And the Ulster Unionists slowly make up their minds…

A few bits and pieces have come my way over the last few days whilst I’ve been away for the mid term break. Not least the choice of Trevor Ringland as the UU’s preferred candidate for East Belfast and Paula Bradshaw for South… And as most publicised Mike Nesbitt’s late run in Strangford has also put some noses out of joint. Each, in their own way indicate a determination from the top to signal a change. High profile candidates in the two Robinson seats demonstrate an appetite for a fight. It remains to be seen whether those two candidates can galvanise the local associations after potentially divisive protracted selection procedures. They will need every boot on the ground they can muster. And not to play the usual game of “Knock, knock ginger” that has passed for UU canvassing in its former heart lands in recent times…

  • slug

    And the Lady Sylvia story sounds interesting.

  • Pete Baker

    As slug says,

    The Lady Sylvia story sounds interesting

    A Conservative spokesperson said if elected she would have to take the whip at Westminster.

    This would also include supporting the Tory manifesto.

    Discussions involving Lady Hermon, members of her constituency association and UUP officials took place earlier this week at Stormont.

    It is understood the she has agreed to consider standing as an Ulster Unionist candidate in return for supporting the Conservatives should they form the next government.

    And how would that campaign look? Here’s the UUP UCUNF independent candidate?

  • Impartial Reporter

    Looks like other candidates are making their existence known;

    ‘Flash’ Harry Hamilton
    Lesley Macaulay
    Bill Manwaring

    Not a politician amongst them.

  • Impartial Reporter

    Sorry about the link messups, both are facebook pages.

  • Garza

    “Not a politician amongst them.”

    In this country is that a bad thing? We have been starved of new blood for so long.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I dont really have much of a problem with celeb candidates.
    As two former Coronation Street stars are standing for the Tories in May, then I see no good reason why Flash Harry should not be standing in Upper Bann.

    As it has become fashionable to dismiss local politics as squalid and lesser than politics in Britain or Republic, it is of course understandable that so many would be politicians think twice.
    Unionism in particular has had problems with the business community raising its head above the parapets.
    While I dont have much time for lawyers except if related to me….there is an obvious lack of lawyers in some parties. And likewise with the honourable exception of Liam Kennedy at QUB, not many academics are rushing to get elected.

  • Driftwood

    Trevor Ringland could easily win East Belfast, as could Paula Bradshaw in South Belfast. Nesbitt is a good contendor for Strangford. North Antrim is lost to non sectarian unionism and a fight between Jim Allister and IP Junior for who is brightest. (hobsons choice?)
    East Londonderry is up for grabs-money on SF given Campbells’ surrender – and Upper Bann could go anyway but probably loony bin Simpson if he stays out of the ‘agreement’ charade.
    I could vote for Ruane to get the Conservatives in, but I’ll probably stick with Eddie. Sellafield and all those 2 headed fish etc..

  • Driftwood

    FJH
    Liam Kennedy was a tutor of mine at QUB. Fabulous guy. But he never murdered anyone or aquired lots of dosh through dubious planning results so, not being SF or DUP,unfortunately, a non runner.

  • Perhaps it is unfair to blame Reginald, but many within the UUP seem to have availed of the apparent lack of leadership and direction from the top to simulataneoulsy pull the party in different and contradictory directions in relation to the link with Tories and candidate slection, sectarianism(Irish Language and parades), links with the DUP and their position on Hillsborough.

    To anyone outside the party they look like a total shambles and resemble more an unfortunate person exhibiting the symptoms of a multiple personality disorder rather than those of a coherent political party and Noel gently slappping Reginald about on Hearts and Minds as he sought to potray the extraordinary goings on in his party as normal politics was just embarassing.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Indeed I have much respect for Liam Kennedy.
    Is he a UUP member?
    Or SDLP?
    Nope

  • Garza

    From what I have heard Robin Swan has been selected for North Antrim.

    Interestingly another hardliner has through a hat in the ring for NA. So we will have 3 hardliners and the UUP. If the split is enough…who knows.

