Elliott leadership under scrutiny.

A caucus of unsettled Ulster Unionist party members met in secret last night to take stock.

The loose alliance, the names of whom I have been given is known as ‘The 2010 Group’ from across Northern Ireland. They are increasingly disenchanted with the direction in which the leadership of the party is moving.

This prompted a number of people of a moderate disposition to come together to examine the possibility of realising a new bridgehead in politics the goal of which would be to appeal to a wider political and business community. One senses there is an impatience among many of these figures from within the business community at what they see as backward looking politics gripping the Ulster Unionist Party.

One source said, ” we’re open to reaching out to other parties here and in London.”
This is yet another irritation for UUP leader Tom Elliott.

Eamonn Mallie

  • unionistvoter

    A collection of egos whose collective ability fails to meet their aspirations does not a caucus make.

  • Elliott hasn’t even got the seat warm. If this group wants to establish a Party, argue its case and stand for election they should get on with it. Unlikely they will. As much as they ‘do’ is to have a collective whinge behind closed doors.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    The UUP made their bed and have to lie in it. It’s wasn’t exactly a knife-edge vote — Tom obtained a strong mandate.

  • Anon

    Good grief, even IDS lasted longer than this before the talk of rebellion started. Tom Elliott is in deep trouble: a nice man but hopelessly out of his depth.

  • HeinzGuderian

    A ‘nice man’ ?? A thowback to religious dogma ! Would it actually be possible for someone to get elected here,if he/she declared themselves as Atheist ??

    Hope for the Labour Party yet !! 🙂

  • GoldenFleece

    A politican with an ego?? Surely not!!

  • Drumlin Rock

    can you give me a quote where Tom promotes a “religious Dogma” ?

  • Anon

    Being nice and being religious are not mutually exclusive: ever heard of Donald Soper or Billy Graham?

    I feel sympathy for Elliott: I get the impression he didn’t really want the job but was press-ganged by “the cabal” in to taking the job in order to protect their interests.

  • bob wilson

    With Robbo continuing, with his education smokescreen, to appear to be increasingly moderate the UUP look to have lost all raison d’etre

  • Drumlin Rock

    I would doubt many, if any, of this lot actually are “politicians” and are actually elected.

  • Liberal unionist

    Another vulgar attempt at sensationalism by Eamonn Mallie!
    Were Paula & Ian holding a dinner party last night then?

  • JOHN

    Not exactly suprising this news after the very public resignations recently. I think we need more information on ‘The 2010 Group” Who was present? and How many UUP members were present?
    It may have only been a couple of councillors and a few groupies and if that is the case then Tom need not worry this time – I did say this time though as day by day his supporters become fewer as they die of very very old age.

  • Drumlin Rock

    bob, the same line was used when New Labour stole most of the centre ground from the Tories, but they drifted back to their old ways eventually, its not going to happen overnight but in democracy you cant stay on top forever.

  • Anon


    Waiting around for the DUP to conform to your stereotype of their behaviour is not a strategy likely to succeed.

    In fact, the UUP seem to have spent the last decade waiting around for the DUP to fluff it up to such an extent that the voters “see the light” and come rushing back to the “natural party of Unionism”.

    Guess what? They haven’t and Unionist voters seem content enough for the DUP to be in the fore. If Tom Elliott is going to have any impact at all, sitting on the sidelines whingeing about stolen clothes or “we did the heavy lifting”, won’t butter many parsnips.

    The DUP have Robinson. Dodds, Campbell, Foster and Wilson as a good front team and a decent B team in people like Hamilton, Weir, Jonny Bell, Nelson McC.

    What do the UUP have? Tom Elliott, David McNarry and Basil?

    Come on!

  • slug

    “The DUP have Robinson. Dodds, Campbell, Foster and Wilson as a good front team and a decent B team in people like Hamilton, Weir, Jonny Bell, Nelson McC.”

    Interesting that you don’t mention Jeffrey, and that you do mention J Bell.

