‘Freddie’ quits the UUP to sit by the phone

Further to Mick’s post last week, it seems that Harry doesn’t regard his end-of-the-line with the UUP as the end of his political ambitions: From the Beeb:

“Harry Hamilton, a well-known Freddie Mercury impersonator, polled more than 10,500 votes in Upper Bann in the general election. However, he was rejected as a candidate for next year’s assembly elections. Mr Hamilton said he was keeping “an open mind” about the future but would be open to an approach from the Alliance party.”

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  • john

    Just posted this comment on the UUP conference blog
    Well done Harry although its been pretty obvious he would leave after he was rejected by his colleagues for Upper Bann MLA. I hope he does switch to the Alliance party. I know some people dont want the Alliance to become too Unionist with ex UUP members but I think Harry would be a real asset – Northern Irish politics needs more people like him.
    I think skugger should set up a sweep stake for the next UUP member to jump ship although they better do it quickly as the next one will be gone in a couple of weeks at the current rate. Mcrea or Mcallister anyone?

  • john

    My only complaint is Bradshaw, Hamilton and Ringland for that matter should all have been in the Alliance party in the first place – maybe they believed that the UUP could change but obviously not.

  • Rory Carr

    Freddy Mercury impersonators just won’t cut it for Alliance. If they really want to win over unionists outside of the garden centre belt they’re going to need solo tribute acts to Basil Brooke and Roaring Hanna but then TUV have already signed them up.

  • dwatch

    Could Mike Nesbitt be the next to jump ship after he looses out in being elected as MLA for Strangford in May 2011.

    He like Harry Hamilton was another UUP celebrity seeking a career change when he missed out winning the Westminster seat for Strangford last May.

  • Is Freddie lowering his sights too much? He got a very respectable 25% for the UUP whereas the Alliance candidate got 3%.

  • john

    Sure the Alliance vote in Upper Bann isnt great – but if Harry was to stand it would increase and on the right day may result in a seat in the assembly elections at the UUP’s expense

  • Finn Mc Cool

    Seems to be a bit of a trend, dont get selected for the UUP, aww well never mind just join the Alliace party and start again.
    I think the Alliance party are selling themselves short, do they really think Paula or Freddie would be in the Alliance party or considering joining if they had have been selected to stand for the UUP ?

  • Anon

    Whilst the usual suspects will now line up to gut Harry Hamilton, I have to say he came across as a genuine human being and a guy who was just too “nice” for the internal machinations and nastiness that is the UUP. In Upper Bann over the last while, they have been behaving like ferrets in a sack.

    That a clapped out old duffer like Gardiner should have been picked over Harry Hamilton (who I actually think was the highest polling UUP candidate anywhere in Northern Ireland), says all anyone needs to know about the UUP under Tom Elliott.

  • 2 frys 2 teas

    Whatever happened to joining a branch – doing a bit of work on the ground – getting a bit of branch member recognition and being rewarded by being endorsed by the branch to fight an election…..

    I mean re Westminster – Simpson is a worker – an employer in the area for years – and a good office going in P’down – you won’t just cowp him out of office with a few renditions of i want to break free….

    Where’s Jedward when you need them… next thing they’ll be standing in Strangford…. the hair would get them in alone….

  • Anon

    The UUP appears to be in the process of being hollowed out: the DUP stole their young people about ten years ago, then they took Donaldson, Weir and Foster, whilst the other YU types either drifted in to the DUP or left politics all together.

    What started on the right in the form of the DUP is now happening on the left with Alliance. At the other end, the Alliance seem to now be eating in to the liberal members (and lets be honest if McAuley hadn’t have been picked does anyone seriously think she would have stayed too?): meanwhile Tom is sitting bleating about how the UUP has been around for more than 100 years and crying about how unfair it all is because they “did the heavy lifting”.

    Carry on like this and it wont be around for another 10.

  • Framer

    It certainly shows the danger of parachuting in celebrity or right-on candidates. The Alliance Party of course was doing the same all over the county of Armagh.

