McFarland leaves UUP

The BBC are reporting that Alan McFarland has left the UUP. Apparently he is unhappy regarding the UUP / Conservative link.

He stated:

“With the recent confirmation of candidates, including the imposition of a Conservative candidate in my own North Down constituency, it is clear that the party is determined to continue down the Conservative road,”
“I do now wish to join them.
I am sorry to leave a party that contains many good friends, and greatly regret that events have developed in the way they have.”

Apparently he will remain in the assembly as an independent

  • Bob Wilson

    What a bitter little man – he has never got over screwing up the 1995 by election and his own leadership challenge

  • slug

    Not a surprise.

    Sir Reg’s old leadership rival. Neither Alan nor Sylvia were ever supporters of Reg-even before the UCUNF link up.

  • Michaelhenry

    have they got anyone left,to close the door behind them.

  • Bob Wilson

    In what way has a Conservative candidate been imposed on North Down? The governing body of the UUP is its Executive Council. It voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal with the Conservatives. McFarland is trying to dress up his own disloyalty as some matter of principle.
    No one will notice his going frankly – he departed active politics after losing the leadership contest.

  • alan56

    This is a blow to the UUP. Hard to know how it will play beyond ND. Certainly it helps move the story on from the Robbo stuff. One would hope the two things are not connected.

  • Paul

    mcfarland is going to support SH at the gen election.

  • RepublicanStones

    I may be wrong, but coming from a solid TU background (didn’t he?) what is Fred Cobain’s stance on the whole Tory link up?

  • unionistvoter

    Alan has always had the reputation for taking the wrong decisions in relation to his political career. First a leadership challenge he was destined to lose, then a petulant refusal to accept a ministerial post for his party. Doubtless he will receive the Order of Lenin for his loyalty to Lady Sylvia and world socialism

  • Paul

    seems the uup are having real problems with the tory link.south antrim yet to be sorted

  • Garza

    Ach well you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

  • Harry J

    to lose an MP is careless but to lose an MP and MLA is downright irresponsible.

    Bye Reg

  • Impartial Reporter

    Classic UUP stuff.

    The Sylvia party now has a membership of 2.

    As for Fred Cobain, He seems very happy with his new found Conservatism – let’s see hims selling Maggie on the doorsteps of North Belfast.

    The whole UCUNF is comedy, unfortunately with the DUP being full of shite and the TUV being useless, there is no real unionist vote anymore.

  • Turgon

    Harry J,
    The more so in the run up to an election. Unless this election goes well for the UUP, Reg may be in severe difficulties. The chances of it going well are of course receding. I would have thought it politically even more foolish to try to get rid of him before hand, however.

  • dwatch

    [b]McFarland leaves UUP[/b]

    Very Interesting, first crack in the assembly for the UUP.
    Sir Reg’s party could end up behind Alliance now as fourth party in Stormont in the next assembly election 2011.

  • PaddyReilly

    So now we have 4 Unionist parties plus one Loyalist. Keep it up, lads! Hopefully North Down will soon have six different parties representing it. May the best woman win.

  • Carsons Cat

    My guess is that McFarland seen the P&J vote as the monumental piece of cynicsm that it actually was. He was on the tv a few days before the vote and he certainly seemed less than enthusiastic about the scenario the UUP ended up adopting.

    It’s amusing but not surprising to read the venom now being poured out over him. I suppose this means that UCUNF qualify for a set of steak knives or something. In just over a fortnight they lost a Cllr. (I know Nelson was a chancer but she sell counts…. just), an MP and now an MLA.

    If they can’t sell a Tory link-up to a privately educated former Army Major then who exactly are they appealing to?

    After the P&j farce where they couldn’t support that terrible deal was the desire then to go and vote for an SDLP Justice Minister the last straw for McFarland??

