Will Nesbitt make DUP electoral victim..?

“DO you actually think that the commission can be seen as independent and neutral in this present context with Mr Nesbitt’s position as being party political within that? What effect or what has to be done to ensure that the perception people have in regard to the commission is actually rectified in the near future?” Mid Ulster MLA Francie Molloy whinged about the Victims Commission at the OFMDFM committee hearing yesterday at the Assembly.

Is this a stupid question? Of course it is. Because we all know that the reason there are four commissioners and not one, is because each is perceived as representing a strand of political opinion.

BUT… “The appointment of an independent, four-person Victims Commission represents a major step forward in ensuring that all of the many different needs, backgrounds and experiences of the many people who have lost loved ones and suffered during the conflict are dealt with on an equal basis,” said one MLA in January 2008.

And which sectarian headcounter might this be? Well that would be Sinn Fein’s Francie Molloy. So that’s that – I imagine Sinn Fein will now shut up on this issue.

Now, to answer Francie’s question and maintain the sectarian balance of ‘equality’, the UUP need to get someone back in to the Victims Commission. So who is it Reg? You have a little leverage right now, so will you spit it out now, or after the general election? Speaking of Vic Comms and elections, Candidate Nesbitt – formerly of UTV news fame – has launched his new website. Some of the spiel demonstrates a willingness to be open and communicate with voters – hell, he’s even engaged in the comments (hope it lasts!). On the downside, he’s demonstrated a willingness to be very open; which may lead to foot-in-mouth disease or conflict with the party leadership. Given that it’s Iris’s seat he’s gunning for, surely the DUP must be worried, so this could become another rather dirty affair…

  • GEF

    Another porky pie by David Cameron

    After their big promise by Cameron and his NI shadow secretary of state there would be 18 Tory nominations for the Westminster election, can they please explain why the NI Conservatives cannot find enough candidates to come forward to be nominated now? Just like the Tory leader promised and then reneged his own party members and the British electorate he would have a referendum on the Lisbon treaty if elected to government he has now acted similar with the NI electorate.

    Mike Nesbitt can win back seat for UUP, says man who lost to Iris
    ‘Mr McNarry said the prospective new candidate was not facing a Conservative challenger. “There are a number of constituencies where Conservatives have not come forward,” he added. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/mike-nesbitt-can-win-back-seat-for-uup-says-man-who-lost-to-iris-14686714.html#ixzz0frzNPmlu

  • Drumlins Rock

    GEF, that is the whole point of the link up, the Torys dont have the faces on the ground, the UUP dosnt have the clout at Westminister, so the link up gives the Conservatives the UUP party structure across NI, and it give the UUP a part in what will prob be the next government.

    Mike Nesbitt is a very strong high profile candidate, which is his greatest asset, but also means every word he says will be picked over, not a risk free candidate, but should pull it off, depends on who the DUP stand and if the TUV stand, maybe the DUP will bring in Arelene again lol.

  • iluvni

    As long as he doesnt become the next Mark Durkan with a tortuous pun for every interview. Yes, pushing the bike was a good one, but thats enough. Leave it at that.

  • New Blue

    Great to see Mike put his hat in the ring. There are a lot of fresh faces coming forward for this election, maybe this is the start of movement towards ‘accountable and accessable’ politics and politicians in Northern Ireland.

    Fresh faces, fresh voices, new ideas? Could we possibly be seeing the start of forward momentum that will produce real public representation?

    I certainly hope so.

  • Marcionite

    while I wish Nesbitt success, I think success would be more likely in a different seat Eg South Belfast. Also, is Flash Harry selected yet to stand in Lagan Valley? I’ll leave the puns on that one to others but the UUP are making the effort in producing post sectarian candidates and this to be applauded.

    If the SDLP followed suit but I suspect Ritchie to be too short sighted beyond out-rhetoricing SF. A united Ireland is economically a suicidal duck right now. I’d urge nationalists to think hard and make NI work and fight SF for the right and not the wrong reasons.

  • Macanna

    Always thought nesbit was a bit patronising and condescending as an interviewer and not one bit impartial.Perfect uup candidate.Downward spiral continues.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Flash Harry is Upper Bann, up against David Simpson, they could have a sing off, although like the rest has to be confirmed by the joint committe yet.

    Macanna, if all you can come up with is “a bit patronising” and “not one bit impartial” as criticisms of a politician then you have lost the plot.

