Parsley: The SDLP must get over itself…

Ian Parsley, the Tory candidate for North Down, (formerly the Alliance Party Euro candidate) has this to say about the SDLP’s hypocrisy on his blog:

…there is the contradiction in the SDLP’s case that an Alliance Justice Minister is somehow unjust. The SDLP used to love cross-community votes in the Assembly when they suited (such as in the good old days when they handed the SDLP the Deputy First Minister position). Now, somehow, we are supposed to believe there’s something wrong with a cross-community vote electing somebody from a cross-community party to do a cross-community job? While it is reasonable to dispute the Alliance Party’s entitlement to the post (and there are certainly contradictions in that party’s stance), no one could doubt that David Ford would do the job with a degree of fairness, competence and integrity that we need more of in Northern Ireland politics, not less.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • cynic47

    He shouldn’t be too hard on the SDLP. Might be glad for membership when the Tories have run out of uses for him.

  • Ian Parsley must get over himself

  • Scaramoosh


    Parsley used to attack the Tory/UUP alliance;

    “Conservatives are often historically viewed as opposed to change so the UCUNF ‘vote for change’ slogan appears to flies in the face of the Ulster Unionists’ link-up with them. This slogan is almost as bad as the UUP’s ‘decent people’ campaign a few years ago. People simply don’t know what UCUNF are about, but they can be confident that whatever they stand for, it probably won’t mean change;”

    until, that is, he realised he had a better chance of being elected if he became a Tory.

    As for the SDLP, what can we expect them to say, when the appointment of an Alliance person to the post of Justice Minister, is clearly a stitch up between Sinn Fein and the DUP; something, which the Alliance have declared themselves to be against in the past.

  • Rory Carr

    Who is Ian Parsley? And why?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    If the SDLP thinks there are votes in whingeing and looking ineffectual, good luck to ’em.

  • daisy

    We can only hope that Parsley fades into oblivion after the election at which he will receive on 4 votes.

  • daisy

    only 4 votes, that is.

  • st etienne

    I’m assuming he’s hit a nerve here

  • Henry94

    Who is Ian Parsley?

    Ian Paisley for vegetarians?

  • daisy

    st etienne, if he hit a nerve that would suggest he has an impact on people.

  • interested

    Did any one see what Hermon said, what a kick in the teeth to the UUP/Conservatives when she addressed an SDLP dinner in Bangor “Its good to be amongst friends”.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    So we can presume that the SDLP is one party that Parsley WONT be joining.
    Seriously though Mr Fealty, you have highlighted Mr Parsleys blog….frankly I didnt read it……but on the scale of credibility isnt he slightly lacking in that direction.

  • Wabbits

    Parsley is a “friendly lion” attempting to roar but all he can do is squeek like a mouse and suck his victims to death because he has no teeth for the fight.

    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned that Gerry Adams is on the Late late Show on RTE 1 tonight beginning at 9.30pm. Well there you are, I suppose I have now. Maybe an Admin could make it a thread of it’s own just to give it a better heads up.

    I expect to see Adams once again evade all questions about his brother on the grounds that he doesn’t want to affect the ongoing investigation and possible future legal case. Well he can do that for a while but he and SF won’t be able to do it forever.

  • alan56

    Parsley can obviously attract votes. Last time Alliance stood in their own right in Euro elections (Sean Neeson) got around 14,000 votes (1999). Parsley got over 28,000 last year which suggests he is worth watching in North Down

  • Wabbits
  • “Parsley can obviously attract votes.”

    Dyslexic DUPpers vote for him in quite considerable numbers…..

  • BryanS

    Daisy methinks you are in for a BIG surprise. North Down is classic Tory territory. Shame about the name though.

  • iluvni

    “.. no one could doubt that David Ford would do the job with a degree of fairness, competence and integrity that we need more of in Northern Ireland politics, not less.”

    Ford, this last couple of months, has been a pathetic sight hitting out at the UUP, almost in desperation, as he’s seen the big job his votes have never earned potentially disappearing over the horizon. Integrity?..dont make me laugh. He’s been as eager to get his nose in the trough as the rest of them have been.

  • Rory Carr

    Thank you, Henry94 for answering my question, “Who is Ian Parsley?”.

    Now I wonder if you are able to answer my second and more perplexing question:

    “Why is Ian Parsley?”.

  • Hand Up

    I have a question:

    What does Ian Parsley do for a living?

    Does anyone know (I don’t). Answers on a postcard please.

