“there is a need to think outside the party political box”

While Mick has been attempting to, correctly, indicate the desirability of a clear distinction between politicians and the press, the Belfast Telegraph reports that one of their journalists journalist has decided to cross that boundary – Brian Rowan is to stand as an independent candidate in North Down.. [but will he be wearing a white suit? – Ed] Adds Press Asociation report has some extra detail Update Gonzo points out in the comments that Brian Rowan is a freelancer, not a staff journalist at the Belfast Telegraph. Happy to clarify that point.From the Belfast Telegraph report

Mr Rowan said his decision follows a period of consultation with a wide range of people in the local community and elsewhere.

“As a journalist I have covered all the major developments of the peace process.

“I have seen the worst of this place, but I believe there now exists an opportunity to consolidate our peace.

“The process is at a stage now where it needs as many people as possible inside it acknowledging that it can work, it will work and must work.

“I think we are on the verge of something much better.

“In terms of my experience, people will know what I have reported across 20 years. They will know, I hope, that I’ve managed to get the trust of all sides.”

He added: “I think there is a need to think outside the party political box and I think there is a need for new voices in that process that are prepared to say and talk about the very great progress that has been made.”

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  • Nevin

    ” He added: “After the election, a power-sharing Executive should be formed.

    “We should all work together, and use the opportunity we now have – not waste it.”

    Fine sentiments. Sadly, the working together bit will probably mostly play second fiddle to the ‘cults’ of unionism and nationalism.

  • páid

    Unionism = British Nationalism

    Nationalism = Irish Unionism

    Let’s all swap for a day.

  • darth rumsfeld

    ok paid – you start :0)

  • Greenflag

    “there is a need to think outside the party political box”

    Rowan has got it almost right but he needs to go one step further .

    There’s a need to think outside the Northern Ireland 6 county box. It’s an artificial box that has condemned both Irish Nationalists and British Unionists inside the box /cage to unending constitutional chaos for several generations not to mention retarding the economic and social development of it’s people. The ‘NI box’ has now come up with a ‘solution’ that cements sectarian politics and does nothing to reduce the abject dependency of the people of NI on Her Majesty’s Exchequer:(

  • Ca Va

    Wonder whose votes he will pick up? Feel it will be the “Hermon” type vote

  • Inspector Clouseau

    Rowan will take votes from Alliance.

  • sd

    it will be interesting to see how he will do, I dont think he will be elected, but could affect the remaining Alliance/UUP vote in ND !

  • slug

    In a way its a pity he didn’t join a party.

  • A platform full of meanignless cliches – Alliance must be fed up at someone else going after their core vote.

  • Sinn Feiner

    I wonder will Gareth McCord stand against him in North Down to highlight some of Barnys Journalistic qualities, hmmmm i wonder

  • The Devil

    Personally speaking I couldn’t vote for Barney Rowan for several reasons.

    1) He has an unfair advantage of people believing that he is impeccably honest because he was an employee of some standing in the BBC (with a wee security expert tag I might add)

    2) I personally wouldn’t vote for someone who has contacts in paramilitary organisations and shadowy figures in the intelligence service.

    3) I don’t live in North Down and I’m not travelling the whole way to Helens Bay just to impersonate some twat in cords

    4) No one knows where he stands on the water charges/ policing/ collusion/ irish news food reviews/ viagra/ or the Steve Staunton question and on the Staunton/viagra inquiry I think we all have a right to know

  • Crataegus

    He is about to learn some lessons about politics the hard way, and the experience may be benificial.

    Who exactly does he think he is appealing to? Why exactly would anyone vote for him when there are perhaps stronger candidates with track record occupying the territory he probably sees himself in? What will be his core vote? What size is his election team? What is his budget for posters and printed material? How is his web site? What are his views on Water Rates, transport, energy, sewage, house prices etc and what exactly are his proposed solutions? How is he organising his canvass? Does he know the likely voting intentions of the electorate, ward by ward? Does he even know where his likely voters live?

    The road independents tread is a difficult one and I wish there were more, but you need a bit more substance to cut it in politics as an independent and you need to start at council level and build a base. You have to put in before you go for the salary.

  • BonarLaw


    “Does he even know where his likely voters live?”

    All within 150 yards of the Maypole.

  • Eddie

    Jane Morrice didn’t have any track record as a politican and she didn’t have a council base, but she got in. Of course, look what happened afterwards. She is flogging pictures and postcards on the internet now. See http://www.flaxflower.com

  • Pete

    For the record, Rowan is not a Belfast Telegraph journalist. He is a freelancer whose articles are often commissioned for and published in the BT (and other media outlets), but that is a completely different thing.

    Worth correcting.

  • Plum Duff

    Why shouldn’t he stand? If successful, it beats working for a living.

  • Pete Baker

    Have edited the post to note that point, Gonzo.

  • Red Mist

    The Devil,

    Point 3 – Classic mate. Haha.

  • Red Mist

    So the aul Brian Rowan is standing for election eh?

    Could be a very bad move.

    He probably won’t get elected and to top it off he has just lost all his inside sources in other parties and organisations. Speaking to him as a journalist is one thing but now he is a political opponent.

    Although it could make for some interesting Assembly exchanges seeing as he has the dirt on most and has first hand knowledge of who was dishing it during interviews in the back or a car at the Giants Ring…..ooooo la la.

  • gareth mccord

    i wonder who will vote for “the close personnel friend of davy ervine”?

    [see commenting policy – edited moderator]

  • Crataegus


    Jane Morrice was not an independent and I suppose she had the support of a local party.

    The Women’s Coalition was a funny wonder which got in on a wave of hype but the concept was fundamentally flawed and was at best patronising. It would have been better it had never happened as a lot of good people ended up heading down a cul de sac and have probably exited politics for good. The Women’s Coalition never really secured a good council base and hence their eventual downfall. They had no depth.