Team Martin McAuley for North Belfast…

Team McAuleyMartin McAuley (at the front) will today submit his papers to the Returning Officer in Glengormley thus becoming the youngest candidate standing here in Northern Ireland in the Westminister Elections. He would have been the youngest in the whole of the UK but for a burger flipper who is standing over on the big Island. Standing as an independent and being only 19 he needs all the support he can.
It will be interesting to see how his policies are accepted, which he says is an attempt to move away from the “Barrier Politics of old” Seen with his backroom staff who will help, guide,aid and assist during the forthcoming campaign.
Here’s Martin’s manifesto :

The Economy:
•I will not support cuts to frontline public services within Northern Ireland.

•I pledge to cut down on paperwork and red tape so public services can maximise their efficiency.

•I will lobby Parliament to allow the Assembly to make redundancies in the civil service without having to defer to central government.

•Any stamp duty pledge from the Government should be backed up by a boost in co-operative housing schemes within Northern Ireland.

The Community:
•As a member of various community groups, I pledge to support services and charities within North Belfast.

•I will remain a key voice in the local community and will always speak up for North Belfast.

Policing and Justice:
•I will support an inquiry into whether the so called “50-50” new police recruits policy backed in the Patten Report.

•In an effort to increase efficiency I will support the removal of certain quangos.

•I will support the merger of District Policing Partnerships and the Policing Board.

Education:

•I will support the right of individuals to choose whether to send their child to either a grammar school or a comprehensive: but the choice element must remain in parent’s hands, and not in the hands of the Minister of Education.

•I will resist any attempt to increase tuition fees for students and in coming years when the national debt clears, support the phasing out of fees entirely.

Constitution:
•I will support a change from the first past the post voting system to a proportional representation system.

•I will support the phasing out of hereditary peers in the House of Lords, but I do not support a fully elected House of Lords.

Accountability:
•Nigel Dodds attended only 42.6% of votes in the House of Commons since 2005. If elected, I promise to attend at least 70% of votes in the Commons.

•I promise to quickly reply to any correspondence sent to my office, and will maintain a blog detailing my work on behalf of my constituents.

These are the main policies I would seek to implement as a member of parliament. They are also the policy points that I will lobby any successful candidate to implement. Tribalism is the scourge of our political system, it serves no other purpose than allowing politicians to play on social barriers in order to grab at power. My campaign is one based on honest policy, fair representation and a breakaway from the tired old way of doing things.
The time has come to send a message to established political parties, parties that seek to take the electorate’s support for granted, parties that believe they have a right to a vote. Show them that your support is not unconditional, that they have to earn your vote and that they have to move away from barrier politics.
Vote for the new generation of politician that has your interest, not party interest, in mind.

VOTE MARTIN MCAULEY on MAY 6th!

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    What are the heavies going to be doing !

  • Ulick

    What about the small matter of this Columbian arrest warrant?

  • Well they look a bit like a seventies pop band, but they have gumption and enthusiasm. I wish them luck.

  • RepublicanStones

    He certainly looks smarter in that 3 piece than most of our politicos do. Even with the human microphone standing to his left (actually…im secretly jealous of that do).

  • Dan

    I’d vote just for the awesome afro.

    Well, that and an end to sectarian, partisan politics.

    But mostly the afro.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    In fairness that is fantastic fooking hair and worth any undecideds vote any day of the week.

    Is the Musical Hair making a comeback in London.

  • There are probably a lot of young people in the north who would not give most of the current crop of politicians a cup of water if they were dying of thirst in a desert.

    Perhaps those young people might be tempted to give their vote to someone who looks like them (especially the afro, well done that lad), talks like them and has a sense of humour.

  • Vangaurd of the Revolution

    Totally disagree with his views on education (and have told him so), but his electoral slogans are great – ‘Martin McAuley – Once he thought he was wrong, but he was mistaken’.

  • daisy

    Our very own Pitt the [even] Younger. Good luck to him. He should stand in every constituency.

  • Henry94

    It’s good to see young alternatives emerging on the unionist side.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    A case of Life imitating Art perhaps.
    That Blackadder episode with Pitt The Younger.
    Free Buckfast on the National Health Service.
    Tough on Acne, Tough on the causes of Acne

    A long tradition of publicity seeking kids goes way beyond Mark Langhammer and his “Lets Havea Party Party”.