  • Driftwood

    FJH
    Try the Greens.
    They’re good for you.

    North Antrim, take your pick of the hyenas.
    I’d just like to see either Paisley brought down because of the many, many murders carried out on their rhetoric. Jim Allister maybe a dinosaur, but he’s a T-Rex compared to Junior’s pathetic baby brontorsaurus.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Driftwood,
    I detest the Greens……and anyway they have no members over 16.

  • Alias

    Any man who detests the Greens can’t be all bad.

  • Marcionite

    The Greens are a sanctimonious, moaning minnie of a party of middle class hand wringers. Trust North Down and it’s tranche of fake-English to elect them. They think they’re so clever, voting for Green instead of Orange:Green. Who’s next in line for a North Down seat, The Dogs Trust?

    As for UUP, I admire the new celeb candidates as a spearhead of non toxic unionism, free from the histrionics of the past.

    Off topic, on Youtube, the channel belonging to thenewlodge is a treasure trove of old tv clips, especially BBC/UTV local news from early 80s around the hunger strikes. One thing that struck me was how the glassy eyed psychopathy of those pro PIRA had driven unionists further and further away from the middle ground to occupy the lands of fear and security. I watched Owen Carron a few times on these clips too, a weasal, a man made of venom and hatred.

    It’s only now I feel perhaps UUP is returning to where it may have been pre 69, the territory of patrician toryism

  • USA

    Just went to “thenewlodge” channel on Youtube. Watched some old news footage about a 14 year old protestant boy killed when his fathers milk truck was attacked by rioters.
    Sickening, heartbreaking, had to turn it off.

    I hope these new Unionist politicians can engage with their Catholic neighbors and their political representatives in an open and respectful way. There was just way too much human suffering and tragedy for such a small part of the world.

  • My problem with the Greens is that they follow and promote a secular theology which is inherently anti-human. Their ceaseless moralizing and silencing of debate with phrases like “global warming denier” and their compulsive emoting about polar bears is sub-6th form.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “glassy eyed psychopathy”

    Think you have the wrong folk. You ought to have instead related:

    “…and I have always said that the people of Northern Ireland would be very foolish to put their trust in the United Kingdom Parliament, that has always been my contention, because I sit among them.”

    With the sociopathy here being the Rev. Ian’s companion desire to remain in union with those he’s always said he can’t trust. See:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/thenewlodge#p/u/37/VuWpsqXVYAk

  • Slappy, perhaps Rev. Ian´s thinking is along the lines of “Better the devil you are used to”.

  • Marcionite

    Taking an X files approach for kicks, does anyone even for a moment of reflection, ever entertain the thought that mssrs Adams, McGuinness, Paisley, Robinson have been prey to bodysnatchers or extreme hypnonosis in the past decade and a half or even nobbled/shown- something-scarily dark that scared the bejesus out of them enough to do such volte face.

    You think you all remember how extreme these men were but you really have to remind yourselves by watching old clips just how entrenched and polarised and extreme the players were. To imagine where these people are at now is unthinkable.

    It reminds me of the Klingons, once bitter foes of the Federation and then, part if it but remember, it was because their home planet was dying and they had no choice.

    There’s something not quite right here. Volte Faces as extreme as this don’t happen thru negotiation alone.

  • Marcionite

    Taking an X files approach for kicks, does anyone even for a moment of reflection, ever entertain the thought that mssrs Adams, McGuinness, Paisley, Robinson have been prey to bodysnatchers or extreme hypnonosis in the past decade and a half or even nobbled/shown- something-scarily dark that scared the bejesus out of them enough to do such volte face.

    You think you all remember how extreme these men were but you really have to remind yourselves by watching old clips just how entrenched and polarised and extreme the players were. To imagine where these people are at now is unthinkable.

    It reminds me of the Klingons, once bitter foes of the Federation and then, part if it but remember, it was because their home planet was dying and they had no choice.