  • Los Lobos

    With Sir Reg’s hand on the tiller the UU are sailing into the twilight Zone never to be seen again. Not only has everything he touched turned to crap but he has managed to do what the DUP couldn’t even attempt, drive the moderates out of the party, leaving the UU looking like the monster raving loony party! If someone had scripted a worse leader they could not have come up with anyone as useless as (Burnsey and his sidekick Smithers). Given that the leadership race was so close one would have thought that the number of people who voted for Alan would have meant that “Burnsey” would have at least been able to keep them sweet by embracing Alan as his deputy. But no he had to go and hire that little plonker “Smithers” from Bessbrook, creating a division where none existed. Then, like some Victorian factory owner, he proceeded to treat his own people like dirt and suck up to the toffs in the Tory party, whilst at the same time promote ex newsreaders and celebrities over those who had served their time in the party over many years at the coal face. To crown all, he even managed to associate Jim Nicholson with the sick Tory in Europe, famous for commenting “I wouldn’t wish the NHS on anyone”. So much for modest middleclass politics, so much for a shared future, so much for bringing Catholics and others into the party, so much guff. It’s over Reg, go back to your constituancy and prepare for your political funeral, although I don’t think you will be allowed consintrated ground, as taking one’s own political life prohibits such an occasion.

  • Bob Wilson

    He may be privately educated and a former Army officer but seems he was never thought loyalty.
    Resigning effectively during an election campaign is disgraceful

  • dwatch

    If they can’t sell a Tory link-up to a privately educated former Army Major then who exactly are they appealing to?

    Good point, if UCUNF cannot attract middle class guys from ND like McFarland how do they expect to attract votes from working class Prods in East, North & South Belfast? Read letter from:
    DISGRUNTLED WORKING MAN Belfast http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/letters/insulted-by-politicians-road-map-14747431.html#ixzz0jdgmyheM

  • Carsons Cat

    Bob.
    Not sure what army protocol is bit I’d imagine even the most loyal squaddie would be allowed to jump out of the tank if the General decided to become a kamikazi pilot (excuse the mixed metaphor) (and I do recognise that the idea of Reggie as a General is a bit ludicrous).

    On a side note though: never mind what Red Fred thinks about being a Tory now. What’s his views on the UUP planning to vote for a man who described an estate in North Belfast where all the Protestant residents were intimidated our as a “windfall site”?????

    Given that last August Reg slammed the idea of Ford as a Minister cos he wasn’t unionist enough then how do we describe that little backflip?

    McFarland’s timing might be a pain in the a**e for Reg but he’s only attempting to get out while there are still a few parachutes left! The rest are just sitting with their head between their political knees praying that 1)Dave wins & 2)He actually gives a stuff about them. Good luck with that one.

  • Dec

    I may be wrong, but coming from a solid TU background (didn’t he?) what is Fred Cobain’s stance on the whole Tory link up?

    Good question. Last time I saw him he was on the Politics Show lambasting Conor Murphy and Alex Attwood for their lack of socialist credentials. You couldn’t have made it up.

  • Drumlins Rock

    how close was he to sylvia? like was it always the case if she jumped he would?

  • John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard

    A considerable number of Trade Unionists vote Conservative. Alan McFarland knew he was no doubt in for deselection at the next Assembly election. Ever since he lost the leadership election, in which I mistakenly voted for him, he has behaved like a sulking puerile child and tried to be as fey as his new Leaderene Lady Hermon. She gave up displaying any loyalty to the UUP years ago and if she had had the whip withdrawn long ago this chance to adopt spoiling tactics would have been a nine day miracle. She should now embark on a career on the Stage with Alan McFarland as her manager and devoted Svengali.

  • Los Lobos

    Anyone else on the list Bob that “was never thought loyalty”? What sort of a deranged Ulster Unionist are you that seeks to hint at a loyalty points system for every member? Is this a form of Stalinism, where the airbrush is produced anytime there is a disagreement within the party? Who the hell are you to comment on loyalism within a Party that has been tore asunder by a “toff loving tosser” like Reg? Alan’s values and indeed love of the people who voted for him over the years meant that he could not stand idly by and watch them get taken for a ride by a numbskull like Reg. It took something Reg or yourself doesn’t have to walk away from the Party (swingers)and go independent in the Assembly. The only disgrace tonight is that “reactionaries” like yourself are intent on doing down a good man who has exposed the soft underbelly of the now defunct UU.

