Do not mourn the octopus

In news Slugger predicted last year, Alliance’s Sean Neeson has announced his retirement. You won’t have long to wait to check if the 2nd half of the prediction is correct and Gerry Lynch is selected to run in his place.

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  • Bazza

    Bet you Paul the octopus didnt see that coming.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    A decent man.
    Often a butt of size-ist abuse from the DUP.
    And much abuse from his own Party…in true AP fashion.
    Gerry Lynch……hmmm I suppose AP could hold the seat if they can persuade Mr Lynch to stay at home and keep him away from doorstep canvassing. 😉

  • Comrade Stalin

    Often a butt of size-ist abuse from the DUP.

    Eh ?

    And much abuse from his own Party…in true AP fashion.

    Eh ?

    Gerry Lynch……hmmm I suppose AP could hold the seat if they can persuade Mr Lynch to stay at home and keep him away from doorstep canvassing.

    Double-eh ?

  • Nice head-line.

    Paul the psychic octopus slain! OK?

  • Err … Didn’t someone prove he was actually … Pauline?

    Sorry: my previous reading this evening has left me confused

  • Either way, s/he’s eight feet under.

  • Sorry: still trying to make a grope between Gerry Lynch and a bilaterally symmetric cephalopod.

    As it says here a link:

    Most octopuses have no internal or external skeleton, allowing them to squeeze through tight places. Octopuses are highly intelligent, and are among the most intelligent of all invertebrates.

  • Dr Concitor

    I suppose,as an eel, it makes sense to swim across the Atlantic and then grow your genitals when you need them. It would save a lot of drag on the way across. God thinks of everything!

  • Dr Concitor @ 8:24 pm:

    Who could possibly have conceived you were merely an anguilliforme? Now, a slimy so-and-so … that’s different.

    [Seriously: you don’t need any of those daft icons on this post, do you?]

  • Dr Concitor

    O ha ha Malcolm. It didn’t quite look like that in the little text box!
    I was going to say this is for me the load of balls proof of intelligent design but now I’ll not bother.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Octopuses are highly intelligent, and are among the most intelligent of all invertebrates.’

    With the exception of the Finance Ministers of the G-20 and others and their Presidents/Prime Ministers whose absence of backbone in dealing with Wall St and the City over the past decade or more surely qualifies them for ‘invertebrate ‘status . i’d have to guess that the psychic octopus may have been slimier but not by much 😉

    John Le Carre’s recent novel ‘Our Kind of Traitor’ gives an insider’s insight into how some players in the City and indeed Westminster don’t allow any possible moral misgivings get in the way of nabbing any loot to be taken ‘

  • Often a butt of size-ist abuse from the DUP.

    Eh ?

    Don’t get this one.

    And much abuse from his own Party…in true AP fashion.

    Eh ?

    They were pretty bad to him while he was leader.

    Gerry Lynch……hmmm I suppose AP could hold the seat if they can persuade Mr Lynch to stay at home and keep him away from doorstep canvassing.

    Double-eh ?

    This one actually makes perfect sense.

  • Can someone insert a close-italics in this amusing dialogue? If I haven’t managed it?

    And I agree wholly with Dr Concitor @t 8:46 pm. So, give us back our preview facility!

  • Now, I liked that book. Best Le Carré in a while. The ending … yowza!

  • Comrade Stalin

    They were pretty bad to him while he was leader.

    Gerry was Alliance leader ? I should read the papers more often.

  • GoldenFleece

    Sean Neeson is a family friend of ours.

    Alliance treated him shabbily. In the last Stormont elections despite decades of service to East Antrim, he was put number 2 behind another. Luckily EA saw through this and voted him in over the fella (who I also know personally) they put as number 1.

  • Comrade Stalin

    In the last Stormont elections despite decades of service to East Antrim, he was put number 2 behind another.

    Please do tell. The posters said “1 Neeson” at the end of my street in Whiteabbey.

  • Framer

    He didn’t see his own demise coming.

  • GF, was it not a matter of putting Neeson at No1 in some wards and Dickson No1 in others?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Indeed the shabby way that he was treated included the choice of Mr Matthews as a candidate…a snub of the worst kind.
    Of course Alliance Party has “form” when it comes to treating folks badly………Mr Alderdice as Speaker rather than Seamus Close.
    But AP people get defensive about it.

  • GoldenFleece

    Ah was it? In my street it was Dickson No1, never seen Neeson 1. Tho fair point.

  • DC

    I think based on Alliance political values it could stem from certain personalities having too much (ruthless?) individualism and not enough belief in common collective action.

    Too much me, me, me?