  • west belfast

    I would like someone to ask Mr Nesbitt if joining the CVSNI was all part of his plan to up his profile before running in an election.

    I suspect this was his and the UUPs plan all along – a disgraceful exploitation of victims.

    I believe Mr Nesbitt is a self promoting and hugely ambitious man. I never thought Id say this but I sincerely hope the DUP holds Strangford – however I fear the smarm king will win the day and we can look forward to years of patronisation.

  • Macanna

    drumlin, lost the plot in what way excatly?AM I not allowed to offer a personal opinion about the man? Do my comments have to meet your personal criteria before I am allowed to post,A lot of people vote based on their personal opinions of the candidate aswell as their politics. I don’t like nesbit,and I don’t like the uu, If that is not up to your standard of post then tough shit.

  • west belfast

    I agree Macanna – an extremely patronising and pompous man – perfect for the UCUNF.

    I guess if he doesnt get elected he can always use some other vulnerable group to highlight how nice he is!

  • IJP

    Just a factual correction: the Conservatives do have at least one member approved to go forward for selection who has expressed a particular interest in Strangford.

    However, the judgement is which potential candidate is most likely to help David Cameron into Number 10. The fact that Mr Nesbitt will have widespread appeal to the electorate, and has already said that he wants to sign up to the Conservative whip despite “not being a natural Tory” (explaining that he is doing so on the back of the party’s social justice agenda) indicates to me that he is precisely the type of fresh candidate we were hoping to attract.

  • Mike Nesbitt has a history of getting bored and jumping ship. He started off in sports reporting and switched to the very different world of news broadcasting before heading off to the completely separate sector of PR/advertising. After only a couple of years there, he popped up on UTV where he did at least stay for a while before a fairly spectacular fall-out with the company led to another departure. The Victims Commission became a farce pretty quickly, with three of the members on one wavelength and one (guess who)on another. He clearly has a chance of gaining from the anti-Iris backlash in Strangford, but commitment to a cause may be another matter.

  • granni trixie

    Oldhack – looks like you’re right – he jumped ship whilst Governor of Campbell College – surely a story there too?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Id forgotten he was old boy at Campbell College.

  • BryanS

    West ie
    You really think he became a victim comm. to raise his profile? Having been on TV every day for years he needed to raise his profile. Get back in your box.

  • west belfast


    He left UTV quite a long time ago – out of sight out of mind!

    He used his standing in the UUP to get on to the Victims Commission – to up his profile! I believe he is an ego maniac who craves publicity – as witnessed by his solo runs when he was a Commissioner.

    He used the Commission until he was able to go for his real ambition – dumped victims for self!

    If you had been at any meeting where he spoke you would know what I mean – so full of emotion for victims one minute then ‘see ya’ the next!

    By the way – I will be in a box long enough when Im dead – until then stick to the discussion.

  • buile suibhne

    Saw him at the Campbell College open day a few weeks ago so unlikely to be a problem there!

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Hmmm… Campbell College, Cambridge and a former governor at Campbell College but “not a natural Tory”.
    Something there which does not really add up.

    Saw a headline today where he sympathised with Iris and her Depression as his wife Linda has (I think rather courageously) spoken openly about her own illness.

    But it would be a shame if Nesbitt “used” his wifes illness for political purposes

  • Mike has a fascinating interview in today’s Daily Mirror in which he outlines his plans for `a coup of courage to recreate lost hope and dignity in Northern Ireland.’

    He tells us about his wife’s health issues, which has become quite fashionable lately, and the pain he feels for Iris Robinson.

    Mike develops his theme across the front page and two further pages inside, and eventually declares; `I come to the people with open eyes, open ears and an open mind. I come with ideas and some solutions, and I come with the ability to make people understand that they are the people who actually count. We cannot all be leaders, but we cannot all be followers.’

    There is yet another photograph of him feeding his chickens, so we can only hope he has not been been counting them as well.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    It sounds like you actually LIKE him.
    Sounds like we are lucky to have him. I cant wait to touch the hem of his garment as he walks among believers in Newtownards.
    “I come to the people with open eyes, open ears and an open mind”…….but most obviously he seems to come with an open mouth.

  • BryanS

    Now now Fitz. He is regarded by those who know him as having a very acute sense of things political. I wish him luck in Strangford. it will be interesting.

  • slug

    Going to Cambridge (or indeed Oxford for that matter) does not make you a Tory-lots of Labour politicians went there too.