  • Carsons Cat

    Hmmmmm all the bitterness shown against these people for not suddenly bowing down to the all-powerful UCUNF and the odd/dangerous notion that NI’s place in the Union seems to hang entirely on a Tory Government. Yet, these are the very same people brought in and encouraged in the UUP by chief UCUNFer Trimble (David that is & not the bloke running in Lagan Valley). What does that say about the ‘noble’ Lord’s judgement uf we’re told that his strategy all along was to get the UCUNF link-up??

  • GavBelfast

    What is it about North Down?

    He always came across as unimpressively inoffensive, but this is still disappointing stuff for the “New Force”.

    In truth, it’s been downhil since THAT get-together.

    Oh, and Reg. Efective leader? Aye, right ….

  • dwatch

    One can only guess how many more deflections from the ND UUP association will there be now their chairman Alan Mc Farland has joined Lady Hermon to canvass as an Independant.?

    Surely the ND Conservatives will not turn out to canvass for Ian Parsley now after being lamblasted as weak by McNarry:
    Ulster Conservatives branded ‘weak’
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ulster-conservatives-branded-lsquoweakrsquo-by-mcnarry-14742941.html

  • someone

    Amused by DUP trolls on here.

    Is Orange-loving, DUP-loving, pro- so-called “unionist unity”, McNarry the best you can muster? A man who represents nothing but himself. Oh sorry I forgot about the “anonymous” letter from DUP press office in the telegraph, but that was fairly silly too.

    Anyway who was this guy McFarland – I’m not from North Down so I only recognise the name… Comments suggest he was beaten by Reg to be leader. In any case he hardly has great affection for his ex-colleagues if he thinks resigning at the start of an election campaign is an okay thing to do.

  • Cynic2

    Is it me or is the quality of discussion and analysis on this blog going rapidly downhill.It seems to have become home to a large number of rabid SF and TUV Trolls backed my a smattering of the religious right for whom nothing is right in the world.

    You need to get out more guys – and I dont mean out to Church, prayer group or the catholic equivalent of the local Cummann meeting at which Saint Gerry is venerated.

  • dwatch

    [i]In another blow to the UUP it has also emerged that Mayor of Antrim Adrian Watson has been vetoed as the party’s candidate for the general election in South Antrim[/i]

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/shock-as-leading-uup-man-resigns-over-linkup-with-conservatives-14748536.html#ixzz0jjKgHwNp

  • bobballs

    Bob Wilson’s response: ‘What a bitter little man…’

    Sorry Bob. But it looks to me like he kept this own counsel, made his arguments from within the party, he didn’t mouth off to the press or on blog sites, he played it as loyally as he could, and when the time came he did the honourable thing and resigned quielty without any drama.

    I doubt anyone who knew alan or who had a balanced view on all this could have described him in the way you did.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bob Wilson:

    In what way has a Conservative candidate been imposed on North Down? The governing body of the UUP is its Executive Council. It voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal with the Conservatives.

    Elections are won and lost on the back of hard work put in by local volunteer party members and their friends. How can you motivate such volunteers to come out and do election work if you’re going to overrule them at every turn from the centre ?

    The UUP is in meltdown. I predict a post-election self-inflicted purge.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I had to laugh at the Belfast Telegraph letter from “disgruntled working man” :

    Thankfully, things have changed and we are now represented by a party of unionism that formed part of a grassroots revolution in the Sixties.

    I just have this picture of young unionists in flares and miniskirts getting down to the Doc.

  • dwatch

    The UUP is in meltdown.

    Very sad indeed, the UUP may now end up the 4th party on the assembly and have no ministers, whereas Alliance will gain more MLA seats at the next MLA election. What a come down from champions league to third division in two elections.

    [b]UCUNF flirting with Unionist Pacts undermines Shared Future credibility[/b]
    http://www.allianceparty.org/news/005071/ucunf_flirting_with_unionist_pacts_undermines_shared_future_credibility.html

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m wondering what the implications are for those UUP types who all thought d’Hondt was a great idea. Now that the SDLP and UUP have the same number of MLAs, I wonder how that works ?

  • Carsons Cat

    And now refusal to bow down to UCUNF and not defend the indefensible is regarded as “trolling by our oh-so liberal friendly newly discovered Tories.

