I’m the only man alive who didn’t notice Gemma..

OK I admit it. Sexism and ageism or whatever. Being the right age, I knew all about Belfast’s own crooning idol Ronnie Carroll as one of 25 standing against David Davis in his by-election bid to wake up Britain to a slow erosion of civil rights under Labour.

I’ve since woken up to the fact that Davis faces a double Belfast whammy, with Ronnie joined in the candidate list by Ulster and now Great Britain beauty Queen Gemma Garrett. Not that my old Westminster colleague, the waspish Quentin Letts in the Mail is much impressed ( though the pic is kinda sweet in an old-fashioned way, don’t you think?).

And I should’ve noticed the warning from my friend Lindy McDowell in the Bel Tel, with her sharp nose for humbug.

What is it about Belfast min-celebs and their agents, that they think English politics is good PR?

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

Living History 1968-74

A unique, once-in-a-lifetime 10-week course at Stranmillis University College Belfast featuring live, in-depth interviews with leading figures from this tumultuous era in Northern Ireland’s cultural and political history.

Live interviews with: Bernadette McAliskey, Austin Currie, Brid Rogers, Baroness Blood, Dennis Bradley, Baroness Paisley, Lord Kilclooney, Tim McGarry, Danny Morrison, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and others…

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