Nesbitt resigns from Victims’ Commission to run in General Election

The legal challenge to the appointment of four Victims Commissioners continues, and now there is a vacancy on the Commission. Former television presenter Mike Nesbitt has resigned after being selected as the UUP nominee for UCUNF general election candidate in Strangford. His candidacy has still to be ratified by the joint UUP/Conservative selection committee.

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  • Jaggers

    Sorry that this is somewhat off-topic though it is related to the forthcoming election. Are we not going to talk about Jim Allister’s pronouncements (and the BBC’s ‘thinking’) on the forthcoming Westminster elections

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8512717.stm

    So Jim appears not to want to split the unionist vote in ‘nationalist’ seats, and also wants a pact for FST. 63% of Protestants want a DUP/UCUNF pact.

    So if unionists get maximum co-operation amongst TUV, DUP, UNUCF, they will go from 10 Westminster seats to 12.

    Isn’t it about time that SF and SDLP woke up – pacts between them would see their seats go from 8 to 10 (East Londonderry and North Belfast being the new ones). Are the SDLP differences with SF as wide as those between TUV – DUP – UNUCF?

  • Marlaghman

    TUV on Twetter
    Timely questions for Mr Nesbitt. No ducking please. http://bit.ly/cGejzK

  • Paul

    Good candidate however I still think the DUP will hold the seat.

  • Marlaghman

    Jaggers
    Dont think Magaret would want that as she needs to make a name for herself

  • Jaggers

    Marlaghman

    One short way to make a bad name for herself is see seats cut from 3 to 2 in the Westminster election as South Belfast would go back to one of the unionist parties if there is a three way pact.

    One short way to bolster her position would be to maintain South Belfast and take North Belfast in addition in return for East Londonderry becoming a SF seat (and FST being preserved as a SF seat).

    What are the obstacles in sitting down and getting this done. They’re surely not as challenging as those with TUV-UCUNF-DUP.

  • Framer

    There still has to be a joint decision whether to run the Conservative nominee or Nesbitt for Strangford, and this was one of the best Conservative votes last time when Iris romped home. They got nearly 1500 votes.

    Her disgrace means the DUP will be punished heavily by the electorate making a UCUNF candidate favourite. No suggested likely DUP candidate would appeal to the suburban part of the contituency.

  • alan56

    I imagine Nesbitt will tick the Tory box of being secular and forward looking. He will have to work hard though to convince UUP voters that he is a conviction unionist

  • Davros

    Also bear in mind the 10% odd nationalist bloc in Strangford, knowing their Westminister votes are futile they could be tempted by Nesbitt given his general media profile of being a nice guy plus the added fun of annoying the DUP.

  • ardmaj55

    Jaggers [1] It might be that SF and SDLP might not have any problem with the idea of a pact at top levels but there might be local animosities long standing. Also, the defeated candidate to the SDLP leadership, A. McDonnell called the unionists bigots for talking up a pact between themselves, and he[AMcD] might have a problem explaining a nationalist parties pact. Nationalist voters could decide to back whichever candidate is best polaced in any given constituency.

  • granni trixie

    I always thought that 4 commissioners was a ridiculous waste – one down and now only 2 more to go.
    And what qualified Nesbitt as Commissioner – what good has his journalistic ‘expertise’ done the VC? Now its clear – he was the UU person on it …geddit.

    Does he have staying power? How committed was he to the VC post if he chucks it away so soon into the challenges?. Was it getting too hot for him to handle?. Apart from being a known face why would anyone vote for someone so self interested and inexpereinced in politics?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Davros,
    Theres not a cat in hells chance of any Nationalist/REpublican/Catholic voting for Mike Nesbitt.
    Reg Emptys recent behaviour has emphasised how Catholics are viewed in UUP circles. But basically a Catholic voting UUP would be much the same as that Sikh pensioner who joined the British National Party.
    Wont happen.

  • union mack

    if SF/SDLP entered a pact in E. Londonderry, N. Belfast, the unionists would simply do the same, resulting in no change

  • brendan

    Since the SDLP says a pact on the Unionist side would amount to a sectarian head count, then they would see a pact on the nationalist side in the same light.

    Principles and all that.

  • Paul

    if posters think Nesbitt will romp home they are wrong.