    McFarland and Hermon are screaming unreasonables yet they were both brought into the UUP representing the kind of new warm, friendly non-sectarian and modern people which UCUNF supposedly all about. However, express he slightest doubt about the experiment and you’re out. Express the slightest concern that someone who mustered less than half a quota (for a different party) in their first Council election has been drafted in over the head of an MP who will stroll the election and you’ll be automatically ousted and dirt invented or innuendo issued whilst still maintaining that UCUNF is all a nice warm and friendly operation designed to bring us all sunshine in our life.

    Reg sold his party’s soul in return for Ashcroft’s money and it’s just no wonder that not everyone is happy with that.

  • Carsons Cat

    And now refusal to bow down to UCUNF and not defend the indefensible is regarded as “trolling by our oh-so liberal friendly newly discovered Tories.

    McFarland and Hermon are screaming unreasonables yet they were both brought into the UUP representing the kind of new warm, friendly non-sectarian and modern people which UCUNF supposedly all about. However, express he slightest doubt about the experiment and you’re out. Express the slightest concern that someone who mustered less than half a quota (for a different party) in their first Council election has been drafted in over the head of an MP who will stroll the election and you’ll be automatically ousted and dirt invented or innuendo issued whilst still maintaining that UCUNF is all a nice warm and friendly operation designed to bring us all sunshine in our life.

    Reg sold his party’s soul in return for Ashcroft’s money and it’s just no wonder that not everyone is happy with that.

  • interested

    Was not expecting this one but it makes no difference to anyone in the community they never saw or heard from McFarland from one election to the next.

  • NMCNSA

    Thank goodness, was getting tired of seeing him get battered by the various DUP cronies. A genuine political lightweight who won’t be missed!
    I do note that he didn’t have the good grace to resign from the Assembley however, then again principles don’t pay for the mansion in Cultra.
    It also might sound a bit more genuine if the loudest protests hadn’t come from the 2 most Tory like UUP members you could hope to find!
    Less on principle and more on loss of personal power I reckon.
    Always found Lady Hermon a bit distasteful in the Commons anyway!

  • ding dong

    The manner of Alan McFarland’s resignation reveals more about the man than those trollng on this site.

    His principles prevented him from taking ministerial office, his principles made sure he made his arguements within the party, his principles ensured his resignation was done without much fuss, in fact he appears to be a politician with principles – no wonder he is seen as such a rarity

  • cynic47

    Interested

    Happens in all parties. Loads of uneducated donkeys get elected with the party coat well wrapped around them.

  • Jack Black

    Bob,

  • Jack Black

    Bob,

    You’re right. He’s not bitter, and unlike what John Lund spouts, he wasn’t going to be deselected.

    However, what he has done was not the honourable thing. Even Jim Allister managed to wait until after the election he couldn’t live with before he stuck the knife in. His timing was appaling, both for election timetable reasons and for Robinson reasons. Some will suspect that it was done last night deliberatly to do most damage, I wouldn’t be sure about that, but that is certainly what happened, and he should have waited. Afterall, Hermon spent a lot of time boasting about how she didn’t vote for Nicholson last year.

    A lot of people, including me, thought a lot better of Alan and what he has done won’t easily be forgotten.

    I suspect that this is his retirement. He is a peace process politician, and all the peace process access and information came from being in the UUP. He will spend the next year bored out of his mind on the backbenches until he can collect the pension to go with his army one.

  • forwardthinkingunionist

    So the Belfast Telegraph article also confirms Watson has been vetoed in South Antrim – time to play name the candidate. UUP circles would suggest the shortlist reads like this:

    Reg Empey – surely not?
    Danny Kinahan – most likely but doubt the watson backers would be supportive
    David Burnside – would be a ridiculous choice
    Mark Cosgrove – party treasurer, joint committee member, highly regarded in the party
    Philip Robinson – ran against watson for the nomination, mcgimpsey’s special advisor
    Mark Hill – ex-DUP, youth on his side and most likely to have the watson supporters backing
    Stephen Nicholl – local councillor and cosy with the conservatives
    Robin Swann – missed out to a conservative in north antrim, might be given the chance here instead

    Will be interesting to say the least – the party has the opportunity of a seat here but not sure who is best suited at challenging McCrea out of that list?