  • Anon


    Still think waiting around for the DUP to cock things up is a good plan?

  • Anon

    Also, Harry Hamilton was not “parachuted” in. He’d been a member of the UUP for years and was the election agent in Upper Bann in 2007.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Two things.
    Any eejit could get 10,500 votes for UUP in Upper Bann.
    (Brendan Heading of Allinace got a decent 1200 (3%) and theres no reason to think that even a celeb like Hamilton would get a quota).
    It would be a good thing for AP to actually have a presence west of or on the Bann in East Derry (they missed out on Macauley possibly who could turn a decent vote into a quota).
    The second thing is that AP cheerleaders (Granni Trixie and Comrade Stalin) have stated on numerous threads that AP will not make special arrangements for defectors …well thats the public stance anyway.
    So Hamilton being “open to an approach” from AP is obviously a non starter ……or is it? The AP stance is that he or Parsley must approach them. If he has not already written a sycophantic blog entry about Hamilton and the Alliance Party ….then surely Mr Parsleys blog tonight will make good reading.

    Now Im on record on the same threads as saying that defectors might well be accomodated and also on record as saying that these people are effectively careerist losers without the heart or loyalty of the APs new generation that they seek to replace……..Muir, Heading, McGrellis and of course Granni Trixies protege Ms Curran.
    Their obvious unionism is a problem which can be dealt with. Their conservative leanings perhaps. But dealing with both and their careerist aspirations might be a problem.

    As Comrade Stalin has acknowledged I called Bradshaw right. She is now in the Alliance fold. Parsley will defend his council seat and defect after the Council or perhaps Assembly election. (he will be in a better negotiating position if he wins a Assembly seat as an Independent as he wont actually cost Farry his seat).
    But this is all a double edged sword for AP. It does give them entry into parts they could not previously reach but the price might be a change in Alliances profile and of course a limitation on the ambitions of the alliance “youth team”.
    Alliance is in the position of having more talent than there is available jobs (as MPs, MLAs, Councillors, staff, advisors etc).
    Sinn Féin and DUP are in the position of having more jobs than talent. How else can Fra McCann and Jonathan Bell be explained?

    So what does Harry Hamilton do now? Continue as the Mercury tribute act or join with old pals Bradshaw and Parsley to form a Peter Paul and mary tribute act.
    As for McCrea and McCallister ….if they are gonna jump they need to do so now. Otherwise a post-election jump looks opportunistic.
    As for Nesbit……he would much rather lead a UUP “rump” after Elliott is kicked out.

  • Anon


    Unfair on Jonathan Bell and Fra McCann, but almost everything else is right.

  • John Greene

    according in eamon mallie over a dozens UU members are going to defect to the Tories. Is Harry part of a plot?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I never do a post unless I can be unfair on somebody. Nothing against Fra (he can laugh about it)..or Jonathan Bell
    …it was just their turn.
    John Greene,
    Mr Eamonn Mallie boasted some weeks ago of having a little list. He likes to say that kinda thing.

  • dwatch

    John Greene 3 December 2010 at 4:30 pm
    ‘according in eamon mallie over a dozens UU members are going to defect to the Tories. Is Harry part of a plot?’

    Sure recently Eamon Mallie informed slugger about a new ‘2010 group’. We have not heard a dicky bird since.

  • Mark McGregor


    Both Mallie and Devenport are flagging up to a dozen defections during the UUP conference. Guess its watch this space time.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The amusing thing is that the conspirators have in the past shown absolutely no political acumen. They believe in their own careers much more than they believe in anything else and are frankly all rather useless.

  • Anon

    I see poor old John Lund (fellow Slugger parishoner) has been disciplined. Yep that makes sense, go after John Lund, but do nothing about this little gem:

  • IJP

    FJH is so far off the mark it isn’t even funny, as will be revealed in due course.

    As for Harry, he was a joy to work with in May. The idea that he may move from a party with 25% to a party with 3% because he’s “careerist” just shows what a daft accusation that is and always has been. (The idea also that people just sit by the phone waiting for people to “invite them to join” is equally laughable.)