  • union mack

    indeed it would also make a mockery of their long standing claims that violence was unjustified during the troubles, so it won’t happen

  • union mack

    Paul

    You THINK they are wrong. You don’t represent the totality of the Strangford electorate and as such, you have no idea how it will pan out. Just as I HOPE he will win it, doesn’t mean he will

  • joeCanuck

    Election Day will be April 15th. You heard it here.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    grannie trixi,
    I think it was always assumed that Nesbitt was the UUP type on the commission.
    Four people on a quango.
    A bit like San Francisco where an old joke goes

    each police car should have a black
    each police car should have a woman
    each ploice car should have a gay
    each police car should have a Hispanic.
    which of course meant no room for the police.

    yes four commissioners and not one an Alliance type. So different from the bad old days when……Basil Glass, “Lady” McCollum, Will Glendinning, Bob Cooper……got fixed up by the Norn Iron Office.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    i find it intruiging that some people view Unionist and Nationalist parties as two sides of the same coin.

    I do not believe that nationalist politics(whilst it is inevitably touched by it) are driven by sectarian politics. In fact Nationalists should be insulted at the very idea of parties uniting to keep out the Prods.

    Oh and please, the Bobby Sands case was to send a message to Thatcher.

  • DerTer

    FJH
    There you go again with another of your wild generalisations. You say: “There’s (I put the apostrophe in for you) not a cat in hell’s (this one too) chance of any Nationalist/Republican/Catholic voting for Mike Nesbitt.” My goodness, what a knowing person you are. Never heard of tactical voting? I suspect Davros’ assertion that nationalists/republicans/Catholics “could be tempted by Nesbitt given his general media profile of being a nice guy plus the added fun of annoying the DUP” is plausibly, and attractively, closer to the truth.

  • cynic47

    Suspect that a number of rules in the UUP rulebook could have been ignored to allow Mr Nesbitt to tick all the required boxes. Contrast that to the stubborn and inflexible approach to keeping Lady Hermon onboard. I can’t understand why any party would be so keen to loss a seat like the UUP seem hell bent on doing in North Down. The softer and more flexible Strangford approach could bring a compromise and retain the seat for the UUP. In relation to Strangford why would anyone give up a job paying over £60,000 per annum to possibily take a seat at Westminster? Fair enough if he makes it but what will be his future if he fails? Is there a plan B to keep him in gainful employment if he does fail? He is either a brave or foolish man to take such a gamble!

  • cynic47

    Suspect that a number of rules in the UUP rulebook could have been ignored to allow Mr Nesbitt to tick all the required boxes. Contrast that to the stubborn and inflexible approach to keeping Lady Hermon onboard. I can’t understand why any party would be so keen to loss a seat like the UUP seem hell bent on doing in North Down. The softer and more flexible Strangford approach could bring a compromise and retain the seat for the UUP. In relation to Strangford why would anyone give up a job paying over £60,000 per annum to possibily take a seat at Westminster? Fair enough if he makes it but what will be his future if he fails? Is there a plan B to keep him in gainful employment if he does fail? He is either a brave or foolish man to take such a gamble!

  • Alan N/Ards

    A very good move by the UUP(for once). He seems like moderate and reasonable man. A bit like Trevor Ringland. While I would not be too keen on the Tory link I think that it will be good for politics here to have some one of his standing as my MP. I am also glad that McNarry will not be standing in Strangford and hopefully after the next Stormont elections he will disappear from the scene. Can’t wait.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Del Ter..we will only really know the extent of tactical voting when we compare the results for AP/SDLP/SF with the figures from 2005.
    I dont know Mr Nesbitt so I cannot of course comment on whether he is a nice guy.
    I daresay that he is.
    I have no reason to think otherwise.
    I hope BBC is brave enough to show a clip from a Children in Need night when Nesbitt and another presenter from the Sports Dept went round some bars to collect money.
    They appeared to have gone about their task with a genuine enthusiasm and seemed rather fatigued by the experience.

  • west belfast

    A pompous self promoter who used victims to get where he really wanted to be – nothing short of disgraceful.

    I suspect this was Reggies plan when Mike was appointed to CVSNI. Imagine Reg having a plan…who’d have thought it!

    All that aside I think it is a good move for UUP and he is in with a real chance of winning back the seat. I have to say I hope he fails and will have burnt all his bridges.