  • Anon

    Another UUP obsession: Jeffrey Donaldson.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Funny that Trev didnt get wind of this mutiny before leaping overboard as Cap’n Orange was cleary set fair for steering his party back towards the religious politics of the 17th century.

    Or perhaps that is what Trev meant when he said he might re-join latter – maybe he expected Basil to escape from the hold and rush up and overpower his captain and direct the creaky old ship back to more moderate waters.

    With 6 Unionist parties already (and hopefully the Labour Party making it 7) we may yet be treated to yet another variety. Fabtastic stuff.

  • another

    Who is to say that they are not going to jump with Trev.

  • Robinson has stolen the lead on Elliott with his integrated education speech. If I were Elliott I’d be more worried about that than whatever nonsensical story Mallie attempts to pluck out of thin air.

    While every other political party here to the Vatican has had their say on the matter I’ve yet to hear anything of note from the UUP leader. Perhaps he’s doing an Empey and playing it cute by not saying anything, ever?

  • bob wilson

    Interesting analogy DR. The Tories fiddled around for years and at one point it looked like we mighten have a future. The fact that Cameron came along doesnt mean the same will ever happen to the UUP

  • DC

    It’s politics – everyone is right!

  • JOHN

    There is a fellow slugger who comments every now and again and every time he tries to convince us that the UUP are all stepping in line behind Tom and singing from the same hymn book someone else leaves the party. First it was Trevor and then Paula. Im awaiting his post to assure us all that the meeting was nothing and everyone in the UUP is staying put – if that happens then I guarantee you someone resigns within 24 hours – spooky

  • Seymour Major

    OK, lets have a bit of mind reading here. Eamonn, can you tell us if this story was leaked to you, fed to you or if you broke a confidence?

    The answer to the question might give us an idea as to the purpose of the is story coming out.

  • JOHN

    Please tell me this group arent looking to relaunch or rebrand the Tory party in Northern Ireland – It wont work, it has never worked!

  • Drumlin Rock

    bob in many ways it wasnt Cameron that turned it around but Brown who let the “old Labour” to creep back in, the “traditional wing” of a party (be it left right liberal or conservative) will always come through eventually, as it will in the DUP.

  • Anon

    “prompted a number of people of a moderate disposition to come together to examine the possibility of realising a new bridgehead in politics the goal of which would be to appeal to a wider political and business community.”

    A Mark J Finlay-ism if ever I heard one!

  • Drumlin Rock

    * the following notice will be attached to all future Eamonn Mallie Posting on Slugger *

    As A Highly Respected NI Journalist I am exempted from the normal Protocols of this website, and all Postings, Tweets, Leaks, and Spin shall not require verification, clarification or defending on my Behalf.

  • Granni Trixie

    As I have asked before where are the well known leaders in the UUP in all of this?. They seemed to play no public role in the leadership election so are they part of the group post election which Eamonn refersto ? eg McNarry,Kennedy, Lords Laird and Mcguinness,McGimpsey etc.?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    breaking news from Ulster.

    The well respected journalist Eamonn Mallie was believed to have been the intended target of an attempted shoot-the-messenger attack by an irate Unionist who it is believed later admittted himself to the Sugger first aid room for a wound in his foot.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Sammy, slugger has always been a two way process, you post a article, commentators like yourself question it, and you clarify or defend what you originally posted, Eamonn consistently refuses to do so and is the only contributor who takes that attitude, and yet he gets his Twitter prominantly displayed! It would not be accepted from anyone else why should he be given special status?

  • Drumlin Rock

    looked up his website, can see what you mean! He has to win the prize fro mentioning his own name the most times on any website!

  • IJP

    Granni has hit the nail on the head.

    Was there anyone of any serious political profile at this meeting (i.e. people with experience of dealing with the community issues, the parking matters, the planning concerns, etc)?