  • Keithbelfast

    Where did he state he was a unionist candidate Henry94.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    He could have “Vote for me or else” on his manifesto if the picture is anything to go by.

  • Dev

    The guy with the ‘fro has an awesome hair do .. & he knows it

  • Mark McGregor

    Keith,

    I think its clear he’ll be a Unionist or fenian as required for some.

  • Brian MacAodh

    “in coming years when the national debt clears, support the phasing out of fees entirely. ”

    When the national debt clears??? Keep on waiting for that my good man lol

  • FitzjamesHorse

    There are times when I think the Voting Age should be raised to 45.

  • Niall Darragh

    @Henry94, whether or not Martin is a unionist or nationalist doesnt matter. Hes running in this election to represent the people of North Belfast, not going on a mighty crusade to free the North from the British, or likewise trying to protect the Union. The very fact people keep going back to unionism vs. nationalism is the very reason we need young blood like Martins in politics.

  • Henry94

    keithbelfast

    Where did he state he was a unionist candidate Henry94.

    Well, he looks like one.

    But seriously his policy on looking at the compatibility of Patten and the 50-50 rule is clearly a unionist obsession so that is the vote he is after. There is nothing at all wrong with that and I hope he gives Nigel Dodds a good fright.

    Niall

    whether or not Martin is a unionist or nationalist doesnt matter.

    If it doesn’t matter then it need not be a secret.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I’d vote for the Afro guy too, but the importance of hair is sadly overlooked in political punditry. If I lived in East Derry, for example, I’d vote for Gregory because he’s a Ginge and, as such, is a member of a repressed minority. In the Republic I’d vote for Noel Dempsey because my heart goes out to him with his Frankenstein’s Monster hairdo. And I still haven’t recovered from Alan Dukes’ ‘Pudding Bowl’ appearance on Questions and Answers.

    I think there’s more awareness about hair down South than up North. Everyone seems to be talking about NAMA and haircuts.

  • wild turkey

    ‘•In an effort to increase efficiency I will support the removal of certain quangos.’

    a seeming vote winner but…
    1. uh, which ones?
    2. aren’t most quangos here ultimately under the remit of a department of devolved govt, so per se Westminster would have no competence in said removal(s)
    3. wait a minute, isn’t the NIHRC responsible to the SoS/NIO and therefore a Westminster matter? hmmmm.

    anyway good luck Martin. take it easy and go with the fro

  • There are times when I think only those under 25 should be allowed to vote in the north…

  • Howdy folks. Firstly, thank you to all who have commented on my hair – it’s much appreciated 🙂 … And on a more serious point, the points put up at the start are our so-called ‘minifesto’ which is simply a fancy word I invented for a ‘mini manifesto’… The full manifesto can be found here: http://secretfireworks.com/vote/?page_id=9
    This explains everything about what quangos will be streamlined et cetera. And thanks for the compliments on the hair again.

  • Patrick

    wild turkey, Martin’s developed things in a little more detail here (it’s another post on Slugger). Not a massive amount of detail but he has been known to pop up here if you want to ask him.

    Brian, not sure but I’m pretty sure he means when the national debt is reduced. I’ll be long dead by the time the UK is debt free. If that’s what he means we’ll adjust the manifesto accordingly and apologies for the mix-up.

    At the end of the day, he’s something different in politics, and the last I checked that was a good thing.

  • C

    Best of luck to them. A much more positive prospect than the various youth-wings of the existing parties.

    Agree with other posts…the fro is definitely an under-used campaign strategy!

  • Moochin Photoman

    wild turkey…..you may well have unwittingly given Martin his campaign slogan……

    “Go with the Fro”

    or it could be

    “May the Fro be with you”

  • Mr Angry

    “I will support an inquiry into whether the so called “50-50” new police recruits policy backed in the Patten Report.”

    Whether it what or what?

  • Patrick

    No idea how that crept in there Mr Angry. Thanks!

  • sandra

    I will support the merger of District Policing Partnerships and the Policing Board-
    What does he mean by this?I assume he means CSP & DPP’S

  • Keithbelfast

    Henry – “If it doesn’t matter then it need not be a secret.”

    what a secret? there isn’t just nationalism and unionism in Northern Ireland.

  • It is good to see young candidates such as Martin in North Belfast, and also Michelle Byrne for the SDLP in South Antrim.