    Ask the other 3 CVSNI commissioners what they thought of him! I suspect not much at all.

  • GEF

    South Belfast MP McDonnell is a hypocrite. The SDLP already has an electoral pact with Labour and has taken the Whip for the past 40 years.

    ‘The party currently has three MPs in the British House of Commons, where it takes the Labour whip, and 16 MLAs in the Northern Ireland Assembly. ‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Democratic_and_Labour_Party

    Furthermore an electoral pact between SF & SDLP has already been debated before. Had a pact been advantageous to both parties to keep Unionists out at the time does squeaky clean Republicans believe it would never have happened because it was considered sectarian? Come on give us a break.

    ‘The SDLP 1995 Annual Conference, demonstrated the acrimonious nature of the quarrel about whether the Party would have an electoral pact with Sinn Féin. Three SDLP MPs Hendron, McGrady and Mallon came out in strong opposition to a tactical move backed by allies of John Hume which effectively left open the option of electoral pacts in the constituency of West Tyrone and also in Mid-Ulster. A motion calling for the SDLP to reassert its policy of rejecting electoral pacts with other parties in any circumstances was diplomatically referred back to the Party Executive. This left the possibility of a deal between the two parties in the winnable seats of Mid – Ulster and West Tyrone.60 Eddie McGrady said opposition to electoral pacts was, ‘…fundamental to the integrity of the SDLP’. Mallon argued a pact with Sinn Fein would be contrary to the ‘heart and soul’ of the party.61 The proposals for electoral pacts with Sinn Féin split the Party down the centre.’
    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/bmtalks/murray/murray98.htm

  • Peter Fyfe

    FJH

    I would be tempted to vote for Ian Paisley Sr, though not Junior, in NA if I thought Allister was close to winning the seat. I have been labbelled an apologist for republican terrorism on here though I don’t think I am. I would not be suprised if Catholics or nationalists in strangford voted for the man they used to sit down and eat their dinner with at 6 o’clock. He always seemed like a likeable enough man.

  • Marcionite

    Mr Nesbitt is the second non toxic post conflict Unionist to be selected (Lady Sylvia being the first but she’s independent now) Nationalists in Strangford would be tempted to vote for him tactically. He’s a nice decent educated chap, a worthy ambassador at Westminster from NI, am antedote to the embarressment and poison of the DUP

    Im no Tory or unionist but as I keep saying, let’s make NI normal. The first step is electing non toxic politicians of all parties to high office. Their intelligence and bonhomie will be enough of a catalyst to move to the next stage.

    I wish him well and I hope he wins Strangford.

  • Jaggers

    GEF, a decade has elapsed, the world has moved on. The peace process has bedded in, SF are the biggest nationalist party, the IRA has decommissioned. Are seriously are the differences between SF and the SDLP in 2010 greater than the differences between TUV – UCUNF – DUP. The Belfast Telegraph did a poll in which 63% of Protestants wanted a unionist pact – I wonder what a poll of Catholics would say in respect of a nationalist pact in 2010. By the way if there is no pact on the nationalist side and there is on the unionist side, then goodbye South Belfast.

  • Peter Fyfe

    GEF

    What seats do the British Labour party and the SDLP contest? Who stands aside for who? Is the British Labour party an Irish Nationalist Party? Every important name within the SDLP you mention appears to be opposed to a pact. I would not be suprised if some members were driven by sectarian motives but your quotation clearly shows how the senior leadership were heavily opposed to such a pact. Taking the whip is not the same thing as an electoral pact or should the SDLP agree with conservative policies just so they can appear to not agree with the Labour party? Their three MPs voted against 42 day detention so it appears they do not always follow the Labour whip as stated. Now, what has that got to do with Mike Nesbitt?

  • Framer

    The problem with celebrity candidates is that they won’t take discipline and quckly wander off on their own. Think Robert Kilroy Silk, George Lee and our own Lady Hermon. Further back there was Mad Mitch (Col Colin Mitchell MP) of Aden fame.

    Apparently the latest UUP wheeze is to allow Sylvia to be a candidate exempt from the UCUNF deal.

    If elected, she would not take the Tory whip, sit on the Labour opposition benches and not be a member of the Conservative/UUP party.