    If there was, it’s grounds for some interest. If there wasn’t, it will be yet another talking shop.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    Of ocurse I would prefer if the boul Eamonn ‘engaged’ but he places his ‘stories’ on Slugger and if they trun out to be wrong then his repuatation rightly suffers.

    The last ‘attack’ on him, that I remember was concerning the Unionist unity talks – was he not vindicated there?

    Have you any evidence that he produced stories which were ‘spin’ on Slugger?

  • Arguably the current parties have never worked either.

    But the Tory idea keeps coming back. Coincidence? 100k votes says not

  • lol. I thought the exact same thing.

  • Before John Major had even uttered his first words at the despatch box as Prime Minister, Dennis Skinner had filled the pause between Major being seated and standing with the shout “Resign”.

  • iluvni

    Talking of disaffected Ulster Unionists…I note that Lady Hermon is (as of 14 October) holding a 0 for 76 voting record in the House of Commons since the general election.

    Not one friggin’ vote…how does she get away with this?

  • Anon


    Nice attempt to move the discussion on, but I don’t think anyone’s biting.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Do you think she has secretly become a Shinner and refuses to sit in Westminster?

  • Liberal unionist

    As opposed to the leading role Alliance play in defending double jobbing with their chums in the DUP you mean?

  • iluvni

    Attempt to move the discussion on….where to?
    The whole damned lot of them offer nothing. Its like a whole party of Raymond Kennedys.

  • Anon

    Fair enough. I thought you were one of the usual UUP hacks that occupy this place.

  • bob wilson

    Lazy Sylvia Hermon

  • Anon

    I know Bob, why didn’t she just stand aside and give North Down to Ian Parsley, it’s just soooooo unfair!!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The headline is hardly a surprise. Elliott won the leadership by a landslide and still managed to damage the party.
    So Mr Mallie has the names of those who met last night to put Elliotts leadership under further scrutiny.
    Numbers would be interesting but Mr Mallie is teasing us. Where there 150 and did they hire the Ulster Hall? Or was there just 10 of them who met in a house in County Antrim or County Down (Im guessing it wasnt west of the Bann)..
    Yet like the man in the Mikado…..Mr Mallie has a little list of names.
    He could tell us…just the numbers or the names…….but he wont.
    Fair play to him. Its his scoop.
    But that surely gives us leave to speculate how a journo could get that kinda scoop.
    Well he could find a half torn piece of paper (headed Meeting About Tom Elliott List” ) left blowing in the wind in Stormont grounds.
    That would be very fortunate.
    On the other hand…..a person attending or not attending the meeting might sidle up to a journalist…..and say “heres a list…..”.
    But surely that leads us to speculate why we dont know numbers and names.
    Why “reveal” (as presumably Mr Mallies source wanted) that Elliotts leadership is under scrutiny but not go further.
    Telling us that there was just ten names on the list would show up the weakness of the “conspirators” (if they are indeed conspiring) and telling us that there are 100 conspirators would show that there is some strength in the “2010” Group.
    Frankly Im not impressed.
    At best this is HALF a story (although God knows none of us can be surprised as Elliotts leadership has been under scrutiny here on Slugger).
    But sadly I reflect that this is a journalist allowing himself to be part of the story. Handing over a list of names might well be part of the strategy.

  • John East Belfast

    “The loose alliance, the names of whom I have been given”

    LOL !

    I wonder if they are all so full of their own self importance that they wanted their names on a list and given to Eamon Mallie !

    How can you be disappointed with the direction the leader is taking the Party in when he hasnt even been in the job a month ?

    Anyhow if the moderate wing disengages then their concerns become a self fulfilling prohecy.

    Ultimately you change things from within not outside – that was always the way.

    There is nothing wrong with members of a certain mindset coming together to see if they can influence and co-ordinate but to “leak” details to journalists and spin notions of dis unity is just wrong

  • Anon

    “Ultimately you change things from within not outside – that was always the way.”

    Oh aye, because the Ulster Unionist Party showed just what they thought about positive change by electing Tom Elliott as leader!