  • Finn Mc Cool

    Well if that is the case it throws the seat wide open. I think a major influence on the vote will be who the traditional SDLP voters side with. It was those voters who got Burnside in rather than the singing reverend and then realised there was little difference which allowed the reverend to get the seat last time.
    It is possible that they go with ‘Alliance Alan’ which will improve the alliance vote.

    It will be an interesting campaign watching the unionist fight it out, this may allow others to sneek up the inside and give a good showing.

  • NMCNSA

    Think it will be Kinahan, Sir Reg seem happy in his ministerial post and probably feels he can lead the party better for Stormont.
    Danny will be an excellent candidate, hard working, forward thinking, well liked and unlike McCrea(IF HE STANDS) he is from south Antrim.
    Also excellent green credentials through his work with environmental groups.

  • dwatch

    [i]Think it will be Kinahan, Sir Reg seem happy in his ministerial post and probably feels he can lead the party better for Stormont.[/i]

    What if Watson decides to stand now as an independant, and take a few of his supporters along with him?

  • NMCNSA

    Can’t see it happen, his council seat and mayoral postion would be at risk.

  • [quote][i]The UUP is in meltdown. I predict a post-election self-inflicted purge.[/i] … Posted by Comrade Stalin on Mar 31, 2010 @ 07:18 AM [/quote]

    If it has any leadership it would purge itself pre-election to ensure that it won seats rather than resigning itself to losing sitting candidates, which must also make existing sitting tenants more likely to be ejected/rejected in the up coming election because of pathetic party leadership.

  • NMCNSA

    “If it has any leadership it would purge itself pre-election to ensure that it won seats rather than resigning itself to losing sitting candidates” Posted by amanfromMars on Mar 31, 2010 @ 10:24 AM

    We don’t have any sitting candidates! And looks to me like the purge is well under way now Sooty McFarland has taken himself off

  • Framer

    The UUP has been in a cleft stick for nearly thirty years (indeed ninety years) over going for a policy of devolution or integration. It seems an insoluble problem.

    Devolution is less than Unionist yet attractively Ulsterist. It provides political jobs and keeps people’s minds off the real politics of Westminster.

    Since 1921, both London parties have operated devolution to keep Ireland out of their hair. It worked for fifty years but they paid a terrible for the following forty as a result.

    The 1921 policy remains the Foreign Office policy, with Labour’s Hain and Woodward becoming virtuosos at playing the Ulsterists off against the UUP.

    The UUP meanwhile makes a hybrid attempt (UCUNF) to get round the problem which on past experience is not a winner unless it becomes a rerun of the 1950s when Westminster MPs disappeared to London. Anyway the Ulsterists (DUP) are currently the lead party of unionism.

    Devolution for Unionists is doomed to become or remain political localism and self-regarding ambition (or greed) because Unionism is a policy-free single issue movement. Westminster offers a way out but London if ceasing to be the referee is frightened of Dublin. Perhaps Cameron can show a little early freedom from the fear of nationalism.

    North Down (the nearest to an Ulster Home County) has been the stage where this drama is played out with a peculiar cast of actors.

    Some are ideological and integrationist like Bob McCartney; others their own wo/man like Tory Jim Kilfedder or Nulabourite Sylvia Hermon and now moderate Alan McFarland. All the MPs required silent DUP support to get re-elected although for the first time that party could now take the seat itself.

    Reg Empey has given the UUP a new policy so no one can say he has not provided leadership. The problem is that the UUP’s officer class remains localist or unknown while the candidate list is unideological and moderate like McFarland and thus has no stamina.

    The result is that the UUP although an exceptionally strong membership party has not got the drive or discipline of the DUP. It will do very well in the next Assembly and council elections due to PR but without a DUP deal or arrangement will not do well in May.

    Jim Molyneaux successfully played both policies and hid behind masterly inactivity. David Trimble, then, and more so now ran with both. But neither saved the party or frightened nationalism.

    UCUNF by becoming too rigid has curbed its ability to manoeuvre. Inappropriate Cameron-like candidate imposition doesn’t work and leaves the party open to ridicule. And when the Tories become unpopular again as they must the UUP will have an albatross around its neck.