  • Peter Fyfe

    The Funny thing is with Candidates such as Hermon, Nesbitt or Ringland they could tie up a number of Nationalist votes in these areas. With not one of them coming from the coservative side of the deal as well. I imagine the names mentioned would be more appealing to Nationalist Voters than an ex-producer of Top Gear or an ex DUP councillor from Ballymena

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “why would anyone give up a job paying over £60,000 per annum to possibily take a seat at Westminster? Fair enough if he makes it but what will be his future if he fails? Is there a plan B to keep him in gainful employment if he does fail? He is either a brave or foolish man to take such a gamble!”

    Posted by cynic47 on Feb 17, 2010 @ 04:35 PM

    Perhaps his principles and beliefs are more important than a £60,000 salary – would make a change from most of our current career politicians!

    I predict a comfortable 3,000+ majority for UCUNF in Strangford.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Peter Fyfe,
    I do take your point.
    I am not a great advocate of tactical voting except where it suits my agenda……or er is a good thing tactically.

    This leads to an interesting dilemna.
    What is an agenda?
    What are “legitimate” or “illegitimate” tactics?
    Is there such a thing as legitimate and illegitimate.

    Traditionally it might be argued that a fairly average DUP type (pre TUV)might see the world as 1 DUP 2 UUP 3 AP 4 SDLP and 5 SF
    in order of taste.
    So taht say in the old Hendron/Adams days in West Belfast there was some tactical voting to keep Adams out.
    Buta DUP person might legitimately think that SDLP are more effective representatives of Nationalism and vote Adams.

    To use your own example you MIGHT vote Paisley senior to keep out Allister.
    That is agenda and tactics.
    You obviously believe that the Assembly/Executive/Agreement is worth that.
    I would suggest without recommendation of course that a nationalist could argue that he/she COULD vote Allister if they believed that fragmenting unionism is a good tactic.

    Perhaps both are legitimate. Nobody has to vote FOR somebody. It is built into the system that we can vote AGAINST somebody.
    On the specifics of North Antrim, you COULD take the view that supporting the Agreement necessitates building up the DUP.
    Or you could take the view that divided unionism is more advantageous.
    Or you could vote SDLP or SF.

    You might argue that if your own man/woman cannot make it……you could use your vote to do as much damage to the other side of the house.

  • Peter Fyfe

    If a nationalist votes for the TUV they are not fragmenting unionism as that voter is not a unionist. Whereas voting for the DUP against allister is an insurance against that fragmentation. For me its more personal, who really wants to see allister win the seat? I hope I am only made listen to him for a little while longer, I am hoping a resounding defeat in Westminster elections will hasten that departure. I don’t plan on needing a barrister any time soon so I may never see him again. How great would that be? I do find it irionic I write this sitting in Ballymena where his support base will probably grow, haha.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    There is of course a long history of Journalists going into Politics. Martin Bell, Ben Bradshaw, Norman Fowler to name but a few. And the BBC guy who was their “Europe” correspondent. Then got elected as a Tory and accidently killed himself in a bizarre solo form of eroticism …..forget his name.
    Not quite the same record in Norn Iron….perhaps as our politics are more divisive. I dont think it would be easy for a BBCNI or UTV type to stand for any party and retain credibility.
    HE/she would NEED to be pretty sure they got elected.
    In retrospect it would have been harder for Nesbit to go straight from UTV Anchor to UUP candidate. He needed that little sojourn as a Victims Commissioner.

    But why should we be surprised that journos are people just like us.
    About 70% of people vote……30% dont.
    Probably with people above normal IQ as many journos are…..the percentage of “voters” is higher lets say 80%.
    Voting is after all usually deemed a civic duty/responsibility.

    We must therefore assume that the faces in our living rooms every night are “voters”
    Frankly it does not concern me on any INDIVIDUAL basis that Mark Devenport, Ken Reid, Paul Clark, Noel Thompson, Jackie Fullerton and Frank Mitchell vote for a specific party.
    What DOES concern me is that in some way they are representative of us all as a whole.
    We make it a priority that PSNI should serve both communities.
    We should make it a priority that the Great and the Good are not all Greens and Alliance.
    Therefore its to his immense credit that Nesbit has broken our little local taboo and said “guess what folks Im a unionist”
    RAther than be part of the OVERCLASS of jounos (too sanctimonious and intelligent to be normal people) Nesbit is out of the closet.