  • alan56

    Hardly a surprise that some of those who were not in the Elliot camp should be discussing future options and policies. Happens in most normal political groupings?

  • bob wilson

    No Anon no sour grapes from me
    Lazy Hermon stood on a ticket that was clear – she wont have any influence at Westminster but she will wring her hands at every event in North Down.
    Parsley stood on a equally clear ticket. 7000 people backed the idea of wanting to be involved in UK normal politics as equal citizens – a pretty good result as far as I’m concerned
    Hermon’s absentionist/do nothing ticket was much more appealing to the electorate but hey that’s democracy
    To be fair to Hermon her failure to do anything is an admission of her total impotence and unimportance – but she was honest with the electorate. So why should she try to do anything!

  • Rory Carr

    What on earth does that matter, DC? Presumably they are members of the party and that’s what counts.

  • Tom has just posted this on his Facebook page:

    “The (Dame Dehra) Parker Programme is an excellent initiative aimed at promoting the participation of Women at all levels of the Ulster Unionist Party”

    The programme has been in place for just over a year with Sandra Overend at the helm? Is it too little too late? Will any of them ‘handbag’ Eamonn? 😉

  • Rory Carr

    Egos, abilities, aspirations, or lack thereof, do not determine whether or not a group constitutes a caucus and this group clearly qualifies – it is a caucus, whether you like it or not.

  • Anon

    Sandra Overend? This would be Billy the Potato’s daughter? All for the advancement of women, providing your da is a back-bench MLA.

  • Alias

    The purpose of appealing to the “business community” would be to secure funding for a new political party. That is a good opportunity for Mr Elliot to get rid of the mavericks, muppets and malcontents, who would then suffer the humiliation of being beaten by the likes of Alliance…

  • Progressive Unionist

    This is true. But it’s also very true that the UUP membership (overwhelmingly rural, elderly, male – 1/3rd from Fermanagh, the smallest of NI counties) is completely out of touch and non-reflective of the UUP’s voters, especially it’s voters east of the Bann where the UUP has the vast majority of its seats.

    That said, I doubt Tom will be toppled before next May’s election. After next May I expect the voters’ verdict be so clear it will penetrate into the deepest rural fastnesses, and change will happen.

    Though perhaps there will be change before then… progressives do need to organise, because there is no pro-Union party reflecting the views of progressive voters (perhaps 33-40% of the pro-Union electorate at least) at the moment.

  • Granni Trixie

    Is it usual for journalists to ignore the blindingly obvious fact that handing over a list of names to them is not an innocent act?

    Whilst I can see why Eamon would be willing to be used in this way,surely it bears analysis in the piece above?

  • Progressive Unionist

    Ultimately you change things from within not outside – that was always the way.

    But is this any longer possible with Elliott moving further and further to the right?

    Robinson’s speech about integrated education (and his follow-up about what he called “a united society”) were far more appealing to me than anything Elliott’s or his supporters have said – seems like Robinson’s seizing the chance to seize yet more of the centre-ground from a UUP leader who’s keener on winning the odd TUV transfer…

    I know nothing about what Mallie refers to… but still I do question whether the ‘change from within’ argument still holds water. That said, I think next May’s verdict on Tom’s leadership will be so dire that change will happen after that (but by then it could be too late?)

  • Progressive Unionist

    This is true, there is no change from within. In fact, things are now going backwards at a depressing and increasing rate of knots…

  • Paul

    “Robinson’s speech about integrated education (and his follow-up about what he called “a united society”) were far more appealing to me than anything Elliott’s or his supporters have said”

    The sad thing is that I can’t even imagine Elliott coming up with such a potential game-changer.

  • cynic47

    Can you tell what nfluence any MP from here is having at Westminster. You don’t really think that wee Ian would have been sitting on the cabinet if he had managed to outvote Lady Hermon? Pigs might fly.