  • dwatch

    Mark McGregor 3 December 2010 at 6:14 pm

    ‘Both Mallie and Devenport are flagging up to a dozen defections during the UUP conference. Guess its watch this space time.’

    Any hints what association they come from, surely not from Fermanagh & S Tyrone?

  • Mark McGregor


    No idea. I have as much understanding of what is going on in Unionism and the UUP in particular as Michael Shilliday 😉

  • andnowwhat

    How about this for a BBC NI programme, I’m A Unioinist Get Me Out Of Here”?

    Certainly better than Gary Linecker and his wife doing sod all for a few weeks.

  • Alias

    “How about this for a BBC NI programme, I’m A Unioinist Get Me Out Of Here”?”

    Good idea for RTE. Instead of blended cockroaches, we could make them drink Guinness (much the same thing) and instead of covering them in green ants, we could drop shamrocks on them.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    “As for Harry, he was a joy to work with in May”.

    But I wasnt that far off the mark about the sychophantic blog entry.
    This one will run and run.
    But I was not suggesting that Mr Hamilton would move to a party with 25% of the vote to a party with 3% BECAUSE he is careerist. I merely suggested he was among a group of careerist losers who are sniffing around Alliance and AP would perhaps need to reflect on the effects (negative as well as positive they would bring).
    It would indeed be a stretch to suggest that Mr Hamilton a UUP member yesterday would bring enough of a personal vote with him in Upper Bann to reach a quota but certainly enough to give AP a foothold there on the Bann (one or more council seats). He has something to trade and on which to build.
    Unlike Ms Bradshaw a UUP member six weeks ago who cant add anything to the AP ticket in South Belfast, although as Ive suggested before West Belfast is just a stones throw (bad choice of words..sorry) from the Village and she might be able to tap into a unionist and alliance vote there….enough for a quota?…..but I venture to suggest that she would be a reasonable AP candidate there.
    She has something to offer.
    I cant think of any others who would be an asset to AP.

    As for generally being “so far off the mark, it isnt even funny ” well I submit my previous record of consistency. I regard consistency as a virtue.

  • andnowwhat

    Dear me Alias, I now have an image of Paula washing herself in the Liffey while wearing a union jack bikkini.

    I think Basil would jump at the chance too

  • 6crealist

    “The idea also that people just sit by the phone waiting for people to “invite them to join” is equally laughable.”

    This reads like a man typing from bitter, bitter experience.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Well the atmosphere at the AP conference in January will be interesting. Some potential defectors on the fringe of it all being literally embraced….others being “blanked”.
    But essentially the Tories joining with UUP offered hope to people on the centre-right who had previously chosen Alliance Party as the best available party even though the AP is actually a centre left party.
    Necessarily people who were previously or are currently members .(indeed committed members who sought election as recently as 6 months ago against AP members) of a centre right party rushing to join a centre left party (as Ms Bradshaw has done and Mr Hamilton and others may yet do) should cause members of AP some concern.

    Oh this definition of the Tories as centre right and AP as centre left……I read on a blog of a defeated candidate ON 12th May…..the same blogger reported that moderate unionists in South Belfast had voted for Anna Lo.

  • Granni Trixie

    FJH:And will you be participant-observer in January?
    Is it also possible you might jump ship to Alliance yourself?
    What fun.

  • andnowwhat

    Did I have a Bobby Ewing in the shower moment or were the AP not officially supporters of the union back in the day?

    I seem to remember Oliver Napier being quite strong on it

  • IJP


    Some people on here do spend too long by the phone or on the blogs. The rest of us are out in the real world where real things are happening.

    But then, at the moment I’m just bitter about last night’s quiz result! It was all a FIFA conspiracy, I tell you…

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Granni….the least the Alliance Party could do is let me in for free. Or at least let my carer in for free. I am not officially allowed to leave this facility without a “carer”. And the Dunadry is in the middle of nowhere.
    Can you confirm the actual weekend that it is..
    my only unavailable date is United v Liverpool so the AP might wish to re-schedule to facilitate me.
    I am pretty sure many AP members would be happy to shake me warmly by the throa……er hand.

