Over on his threethousandversts blogspot Chekov has started the discussions on the UUP leadership race, although mainly speculating on a third “mystery Candidate” he also takes his first swipe at the two probable candidates, mentioning perception of McCrea as wishy-washy and Elliott’s Orange and unionist unity baggage, these points will be argued, debated and clarified in great detail in the next few weeks I am sure, so we will avoid them here for now.
However the third issues that Chekov raised concerning Elliott caught my eye “his Fermanagh location”, really? is the fact a politician lives more than an hour from Belfast an issue in this day an age? we can just about tolerate the “anti-cultchie” abuse from Nolan, directed at anyone outside the commuter belt (abuse if directed at any other group would quickly get him booted of the air) but should it be a factor in choosing the leader of a political party?
Maybe I’m reading too much into those three words, but over the years I have witnessed far too often an urban mentality that has little perception of life outside of the city, sometimes when I mention I’m from Tyrone I ask have you ever been there? unfortunately only about half of “city folk” say they have, once or twice, and occasionally add that it was on their way to Ballymena or Newry.
We all know there are cultural differences between Fermanagh and Belfast which go much further than an accent or tone of speech, but overtime just as we have got used to the Belfast & Derry urban whines, I think the townies can learn to cope with a country drole, much easier on the ear if nothing else! So I hope that whatever his location is the new leader will be someone who is familiar with whole of Northern Ireland and who can be just as home in a mart or a art gallery.