    There’s something not quite right here. Volte Faces as extreme as this don’t happen thru negotiation alone.

  • slappymcgroundout

    BOO: Maybe so, but isn’t the one option to take the invitation to know the one now unknown. In that regard, see Seamus’ invitation at the end of that vid. And on knowing both, isn’t the model then, devil across the water and devil down the street, which one do make your pact with? And toss in the devil across the water having an excessively large population in relation to yours while devil down the street not nearly so much. Not my call to make, as I don’t have to live there, but it seems that the one doesn’t really have need of you, with all that such implies, while the other well and truly does. So I’d imagine that you’d get better terms with the one.

  • granni trixie

    For the record, my understanding is that Liam Kennedy stood for MP in West Belfast to draw attention to punishment beatings and exiling as a grossly unfair system for managing largely juvenile delinquents….and the hyprocasy of those who do the talk about human rights but who looked the other way when this kind of injustice is being implimented. I’m sure Adams loved this line of thinking…not.

  • Comrade Stalin

    FJH:

    While I dont have much time for lawyers except if related to me….there is an obvious lack of lawyers in some parties.

    They’re too busy making piles of cash out of our corrupt cronyistic legal system.

    Driftwood:

    Jim Allister maybe a dinosaur, but he’s a T-Rex compared to Junior’s pathetic baby brontorsaurus.

    I don’t think so. When a man was beaten to death by loyalists in Coleraine a year or so ago, it took Jim Allister about a week to put out a press release condemning it. In the intervening time, he put out at least one press release every day about what a bad man Martin McGuinness is, and why powersharing with SF is wrong. The press release that he eventually did put out was caged in its language when you compare it with the language used to condemn the murder of Paul Quinn. For some reason, Jim Allister didn’t think it appropriate to annoy loyalists in North Antrim. I wonder why that was.

  • Marcionite

    GranniTrixie, leaving orange/green aside, punishment beatings of teenage thugs who terrorise, yes, terrorise old folk and destroy peoples lives and sense of sanctuary through burglary, mugging, car theft, was supported and was just and effective

    The namby pamby liberals and the pantomime horse police force PSNI don’t touch these vicious thugs so it’s left to communities to do the honours.

    Have you experienced any of the above on a constant basis, including chronic fear of bring in ones home? If you haven’t and if you are a denizen of a leafy burb (did u on another thread, jump to the defence of the Quangos like human rights and NICCY? The signature of Ivory Towerism)

    The only people who bleat about rights are criminals and their fellow travellers and middle class do gooding people called Emily or Rachel

  • granni trixie

    Marcionite: Although I am indeed aware of how some communities are tortured by young people, I still believe that punishment-rough justice is completely wrong.

    You cannot wind me up with stereotypical labels. and for the record,(without going into a misery memoir type story)I have had many difficult sets of circs. to deal with in my life – so you are wrong to assume I have lead a charmed life which is what informs my moral judgement on punishment beatings.

    Aside from that, I agree with LK stance on this matter as it is absurd for anyone/SF etc to go on about the discriminatory systems,including policing and then support summary ‘justice’ for dealing with young people.

    I dont expect you ever to agree with me but I’d rather know that I bothered to campaign on this issue than that I stood idly by – so throw all the misplaced labels you like at me.

  • interested

    Hermon to do a fudge with her Tory masters!

  • FitzjamesHorse

    granni trixie……Liam Kennedys concern about punishment beatings etc was shared by 147 people in West Belfast…that would be 24,201 fewer who voted for Gerry Adams 🙁

  • cynic47

    147? Thats only about 0.1% of the people who actually got punished before that election. Their beatings and shootings obviously taught them a lesson in who not to vote for.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I assumed that the 147 were people who had been kneecapped and the 24,348 were the people who approved of it.

  • Impartial Reporter

    It’s funny how many of these ‘anti-social yobs’ have been offered the opportunity to ‘fight the good fight’ for both sets of terrorist organisations instead of taking their beatings over the years.