    Perhaps you ould use my slogan “Alliance……the centre left party for centre right defectors”

  • andnowwhat

    Ah Granni, the real world, especially on a Friday, is an awful place.

    Bars filled with young people that make me wonder if I should really be a special category prisoner, eejits outside who think that because we both smoke, they have a god given rite to talk crap to me and booze that is so expensive, I wake up in the mornong wrought with guilt at what I could have spent the money on.

    I have a bir fire that is roaring, a semi decent bottle of wine decanted (in an old Paul Masson bottle) and a lovely view of the snow outside.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Oh Granni Trixie……participant/observer? is that possible? can a “visitor” participate in discussion at fringe events?

  • Comrade Stalin

    fjh, you’re mostly making stuff up. I know you get tremendous fun from doing it, but I think you’re rapidly getting to the point where people won’t take you seriously.

    Given that it’s unlikely that any defectors will be nominated in time for May 2011, and by that time there’ll be another four years to go before another election, anybody who jumps ship right now in the expectation of a short term career advancement is likely to be very disappointed, and I expect that this would be explained to any would-be defector prior to any decision being taken.

    There is no question of the leadership intervening to countermand the decisions of local associations over selections. A decision was taken some time ago resolving that no sweetners would be offered to any defectors, and I don’t expect that to change.

    I expect Harry would be most welcome in the party and I’d be very happy to see him join.

  • drumcairnharp

    I think we haven’t seen the end of the resiginations from the UUP. I believe there could be at least one councillor thinking of standing down in Magherafelt

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I know I know.
    But its great when stuff I make up comes true.

  • pia_lugum

    The councillor in question in Margherafelt has been under pressure from the local ruling junta to go for the last three years to make way for you-know-who (Elliots new babe!) I trust that he stands on but he will find that the selection meeting has already being professionally rigged against him. So much for being loyal to the UUP

  • Drumlins Rock

    pia, you know how it work, the candidate with most members support is chosen, get more members on board who share your views and you can have whatever position you want, its called democracy.

  • pia_lugum

    Drumlins Rock
    I have no problem with your last. I suppose it has to be better, after all than North Korea, etc…

  • Billy

    Judging by the UUP’s latest election ad, Flash did the right thing jumping ship.

    Christ, Elliot makes McGimpsey (the ‘Folks on the Hill’ version) look

    Good back to the pig auctions, Tom, that’s about your level.

  • vanhelsing

    I’m sorry that Harry left the UUP – I thought he came across well in the ‘For Queen and Country’ documentary. The word is that he didn’t come across well in the selection process for the MLA candidacy and well that’s it.

    I’m not even going to make a flash in the pan gag:)

  • Spige

    Billy, i watched the UUP party political broadcast too. Tom has that rare gift in politics which is the ability to make a fish supper seem charismatic.

  • Alex Gray

    It is unfair to describe an candidate as clapped out when that person is known locally in Upper Bann as one of the hardest working constituency MLA’s who gets a awful lot lot of problems solved for many constituents of all backgrounds. Also don’t forget many of the voters are also “clapped out” by this ageist definition but don’t forget it is the 60+ voters who actually come out and vote – 80% of 60+ voters vote and 87% of 65+ voters vote, while less than half of 25-34 voters bother to vote. Not all candidates can be younger as this will turn off many older voters, as Robert Coulter said on the front page of the News Letter some weeks ago. The UUP Upper Bann ticket includes two younger candidates and one older. It includes one woman and two men. It includes representatives of all three major towns – Lurgan, Portadown and Banbridge. It looks pretty fair an balanced in a lot of ways to me.

  • John K Lund

    Eamon Mallie has the list and just be patient FJH . It appears the Bradshaw Parsley team might be leaking without any substance.