Hearts and Minds hits the Campaign trail…

Hearts and Minds tonight:

…it’s the turn of the SDLP leader Mark Durkan to set out his election stall. Is he now resigned to being the nationalist also-ran? And the PUP’s Dawn Purvis on her baptism of electoral fire as party leader. Also check out the Hearts and Minds top ten political clangers and the latest gossip from the Campaign trail.

  • Doreen

    Peter Robinson could only have dreamed of this party political broadcast for the DUP by Mark Durkan. He has learned nothing from the last time.

  • Rapunsel

    What makes you think that Doreen? Didn’t come across to me although I was watching/ listening only half intently.

    I’m not a big fan of Durkan and his soundbitery but he made some good points it seemed. The problem is that having developed the process to facilitate the inclusion and growth of SF it’s hard to focus on the USP of having been consistently anti violence.

    Dawn Purvis put up a good performance — I get the feeling however that that is what it was “a performance” Essentially she said that the UVF would go away when there was political stability, rather forgetting their contribution to political instability.

  • gareth mccord

    dawn purvis what a joke and a LIER!!
    ASKED ABOUT THE UVF CEASEFIRE INTACT? the muppet replies the uvf have not killed anyone in the last 2 years. has she forgotten or ignored numerous murder attempts i.e. haddock and raymond mccord snr and goudy and families? maybe she will invite the above for tea and scones on the shore road to test the uvf ceasefire?

  • Aisling?

    Another defection from the DUP ranks tonight. Craigavon cllr Mark Russell has declared himself as an anti-Agreement Unionist, is canvassing for the anti St Andrew’s candidate in Upper Bann, former DUP member David Calvert against David Simpson. Puts Simpson under pressure as he was already one of the party’s sceptics. Word is that a second DUP cllr is refusing to canvas for Simpson and may also publicly declare his position shortly.

  • Token Dissent

    David Calvert. Author of a very boring offical history of the DUP from the early 1980s. Left the party shorty afterwards due to some personality clash or other.

    I thought Durkan was ok tonight. Although he should have pushed the moral diferences between the PSF and SDLP a lot harder.

  • David

    Dawn Purvis showed how politics might be in Northern Ireland. Positive and issue based. The reality of Loyalism moving forward is clearly something which must be supported and encouraged. It is the best way to ensure that the past is not repeated.

  • Swivel

    Why so few defections*? When the councils are abolished the place will be awash with spare councillors looking for a political home. With the introduction of party political funding in the UK we might well see conservatives back, or the BNP might find the two MLA funding threshold too tempting to resist. Belfast South and Coleraine maybe? The Greens are awash with cash so can afford to be fussy about recent converts to the cause.

    *I forgot about the ‘thank you that will be all’ councillors’ redundancy package that is more interesting than real politics where people take hard decisions about people and money and stuff.

  • nipoliticsstinks

    Durken made some bad choices and didn’t seem to have learnt any lessons in his career as party leader.

    On the other hand I thought Purvis did well, she rightfully so got some very difficult questions from Noel Thompson and answered well. I was expecting a less professional an able performance but I was impressed by her (against my preconception). Now if only the UVF would make some positive movement I might even consider voting for her.

  • eranu

    i was plesantly surprised by mark durkans performance. it was good to see that none of the tiresome words and phrases were used. instead normal everyday language came out of his mouth. the focus of his answers were the policys and ideas the sdlp had, which seemed to be constructive.
    im a pro NI pro UK type person, but i could see myself giving the sdlp a vote simply because they seem prepared to build NI aswell as building ireland on the north south thing.

    it was a bit of a contrast with the SF ad i saw on tv the other night. my first impression was ‘gerrys looking old’. but the traditional music in the background and saying every other sentence in irish seemed really cringe worthy. but the main surprise was that he was banging on about ‘the peace process’ isnt that over now? it seemed like a re run of something from about 10 years ago.

    dawn came across well too. im guessing most pup people actually live in loyalist areas. i think this is a good angle for them over the dup. im also guessing most dup people dont live in loyalist areas. we all know the problems in these areas with poor education levels etc. it would be good to see the pup with a ‘if you want something done, WE will have to do it ourselves’ type angle. they are the insiders in loyalist areas where as the other parties might be seen more are outsiders who drop in now and again.

  • Portadown

    Aisling
    “Another defection from the DUP ranks tonight. Craigavon cllr Mark Russell has declared himself as an anti-Agreement Unionist, is canvassing for the anti St Andrew’s candidate in Upper Bann, former DUP member David Calvert against David Simpson. Puts Simpson under pressure as he was already one of the party’s sceptics. Word is that a second DUP cllr is refusing to canvas for Simpson and may also publicly declare his position shortly.”

    There will be dancing on the streets of Craigavon with this news – well at least amongst DUP members. People like Russell are no loss – he was one of the people out protesting at their last conference claiming that the DUP should have stopped Councils implemeting the Civil Partnerships legislation. Obviously he’s so well informed as a Councillor that he didnt know it was impossible and there was no choice in the matter.

    I suspect news of people like Russel and any of the other possibles leaving will only encourage another 1000 votes into the DUP pile come election day.

  • GavBelfast

    Durkan did mention the DUP too often, but came across pretty well. His line about the SDLP maintaining its policy while changing the other paries policies stands-up.

    I thought Dawn Purvis did very well, too, though Noel Thompson was a bit gentler on her than I expected and certainly compared to his treatment of the four (or five) bigger parties.