    It’s equally funny how many of these types who were already members of these ‘forces of justice’ were allowed to rob, beat and intimitate without the fear of kneecapping or beating.

    Even today in North and West Belfast, drug dealers, car theives, granny muggers and child abusers are not ‘punished’ because they are ‘part of the solution’.

    If you believe communities actively support this form of justice then you will need help in extracting your head from that body cavity.

  • David Crookes

    [An old-fashioned review of Saturday’s television.]

    In the UUP, the resolute Andy Pandy and Teddy are reported to be sorting out their little differences with Looby Loo. In the TUV, a few of the cowboys are beginning to reject the Lone Ranger’s notion that while all terrorists are wicked, republican terrorists are more wicked than others. In All Gas and Gaiters, the bishops win a free trip to Rome and have a wonderful lunch with the Pope. In today’s episode of The Alliance Party, Mr Pastry confesses that he is agnostic about dough, and yet in tonight’s Bonanza Staffie the Kid suggests that if the Indians are given enough dough they will accept the new marshals. Jinx the Cat’s declaration that there is no point in annoying the meeces of Portadown is pronounced ‘unhelpful’ by the Woodentops. Bill says that at no time has he ever been a member of the Flowerpot Corps, and he’s not even sure whether he has a brother called Ben. Garry Halliday and his assistant ‘Hopeless’ Dodds discover that The Voice, who controls all their voters, is really Bonehead in disguise. Para Handy takes on an unusual assignment when he is appointed Heid Yin o tha Ministrie o Lear (salary £72,000 per annum), and in Dad’s Army Fraser contrives to buy all the golf courses in the world for £1. Finally, today’s edition of the Antiques Roadshow comes to you from Congress House.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Marconite, the thing is that while punishment beatings might give people a feeling to just retribution, they weren’t effective in deterring anti-social behaviour. West Belfast was the capital of car crime for a long time despite the obvious serious threat up there if you were caught.

  • granni trixie

    Even if only 1 person voted to support a campaign against pun beatings, I have no doubt it is right to oppose a system which in some cases is little moe than child abuse. We hve all to live with ourselves.

  • slug

    Swan is a reasonable UUP candidate for North Antrim.

    If the Paisley vote splits in two – taking it to 25% – and the UUP take some of this, then it would be close. But still very difficult to see Dr Paisley losing this one.

  • [i]East Londonderry is up for grabs-money on SF given Campbells’ surrender[/i]

    Billy Leonard? Really? He came 4th in the last General Election and the SF selection convention was, let’s say, far from unanimous.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Sinn Féin ambition in East Derry is limited to the probability of overtaking the SDLP as the leading “nationalist republican party”.
    The combined vote is about 33% and more or less 17% and 16%.
    The best SF-IRA can reasonably expect is to change that to say 15%-18%.
    That kinda vote wont win.
    Campbell has over 43% and UUP have 21%. Campbell could still get 33% and win.
    TUV would do better against a “softer” DUP type.
    Alliance party in the constituency has been in meltdown from over 6% to around 2.6%

  • slug

    Margaret Ritchie may inject something in the SDLP vote.

    Also with a hung parliament a possibility, they actually go to Westminster, unlike SF, where they take the Labour whip (though are independent) so could well play quite an important role in the many important powers that Westminster still has.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    So, we have at least two people defending paramiltary attacks, for that is what they are, not the politically correct “punishment beatings” ? How depressing. That kind of thinking allowed SF and the Prod paramilitaries to attempt to “justify” horrific violence by low-life thugs. The IRA and the Prod hoods didn’t want the police about the place (some still don’t) and the police were constrained by the looney side of the human rights lobby. Kangaroo courts were OK then ? Permanent crippling of teenagers was just fine ? Letting them bleed to death was OK ? What a truly revolting and disgusting case of whataboutery. For shame! And stop labelling this as “middle class” shock. So exiling was OK too ?
    Liam Kennedy, a brave and decent man, stood in that constituency not to win but to make a point and he made it courageously. It is appalling to read rationalizations for thuggery then or now.