  • Drumlin Rock

    PU, firstly its Fermanagh & South Tyrone that has roughly a quarter of the membership,(and obviously has one 18th of electorate) of those who travelled to Belfast they were roughly equally male and female, and majority were in their 60’s but still a large number of middle aged and a few under 40. Although most are quite traditional, about a quarter would be “liberal or Progressive” but still supported Tom (although he did not need any F&ST votes to win a clear victory). If anything the membership is more liberal than most voters, why do you think they went to the DUP? can you show me where you get your 33-40% from?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Its not for the likes of ordinary mortals like us to know how journalists get their stories. The calls for transparency we hear from Sluggers core team…..does not extend that far.

    We work here on the assumption (possibly erroneously) that the story was literally handed to a journalist who goes all Neville Chamberlain on us “I have in my hand a pice of paper….”.
    To me this crosses the line between a journalist observing, reporting and analysing and being part of the story himself.
    Journalists dont of course criticise other journalists in front of civilians so we wont know their thinking.

    We might get told off for diverting this thread away from its original purpose……but I think a reasonable person might claim that the circumstances in which the story became “public” is at least as interesting as the story itself ……..and the story is hardly an earth shattering revelation.

  • Drumlin Rock

    as yes the Hatfield Talks scoup, where Eamonn basically acted as a DUP proxy, added alot to his credibility.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Eamonn has pulled this stunt several time on Slugger, using this site for self promotion of his career. It does nothing for his cedibility or that of Slugger and I dont see why a professional who undermines the principles of free discussion online should be given the prominance this site give him.

  • Drumlin Rock

    its called Democracy Cynic, our MPs have the same vote as anyone else,

  • Big Bad Bob

    GT – indeed, and we must assume no one of any significance was on the list, or he would surely have mentioned them?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Which is “journalism”.?
    A……Discovering the list and publishing the names?
    B……Getting handed a list and NOT publishing the names?

    Answers on a £10 note to me……..

  • The Impartial Observer

    I think the UUP needs to die. They’ve got nothing to say apart from “We’re not the DUP!” At least the Tory link up would have given them a distinct identity but that was too much for the backwoodsmen! The McCrea wing needs to go off and either form their own party or link up with the Alliance in some way and the Fermanagh brigade should join up with either TUV or the DUP.

  • Drumlin Rock

    and you could imagine Robbo doing so yrs ago? its different when your leader, however I have heard Tom say very similar things in the past, and it probably is the view of most unionists.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The Alliance Party would be mad to touch any of the UUP dissident “leaders”. It would change the nature of the AP. Maybe some AP people would welcome that. Some wouldnt.
    The real prize is the “liberal unionist” vote..which will filter to AP in a generation or so.
    But “liberal unionism” is as vibrant as a Monty Python parrot.

  • randomjoe

    soooo , whos in the 2010 group and how much does membership cost? its gota be better than what we have at the moment

  • Progressive Unionist

    The UUP membership is certainly not “more liberal than most voters” and you’re deluding yourself if you think that’s the case. The people who elected Tom Elliott are unrepresentative of moderate pro-Union voters.

    Just over 50% of the Unionist electorate voted for the Agreement in 1998, yet now the UUP is left with just over a third of the pro-Union vote in 2010. (Meanwhile Alliance and Sylvia Hermon swept up moderate votes by the thousand)

    Now Tom Elliott – with his opposition to even attending a GAA match (is this some kind of equivalent to the Orange Order banning someone from attending a Catholic Mass?) – is alienating the moderate centre-ground of pro-Union Northern Ireland voters and seems to want the UUP to move so far to the ultra-right that they are competing with Jim Allister for votes…

    It sucks, it’s depressing and Tom is heading for disaster next May unless he gets himself together and appeals to the centre-ground. (which is seeming less and less likely by the day)

  • Progressive Unionist

    Meanwhile the DUP under Peter Robinson want to create a commission to bring about Shared Education, and are talking about their opposition to ‘benign apartheid’ and Robinson is saying he wants to build “A United Society”.