  • Hedley Lamarr

    R.I.P. Paul the octopus,he was asked to predict if Man CIty would win the premiership and he died laughing…

  • Pigeon Toes

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/oct/26/paul-octopus-dead-psychic-world
    “Paul the octopus is dead – but conspiracy theories are thriving
    Death of psychic octopus who proved a hit during the World Cup triggers claim of cover-up”

  • Granni Trixie

    FJH: All I know is that Sean Neeson has always been very popular in APNI (and my recall goes back to 1972). I never saw any sign of disrespect towards Sean at Alliance gatherings (APNI Council etc).I also know that bad health plagued him in recent years and people were v.sympathetic to him about that.Who can blame him if after long service wanting presumably an easier life? Ofcourse I recognise that local Alliance people can have gripes out of loyality but they may not be operating on full knowledge. All par for the course.

    “Alliance People” (as you would have it) were however not best pleased when Seamus Close did not adhere to party policy on gay people’s issues,nor lose sleep when his Speaker ambitions were thwarted. That said, he is respected for long service when he showed moral courage and leadership.(see, we try to be fair). A totally defensible position to me.

    Note:I usually try to avoid responding to ‘putting up a flag to see who salutes’.

  • Granni Trixie

    DC: insightful analysis as regards values in APNI – you are probably correct.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Granni Trixie ….Alderdice became Speaker in 1998. It had been assumed he would be in Executive and Close would be Speaker …but of course AP had not enough seats so Alderdice took one for the team and selflessly became Speaker.
    Close was his Deputy at the time. When Alderdice resigned the succession went to Neeson who I can confirm is a genuinely nice guy.
    The Civil Partnership legislation which caused Seamus Close a problem was of course in 2004 and it was after that Close who was only a rank and file MLA spoke out on use of Lisburn Town Hall for registration.
    That would be six years AFTER his shafting by Alderdice. Of course he was doubly shafted in 1998 when the Leadership passed him by to………Neeson.
    So Im not totally convinced that in 1998 …it was a bigger issue than Alderdices personal ambition to get “something”.
    Even if youre right that in 1998 Closes stance on gay rights was a problem for Alliance people (although clearly not enough for him to be Deputy Leader and inevitable fall out with Sean Neeson).
    Nor seemingly did his stance on gay rights prevent AP endorsing him as Mayor of Lisburn in 2003…….five years after the alleged problem over gay rights in 1998 preventing him getting the Speakers Chair.

    Actually “defending” Seamus Close is a problem for me as Ive never been a fan.
    I am a fan of Sean Neeson…….I never suggested that AP showed disrespect at meetings etc. I specifically made the point that alleged adult members of the DUP subjected him on occasions to childish playground abuse. Im sure you know that as well as I do.
    But you also know as well as I do that Sean Neeson sought the AP nomination for the Westminster Election in 2001 and the selection committee looked past him (the party leader!!!) and selected John Matthews who made a pigs ear of the election and lost 8% (according to my very fallible notes) of Neesons vote (20% went down to 12%).

    I suppose that selection meeting showed less than full respect for Neeson as Party Leader. All very democratic, no doubt.
    The APs biggest selling point (and it deserves credit) is maintaining good relations between our divided communities. But its party members can always be relied on not to get on very well with each other.

  • Granni Trixie

    O dear …but I suppose I’ll have ton respond this once.

    Without going into tedious detail, you seem to have gotten some significant facts wrong (which I know you will hate to hear). And I cannot compete with your memory of years when anything happened ..it all blends into impressions for me. I will give but one example:whilst perhaps Close saw himself lined up as Speaker others in APNI did not know of this. Alderdice too was doing a homer.

    I well remember after John Cushenan left in a hurry to go down south looking for a job and we had to vote between John Alderdice and SC as Leader. The rest is history – Alderdice won – he impressed with what seemed to be a fresh perspective at the time. It was a fair vote so how is that shafting?

    I never remember SC as Deputy (which is not to say that he was not). Eileen Bell was Deputy Leader of APNI however from the time DF took on role of Leader following JA leaving to become Speaker. Following JA leaving as Speaker Eileen Bell was Speaker for a relatively short period – anticipating that she was to resign as MLA mext time round (ie ‘retiring’).

    In all cases of Alliance MLAs who became Speakers, this was a consequence of their personal action,not some manoevering behind the scenes by the party. For all that, have to say that all in APNI and beyond agree that these Speakers did a grand job,bearing in mind that it was a new and unusual role in NI.

    As regards Alliance people not getting on …you have not uncovered any scandals.More, you are implying a stereotypical view of “Alliance Types” who pretend to get on with each other as “the nice people”all the time. Just like in the worlds of employment, people work together professionally (including members) as they have to. BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO LIKE EVERYONE EQUALLY (just had to shout here). Not particularly liking somebody or something they have done is not shafting them.

    DC however hit the nail on the head when he pointed to some internal tensions due to values around the common good conflicting with personal ambitions (or something like that). End of.

  • Barry the Blender

    John Matthews’ result was the 2nd worst performance the Alliance had in East Antrim Westminster elections

  • Big Bad Bob

    Mark,

    I live in East Antrim and your second prediction is nonsense. It’ll be Mulvenna, Mathews and/or Dickson.