    In this insoluble dilemma, a strong dose of pragmatism is the only way forward for Unionism and a lot less of personal politics.

  • dwatch

    [i]Can’t see it happen, his council seat and mayoral postion would be at risk.[/i]

    How would it be at risk, if he declared himself as an Independant Major and councillor?

  • NMCNSA

    Because I very much doubt if he could round up enough supporters to get himself on the ballot.
    Were not talking about a master of the cult of personality here

  • No surprise at McFarland following Sylvia, they are thought to be very, very close.

  • Greenflag

    McFarland hath seen the writing on the wall and the message was not good .

    Nobody ever wants to be ‘russian fronted ‘ i.e attacked from front and rear simultaneously.
    The great Otto Von Bismarck spent his entire political carrier endeavouring to ensure that Germany would not have to face France and Russia in a land war at the same time .

    The UUP somehow has done even better than being ‘Russian Fronted ‘ Not only have they to contend with the DUP and Alliance but now the TUV and also from from amongst their own diminishing followers those who will have no truck with the Tories .

    Double russian fronted so to speak .

    Will McFarland be the last off the titanic or are there more edging towards any political lifeboat that presents itself ?

  • NMCNSA

    As opposed To the SMS Bismarck that is the DUP.
    Looking invincible at first before it ends up going doing with Captain Willie and his fist mate Jeffrey at the tillar

  • Carsons Cat

    Greenflag
    “Will McFarland be the last off the titanic or are there more edging towards any political lifeboat that presents itself ?”

    There are more – there have been others who privately have been voicing their disquiet – about the Tory link-up and more recently about the P&J vote.

    McFarland won’t be the last, the only issue is whether its one other MLA who ends up breaking ranks or two.

    So many UCUNFers out there have been so busy salivating over all sorts of things relating to other parties that they haven’t seen what’s happening within their own party. All those slavishly faithful to the UCUNF line bloggers were predicting DUP resignations over Policing & Justice. They were wrong – and now we’re getting UUP resignations.

    It won’t be the last.

  • NMCNSA

    McFarland was always Sooty to Sylvias Sweep! Good ridence to the pair of them! I for one think the pair of Juads’ should have been thrown out of the party months ago, they were like a Jeffrey and Arlene tribute act!
    DUP really is the UUP for slow learners!

  • Driftwood

    NMCSA
    Did you mean to type ‘fist mate’ #6 above?

    Freudian slip?

    Anyways, there appears to be going to be outright ‘civil war’ among Unionism of all hues.

    The electorate will dwindle as no-one is coming out of this well.

    At least its not raining.

  • NMCNSA

    Something like that!

  • dwatch

    [i]Because I very much doubt if he could round up enough supporters to get himself on the ballot. Were not talking about a master of the cult of personality here[/i]

    NMCNSA, you only need the support of 10 or more party (or group representatives) to stand for election for a party or group not as an INDEPENDANT. All he needs to do is put £1000 of his own money up to stand without the support of anyone.

    Furthermore he would be a total idiot to stay in the UUP after such humilation by UCUNF.

  • coconnor

    I’m wondering what the implications are for those UUP types who all thought d’Hondt was a great idea. Now that the SDLP and UUP have the same number of MLAs, I wonder how that works ?

    D’Hondt is worked on the results of the last election, so this will not have any real effect upon it.

    Although perhaps it should?

  • NMCNSA

    Connor didnt you know Peter and his mate Marty scrapped d’Hondt at Hillsborough?? Around the same time they gave Alliance a minsterial post

  • Paddy Matthews

    @ NMCNSA

    I do note that he didn’t have the good grace to resign from the Assembley however, then again principles don’t pay for the mansion in Cultra.

    Perhaps he could resign from the Assembly to which he was elected as a UUP candidate at the same time as Ian Parsley resigns from North Down council to which he was elected as an Alliance candidate.

  • NMCNSA

    @Paddy

    I’m sure he will do when he beats the Lady at the polls seeing as our party are against double jobbing.

