Cecil Walker is dead…

CECIL Walker, the former North Belfast MP who was humiliated by the DUP’s Nigel Dodds at the polls in 2001, is dead.

  • Yokel

    Pure tabloid Gonzo, pure tabloid.

    Cecil, long serving MP and what do you say about him? Humiliated by Dodds.

    His vote collapsed, shocking terrible defeat. Dodds couldn’t humilate his own wife.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I worked on a constituency problem with Walker
    around about 12 yrs ago it comcerned the Oldpark Police Station and access to the area by residents in Torrens Gdns/Ave. On a personal level I found him to be a thoroughly decent person.

  • BonarLaw

    Yokel

    “Dodds couldn’t humilate his own wife”

    That strange turn of phrase says more about you than it does about Gonzos’ post.

    It also suggests you didn’t see the North Belfast televised debate from the Crumlin Road courthouse.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    A good man gone.

    I recall the days when he and Joe Hendron worked closely together as MPs for north and west Belfast, they were quite effective too. Of course their parties have been usurped and i suppose it will be a long time coming for the two incumbents to work together to secure investment and employment.

  • fair_deal

    My sympathies to his family.

  • Real compassionate obituary Gonzo…

  • RIP

    One of the worst television performances from a politician ever. One of the worst attendence rates ever, excluding the dead or abstentionists. He didn’t even turn up enough to have represented just over half his constituents badly.

  • jone

    Known among hacks as ‘put me down for the usual’ because while the blood was sloshing round the streets of his constituency he would sometimes just say ‘put me down for the usual condemnation’ when rung up for a quote.

  • LikeICare

    This thread stands as a legacy to Walker – 12 hours in and not a decent word beyond platitude. The man that ignored most of the murder in his constituency – ignored.

    A UUP legacy.

  • darth rumsfeld

    one of the last of the amateur politicians, who was long since obselete before his defeat by Dodds. Yes, a pleasant enough man, but palpably never up to the job of representing one of the most dificult constituencies in NI. He presided over a faction-riven association , which he largely funded, and in his time any young talent was discouraged. He was at various times attracted by integration and the belfast Agreement- in other words backed the policy of the leader of the day, whatever it was.

    Unlike Ross, Forsythe, or Thompson, who were often also criticised for apparent shortcomings in constituency work, he could not argue that he was a regular attender at Westminster- his record was one of the worst in Parliament by the time of his defeat.

    Perhaps his legacy is best summed up in the quotation from an unnamed UUP spin doctor in the 2001 general election- “Cecil is our secret weapon”. Pity then that it was pointed at the party’s foot

  • Christopher Stalford

    My grandmother lived in Halliday’s Road in Tiger’s Bay – she sought Walker’s help on numerous issues and it was never given. Small things like street lights not working, help with pensions etc.

    She was a life-long UUP person but switched to supporting Nigel around 1990 and never went back. She died just before Nigel was elected to Westminster – something she wanted to see very much.

    My condolences to Walkers family and friends, but he was not a good MP.

  • Walker may well have been a nice person. But if you have a seat in the House of Commons for nearly 20 years, people expect a bit more. If unionism at Westminster had a poor reputation for many years it was thanks to people like Walker. He was one of the few MPs not even to have spoken in the 1997-2001 Parliament. But he was strategically vital to Trimble and (amazingly) was even called upon in the April 98 negotiations. He didn’t have the political antennae to see that he would not just lose but be humiliated by Dodds in 2001.

    After that highly undistinguished record of public service (let’s be honest), he ended up with a knighthood, surely the most ill-deserved such honour of recent years.

  • darth rumsfeld

    ..yes that’s right watchman. To the amazement of the UUP talks team Cecil was drafted in to the police negotiators on the Monday before the GFA, having never been involved previously on this key issue. An inspired decision, right up there with Maginnis and Trimble taking Patten out for a Chinese and believing they had squared him before his report came out.And they wonder why Trimble deserved his fate?

  • jone

    Watchman,

    Agreed on the knighthood…I’d forgotten he’d been given it. I was slightly astonished when I saw him described as Sir Cecil.

  • Sammy Morse

    I worked on a constituency problem with Walker
    around about 12 yrs ago it comcerned the Oldpark Police Station and access to the area by residents in Torrens Gdns/Ave. On a personal level I found him to be a thoroughly decent person.

    My own view having lived in the constituency for most of his tenure is very similar to Pat’s. He was a decent enough fella and did an acceptable amount of work in his early years and was always more than willing to take on constituency issues from people who were highly unlikely to vote for him (he helped an aunt an uncle of mine with two teenage kids of different genders get rehoused out of a poky 2-bedroom flat in the New Lodge tower blocks). But he stayed on far too long and ended up being too old, too complacent and too bloody lazy.

    He ended up completely out of touch from a rapidly changing constituency. I remember his shock in 1997 at the paucity of Unionist votes coming out of the St. Therese boxes (middle Antrim Road) and thinking “if Dodds makes a go of this seat he is going to get sooooo badly stuffed next time round”.