    More please.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Oh Mr Fyfe…..
    the nationalist voting TUV would be (he might argue) giving a voice to an “ally”.
    Those who the gods destroy they first make mad.
    Enter Jim Allister.

  • Peter Fyfe

    the way I see it I have lived with Big Ian for over 24 years now, what harm could another four do? I don’t usually read the news letter so I don’t even have to hear his opinion on things any more. He would do a better job for the area than his son or allister, so why not stick with him at the minute?

  • Marlaghman

    Fur Coat and Middle Class the only thing missing is them to drape him with a sash. o! were part of a pack with the Tories and they dont like the OO.
    The unionist of Stranford need to beware of what you vote for as you might get it.

  • Peter Fyfe

    Who would be these blind, deaf and dumb nationalists who see the TUV as their allies?

  • Marcionite

    FJH you are right. A vote is like a playing card in bridge, why play your Queen of Spades when your opponent has opened the trick with a Ace? That would be a good game, SF/DUP vs SDLP/UUP. Which of each pair would be the dummy? What would SFs opening bid be? How many tricks would DUP hoe to win? Plenty of knaves and jokers in that game Id say.

    From a Tory view, a UUP win is a one seat gain, obviously. A SF win is also a Tory gain as it means there’s in real terms one less opposition seat. A DUP gain could be one or the other but an SDLP gain is one more opposition seat against the Tories

    Since right now, there are no NI friends in Westminster, the simplest Tory strategy would be to split the unionist vote and get as many seats to go to SF as possible.

    SFs abstentionist policy in effect streghtens the position of whatever party is in government.

  • GEF

    ‘What seats do the British Labour party and the SDLP contest? Who stands aside for who?’

    PF, The Labour Party (unlike Conservatives) have stood aside in Norn Iron politics for the past 20 years so as not to take away votes from the SDLP or even working class voters of SF, and they still refuse to put up candidates in this coming 2010 Westminster election. Its a well known fact many Labour MP’s past and present have Irish republican/nationalist sympathies.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    PeterFyfe
    its just one analysis but all valid.
    many nationalists/republicans might perceive that if they cant get their own man/woman thru….they can use their vote to damage the “enemy”.

    GEF,
    SDLP (for now at least and much to the chagrin of Raynsford, Hoey etc) have the “socialist franchise here. Labour cant and wont stand and indeed you are right that there is latent nationalist support within Labour ranks.

    Labour is of course a coalition anyway. West of Scotland is not Islington and neither is the north east (despite Bliar and Millibad and Mandyson being foisted on them). The Rhondda did not accept some looney Bliarite woman from London and voted for a independent from the Valleys.
    Likewise the Western Isles is not the west London bed sit land where the 1980s image of looney left support for Nicaraguan lesbians would be damaging to Labour.
    Likewise Norn Iron. Labour is a non runner here.

  • GEF

    ‘Labour is a non runner here.’

    Agreed FGH, but so are the Conservatives. At least the Tories have tried over the past 20 years to seek election without much success for local council, assembly, and this 2010 election they are trying to get an MP elected under a UCUNF umbrella.

    If SDP & Labour want Norn Iron to leave their sectarian past behind and come into the main flow of UK politics its about time they followed the Conservatives put up candidates for election.

    Maybe the SDP will think about having and electoral pact with Alliance sometime in the future.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    SDP….is presumably a typo. 🙂
    I absolutely agree the Tories are also non-runners.
    There is no reason why the SDLP should “come” into the main flow of UK politics.
    The SDLP is a nationalist/republican party.

  • GEF

    SDP….is presumably a typo. 🙂

    Apoligies, should be Lib Dems.

  • GEF

    There is no reason why the SDLP should “come” into the main flow of UK politics.

    FJH, the SDLP already have been into the main flow for 40 years, and they even
    ‘Swear Oath of Allegiance (or Affirmation) http://www.parliament.uk/site_information/glossary.cfm?ref=oathofa_7554
    when they take their seats in the House of Commons.

