In strategy it is important…

Miyamoto Musashi said, “In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.” in this regard. David Maxwell a journalist with City Beat radio has some interesting Stormont gossip . He’s heard (as have we) that Eddie McGrady is going to stand in South Down, instead of Margaret Ritchie. But it’s hard to argue with David’s view that whilst it makes the short term a certainty against Catriona Ruane (keep an eye out for a last minute candidate switcheroo), who is clearly struggling with the weight and detail of her Education brief. In the longer term, Ritchie may just be kissing the boat goodbye (not least if this election is delayed a further two years. He also hears that the DUP have offered the UUP a deal that doesn’t look great on the surface either: Tom Elliot for FST and Jimmy Spratt for South Belfast (which would almost certainly go UU, if given a chance). It’s doubted by some that Elliot has sufficient ‘convening power’ to get the fragmented Unionist vote out, whilst a clear run for Spratt should unseat the SDLP incumbent. The question is: why would Arlene Foster not run? The answer might lie in her own difficulties with her Agricultural Environment (eek, blogging under pressure) brief. It’s a two edged sword this devolution lark.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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