  • John O’Connell

    Not a bad reference for the SDLP coming from a unionist.

  • unsettled

    I’m begining to think there’s a large streak of anti-Catholicism to be found in IJP’s nature. He had a go a while back about “Catholic candidates” and now he’s having a wee go at the SDLP. Begins to look a bit unpleasant to say the least…

  • BryanS

    who might IJP be?

  • Paddy Matthews

    North Down is classic Tory territory.

    1998 Assembly elections: 337 (0.90%)
    2001 local government elections: 551 (2%)
    2001 Westminster elections: 815 (2.2%)
    2003 Assembly elections: 491 (1.6%)
    2005 local government elections: 353 (1.1%)
    2005 Westminster elections: 822 (2.5%)
    2007 Assembly elections: 864 (2.8%)

    Tory self-delusion knows no bounds.

    who might IJP be?

    That would be Ian James Parsley, who is apparently going to sweep to victory in North Down as a result of the huge groundswell of Torydom detailed above.

  • BryanS

    Welcome paddy, nice to see you.
    You might be surprised to know that the votes you are showing are from a quite different place.
    Just wait and see.

  • PaddyReilly

    North Down is classic Tory territory

    Well you can’t deny that there is an upward trend. What other party could increase their vote by over 100%?


    Mr Parsley’s reference to ‘an agreement signed before people now turning 30 could vote’ is a curious one. Is he perhaps suggesting that agreements become less relevant the longer they remain in place? If so, one struggles to imagine how the agreement that established UCUNF could become any less relevant, irrespective of how long it remains in place.

  • Paddy Matthews

    You might be surprised to know that the votes you are showing are from a quite different place.


    There’s another North Down apart from this one?

    Because you’ve been outpolled by the SDLP in every assembly and Westminster election in that North Down for the last decade.

  • cynic47

    I always think it is a little bit sad, and very predictable, how the party faithful get all optimistic coming up to an election. I suppose that to ensure a healthy democracy we need the also rans to make up the numbers and to give a degree of choice. I am sure we will hear plenty of chit chat building up the Tory candidate in North Down if things develop a certain way in the meantime. However all the optimism and the hot air is a complete waste of time as Lady Hermon will sweep all before her and overcome every permutation of vote spread to be returned to Westminster with a majority that will bring gasps of admiration from even her most solid opponents.

    By the way “Interested” what is your problem that the good lady said she was amongst friends at the SDLP dinner in Bangor? She views all her constituents as friends. That is one of the many reasons she is so popular. Now if she had expressed the view that she was happy to be amongst fellow Nationalists that would be worth flagging up. If her actual comments are the best you can come up with to try and put her down with could I suggest you go on a long holiday and return well after the election so that you won’t have to stomach her vistory celebrations.

  • cynic47

    That is VICTORY celebrations! I am sure she will have vistory celebrations as

  • granni trixie

    re IJP: dont underestimate that IJP got the vote he got in the Eur election when he had an Alliance wrapper on. Now it is likely to be different. Without an Alliance vote he is relying on Conservative-Unionist vote. Lets wait and see.

    re Herman:she may view all her consitiuents as friends but why did she not try to ‘befriend’ people in the UU? Or even engage with them in party meetings instead of walking the dog?

    Independants are all fine and dandy,but personally I prefer someone who can hold their own as part of a team – a sign that they are fit for the purpose of political leadership of NI.
    Doing your own thing is the easier road.

  • BryanS

    Surely there can not be enough members of the blue rinse brigade in North Down to get her elected?
    We must wait and see. god help us all if she wins. there is no future for this place.

  • cynic47


    The vote that her Constituency Party give her at their AGM suggests to me that she has plenty of friends in the UU. As regards the folk she has difficulty with, sure their Granni couldn’t like them! The thousands of friends she has in North Down will see her back as their MP.

  • interested


    Would she be so popular when her voters learn about her parliamentary record?

    Has spoken in 1 debates in the last year — well below average amongst MPs.

    Has voted in 27% of votes in parliament — well below average amongst MPs.

  • brendan

    God bless him, he has a blog now.

  • cynic47


    Elaborate on your last paragraph. This is a potentially earth shattering view

  • cynic47


    Since you must have a fairly active interest in politics, and maybe even hold elected office, you might have a keen interest in the ins and outs of Lady Hermon’s voting patterns. The average nine to five joe doesn’t give a crap for all that sort of party press office snippets. Its the work she does for her constituents that really counts and you should understand that.

