The fight for Europe

UUP/UCUNF members, elected representatives and commentators have recently been praising the work of Jim Nicholson in the European Parliament. This is obviously a reaction in the run up to the election on June 4th and in the selection of prominant DUP Councillor Diane Dodds as their candidate. Cheerleaders fail to tell us what he has actually achieved in Europe, apart from being returned since 1999 – with a declining vote.

The link up with the Tories may gain some votes or retain their current base from 2004 however it will not improve much, if any.

It is clear that this election is an important one in a head-to-head fight between the DUP candidate Diane Dodds and Sinn Feins Barbara De Brun (going by the 2004, 2005 and 2007 election results which clearly indicate a fight betwen the DUP and Sinn Fein).

Jim Nicholson will trail both candidates, as the UUP has done since 1979. Independent Jim Allister will follow, along with the SDLP’s Maginnis, Alliance’s Parsley and Greens Agnew.

  • Gareth

    Both De Bruin and Dodds are useless and I can’t see the point in a vote for either. Parsley is probably the best candidate in the field despite his inexperience and despite the fact he hasn’t a chance.

  • Ms S Dogood

    Let’s not forget that it was reported many years ago that Nicholson was connected with a female secretary in the EU Parliament so I would more than interested to see his expense accounts for that period. If he does hold his seat he will be obliged to move to a small Eurosceptic European party subject to Cameron’s policy in this area; little say in a more powerful Parliament if and when the Lisbon Treaty takes effect so may as well vote for the Alliance candidate – James Parsley.

    Of course this guy doesn’t stand much of a chance in tribal Ulster but makes a change voting for a Europhile who is at least is unpartisan.

  • What is this? Is it supposed to be analysis?

    And what in the name of living *** is this sentence supposed to mean in conjunction with its predeccesor?

    “This is obviously in the run up to the election on June 4th and in the selection of prominant DUP Councillor Diane Dodds as their candidate.”

    Praising Jim Nicholson’s work is obviously in the selection of Diane Dodds!! Is there no requirement to be able to string two sentences together before Mick gives people the nod to blog on Slugger?


    * Watch the language kids may be watching

  • 6 County Prod

    Ms S Dogood

    it was reported many years ago…

    What a nasty insinuation. Just because something is ‘reported’ somewhere doesn’t make it true.

    Not a very pleasant contribution, Ms Dogood!

  • Bigger Picture


    It runs perfectly fine, the UUP have been praising the work of Jim Nicholson and “his excellent work ethic” because they need to big him up before the election and because the DUP has put a good candidate up against him. Maybe not the most fluid bit of writing but the point is still quite clear.

    Clearly the reason why Mick hasn’t asked you to blog isn’t because you can’t string two sentences together but because you can’t read or understand an argument! 😉

  • Andrew Charles


    Thanks for the heads up.

    Loved the article in Fortnight this month.

  • I agree with Chekov, it is poor analysis.

    The SDLP’s Alban Maginnes will be a long way ahead of Jim Allister and will probably be very near to Jim Nicholson.

  • Jesus Christ. This hypersensitive censorship is definitely getting too heavy handed.

    By the way your edited sentence still doesn’t make any sense.

  • So, to summarise this post in two sentences:

    “I support the DUP, the UUP are mugs, hope we stuff them in June. What? Oh yeah and Sinn Fein too.”

    Dunno, am I being too pernickety in expecting a wee bit more depth?

    (And hopefully you won’t censor me this time Andrew, as previously I’ve obeyed the Slugger guidelines).

  • The Raven

    “because the DUP has put a good candidate up against him”

    Are you mad?? Since when does being a family member count as being a “good candidate”? I suppose if “one of us” is a qualification, then you’re right…


  • Andrew Charles


    Maybe instead of engaging in character assassination you should focus on the issue at hand and construct a comprehensive argument

  • So, you read my twitter, you did censor it.

    For reference to Mick Fealty or anyone else who gives a fiddlers, it was exactly worded as the one you’ve let through. Not one of my finest, I’ll admit, but I attacked your post, not you.
    Check the rules, that’s within Slugger guidelines.

    And if you point me to the issue in your post, then I’ll gladly “engage” you on it; what I won’t do is indulge you in a Punch and Judy spat “You’re bad, nah you’re bad” childish spat.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    What I find utterly depressing about Dodds is that in two of her statements that I’ve read, she has argued that the top priority for unionists in the next Euro-election must be to keep Sinn Fein out of the top spot.

    What a crap, negative and sectarian message. It put me right off her.

  • It can’t be ruled out that the contest between the DUP, UUP and Alister will allow the SDLP to come from behind as in South Belfast in 2005.

  • Glencoppagagh

    The DUP doesn’t deserve votes from thinking people for putting up this very inferior candidate but sadly this probably won’t stop her getting elected.
    Any DUP hacks out there who can point to any hitherto unsuspected qualities that would make her suitable? Does she actually know anyone from outside NI, for example? How much time will she spend in Brussels among all them foreigners with the wains at home?
    Of course, I forgot, she’s not actually meant to be an active MEP, she’s just meant to beat SF.

  • frustrated democrat

    The only questions left are, who will be the top unionist Dodds or Nicholson? and who will be first of them to be elected?

    It depends on many factors; numbers voting Allister, voters tranferring from DUP to the CU’s, increase in Nicholson vote with no agreed centre candidate, who transfers to whom etc. etc.

    Still most likely to be Dodds on both counts but who knows could be interesting.

  • “Loved the article in Fortnight this month.”

    Appreciate the sarcasm. 😉

    The analysis on the name hasn’t aged well.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    These elections are of little importance apart from being an indicator of party strength and impacting on party morale.

    The most likely outcomes will be the disappearance of the TUV from the main political stage and some more in-fighting amongst the Ulster NF or whatever they are called depending on whether the garden-centre-prod has been lured out to vote. If this species does actually exist a key natural habitat of theirs in the North Down Westminster constituency should show a % increase from 2004.

    It will also be interesting to see the Nationalist percentage of the vote, an increase, and there will be an indication of what will happen in elections that are actually important – the Assembly elections – and whether there will be a continuation of the increase in Nationalist seats.

  • fin

    UUP/UCUNF, this is getting out of hand.

    ulster unionist party ulster conservatives and unionist new force

    – to give the organisation its full title, how will they fit it onto the ballot paper?

  • borderline

    Well they can save space by doubling up on the letters.

    For instance instead of NF the upright in F could be formed from the right leg in N.

  • Bill.M

    The Ballot name will be ‘Ulster Conservatives and Unionist – New Force, I am sure it will fit on the paper ok, question is would unionists prefer someone who backs a party line that treats homosexuality as a mentel health disorder or a politician who has actualy been doing the job in Europe?

    Will ‘Little Ulster’ unionism finally start to see sense?

  • Gillilander

    Gareth and Ms Dogood have it right (and thanks for the link). If this were a recruitment process, Parsley would be the only one invited back for the interview.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about the lack of experience either – he speaks four languages for a start, and is the party’s economics spokesperson, both of which strike me as more than relevant right now.