    SF MP’s refuse to take the oath and therefore are content to forfeit the right to sit in UK Parliament

  • John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard

    Alan 56
    Please define a conviction Unonist?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Oh really GEF…..even Dennis Skinner takes that oath of allegiance.
    The minimum requirement the SDLP believes (in their view)to represent their constituents.

    Indeed up to 1973 approx…..the oath of a allegiance was a requirement in the “Norn Iron Civil Service” and local councils.

    Its very naive……yet rather touching in this cynical age that you think taking an oath to a person they consider to be merely Mrs Windsor means a tinkers curse to any member of SDLP.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Its very naive……yet rather touching in this cynical age that you think taking an oath to a person they consider to be merely Mrs Windsor means a tinkers curse to any member of SDLP.

    It’s bizarre you’d say this in almost the same breath as you accuse Alliance of lacking principle for redesignating. Then again, I doubt consistency is your strong point.

  • cynic47

    Its all got a bit off thread!

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Have the SDLP re-designated?
    Any SDLP members in House of Lords?
    As a former party leader and Nobel prize winner Id have thought John Hume might have merited at least a MBE.
    Maybe Seamus Mallon.
    Maybe Joe Hendron.
    How many OBEs, MBEs?
    David Ford admittedly will look a bit like Santa Claus when he gets all dolled up for the inevitable peerage.

    We have LORD AllTooNice
    SIR Oliver Napier
    Anna Lo MBE
    Seamus Close OBE
    Eileen Bell CBE

    Now Im not against AP having these baubles..stunning mediocrity should be no disqualification from being awarded an OBE.

    I think there was a SDLP councillor/MLA (McSorley)in Magherafelt who got a trinket and resigned from SDLP.

  • Framer

    Lord Fitt
    Baroness O’Loan

    for two.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Close Framer but no cigar.
    “Lord” Fitt is in fact dead. It was in the newspapers at the time. When he got his ermine he was NOT a member of the SDLP. He had already left them.
    No harm done easy mistake for you to make.

    “Baroness” O’Loan…well certainly married to a SDLP figure but are you suggesting she is a member of the SDLP Parliamentary Party?
    You also appear to have overlooked the fact that Mrs O’Loan isnt actually er …..Irish.
    She is…..somewhat English.

    Again an easy mistake to make.
    No harm done.

  • Peter Fyfe

    It is funny how often people seem to label her as an SDLP woman time and time again. Their son who posts on here could probaly get annoyed by these assumptions as well.

    Marcoinite & FJH

    I know what you are saying but I am more of a 45 or poker man myself. What if your not sure that trick is won, I am guessing the ace is the highest card in bridge going by your example, so what if the trick is not that clear cut? The people of North antrim are pretty bigoted, there will be a large TUV vote. I only said I would vote paisley if I thought it would be close. The two years between tricks where cards could change in this game adds to the gamble. If the TUV won a seat, who is saying they will not garner more support on the back of this. I should point out I am referring to NA in this where the option is DUP or TUV. The other seats I referred to the option is UUP or DUP. I would go for the UUP options here with the three names I mentioned. I will only get the choice in NA and I would be suprised if Paisley does not win but if it was close I don’t think Jim Allister getting elected would be good for NA or the assembly.

    I should also note I was looking at the seats from a nationalist point of view, I am not caring what is good for the Tories. I think this is simpler than you make out, it is not a game like bridge but more like shoot the pool. With each hand you get one choice but maybe have more options than that crazy game.

    I think I disagree with you both on who republicanism’s/ nationalism’s enemy is, I do advocate voting for the UUP in most unionist areas except in NA where that is a non-runner as the DUP vote is too strong. East belfast may even be included in this but David Vance or whoever else that shower choose does not have a hope so no problem voting for the nice rugby player. I believe Allister has some hope. Don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy a boody nose to be inflicted upon the DUP but not if this means Allister as my MP. In my opinion nationalism’s opponent will always be the more extreme unionist as a result of no party with elected representatives ever being frozen out of the process. I do not want the TUV to have influence, more votes would give them that influence.

  • Fitt left the SDLP because he thought the party had lost its Labour leaning and became a purely nationalist party. The SDLP is however the sister party of ZANU-Labour, just as the Alliance is the sister party of the Lib-Dem’s. It is hypocritical, in the extreme, for anyone from those parties to oppose a link to the Conservatives with any other party.

