Campaign to start Tuesday and *still* no UU candidate for South Antrim…

Here’s one that’s been doing the rounds for a while… Reg Empey to stand in South Antrim? But if it is Noel MacAdam in the Telegraph quotes a member of the local association, Reg’s slowness to move is helping fill the space with negative speculation:

“He would be seen and criticised as someone who didn’t want to run, being parachuted in at some sort of trouble-shooter and whatever the reasons for not standing in east Belfast still apply,”

Note, this is/was the party’s best chance of taking back a seat…


  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick , maybe you fancy being a Conservative Unionist MP? go on, go on, go on….

  • Critical Alien

    That Sir Reg election rallying call in full

    UUPCUNF XP Millenium Edition Alpha PLUS stands for the union and for you. We stand for these things so firmly that some of those with whom we stand can’t stand us or what we stand for. These people must stand elsewhere. Or sit. But not sit with us. David Cameron believes in the union. I heard him say so on ITV. One of his friends also told me so in an exciting secret meeting at a mansion in England. That was an fun day. At least they didn’t throw us out like Martin. He came up when we were talking in secret, Martin. Oh boy did he. You bet he did! “Just you wait, Marty”, I thought at the time. Just you wait! Together with the Tories we can carry out the important work of governing Northern Ireland. I say ‘together with’, but don’t be fooled into thinking we’ll do all that working together entails! We’ll shirk our commitments when we want to. Especially on the issues that polls say are important to the people of Northern Ireland. Vote UUP for the union, mixed principles, prevarication and getting Martin.

  • Paul

    UCUNF is in complete disarray they will return 0 seats.

  • PACE Parent

    Since Peter Robinson has opened the door for dual mandates Reg might be tempted to show some leadership and jump in to stand in the most winnable seat. I’m sure Danny Kinahan the MLA would understand and not feel undermined but locals may not convinced that the S. Antrim constituency would tolerate another parachuted-in MP. Guess that risk increases with an international airport in the constituency.
    The UU should appoint Kinahan to run and Reg should keep his nose clean. Win Win all round.

    Given Watson’s thwarted ambition to stand under the UCUNF banner one must wonder when he proposed to tell the voters he was opposed to the whole idea; before or after the election. Stranger still, not one of our sterling journalists have thought about asking when he was going to reveal his opposition.
    The electorate deserve better from their political and media representatives. Now is the time to ask all the other candidates how they stand on the UCUNF relationship and whether or not they have any secret reservations.

  • Paul

    The UUP are split from top to bottom and the voters can see it and will punish them.

  • Mrazik

    Oh, Paul, the voters love it when you talk dirty.

  • PACE Parent

    Not in the same way that Walnut Willie and Fred Fraser’s friend will be punished Paul.

  • alan56

    It is quite possible that there will be 18 C&U candidates by Tuesday. The ‘drama’ in that alliance has been very interesting and sometimes entertaining but it is important to note that other parties are only just completing their candidate list. The real battles lie ahead and I’m sure there will be many twists,turns,breaking stories and much intrigue. Great fun for us bloggers…

  • PACE Parent @ 04:46 PM:

    Walnut Willie

    For a moment there I thought that PACE Parent had been reading the same unsuitable stuff as I have.

    A day made miserable by a streaming cold (and some foul weather), together with imminent grandparental commitments arriving at Terminal Four, was briefly uplifted by the Times.

    David Chater lists as the second of his “Today’s Choices”:

    Ashes to Ashes
    BBC One, 9pm
    The hoary old warhorse returns. DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) is back from his Spanish exile. DI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes …) is out of her coma. DS Skelton (Marshall Lancaster) has been reading Doris Lessing and the Audi is turbocharged and raring to go. The science-fiction element of the show continues to make no sense whatsoever, but Hunt is still the selling point and he’s in cracking form. (“If you come in here again dressed like a maths teacher,” he tells DS Carling, “I will paint your balls the colour of hazelnuts and inform a bag of squirrels that winter is coming.”

    Only after the chortle stopped did the parallels to NI politics occur: “The science-fiction element of the show continues to make no sense whatsoever”. Now PACE Parent implies a further surreal link.