    The DUP and Alliance seem to know what they’re doing. Tom’s UUP doesn’t seem to have a clue.

  • Progressive Unionist

    Actually Robinson did say his first speech as a DUP member was a call for integrated education (which was unpopular in the DUP at the time).

    If Tom Elliott believes in a united society, and in shared education, and in a shared future then why the hell doesn’t he speak up and say so???

    – and he should jolly well find the guts to say he was wrong and to go along to a GAA game while he’s at it!

    You can’t aspire to be leader of Northern Ireland without representing all of Northern Ireland’s people and Tom’s got to learn that lesson fast or go down as one of the shortest lived UUP leaders in history.

    The voters, they are waiting. They will have their say next May.

  • Progressive Unionist

    Many things would be better than a tired old back-to-the 50s anti-GAA etc etc approach.

    That said, no point in hopping on the first bandwagon that comes along – at least not until these “Union 2010” folks are willing to reveal themselves and say what they stand for.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    If a bandwagon shows up “union 2010” are more likely to throw themselves under it than jump on it.

  • Alias

    “If a bandwagon shows up “union 2010″ are more likely to throw themselves under it than jump on it.”

    Good one! They’ll still tell you that the Tory link-up was a brilliant idea that would have swept to victory if only the Farmer Faction didn’t mess up its implementation, but they don’t seem to notice that Ms Herman and ilk throwing their bandy legs into the wheels of that particular banwagon didn’t help its progress or that the total absence of voters for the linked candidates might have been a clue about the actual level of popular support.

  • drumcairnharp

    With Sandra Overend at the helm the ship is bound to sink.With Sandra as womens development officer not even Tom Elliott would win the nomination for Mid Ulster. No man need apply if her Dad decides to stand down

  • John East Belfast


    You are becoming more hysterical in every post – we are now back in the 50s are we ?

    Did Tom not even pause for breath at the year of his birth in 1963 ?

  • Anon

    Any attempt by the UUP during the Assembly election to hail an Overend candidature should be met with utter derision. She’s a “rising women” in the UUP because her da has the Assembly nomination in Mid Ulster in his gift and I think Billy wants to retire…..watch this space.

  • Neither my words nor my style. I heard rumour of this event late this afternoon. Alerted to mention of my name, I read this post and comments for the first time in the last few minutes, having just returned home from a business meeting. I am fully focused and was working until the early hours this morning trying to encourage investment in Northern Ireland from North America. There are critical decisions to be taken regarding finance, business, investment and reform in our society, frankly I have better things to be doing with my time.

  • Paul

    “…total absence of voters for the linked candidates might have been a clue about the actual level of popular support”


    A “total” absence?
    Now don’t you start getting carried away with the developing hysteria on this thread.

    There were approximately 100,000 votes for the Conservative and Unionist candidates, you can argue it was less than expected but hardly that there were a “total absence”.

  • drumcairnharp

    Totaly agree.Billy will not stand down unless Sandra gets the seat. Sandra’s election slogan could be “Vote for me because I am a woman”. Remember this is the woman who told the world that UUP cadidates are picked on merit!!!!!!.Tell that to Paula Bradshaw

  • pia_lugum

    The ‘2010 group’ seems to be determined to ruin any chance Tom Elliot has of getting the show on the road. And with another sick UUP story about to break in Mid-Ulster things keep getting worse. The Dame Dehra Parker syndrome (based in Mid-Ulster) has not been very useful to Paula B. or the Leslie woman in E Londonderry. But my bet is that, having already emasculated any Magherafelt hopefuls, the politically inept Overend woman will be out to make sure that no other experienced UUP candidate from the Mid-Ulster camp will stand a chance at selection. I am well aware that not even Tom Elliot himself could get past her equally politically inept daddy’s dynasty there.
    I have a liking for Tom’s easygoing Fermanagh style courtesy – but I also believe that he needs to, and is very capable of sorting out the blatant nepotism and the political in-breeding of the Mid-Ulster UUP Association.
    Since ‘Dame Dehra’ Sandra Overend (nee Armstrong) came along to the Mid-Ulster Association it has lost over 70% of its active membership! – down from approx 140 to approx 40 members.
    Reg Empey made not the slightest effort to reclaim these people in his tenure. McCrea might have! Tom just has to!

