Ford offered peerage to step his party down…

As the hermetic sealing of the past carries on apace, David Ford tells Inside Politics (try to catch it live, they seem to have abandoned play back recently) today of another attempt at strategic manipulation… an offer of a peerage, if only his party would step aside in four constituencies… Although he was interviewed by the police at the time, Ford notes the question was entirely politically inspired rather than part of any wider, potentially criminal conspiracy. Slugger’s interview with Ford available here (three quarters in).

  • Truth and Justice

    Just shows you how low the UUP really have and did sink to i hope they get finished of in the Assembly Election.

  • lib2016

    When are they going to talk to Lord Ballyedmond? A former FF Senator in the Dail now playing for the House of Lords – surely it would be interesting to find out if there was a transfer fee involved and to whom it was paid. The UUP’s finances are an open book, of course. Let’s not let a few er- missing pages worry us.

  • bo shank

    why do we even indulge this annoying little man, can people not see it’s just “look at me” i’m relevant and despertaly trying to catch a headline.

    This is an old story, no doubt we can expect a reheat of the allegations towards the UUP of dirty tricks leaflets etc, etc. etc

  • Henry94

    bo

    Playing the man is one thing but kicking him out over the stand is a bit much.

  • bo shank

    henry, fair do’s you got me on that one. He just makes my blood boil with his self serving sanctimonious claptrap. You know how pathetic he is? he actually complained to the the people who make folks on the hill because he wasn’t initially included.

    Nuff said in my book .

  • pragmatic

    It would seem more likely that in fact the Alliance may be finished off at the next election with the exception of Anna Lo.

    Kieran McCarthy is almost certain to fall in Strangford, the higher profile Eileen Bell who just sneaked in last time is now gone making it seem likely the Alliance will lose out in North Down. Without Seamus Close, Lagan Valley could also be in doubt.

    South Belfast will be the one shining beacon of light of them and presumably the bearded toff will also get in.

    Ford knows he and his party are in dire straits hence him trying to make a story out of this.

  • Bob Wilson

    Far be it for me – an Ulster Tory to defend a rival but lets look at this:
    UUP are closely linked to TWO bogus third party groups – won targeting Alliance voters and one unionist in an attempt to shore up UUP.
    UUP Leader tries to get Ford to stand aside and offers a peerage (from his mate Tone)
    Ford refuses and Alliance hold on to all their seats by skin of teeth.
    And Ford is the pathetic one not Trimble/UUP?

  • Pragmatic

    Interesting contribution Bob but, erm, you do realise we are discussing the last election, which happened in 2005, for Westminster, at which the Alliance Party had no representatives to defend and had none of their candidates returned to Westminster?

    Never mind, don’t let the facts get in the way of taking a swipe at the UUP.

  • Plum Duff

    This heaving can of worms just seems to get larger and larger. First collusion in the murder of civilians by state forces, then Mark Durkan’s allegations on being leaned on by Reid and Blair vis-à-vis the appointment of the Chief Constable and now another attempt at skewing the vote in an election. Are there any tricks the Brits won’t perform in order to polish the veneer of this whitened sepulchre of NI?

  • Interesting how any thread involving the Alliance Party always turns into the worst sort of personal invective within about two minutes. It’s amazing the level of personal bitterness that people can conjure up for an ‘irrelevant’ party.

    Oh, and here’s some news for the Ulster Unionist kneebreakers on this thread – it’s not inconceivable that Alliance could walk out with a net gain of a seat in this election; on the other hand, it’s inconceivable that the Ulster Unionist party won’t lose seats, probably about a third of the seats from last time. Is that why you’re so bitter? Look, you got caught cheating. Just take it on the chin and move on.

    Kieran McCarthy is almost certain to fall in Strangford

    Not judging from the 2005 election results, where McCarthy had practically the same vote as the SDLP and SF combined, with an imperfect transfer from the Shinners (and a few Portaferry/Kircubbin personal transfers to Kieran), stray transfers from the Tories and other minor candidates, and of course probably quite a few transfers to come from the second Ulster Unionist candidate when he is eliminated.

    the higher profile Eileen Bell who just sneaked in last time is now gone making it seem likely the Alliance will lose out in North Down.

    OK, so being elected second out of six counts as ‘scraping in’ now? Well, I see the Ulster Unionist dirty tricks squad’s acquaintance with the truth is as distant as ever. Look, even the people who were writing us off in North Down a few months ago have changed their mind now Sylvia is out of the equation.