  • joeCanuck

    Mick as a Ucunf candidate might be possible in the future, but haven’t the Conservatives already nominated for S.Antrim; can’t see him as a UUP candidate.(This is all pure speculation by me on Mick’s politics, of course, which isn’t always (ever?) a smart thing to do.)
    But as regards the UUP, have they just been having a bad run of luck or is there something deeper going on?

  • Harry J

    we all know why reg wont run, because he knows he will get beat. That , on top, on having no MPs and the loss of some assembly members, councillors and associations will see the back of this political pigmy.

  • joeCanuck @ 07:02 PM:

    Alas, Mick Fealty would not be a welcome candidate in South Antrim on the same grounds that Ms McVeigh was eliminated. He may be highly qualified, highly respected, a minor luminary (all true), but he is not recently “local”.

    As for what goes in in the UUP/UCUNF state of chassis, beneath that bland, if patently incompetent and self-destructive, exterior there lurks a …. (oh, finish it yourself!)

  • joeCanuck

    I wasn’t talking specifically about S.Antrim. Just speculating who Mick might stand for if he ever decided to throw his hat into a ring.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I have solved all our problems, we shall form the “Slugger O’toole Party” , SOP is quite catching.

  • Keithbelfast

    I’ve voted for SOPs all my life.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I firmly believe that SOPs will win the next election.

  • I read those two comments (by Keithbelfast @ 10:21 PM & Drumlins Rock @ 11:02 PM) too quickly; and was nodding that the SOBs always won, which is why, eventually, we get wise and kick ’em out.

    It was ever thus:

    The accursed power which stands on Privilege
    (And goes with Women, and Champagne, and Bridge)
    Broke – and Democracy resumed her reign
    (Which goes with Bridge, and Women and Champagne).

    Belloc (of that I’m sure). Of 1906 (on which I’ll stand correction).

  • dodrade

    It surely must be Kinahan (who wasn’t elected himself), Empey cannot credibly stand as his own party’s third choice blow-in candidate after making his stand on double jobbing. He would have to leave Stormont and effectively relegate himself to co-leader if by some miracle he won. Being repeatedly thumped by Robinson in East Belfast is one thing, it’s electoral suicide to risk losing to McCrea, he couldn’t stay as leader even if they won seats elsewhere.

    …but since when did the UUP start making sense?

  • Coll Ciotach

    Seems as if the Tories are surrendering.

  • dwatch

    Unionist attacks Tory B&B stance
    Adrian Watson said he should be allowed to stand as a Conservative and Unionist

    An Ulster Unionist not selected as a Westminster candidate because of his views on gay couples in his B&B has said the Conservatives are hypocrites.

  • joeCanuck

    I don’t agree with Mr. Watson’s take on gays. But He has every right to be annoyed at the Conservative’s hypocrisy. And this Tory guy is Shadow Home Secretary! Either he has to go or they have to withdraw their objection to Watson. What a bunch of w????rs.

  • Harry J

    problem for watson is that he has already branded the whole uup-tory linkup as a gimmick

    I hope he does get selected however then states that he wont take the tory whip

    that would be fun

  • JoeC,

    “What a bunch of w????rs”

    By the apparent derogatory use of the term w????rs above are you trying to suggest some distance between yourself and this widely practised activity? Are you asking us to believe that you have never indulged?

    … and given that the issue here is one of hypocrisy in relation to views on sexuality may I suggest you get your transatlantic ass in gear.

    Protocol warning: Please adjust your mindset
    For those of a particulalry tribal and/or sensitive disposition and those unable to judge an arguement on it’s merits please be aware that the term Unionist in my name is not an entrirely accurate reflection of my political views though it should also be noted that my paternal grandfather was a keen supporter of the Union and I am invoking the FIFA grandparent rule and am opting to call myself so. (I’m sure he would have approved.)

  • joeCanuck

    I try not to waste my time, Sammy, unlike you. Your dirty mindset does, indeed, need adjustment.

  • Comrade Stalin

    joe, I thought the problem was inconsistency between the Tories and the UUP, but now it appears that the Tories aren’t even consistent among themselves.