  • slug

    “The people of North antrim are pretty bigoted, there will be a large TUV vote.”

    Ugh.

  • slug

    SDLP sit on the government benches. A vote for the SDLP is a vote for Labour.

  • GEF

    ‘I do not want the TUV to have influence, more votes would give them that influence.’

    PF, for nationalists to vote for Paisley in NA to help keep TUV from winning the seat is smart. In predominately republican West Belfast Unionists voted for SDLP candidate Joe Hendron to help keep Gerry Adams from becoming MP in the 1992 Westminster election.

  • GEF

    ‘It is hypocritical, in the extreme, for anyone from those parties to oppose a link to the Conservatives with any other party.’

    II, agreed, if the SDLP really wanted to promote themselves as true green Irish Nationalists who support a 32 county Ireland then they should cut the party whip link with the UK Labour Party and link up with Fianna Fail or Fine Gael ‘The United Ireland Party’.

  • [i] It is hypocritical, in the extreme, for anyone from those parties to oppose a link to the Conservatives with any other party.[/i]

    It was the talks with the DUP, who aren’t sister parties with the Tories, that annoyed people. Not the UCUNF arrangement which I actually think makes sense for the UUP in many ways.

    [i]SDLP sit on the government benches. A vote for the SDLP is a vote for Labour.[/i]

    A critical one though- on Iraq war, on ID Cards, tuition fees, 42 days detention etc. It’s definitely a vote against the Tories though.

  • Marcionite

    I know that unionists in BW voted Hendron to keep Adams out (remember Adams decrying the result as ‘depriving the real people of /West Belfast of their seat” as if Prods are somewhat imaginary people), but why only the once and not since?

  • GEF

    ‘I know that unionists in BW voted Hendron to keep Adams out (remember Adams decrying the result as ‘depriving the real people of /West Belfast of their seat” as if Prods are somewhat imaginary people), but why only the once and not since?’

    Because after the 1998 GFA Gerry Adams and the shinners have become outright winners against the SDLP in WB.

    Since then SDLP candidate Alex Atwood does not pull enought votes from the republican/nationalist electorate that voters from WB Unionists would not make a difference.

  • Fabianus

    Mike Nesbitt you say?

    He was rubbish in the Monkees, he was shite as a Victims Commissioner and now he wants to be a politician.

    Well, he’s a dab hand at reading autocues so that should give him a head start. What other qualification would he need for NI?

  • Davros

    To be fair he also went to Cambridge, runs his own production company and is generally well liked by a large sections of electorate. Slightly more so than the incumbent whose chief qualification for the role was being the wife of an MP, an MP whose glittering pre politics career was working at an estate agents.

  • Fabianus

    Davros,

    That’s not being fair. Peter wasn’t simply “working at an estate agents”. He was an estate agent.

    You might just as well say he was “working for a plumber” rather than working as a plumber.

    I feel we owe it to our MLAs and MPs not to play down their invaluable expertise.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Davros,
    Running your own production company is what journalists do when they cant get anyone to employ them.

  • Fabianus

    “Running your own production company is what journalists do when they cant get anyone to employ them.”

    Quite so. Added to that, Davros, try starting up your own production company when you simply have talent but no contacts in the TV trade and see how far you come. Oh, and my friend has a first from Oxford.

    A friend of mine is in that situation. TV here and elsewhere in the UK (and the RoI) is a closed shop, which may help to explain the abysmal state of TV in these islands.

  • Fabianus

    Oops. Wrong sentence order but I think it’s clear enough.

  • west belfast

    Davros

    he is a self promoting smarm king who used the victims commission to up his profile before running for office.

    All part of his and Reg’s plan from the start – a blatant diregard for victims – disgraceful.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Yes I suspect Mr Nesbitts maiden speech at Westminster will include the words “I ready for my close up”.

    When Thatcher made BBC contract out all these “in house” productions, it inevitably led to a load of half assed “production companies” all intent on being the next “Hat Trick” or “Tiger Aspect”.

    Where once our local celebs were just reading the news and sport and weather they are now never off our screens.
    Take Jackie Fullerton. Nuff said.

  • Fabianus

    FitzjamesHorse,

    Look on the bright side. This could be California and we could be governed by a bodybuilder-cum-“actor”. Doesn’t bear thinking about does it?