  • BryanS

    last sentance?
    If a constituency which is the closest thing to surrey can vote for a labour supporter because she is a nice lady hen there is no hope for us because it defies logic. If logic is defied then there is no hope for the future. OK ?

  • cynic47



  • interested


    What work does she do? apart from attend functions, please enlighten me?

  • BryanS

    Well that is a reasoned response! I would expect more from you C.

  • cynic47


    You are missing the point completely. People vote on their perception of their representatives. Good hard working elected people have been voted out at all levels all over the world. Popular one’s keep getting elected. She is popular!! She is also hard working which is a bit of a bonus as well. She gets her photo in the local papers a lot. So what? Don’t politicians like to see themselves in print? She doesn’t gatecrash the events she gets invited.

    Bryan/Interested, whatever!

    Go back and read what you said to justify your Armageddon forecast for when Lady Hermon gets re-elected. Pathetic is the best word to describe it! Logic gets defied every day of the week and the world keeps spinning. A good nights sleep will help you put your fears behind you.

  • interested


    You fail to tell us what she has done, has she brought jobs to North Down, has she worked hard for the Loyalist working class, does she know what she stands for the answer is a No! yes she is nice to talk too but so what she tries to be all things to all people and it eventually catches up with you!

  • BryanS

    Cynic is not really interested in anything except perpetuating the sentimental dream which has set this country/ statelet/ province/ Norn Iron back 30 years so dont expect rational comments from him/her

  • Paddy Matthews

    If a constituency which is the closest thing to surrey can vote for a labour supporter because she is a nice lady hen there is no hope for us because it defies logic.

    Except that it’s not Surrey. And no matter how tightly you close your eyes and no matter how hard you wish, it’s not going to turn into it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The important detail to add about North Down is that there is an Alliance organization there (one of the strongest and best organized the party has). There isn’t a Tory organization there, and the Tory machine in the past hasn’t been able to obtain votes there, as evidenced by Paddy Matthew’s observation earlier. In fact the North Down Tories are probably best known for obtaining one of the worst ever election results for the Conservative Party, no mean feat for one of the oldest continuously-operating parties in the democratic world.

    Parsley will benefit from already having profile, but only with the complete co-operation and support of the local UUP – not guaranteed, especially with the likely Sylvia split – will Parsley have a chance. I’m wondering if IJP is being nice about Ford, and the party he leads, in the hope that Alliance will back off a wee bit in North Down. Unfortunately for Ian, I don’t think this is likely to happen.

  • granni trixie

    CS: as I said earlier, do not underestimate the importance of the former Alliance wrap in the profile of IJP. Extremely doubtful if IJPs new,”sharing” (not) Tory-UU brand can do same.

  • Cry for attention by a political nobody who has condemned himself to a lifetime of losing his deposit.

  • “There isn’t a Tory organization there, and the Tory machine in the past hasn’t been able to obtain votes there, as evidenced by Paddy Matthew’s observation earlier”

    Kennedy pulled in over 30% of the vote in the 90s, so it’s not true to say there isn’t a potential there.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the cards fall when the candidate selection (*ahem*) soon gets sorted out. Lady H has been doing a fair bit of chatting behind the scenes (allegedly also with the Dupes) calculating perhaps that she needs one or more of the other players to drop out to give her a fighting chance.

  • granni trixie

    Oneill: Then I simply cannot understand why Lady H is negotiating with other parties if she cannot make more attempt to work things out with her own? It just doesnt add up.

    Also, be assured that there is little chance of Alliance letting her have a clear run this time -they have a good candidate running in Stephen Farry.

  • Then I simply cannot understand why Lady H is negotiating with other parties if she cannot make more attempt to work things out with her own? It just doesnt add up.

    Grannie Trixie,

    The media PR job after her own constituency meeting (eg “I was greatly encouraged and deeply appreciative of the unanimous support given to me as the MP”) was all from her side. Whilst she was thanked for her previous services there was most definitely no mention made, even by her, of the constituency association being prepared to nominate her.

  • granni trixie

    O’Neill: am I missing something here? Your point is?

  • granni trixie

    Comrade Stalin NO 21:Just noticed your final remarks – does he think people came up the Lagan in a you know what? (pass around the j/boke bag).

  • grannie trixie

    I was attempting to answer you question, ie:

    “cannot make more attempt to work things out with her own party”.

    If her own constituency party wouldn’t be happy to nominate her as their candidate, then she’s going to have to run as an independent and to do so she will probably need as many allies as possible elsewhere.