  • drumcairnharp

    Pia Lugum
    Take it the sick story about to break is that 2 councillors(1 from Cookstown and the other from Magherafelt)have the nerve to stand against Sandra. What idiots are they? Do they not know that UUP candidates are picked on MERIT. After all these two have only over 20 years of council experience,represented the party on numerous bodies and are well respected in the community. Where as Sandra has worked for her Daddy as a secretary since he was elected(keeping work within the family) has no experience of local politics but has the most important criteria that being she is a woman and part of a family dynasty.
    No man need apply for Mid Ulster.

  • Neil

    as yes the Hatfield Talks scoup, where Eamonn basically acted as a DUP proxy, added alot to his credibility.

    He should copy, doctor and repost a ‘crazy’ list as evidence of the benefits of the annual Orangefest pre coat trailing rubbish tip bonfire. Perhaps that would help his credibility in your eyes?

    Any predictions on how the UUP are going to fare in the next election? Cause the stuff you posted before the Westminster elections was so amusingly wrong I’m still laughing now.

    Just keep shooting the messenger DR it should keep the laughs coming in the weeks and months to come.

  • Granni Trixie

    A current concept in social policy research is that of “capture” eg civil service ‘captures’ and absorbs people from elsewhere into its culture , including researchers.

    Strikes me this could apply to journalists/media workers . and the political sphere.
    Has Eamon been ‘captured’ and does he know it to put up resistence?

  • Rory Carr

    “…does he know it to put up resistence[sic]?

    I don’t know about that, Granni, but let us hope, since he is a scribe, that he knows how to put up resistance.

  • Drumlin Rock

    she was the Westminster candidate and managed to marginally increased the share of the vote from the last 3 or 4 elections, counts for something I presume, I dont like family dynasties, but it shouldnt exclude anyone either if they put the work in. On the other hand the Cookstown councillor is one of the hardest working in this part of the country and has strong support, if the nomination was based on service then of course he is well ahead, but the need to improve the “age and gender profile” is critical too.

  • drumcairnharp

    Drumlin Rock
    Age and gender are vititally important for any party but to be selected just because your a woman shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Mid Ulster will be a test for Tom Elliott as he can’t allow his party’s woman officer not to be selected after she spoke at his launch although everyone would agree that she will not be the best candidate. It will be interesting to see how the other 2 councillors react.
    It will not matter to Sandra how she gets the nomination but you have read it first here on Slugger she WILL get it.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    He has perhaps contracted that Stockholm syndrome where you start identifying with your captors. I think this is a common problem with journos.
    I think even the best journos get captured as you put it. Showing up at same social functions (that risible football match) as well as the charidee circuit and a working day in close communication with politicians will inevitably erode professional standards for both.
    If I ever inflict myself on an electorate and am carried shoulder high in victory, I will make it a rule NEVER to speak to a journalist except in the most basic but courteous terms.
    I certainly cant envisage attending a social function and speak to a journo……and I certainly would not tolerate them addressing me by my first name.

  • emanonon

    Bradshaw v.Overend

    Which one would the voters pick?

    Which one would UUP members pick? (assuming Bradshaw was a member)

  • Rory Carr

    Certainly not.

    “Just call me Horse, ” that must be your refrain.

  • cynic47

    Having a vote and having influence are two different things.
    That’s the reality of democracy most of the time Drumlin.

  • randomjoe

    Bradshaw all the way

  • Alan N/ARDS

    She couldn’t be any worse than David “McNasty” McNarry. How this man is a politician is beyond not just me but many Presbyterians in Newtownards. Would there be any chance of an exchange between the two?

  • USA

    Yes I noticed that too.