  • Since Trimble cowped its been one thing after another with the UUP

    is anyone in control?

    i mean in any other walk of life someone would have taken control of this situation

    The Fermanagh and South Belfast issue is one glaringly obvious short term,breather/rescue plan for them and they treat the gift of a seat in Westminster with disdain – it isn’t washing well on the street that’s for sure.

    It has to be down to ££££ as otherwise a blind man on a galloping horse with superglued eyelids and his hands tied behind his back – facing backwards on the saddle would have jumped at the opportunity of a free run in either FST or SB….

    the saga continues….

  • dwatch

    [i]The Fermanagh and South Belfast issue is one glaringly obvious short term,breather/rescue plan for them and they treat the gift of a seat in Westminster with disdain – it isn’t washing well on the street that’s for sure.[/i]

    The DUP are still trying to seal a deal on these two marginal seats.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8597658.stm

  • Garza

    What utter crap dwatch.

    Unionist Unity = the DUP trying to break up U&C and tryind to destroy the UUP.

    That is what the DUP’s unity is all about.

    They are quoting unionist unity while steping aside in North Down, I wasn’t aware nationalists are close to snatching that seat.

    Why do a pact with a party that has been trying since its existance to destroy you and continues to try so?

  • The DUP have decided not to contest North Down:

    The DUP released the following statement this afternoon:

    “The Democratic Unionist Party has decided to stand aside in the North Down constituency at the forthcoming General Election in the interests of unionist unity.

    As a party that is leading the campaign to bring about greater unionist co-operation we are not prepared to oppose a sitting Unionist Member of Parliament. It would not be consistent to be advocating greater co-operation within unionism while at the same time oppose a sitting Member of Parliament in North Down who is a unionist.

    We are continuing to pursue efforts to reach a resolution in the two winnable constituencies where there is no unionist Member of Parliament and which are currently held by nationalists and republicans. Whilst the DUP is the largest unionist party in both South Belfast and Fermanagh/South Tyrone we are prepared to reach agreed arrangements with the Ulster Unionist Party either through the DUP running in one constituency and the UUP in the other or by agreeing unity candidates that both parties support.

    We are determined to maximise the number of seats held by unionists at Westminster so that Northern Ireland members can work together in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland.”

  • Paddy Matthews

    @NMCNSA:

    I’m sure he will do when he beats the Lady at the polls seeing as our party are against double jobbing.

    LOL – it’s the way you tell them…

    McFarland isn’t double-jobbing, so that can hardly be why you were calling for his resignation.

    North Down Council, on the other hand, still seem to be under a misapprehension about Cllr Parsley:

    Councillor Ian Parsley

    Party: Alliance Party

    Council Area: Holywood

    Ian James Parsley was elected to North Down Borough Council in May 2005 and was appointed the Alliance Party’s Policy Officer and Economy spokesperson in 2008, having spent most of the past decade in business as Managing Director of a media relations consultancy he founded in 1999.

    He managed the Alliance Party’s media campaigns at the 2005 local and 2007 Assembly elections, and chaired the party’s youth wing through its revival from 2003 to 2007.

    An alumnus of the American Council of Young Political Leaders’ exchange programme in 2005, Ian’s past efforts on peace and reconciliation have included work with the Council of Europe in South Tyrol and Catalonia in 2000, with the Soros Foundation in Estonia and Moldova in 2003-4, and with European Liberal Youth across Europe since 2005.

    Locally, he serves as Honorary Treasurer of Bangor Operatic Society, a long-standing member of Holywood and now Bangor Road Safety Committee, and a director of North Down
    Local Strategy Partnership and various economic development organisations.

    He takes a keen interest in the arts, road safety, business development, language issues and conservation.

    Check out my Facebook profile.

    http://www.northdown.gov.uk/councillor_detail.asp?id=5&area=5

    Has he not got round to breaking the news to them yet, or is be hedging his bets in the (admittedly unlikely *cough* *snort*) event of not getting a landslide majority over the current renegade MP?

  • Niccolo

    Garza,

    “Why do a pact with a party that has been trying since its existance to destroy you and continues to try so?”

    Well, you and Sir Reg just stick to that line and see how that works out for you.

    David Trimble turned 10 seats into 1.

    Sir Reg has now gone one better (forgive the pun) and turned 1 seat into 0.

