South Belfast: The real joker in the pack…

This was fascinating. South Belfast, once an Ulster Unionist banker, now has a majority of non Unionist representatives. Five of the six elected MLAs all made it to ten percent. It’s also the most conspicuous block on the DUP landscape, and an abject failure of the party’s vote management. We understand that some time Friday pm, they abandoned the preformed schema, and began handing out Stalford 1 leaflets at places where Jimmy Spratt had been slated for the top slot. Michael McGimpsey only just scraped it. There may be some horsetrading ahead.

  • SouthBelfastWatcher

    Crikey: I said the previous post was going to be my last – but I have to answer MP

    I could cite 100’s of examples of MP’s and elected representatives grooming and training successors – Jim Molyneaux didn’t just say ‘something nice’ to Edgar Graham : Edgar worked closely with Jim over a No. of years, and at the time of Edgar’s death Jim actually said he was grooming him to take over the Lagan Valley seat. Sammy Wilson moved to east Antrim, and ‘worked’ the E. Antrim constituency over a No. of years before running for MP – a sort of training/grooming exercise. Being an MP is a skilled profession in itself, and is something you should be groomed and trained for – most likely by the current sitting MP. Associations and Party organisations often ask for the advice of their outgoing MP’s/representatives, as to who should replace them – Sometimes the party organisations take this advice, sometimes they don’t : It’s up to them & that’s only correct and proper.

    Maybe Michael McGimpsey would have opposed whoever Martin groomed – I don’t know, but that’s not an excuse for not grooming a successor in the first place.

    Frankly, I don’t understand why you’re getting so annoyed about this point, which seems to me to be entirely practical and just plain common sense.

    However, the main point of replying again is to state the following :

    – Yes: I was secretary of the SB UU Association at the time of the 2005 selection, and remained neural throughout that exercise, which was entirely correct and proper given my position. I DID NOT PUBLICLY CAMPAIGN FOR MICHAEL MCGIMPSEY. I DID NOT SAY MARTIN SMYTH WAS PAST IT – THAT’S AN ABSOLUTE LIE!
    – Indeed, all the other candidates thanked me after the selection meeting, and congratulated me on the professional and neutral way I conducted the whole process – This included Christopher Montgomery.

    I say again, Martin Smyth would have won the nomination of the SB UUP Association had he decided to run again in 2005, and I believe that he knew this. I can’t say how I know he would have won the nomination – just please accept it from me that he would have! As I’ve also said before, his choice not to run must therefore have been made for personal reasons, and that’s entirely understandable.

    Now Guys that’s it for the time being – Good Night & Good-Bye!

  • biff2


    I often wonder would the Unionist parties of all shades regret destroying what they had in the 1974 Assembly . Looking at the situation now it seems that they were very arrogant & stupid . It seems to be true , WHAT YOU SOW YOU REAP , BUT THERE IS LITTLE LEFT TO REAP . I have posed this question on numerous occasions ,and had no response

  • Ca Va

    Looked up “Spokespersons ” who served under The Gimp when he was MLA and Chief spokesman for Arts and Culture .Lo and behold BILL WHITE was the spokesman for “Events” during The Gimps time in office. Quite a cosy relationship!

  • SouthBelfastWatcher

    Ca Va

    I was, and still am, party spokesperson on Events – again non-paid (as I’ve said before, I don’t, and never have, made a penny out of my political activities!) : What’s wrong with being a UUP party spokesperson on events?

    McGimpsey made dozens of appointments during his time as Minister eg appointments to the Ulster/Scots agency organisations, and the forum etc…

    In addition, some of these McGimpsey appointments were to people who would share your political views, and were paid appointments.

    I say again, I’ve never been appointed to any paid post, by anyone!

    Sir : Your remarks are superficial and cheap!

  • Ca Va

    South Belfast Watcher

    Welcome Back , hoping you can enlighten me as to what my political views actually are?
    I am an unpaid Slugger follower and contributer and enjoy the cut and thrust of the Blog Site.
    Relax a little and give as good as you get,I apologise for seeming either superficial or cheap

    PS I would need a Really Large Payment to accept an appointment from the Gimp !

  • The bottom line is the UUP should not have run 3 candidates. Even with 2 candidates, there were not enough votes to get Esmond Birnie elected.

    Malone Park. You are suffering from selective memory. Martin Smyth wrecked the association by publicly backing the DUP in 2005, aided by his lackie Margaret Clarke who resigned the entire Willowfield branch on mass without holding a meeting. Net effect of all this handed the seat to the SDLP.

  • SouthBelfastWatcher


    I take your point & I’ll try and relax a little!!!
    & Thanks for your non-contentious reply.

    As I said a few entries ago, I won’t be posting again, as I just don’t have the time at the moment.

    I only posted again, to reply to Malone Park.

    Kind Regards to all!

  • Ca Va/Maimie Ireland?
    Just did a check on you and lo and behold i see you are a member of a DDP in Newtownabbey. Who appointed you, How much do you get paid, How much is a Really large payment??

  • Ca Va


    Sorry , there may well be someone in Newtownabbey who is a DDP ( have no idea what that is?) I am just a Silver Surfer from South Belfast. At least you got my gender right. Sadly a very unpaid Surfer and appointed by no one

  • whynot


    Think that there is too much “man” and too little “ball” in recent posts. This is not the best place to sort out Party problems

  • Looking On

    DUP may well go for Ruth Patterson as their candidate in the next Westminster Election, they’re certainly arn’t happy with the performances of Spratt & Stalford.