  • Click on my name for the manifesto in PDF format: Martin goes into more detail.

    Mr Angry, cheers for that: the mistake had been picked up on previously but I hadn’t revised it.

  • Qubol

    Keithbelfast: “there isn’t just nationalism and unionism in Northern Ireland.”

    That’s beside the point Keith. Martin McAuley may not define himself by his constitutional position however he’s clearly not agnostic on that point. It’s only fair and honest to respond to that head on – as it stands, from his writings, it’s clear that he is not in favour of a United Ireland.

  • Mark McGregor

    While its nice to have a candidate fighting their corner on Slugger I can’t help but think next to none of McCauley’s target demographic will be knocking around Slugger.

    He and ‘team’ could spent all day every day trying to keep out of an easy sectarian box some here want to slot him in and all the time would be wasted as those involved don’t give a rats arse what his policy/position is on anything.

    They see a chance of a small amount of Kelly’s votes being lost and will piss about from now until the polls closed trying to shut down even the smallest drift.

  • The one thing we should all be able to agree on is that this has been a very healthy and innovative exchange.

    Team McAuley may well be from the unionist camp, but they are young and clearly open to new ideas, that is to be welcomed.

    We old cynics are probably beyond convincing, or help.

  • Qubol

    Do ‘They’ Mark?

    BTW, McAuley’s target demographic:

    Young / Constitutionally Agnostic / Small Government / Pro-Academic Selection / Anti Tuition Fees / Anti 50:50 Policing

    where do they hang out? If at all, if in North Belfast at all….

    Best of luck with that.

  • Seen these eejits getting their photo taken on Sunday at the back of the Belfast Telegraph.
    I immediately thought they were some sort of strange American religious sect on a visit to Belfast, what with their suits and Afros.
    A mate told me McAuley’s family is originally from the New Lodge, don’t know if it’s true, but he seems to think it is.
    The gang will be lucky to get their deposit back, I predict less than 100 votes, but at least they’re giving it a shot.

  • Moochin Photoman

    as only my second blog here on slugger i’m chuffed that it has been picked up on.
    I’m going to try and blog about the arts and culture and leave the politics to those that have the mind to get into it, but when i heard about Robert i offered to do his photos gratis as i do see his candidacy as a welcome addition to the political landscape.
    (I even set aside old grudges seeing that at least two of his team are Man U fans)

  • Just to clarify our position on the constitutional question; some people involved in the campaign could be described as unionist and some could be described as nationalist but Martin is NOT standing on any sort of tribal ticket. We are looking to normalise politics here and bring it into line with the rest of the world, a world where issues such as jobs, education, the economy and housing are the points on which elections are fought and not simply whether the candidate supports a United Ireland or a United Kingdom. We believe that politicians here cannot simply ignore their electorate’s pressure simply because they belong to a particular persuasion. Most politicians know that the people here will continue voting for them, no matter what their record, mainly because they share their views on the constitutional question… Hope this clears up the whole ‘Is he nationalist or unionist’ question

  • old school

    “I will REMAIN a KEY voice in the Constituency”
    Has he been elected already??
    Nice photo by the way, but the “toff” look is not a good vote catcher. Unless you’re standing in Henley on Thames.

  • slug

    Martin: where do you stand on the legalization of recreational drugs?

  • Old School, he will remain a key voice in the constituency as he has represented the area in the Northern Ireland Youth Forum and the Belfast City Council Youth Forum – the House of Commons would simply be bringing his representation to a higher level. As for the toff look, we are all working class from North Belfast so I wouldn’t really see ourselves as toffs. We decided to suit up because the Newtownabbey Times photographed us in jeans and trainers at the Electoral Office when we were handing in the nomination forms which, whenever Reg Empey and his fellow UCUNFers were dressed up to the nines, isn’t that good a look for official photos of a candidate. We need to show people that we ARE serious politicians and not just a bunch of scruffy students. And DS, the afro alone is going to get us more than 100 votes if the reaction on FB and twitter is anything to go by lol.

  • Qubol

    Kevin: The constitutional question might be ‘tribal’ because it correlates with religious splits but that of course doesn’t mean the issue actually is ‘tribal’ far from it.

