And the front runners for Up and Coming are…

After a week of nominations in the Up and Coming category of the Slugger Awards, it is interesting (and perhaps instructive) that the two front runners come from outside the main ‘government’ parties, and neither are MLAs, and one is not even a councillor. Ian Parsley started the week as the face of the Alliance party’s relatively successful European campaign, and ended it with a controversial crossing over to Conservatives. Stephen Agnew of the Greens, another who made his mark in the European campaign with particular success in almost the same North Down constituency boxes Parsley would have been targeting as an Alliance candidate. Beyond these two Arlene Foster gets a shout for her ‘objective’ handling of the cable landfall controversy. Naomi Long gets in there again, despite having won this category last year (there’s no reason why she would not win twice). John O’Dowd who one commenter reckoned “would have made a far superior Ed Minister. Has a hardline constituency in Lurgan yet takes a moderate line and routinely defends devolution and gov with DUP despite others in the party seeming less supportive.” We’ll be opening nominations for the second category after today’s Lisbon Essay goes live. But nominations for this category stay open until 13th November. If you’d rather not comment publicly then drop me a line with who you think has come on this year. They don’t have to be newcomers. And they don’t have to be in your party. IN fact, the nominations that are likely to carry most weight are those coming from people nominating opponents they think have done particluarly well. For once we want you to look at them as democratic representatives (or potential representatives), rather than cogs in a party machine.

  • bob wilson

    Got to be Ian Parsley – not only did he create a good impression with many people during the Euro election but he has had political courage to strike on a risky venture rather than simply playing along with the Stormont charade

  • cynic

    Courageous?? He got a new job which will at least will equal the salary the APNI was paying him to run around Stormont and the opportunity to get another free dose of adrenaline by running in North Down. Wonder did he ever stop to think that he could have been the Allinace MP for North Down as a consequence of a split vote between New Force/Hermon and TUV/DUP?
    Courageous politicians display passion for what they believe in and take every dig on the chin that holding those beliefs can bring. They don’t seek an easier passage to the top of the career ladder. Donaldson and Forster had a real and deep belief that took them across the line. Parsley has no such excuse.The old maxim is that the further up that ladder you crawl the further you have to tumble to hit the bottom.
    There will be much scratching of heads if Hermon suddenly embraces the New Force and steps forward as the election standard bearer. Don’t be surprised!

  • Puzzled

    Did Daithi McKay not win this last year and Naomi Long won MLA of the year??

  • YelloSmurf

    At risk of giving more publicity to the (unelected) SF rep for Belfast Pottinger, Niall Ó Donnghaile is one to watch. I just hope he doesn’t get elected at the expence of Maíre Hendron, who is a fantastic councillor.

  • YelloSmurf

    Actually, it seems that Mr Ó Donnghaile can’t take factual correction on his blog. Suggests that he won’t go that far if he will play loose with the facts and if he can’t take correction.

  • YelloSmurf

    Or maybe he can, my bad