  • joeCanuck

    Indeed, Comrade. I was astounded by the implications when I read this today. Both S.Antrim, and the fact that a member of the Shadow Cabinet would still be flogging this dead horse.

  • JoeC,

    I do like the try not to. How is your eyesight by the way?

    FYI: You need to use Strong rather than b in brackets.

  • joeCanuck

    I eat lots of carrots.
    does work (on my computer). I forgot the / when ending.

  • PaddyReilly

    The UUP are split from top to bottom and the voters can see it and will punish them

    Both wings of Unionism are split from top to bottom, the (former) UUP into pro Sylvia and pro Cameron, and the right wing into DUP and TUV. But never mind, lads, the electoral system can handle this. If there are four Unionist candidates in South Antrim for the General Election, plus one Alliance, one SF and one SDLP, somebody’s got to win, and it’s unlikely to be anyone but a Unionist. Equally for the Stormont elections, there are prizes for nearly everybody, six seats to be had, three different Unionists can be returned.

  • JoeC,

    re. Bs. So it does . re.Carrots, I thought you were more of a parsnip man?


    If the Westminsters turns into a fiasco for Unionism and the UUP in particular, then chances are that they will have sorted themselves out by the Assembly elections as Wee Reggie will go and UCUNF with him.

  • joeCanuck

    Good memory Sammy. Pigs just love parsnips.

  • PACE Parent

    The Belfast Telegraph highlight Adrian Watson’s desperate pleas to be selected as the UCUNF candidate for South Antrim. Before contacting the media or Conservative Party HQ Mr Watson would benefit from a very careful reading of the BT article.
    Some important notes on the law, which still applies to Watson and to any of Chris Grayling’s target audience: Under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 and the Disability Discrimination (NI) Order 2006 no-one should be refused goods or services on the grounds of their sexuality.
    The most telling text in the article is the unambiguous;
    “the decision on Mr Watson was taken unanimously by the Joint Committee of Ulster Unionists and Conservatives. ….the non-selection was taken for a “whole range of reasons”
    Describing your partners as ” anti-Christian, anti-working class and anti-Orange.” will not aid self-administered resuscitation efforts of a public political suicide.

  • PP,

    “will not aid self-administered resuscitation efforts of a public political suicide. ”

    Unless he is standing as an independent in which case it is standard practice and indeed good practice to diss your opponents.

  • PACE Parent

    The Newsletter carries a story in which Watson claims to have stalled the resignations of S. Antrim UU members over his non-selection. It’s my way or the highway over the candidature suggests Watson. There’s form with Old King Cole. Perhaps Watson will ultimately accept Kinahan’s standing in exchange for the MLA position and then do what his old UU friends Donaldson and Foster did, but his boss Burnside did not, and join the DUP.

  • Comrade Stalin

    joe, without intending to be smug, I wasn’t at all surprised. The Conservatives are after all the party of Section 28 and it’s well known that the party grassroots is some way to the right of its leadership, and has been for a long time. Onto this uneasy coalition of One Nation centre-right moderates and the family/flag/religion/europhobe crowd they’ve tried to retrofit this Blairish veneer of tolerance and “cool Britannia”. It’s only to be expected that the wolf beneath the sheep’s clothing occasionally peers through.

    PACE parent, the retrofitting effort described above has been repeated with UCUNF, with the Cameroons apparently believing they can superglue a veneer of tolerance and moral liberalism onto a political ideology which at it’s core is about resisting external influence and maintaining “traditional” values that go back hundreds of years. Unionism, capital U, is little to do with the link with the UK. It’s more aligned with Adrian Watson and the ~20 other UUP South Antrim members who resigned to support him.

  • Comrade Stalin

    .. and join the DUP.

    I don’t think he’d like it there. Bizarrely, there is no shortage of gay DUP members.

  • PACE Parent

    Exactly Comrade Stalin.
    Mr Watson has boxed himself in. With all those phone calls stalling resignations I’m surprised he has time to breathe. Therefore “Mr Watson goes to Westminster” will not be showing in the Antrim Cineplex or bannered on the front page of the Antrim Guardian anytime soon.
    Chris Grayling may not be featuring much in the Conservatives game-plan either. One must be careful around those CPS meetings.