  • GFA – you are right in all you say. These assaults cannot be justified and anyone who tries needs to take a look at themselves.

  • [quote][i]A Conservative spokesperson said if elected she would have to take the whip at Westminster. [/i] …. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8524377.stm/quote%5D …… And presumably that would mean following some other tossers’ instructions rather than being guided by what she herself would know of matters. Hopefully the more enlightened of publicly elected representatives of the peoples’ wishes will tell them where to stick the whip, although such Honourable Members of the Commons Houses are Conspicuous by their Absence from that particular and Peculiar Packed Chamber of Pretentious Cuckoos …… Saving the World in their Dreams and Delivering Despair and Ruin with their Just getting on with the Job in Jobs for which they are not even remotely Qualified and in this Particular and Peculiar Instance, not even Popularly Elected by the People, and thus a Fat Catastrophic Cuckoo indeed ….”I think the country wants someone that will push things forward, and not allow things to be stagnant and stale, and every morning I get up with a determination to do my best for this country.” ….. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8526180.stm

    What a Wally …. and how very odd, that the Great Unwashed and Police and Justice accept such Fraudulent Imposters in Westminster and would even consider Unionism with them as being something worthy of Future Entanglement for Off Shore Foreign Remote Control.

    Doesn’t anyone Think Afresh of Pastures Verdant and Lush ….. or is Knowledge of the Past all that you Use to Guide the Ignorant and Undereducated to the Arrogant Presumption that Past Glories, Revised and ReAllocated, would have any Significance or value in Future Post Modern Binary [Virtual Machine] Lives.

    Y’all really must try harder if you wish to be thought of as being in any Relevant to the Future and the Online Societies which Embed their TakeOver CodeXSSXXXX into your Communications Systems.

    And is Peter Robinson still frightened to share the tame barrister’s opinion on his position with regard to his failings in leadership/dodgy spin management, as Harry Limelighted in Iris’s toyboy affairs?

    Are we to expect a Tiger Woods type media circus/grovelling, snivelling, cynical just protecting my third party investments rant, once Iris steps out of the Confines of the Rehab and Reprogramming Unit and into the Sunshine of Freedom? Let’s hope not, for it makes for pathetic television for entertaining losers and cheats.

  • slug

    Lesley McCaulay Lesley Macaulay for Parliament is a UCUNF hopeful for East Londonderry.

  • slug

    Looks like Bill Manwaring is set for the challenging task of West Belfast for UCUNF. Bill seems up for it! Roll on “West Belfast – CON GAIN” on election night.

  • Macaulay looks like a capable candidate but East Londonderry Unionists haven’t hitherto expressed a desire for moderate Unionism or Conservatism… The last two MPs were elected on anti-GFA Agreement platforms, the UUP have been eclipsed by the DUP in recent Assembly elections, the Conservative Party have never reached more than 1% of the vote and Limavady has 2 anti-Agreement Unionists on the council (although the UUP have held up stronger in Coleraine). I could be proved wrong though, a strong UCUNF performance could certainly endanger Gregory if he gets squeezed between them and the TUV.

    On the TUV, does anyone (Turgon?) have any idea who the East Londonderry candidate is likely to be? Ross, Cubitt or Douglas perhaps?

  • slug

    nineteensixtyseven

    If the DUP were to split 50-50 and the UUP to get some of that then she stands a chance.

  • slug,

    Yeah, if she manages to take some DUP votes then she might have a chance but I am not sure how they will go. It will be a very close election actually, with all 3 Unionist candidates potentially hovering around the 20-21% mark- might even persuade the nationalist voters in areas with disproportionately low turnout (parts of Coleraine, Portstewart and some of the Limavady town wards if I recall the figures correctly) to vote.

  • D.A.

    “Margaret Ritchie may inject something in the SDLP vote.”

    If only someone would inject something in Margaret Ritchie…