    I love that phrase, ‘normalise politics’. What does that mean? It’s bullshit; if normal is defined as what people think about, do and have done for hundreds of years then unfortunately for you (and everyone else like Alliance), normal means having a constitutional position.

    Also what you say would seem to suggest that, the constitutional issue has no baring on all those normal things the rest of the world worries about – jobs, education, economy, housing etc. I would beg to differ.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Moochin Photoman,
    I am as surprised as you are that this posting has “taken off” (this is my third comment I think).
    Its probably a sign that Im getting older that the fringe self publicising student types (who think it would be a jolly good wheeze to stand for Parliament) look even younger.
    And some of the nicest First Communion suits Ive seen in a while.

  • Moochin Photoman

    Talking with the “Team McAuley” i was struck by their sincerity. The self publicising element is actually a byproduct of what could (and will be) construed as a wheeze but i’m firmly of the belief that there is serious intent behind Martin’s candidacy

  • Qubol, of course the constitutional question has a bearing on those issues, The UK and Ireland having differing policies on said issues, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the bearing it has on them is so great that we must firmly place ourselves in the nationalist or unionist camps. Martin is running to show the whole community, Catholic, Protestant and dissenter, that you don’t simply vote for someone based on their position on ‘the Irish question’. You should base your vote on all of their policies and not only the one that says ‘we want a United Ireland’ or ‘we must keep the Union’. The basic issues that we have mentioned in our manifesto need to be addressed before any inroads are made into the potential reunification of Ireland or lack thereof. Of course people all hold their individual views, this is Belfast after all, and I am no different. But this isn’t to say that they don’t care as much about social housing, employment or education. We have designed the manifesto around the needs of the people of North Belfast. The people on the doorsteps brought up ‘the Irish question’ very few times when compared to their jobs and schools. We believe that peoples’ identity is important, but not so important that we can simply sideline the other issues which affect people on the ground in Belfast, like so many parties do here.

  • RepublicanStones

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but hopefully Team McCauley’s campaign will demonstrate the potential of the new media, social networking jazz. I can’t imagine these young lads idea getting off the ground if it wasn’t for the likes of ‘Bakebook’ and Slugger. Fair play to them.

  • Moochin Photoman

    Yeah perhaps i should have mentioned that bit Republican Stones.

    I heard of his campaign on Facebook which led me to offering my limited services and the blog here.
    I’ll get the hang of this blogging malarky yet

  • Gerry Kelly: blood on his hands

    It looks like the cyber wing of the Old Bailey Bomber Appreciation Society are working overtime this evening.

    They’ll be calling McAuley a dissident micro-group by tomorrow morning, Catney-style I believe they call it.

    Good luck, Martin, you’re a breath of fresh air.

  • nick

    At least someone else will finish bottom of the Poll instead of The Workers Party. Apparently the sticks decided not to stand in this election in order that they could have a bit of a sit-down instead, for a change…
    Good luck to Martin and the lads as this is a great wind-up….

  • Nick, you can say this is a wind-up all you want but our campaign is no joke. Validly accepted as a candidate today at half 3 so Martin’s name is going to appear on the election paper whether you believe it or not 🙂

    And thanks for the compliments GK: BOHH

  • Comrade Stalin

    But seriously his policy on looking at the compatibility of Patten and the 50-50 rule is clearly a unionist obsession so that is the vote he is after. There is nothing at all wrong with that and I hope he gives Nigel Dodds a good fright.

    Henry94, the idea that the police are no good if there are too many Prods in their ranks is fundamentally sectarian, and it’s not at all unionist to point that out.

  • nick

    Kevin,

    I know that your boy is standing and that’s why it’s a great wind-up.

  • There are those who try and fail, there are those who try and succeed and then there are commentators.

  • StarHound

    Perhaps when they next get out of the Mystery Machine perhaps someone could ask the gang why I can’t find http://www.votemcauley.ie just votemccauley.co.uk?

    They did say that ‘We believe that peoples’ identity is important’ but it seems that they have chosen one over the other here.

  • Keithbelfast

    Exactly starhound, where is votemcauley.tv

    The peoples of Tuvalu DEMAND your recognition.

    .co.uk is cheaper to get than .ie

    prob why he avoided .com as well.

  • StarHound

    So was it cost, naivety or as Keith impishly imples, Irish identity is no more relevant to North Belfast than than of Tuvalu, so .co.uk it is?

