Irish Euro Election blogburst: 1, Northern Ireland…

Kicking off is the by now required blog reading of Chris Gaskin and his run down of Sinn Fein’s performance north and south… It comes with some important suggestions regarding organisation and adopting a more strategic approach towards policy formation…. It’s worth scrolling upwards too for his take on the Unionist situation too…- Slugger regular Seymour Major runs Tory Story, and fingers up to six constituencies that the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists could bowl at with a reasonable expectation of success…

– Andrew has set up his own blog now. He believes that as the party of Unionism the DUP has some urgent lessons to learn:

The party now needs to rebuild and reconnect with its grassroots. That involves going onto the streets, into the churches, into the Orange Halls and into the shops and telling people what the party stands for today, and why it has taken that stance. Why and how are they relevant to the Unionist poplation of Northern Ireland?

– Checkov reckons that the task facing the UCU now is to refine its messages and repeat them over and over… but, he cautions:

The means to achieve this is not to jettison either its conservative or unionist components, but to emphasise their compatibility and ensure that the correct type of conservatism and unionism are articulated. That means a socially aware conservatism which is progressive in intent and an inclusive brand of unionism which is civic and political in character.

– Ignited (another UCU blogger, hmmm… doesn’t that say something?) has Jim Allister as the outright winner of the Unionist contest, even if he was the only loser:

Jim Allister’s slogan of “Principle, Integrity, Experience” and his track record in Europe have stood him well, and I don’t think anyone would question his commitment. From a standing start against the established political parties Jim has demonstrated that there is a niche for his brand of politics.

– Bob Balls is less impressed and is distinctly unimpressed by the size of Jim Allister’s vote:

Okay, so the DUP campaign allowed Allister to play hard on DUP hypocrisy (the flip side to that being his ‘integrity’ & ‘principle’), but it also had the effect of inflating Allister’s vote from Unionists voting tactically to shut that woman up (in the immortal words of Jim Fitzpatrick). So perhaps Allister’s big poll really is unfeasibly large.

– Matt McDermott is certain that this was a good performance by the SDLP and reckons the party would have taken an extra two seats had this been an Assembly poll (though he doesn’t say where). Yet he believes the party needs to move on from where it currently is:

while SF are defined and will find it hard to shift any more ground without losing support, we have an opportunity to redefine ourselves and relate to those that feel no affiliation. There is a new breed of politics in the SDLP, something that SF has failed to do. There is no desire for sectarian politics and only the desire to move NI forward.

– A Pint of Unionist Lite ponders on the possible demise of Gordon Brown and asks whether it is good for the Union or not?

– David Vance on how the mainstream UK parties can make the BNP shrivel up and die

– Alan, no doubt now back home and rested after two days at the Okay Corral (aka the count centre at the Kings Hall) has a great account of European democracy in progress notes how the real interest of the party workers (and ourselves) was over by the end of the verification on Friday…

– And don’t forget to sample Keith’s ala carte sound reporting on the ground in the count centre too

  • John O’Connell

    Chris Gaskin is has his head in the clouds in his summing up of Sinn Fein stand for. No mention at all of the criminality that helps fund Sinn Fein in the North. So maybe they’re more honest over the border.

    He makes a good point about preparing to drop Grizzly Adams as, careful as he is to reveal the truth asbout Sinn Fein’s failure, Grizzly is the predominant reason.

    This was a disastruous election for Sinn Fein in the South due to the electorate no longer seeing them as a protest vote (but Joe Higgins was) and being unable to trust them as a viable alternative to FF/Greens when every other party seemingly was.

    So get rid of the Antichrist and the Shinners will begin to lose in the North but may begin to gain in the South (I doubt it). It just seems to me that this is the end of the road for Sinn Fein as a party who can strike terror into any electorate, North or South.

  • [i]Ignited (another UCU blogger, hmmm… doesn’t that say something?)[/i]

    What ever do you mean Mick?!

  • Never no more

    “Andrew….believes that as the party of Unionism the DUP has some urgent lessons to learn…”

    Yeah – like they’re not the party of my union and will (unless there is some major surgery ridding it of all the top table) never speak for me.

    “That involves going onto the streets, into the churches….” Well. There goes any chance of getting my vote…

  • underwood

    The Chris Gaskin blog is laughable in its cure-all simplicity. And that’s only the start of it. Add to the problems he outlined – not to mention the ones he studiously ignored – the resignation of Christie and Ferris’s daughter not wanting to continue in politics, and it really does start to resemble a lost cause.

  • “There is no desire for sectarian politics and only the desire to move NI forward.”

    I thought I heard Alban talk about a new Ireland aka the death of Northern Ireland.

  • redhugh78

    ‘..criminality that helps fund Sinn Fein in the North..’

    Sinn fein publishes it’s accounts and election expenses the same as evety other party, John you really are a pathetic hurting stoop.

  • John O’Connell


    Is the Mayor of Derry a bankrupt after having to close the Bogside Inn? Where would he get the funds to buy a pub? But then to run it into the ground?

    But I’m glad you questioned my referring to the criminality in Sinn Fein and not not my referring to Grizzly Adams as the Antichrist. That must be a given even for hurting Sinners.

  • percy

    really good blog Mick, opens it up.
    No-one ever tells you off, not really