    Now, I’m no gambler but I’d be willing to bet that the UUP at least triple their current total of 0 seats in May. Any takers?

  • Could someone let me know when there was a DUP representative in Westminster for either South Belfast or Fermanagh & South Tyrone? IIRC the only unionists elected to either seat were Ulster Unionists. If the DUP really want to see an increase in the unionist representation at Westminster then they know where they need to stand down.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Furthermore he would be a total idiot to stay in the UUP after such humilation by UCUNF.

    dwatch, in fairness though, he did stay in after he was passed over for Sylvia in 2001.

    I think it’s more serious than that. The UUP is all over the place, and that started with its abandonment of a sitting MP and apparently a sitting MLA.

  • LottaNonsense

    Intelligence Insider

    Whether a candidate or a political party has held a particular seat for many years is irrelevant. Democracy is about gaining a mandate, and then having that mandate renewed every 3-5 years according to the particular democratic system.

    Once this next general election is called then all candidates are equal before the electorate, and this includes the sitting MP if that person is seeking re-election. That’s the essence of democracy.

    The Conservatives are targeting many seats in the North of England at this coming election, which have been Labour for decades – Are you saying that the Conservatives are not entitled to do this?, and that those seats ‘belong to’ Labour.

    The DUP are perfectly entitled to run candidates in whatever seats they wish.

    Seats don’t belong to a particular political party – They belong to the electorate in that constituency.

  • NMCNSA

    @Paddy
    McFarland wasn’t double jobbing he was a double agent trying to bring the party down from within

  • Harry J

    #

    @Paddy
    McFarland wasn’t double jobbing he was a double agent trying to bring the party down from within
    Posted by NMCNSA on Mar 31, 2010 @ 08:54 PM

    strange how McFarlands utter evil only comes to light after he resigns. Why wasnt he exposed before now.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Elsewhere, the hills are alive with the sound of rattles being tossed out of prams :

    “The honourable course of action would be for McFarland to resign in order to allow the UUP to co-opt a representative for its seat.

    Instead he has decided to retain a seat which he won under the false pretences that he would remain an Ulster Unionist throughout the lifetime of the Assembly. It is an unprincipled action, but a lack of principle is not surprising from an acolyte of Sylvia Herman.”

    (Hypocrisy, much?)

    And in the comments from the original poster:

    “He’s not really an autonomous individual anymore Tim. He imbibes his opinions from Sylvia’s teet(sic).”

    Stay classy, San Diego.

  • dwatch

    [i]Because I very much doubt if he could round up enough supporters to get himself on the ballot. Were not talking about a master of the cult of personality here[/i]

    NMCNSA, read latest news on Watson:
    {b] Adrian Watson: Ousted because I wasn’t a Cameron cutie. {/b]

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/adrian-watson-ousted-because-i-wasnt-a-cameron-cutie-14749885.html#ixzz0jot8quoD

    Its obvious you are not familiar with Antrim or know other UUP members from the area.

    If he was not a cult figure before, Cameron, Patterson, Empey and Campbell have certainly turned him into one now in the SA constituency.

  • RepublicanStones

    Interesting views expressed here regarding Hermon going it alone. Sylvia and IJP both interviewed. Kilcooley estate folks present an interesting insight.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2010/apr/01/northern-ireland-conservatives-ulster-unionist-party#start-of-comments

  • Framer

    Spratt selected by DUP for South Belfast.

    Now if they can withdraw in North Down to avoid a unionist being defeated [by a unionist] then…

  • dwatch

    Spratt should win this seat no problem this time, seeing the UUP have refused to do a deal. UUP were nearly 2000 votes behind the DUP last time and therefore many of the 2005 UUP voters will vote DUP this time to keep McDonnell out.

    2005 election
    Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) 10,339
    Jimmy Spratt (DUP) 9,104
    Michael McGimpsey (UUP) 7,263

  • granni trixie

    All could change if a certain “rumour” from that constituency emerges in the newspapers (what’s holding it up!).

  • cynic47

    North Down Forecast.

    Ind 19000+
    TUV 2800
    Con/UUP 2500
    Alliance 1400
    SDLP 1300
    Greens 800

    Nice one Reg!