    Without Seamus Close, Lagan Valley could also be in doubt.

    It could be, but we’ve been fighting it quite hard but do remember that it’s highly unlikely that Marietta Farrell is going to beat Paul Butler on the first count there. As long as we’re ahead of Farrell (and she’s only going to poll about 6%), we’re safe, and the last seat becomes a scrap between Butler, Billy Bell and whichever of the baby Free P’s is running last.

    Let’s talk about people who really are dead and gone already – Fred Cobain, Esmond Birnie, Angus Carson, etc., etc.

  • Rory

    Oh, this has to do with the NI Alliance Party. How unutterably dreary. Are not these simply NI poor cousin equivalent of the UK Liberal Party ?

    It is to be expected then that they would attract strange individuals, with even stranger habits, needy for regard (and a bit of dosh if it’s going). What’s so odd about that?

    I would hasten to add that I am quite sure that this David Ford fellow, whoever he might be, is quite the exception to the rule and is in fact a most upright, honourable, altruistic self-effacing and philantropic human being.

    Indeed I should not be in the least surprised to learn that he is also a wonderful dancer with a singing voice like an angel and, if this should prove to be true, I expect he will have a great future on the television show Pop Idol. Certainly he seems to me to be exactly the type of talent that would impress Louis Walsh.

  • pith

    Rather than being horrible about him, We should look at the matter through David Ford’s own eyes. Which is higher, a Lord or a Saint?

  • aquifer

    He should have taken it, he is likely to lose his seat this time. Mercifully.

  • Crataegus

    Sammy

    personal bitterness that people can conjure up for an ‘irrelevant’ party.

    In this election I wish, hope that many of the ‘irrelevant’ Parties and independents do well. I don’t care who they are the wider the spectrum represented the better. Anything that takes seats and votes from the dreary 4 has to be welcome. Back in NI you will suffer the monotonous drone that never ends from the people who build careers out of negativity. As for bitterness no not bitterness just utter frustration at times at over optimistic assessments. All Alliance seats are marginal that’s the unfortunate reality. You could gain 1 but you could lose 4, not a good position.

    To the main issue this is yet more proof that the honours system is deeply flawed and is corrupting.

  • inuit_goddess

    Alliance seem set on fighting this election on the same tired old irrelevant platitudes that grew dated long ago.

    It really is an indictment of their lack of imagination that they are still rehashing tired old stories from two years ago.

  • sam

    well David Ford is an annoying little man eh.
    I dont think so, its the UU’s who will be licking wounds after this election most of which will be inflicted by Alliance so watch out espc in the constitutency’s where they were asked to stand aside.

  • sam

    those who can see the writing on the wall in the UUP have already stood down who was Dermott Nesbit

  • Alliance seem set on fighting this election on the same tired old irrelevant platitudes that grew dated long ago.

    Inuit Goddess – I believe you are a supporter of the Ulster Unionist Party; a party whose Assembly group voted nem con against equality for gay people not two months ago. I would be bandying around worlds like ‘tired’, ‘old’ and ‘irrelevant’ if I were you.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The UUP don’t have a single policy that the DUP don’t do a better job of articulating and implementing. What’s the point in them ? What’s the UUP for ?

  • Plum Duff

    Comrade S, your third question could quite well have been ‘What’s *Unionism*, per se, for’? If it’s for Britishness, how come they (neither the UUP nor, dare I even imagine it?!?, the DUP) have yet to reach out, in any meaningful way whatever, to RC’s of that inclination?
    Maybe that’s where the Alliance Party comes in.

  • Peter Brown

    Why is there not a flurry of UUP posts denyiong this and denying the allegation about Lord Ballyedmond? Is it because HQ the main source of such posts is shut for the weekend (this is the only place anyone notices any difference btw) or because the allegations are true?

  • I’d have thought it’s because the ould charmer’s lawyers haven’t yet been onto Mick. Still, that (the thread inevitably being pulled after the fax machine churns into life come Monday morning) won’t stop this making it into Private Eye. Treble ho hos all round.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If it’s for Britishness, how come they (neither the UUP nor, dare I even imagine it?!?, the DUP) have yet to reach out, in any meaningful way whatever, to RC’s of that inclination?

    I think the problem is a lot more complicated than that, and I don’t think it’s as simple as reaching out. However, the tribal parties are not interested in reaching out. It’s very much a case of, you’ve got your patch, I’ve got mine, let’s stick to the knitting, as it were.

