractors that we were old with no new generation following has appointed young people to positions where they will learn the ropes and be prepared for future elections. Now we are condemmed for such appointments. Of course one of the benefits of such a system is that it allows people to develop their own ideas about health, education etc. and engage in internal debate. Such a system is vital for the development of the next generation of political representatives within the UUP.

    Of course the DUP have it so much easier where the next generation is decided by by the Mid-Ulster, Castlereagh pedigree programmes.

  • yerman

    “Are these YU-types not just being added on as window-dressing, to make the party look a bit less fossilised than it actually is?”

    Not often that a thread can be summed up quite so neatly in just one sentence. The UUP may well have a few assistants to their spokesmnen, but the same old tired policies are the problems. A few token ‘yoof’ to help spout the rubbish aint going to stop the rot.

  • eastofthebann

    “Not often that a thread can be summed up quite so neatly in just one sentence. The UUP may well have a few assistants to their spokesmnen, but the same old tired policies are the problems. A few token ‘yoof’ to help spout the rubbish aint going to stop the rot.”

    Watch this space.

  • martin

    Congratulations Rebecca, best of luck

  • Crufts

    the DUP have it so much easier where the next generation is decided by by the Mid-Ulster, Castlereagh pedigree programmes

    Nice one Stevey

  • davidbrew

    “it’s all new the baby barrister! . Pull his cord, and hear his dynamic action phrases, ‘David Brewster was right'”

    Any barrister with such excellent judgment need have no fear of failure in his chosen profession

  • talented minority

    modest soul aren’t you?

  • davidbrew

    I’m a lawyer. Lawyers don’t do modest. They do do sarcasm , however, as most posters- yourself excepted- seem to understand.

  • thomas

    Tarts and lawyers – oldest professions in the world: both are paid to caress their clients.

  • talented minority

    I don’t think that’s true! I know plenty of plesant lawyers!

  • davidbrew

    I don’t

  • talented minority

    Not even Arlene Foster or Jim Allister?

  • thomas

    LOL – lets talk about Cllr Paul Berry MLA shall we, its ‘safer’ ground (sic).