Is Westminster to become a second tier chamber for Unionists?

According to the Lisburn Star, Basil McCrea will not be putting his name forward for the Westminster candidacy this time… Sheila Davidson is the Tory party’s pick (Daphne Trimble and Samuel McGee are standing for the Ulster Unionists) for the constituency… Mr McCrea was his party’s candidate in 2005, now believes that “the focus of all decisions that affect Lagan Valley is at Stormont and that is where I need to be. I also have significant objections to double jobbing and this is a clear indication of where my priorities lie for the people of Lagan Valley.”During the Troubles it was the case that Westminster was a symbol of rank within all unionist parties (and indeed it is only a symbol for Sinn Fein MPs)… But the idea that Wesminster doesn’t matter was the status quo pre 1972. Who for instance remembers Henry Maitland Clark? He’s the MP who got blown away by Ian Paisley in North Antrim in 1970, when Northern Ireland’s political crew at Westminster were second or third rankers with the party very much dependent upon the Tory link to stand their ground by proxy. Two years later that ground was almost completely washed away…

There are those within unionism who warn that farming out your political interest in Westminster to GB based political allies was disasterous in the past and that investment in all parliamentary institutions in which Northern Ireland representatives sit is the proper way forward…

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  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    It may be a somewhat ideologial suggestion that the GFA is the Englezes long good bye note to Unionism but it does clearly offer the Plain People of Norn Iron the opportunity to take repsonsibility for a large chunk of their own affairs whilst establishing the institutions for mandatory cooperation with the rest of the country.

    With the probable incoming SOS Owen Patterson last night suggesting the over relianace by Norn Iron on public sector will have to be reversed, and with the local institutions almost in place (subject to the transfer of Police) the business of running Norn Ireland locally is surely the most sensible way forward.

    From a Nationalist perspective, with said GFA architecture in situ, increased power and importance for Stormo means decreased influence for the British and with most Nationalists not bothering to take their seats* it further sidelining of Westminster by the Unionist Irish is of course to be welcomed.

    *leaving aside ideology why should Marty and Co bother taking their seats when they are treated as visting heads of state and go straight to Number 10?

  • elvis parker

    Basil ask the businessmen of Lagan Valley which affects them most – the tax rates etc set by Westminster and the overall running of the UK economy or the photo opportunities of Arlene, DETI and INI?
    Likewise is there anyone in Lagan Valley on welfare benefits? Anyone on a state pension?
    Even those who think that because Stormont doles out public expenditure it is important need to remember the size of their cake depends on Westminster

  • Dirk Diggler Donaldson

    I think there is a fair possibility that the next MP for Lagan Valley will be married to the next Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

  • Mick Fealty


    Incumbency counts for a lot… As Lord T’s longevity in UB demonstrates despite an appalling anti campaign (not just by his legitimate opponents)…

  • disinterested observer

    DDD Jeffrey Donaldson and Owen Paterson are both married already arent they?
    As is Shelia Davidson as far as I’m aware?

  • DR

    I think Westminister is equally important but different, and our MPs are less tied down be local issued covered by stormont now, so they can pay more attention to the bigger issues, almost all stormont legislation will be based on adaptions of Westminster bills adapated to local needs.

  • Guest

    Strand “Westminster” remains financially important.
    It allows management of cash flow from the English
    to the Assemblies.It is more and more a kind of Reparation scheme in the eye of the regionalists.
    The English will some day realize that feeling guilty for the empire is not the secret right to cherish it.

  • bob wilson

    Fair play to Basil for taking a lead and resisting the temptation to ‘double job’.

  • Conquistador

    Does it really matter who the UUP select? The UCUNF joint selection committee is the be all and end all, and it’ll probably plunk for Sheila.

    UCUNF’s task is to dent wee Jeffrey’s huge majority, so that hopefully he’ll be less of a smug wee git and has something to worry about as he watches his little midnight movies.

    UCUNF, I imagine, shall be aided by the TUV should they stand (Harbinson?) which should close the UCUNF/DUP gap.

    Fair play to Basil for taking a lead and resisting the temptation to ‘double job’.

    Temptation is easily resisted when it’s not there

  • Archie O’Sullevan.

    Very perceptive your last line especially if the trainer told the owners that the horse had no chance of being accepted by the Jockey Club. Present form in the two races the horse has run in so far indicate that in The Lisburn Council Stakes no real effort is made and racegoers think that less than 40% potential is exhibited by this animal on the Island Center Course and that the horse does not take the stables directions easily. Meanwhile over the fences on The Stormont Track whilst looking pretty there is not a lot of consistency in the performance and the horse is likely to shy at fences and hard work during training whilst risking a potential major fall through over confidence. Some say it should be sent to stud as the long term stamina is questioned by regular racegoers as it will never shine amongst top thoroughbreds.However its up to the owners to watch future progress in local selling plates a final decision can then be made on its future.

  • A very noble decision by Basil driven by the highest of motives and in no way linked to the fact he wouldn’t have gotten selected in the first place.

  • Thanks for keeping updates..

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