  • I’ll try to clear up some issues which can be easily answered here.

    I am not, nor is my family from the new lodge road. Though what relevance that has on anything is beyond me.

    The domain name is .co.uk because, being a student, I work on a limited budget. Maybe if I had the party machinery behing Gerry Kelly etc. I would have a .ie and .tv address. As it stands, I don’t and it should NOT be taken as a reflection of ANY political position. To suggest it is really just pedantic.

    My campaign is based on a non-tribal style of politics. For those of you with difficulty understanding that issue, and you seem to be in increasing number, that means that I will NOT be campaigning for a nationalist or unionist cause. That doesn’t mean that the issue isn’t relevant or I want people to abandon their sense of nationality. It means wake up and have a look around. Constitutionalism doesn’t put food on your table like jobs will, it doesn’t keep a roof over your head like social housing will, it doesn’t mend a broken economy like investment will.

    You can scream and scream and scream until you’re blue in the face but I won’t give in to puerile calls for me to wear a shamrock or a sash on May 6th.

    My manifesto is available online, I occasionally pop on here to answer some questions. If there’s anything you want to know about policy that I’ve suggested I’ll do my best to get back to you.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Haha Martin some people NEED to know what tribe you belong to so they can appropriately reject you or support you. To them, your policies are irrelevant.

    I don’t live in your district, and am not sure who I would vote for if I did, but I hope that more and more candidates emerge who don’t think Unionism/Nationalism is the prime issue of the day. Good luck.

  • georgieleigh

    “My campaign is based on a non-tribal style of politics.”

    Excellent. We’ve been waiting for someone like you.

    Would that be an orange non-tribal style of politics Martin, or a green one?

  • Georgie, I’m pretty sure your comment is poking a bit of fun at some previous posters considering the previous comments. The people of North Belfast need a new breed of politician – a politician that doesn’t care whether you are orange or green (or anything in between), whether you are young or old and whether you are working-class, middle-class or upper. Martin is trying to get the first-time voter and young people as interested in politics as the older generations and to make ALL the people of North Belfast see that THEY can change the way North Belfast is represented at every level by simply voting.

  • Henry94

    Comrade Stalin

    Henry94, the idea that the police are no good if there are too many Prods in their ranks is fundamentally sectarian, and it’s not at all unionist to point that out.

    We know that the police were no good when they were unbalanced. We know that was not good for the community. You can blame the unionist trappings or IRA intimidation for the imbalance but it had to be ended and the only way to do it was to increase the numbers of Catholics coming in.

    It’s not now a case of “too many Prods” but of not enough Catholics.

    Martin

    On the general question I respect anyone’s right not to take a position on the national question. Can you then confirm that if you don’t make it this time but are elected to the Assembly that you will not designate as nationalist or unionist?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Martin
    Having only met you the one time I can’t claim to know you that well, but thanks for coming back to the old school and speaking with the lads.

    I’m sure you’re going to enjoy the campaigning side of things. Don’t pin your hopes on a great electoral return. Relish the experience for I’ve no doubt we’ll be seeing you popping up again somewhere soon….

  • jim

    Hi Martin . Im interested to see an independent standing . You say youre not sectarian . Fair enough .
    Can i ask if you lived in England what party would u join ? I want to see where u stand on the labour/tory divide.
    thanks
    jim

  • DK

    I live in North Belfast. Having read the thread, I think I might vote for Martin. I initially only saw his picture on the lamp-posts – it is so dark and dodgy I assumed he was a dissident!

  • gaygael

    hi all,

    Martin I would be curious as to your stance on good relations, community sharing and integration?
    Are you pro-choice?
    Do you belive in a redistribution of welath?
    Where do you enviasge cuts in publice spending, if any?
    If not cuts, what would you support to pay off the deficit?

    Just a few questions that aren’t addressed above.

    I’m a dissilusioned voter in north belfast and may vote you as a protest against the stale political mainstream of the big 34/5, as there is no green candidate in the constituency.
    By the way, have you got posters/knocking doors in areas that are mixed, may vote outside the big 4 or are ‘soft’ supporters of other parties, by examining voting trends among key local demographics? Thinking upper antrim road, cavehill, fortwilliam etc?

  • Paul McNamee

    Listen fella, im a stoop and i just want to know what your outlook is on a 32 county Socialist Democratic Republic?