    Outreach efforts in those parties tend to be quite sickening, framed as they are in terms of tribal politics. A UUP type once said to me, of course we aren’t anti-Catholic, they’ve even got their own association. An SDLP supporter once said to me that the SDLP don’t hate Prods, they’ve even got a Prod councillor sitting in Belfast. It becomes immediately clear that they’ve missed the point.

    Maybe that’s where the Alliance Party comes in.

    Preaching to the converted old chap. Alliance’s view of a non-tribal future is the one most likely to lead to a sustainable peace (the problems with selling that message are partly to do with the party itself, and partly to do with the closed mindset that pervades our society). I have grave doubts whether the process as it is presently constituted, where two parties who haven’t even talked to each other are expected to frolick happily into powersharing once an election is out of the way, is in any way realistic. No amount of five-year plans would sort that out.

    I think that in some ways, the Belfast Agreement represented a broad acceptance of the party’s view. Before then, the different parties believed different things – the UUP wanted Stormont-style majority rule, the DUP something the same; the SDLP wanted joint authority (and had previously actively blocked recent previous efforts to bring about devolution), and SF were still in kindergarten (OK we’ve called a ceasefire, now let’s have talks about “Brits out” – when you think about SF’s attitude immediately after the 1994 ceasefire compared with now, the political transformation within republicanism becomes truly amazing). The agreement created consensus in the principle that sharing power one way or another was a way to get things done. Kinda what Alliance have been saying since the start.

    When I ask “what is the point in the UUP” I guess I’m really asking what the point is in having more than one party for each tribe, now that tribal politics is permanently placed in the extremes. With the electorate choosing hardliners, where is there for the moderates to go, and what can they offer ? That’s why the UUP are finished. I’m not completely delighted at that prospect. While the party is still full of old establishment fogies who sat/sit around while the tribal vote blindly rolls in (the DUP certainly gave them a rude awakening), they did take a hit for their acceptance that things would have to change and that there had to be powersharing.

  • Diluted Orange

    It’s a shame because in an ideal world the Alliance Party should be the voice of reason, a party that strives to represent progress for Unionists and Nationalists working together rather than being the voice of upper-class toffs.

  • sam

    who thinks alliance is upper class toffs thats the UUs, David Ford is a social worker by trade very upper class I dont think.

  • David Ford

    Bo Shank

    a/ Mark Devenport asked me about the peerage offer. I answered his questions truthfully. Not sure how that constitutes “look at me” i’m relevant and despertaly trying to catch a headline on my part.

    b/ Dirty tricks leaflets are, as far as I know, still the subject of a police investigation. Any publicity on that is likely to come from them, not me.

    c/ I have never spoken to those involved in ‘Folks on the Hill’, whether on my exclusion in series one, inclusion since then, or anything else.

    Sorry to trouble you with facts.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s a shame because in an ideal world the Alliance Party should be the voice of reason, a party that strives to represent progress for Unionists and Nationalists working together

    The Alliance Party undeniably is the voice of reason, ideal world or not.

    Strictly speaking, it is not an Alliance Party objective to see “Unionists and Nationalists working together”; the party objective is to create a shared, pluralist society. It is a given that, for that to happen, unionism and nationalism must become irrelevant and anachronistic.

    It’s a shame because in an ideal world the Alliance Party should be the voice of reason, a party that strives to represent progress for Unionists and Nationalists working together rather than being the voice of upper-class toffs.

    The Alliance Party might do better if there were a few rich people to bankroll it, but that ain’t so – I believe the party finance information is now required to be made public, so this should be easy to investigate.

    Ford is a social worker, and if you think people like Naomi Long are upper class, you’ve got problems. Meanwhile, look at the history of the leadership of the UUP since it was founded. The Stoops have people like Alban Maginness at the top.

  • BonarLaw

    “The Stoops have people like Alban Maginness at the top.”

    Your point is?

    BTW can I nominate IJP for the peerage? No harm to our illustrious poster above or the gastly candidate in N. Down but Lord Groomsport has a certain ring to it 🙂

  • sceptic

    Forgive me for being cynical but is it not interesting that this issue has arisen at this particular point in time during an election.

    Strikes me as too coincidental….

  • BonarLaw

    sceptic

    “is it not interesting that this issue has arisen at this particular point in time during an election”

    It is indeed. Although the election it was supposed to influence was in Scotland- Ford, Trimble, Ballyedmond et al are just collateral damage.