As mentioned in the comments below yesterday’s post by Andrew about the number of members taking advantage of the UUP early leavers’ scheme, Harry Hamilton has joined the Alliance Party.
When he quit the UUP on the eve of their party conference, it was noted that he would “be open to an approach from the Alliance Party” that has already become home to fellow UCUNF Westminster Candidate Paula Bradshaw.
Having missed the UUP conference, he’s signed up in time for Alliance’s annual bash at the Dunadry next Saturday.
In a statement, Hamilton explained:
It’s time for people to stop choosing their politicians on the basis of historical differences and start looking to the future. I believe that Alliance holds the key to better, shared future in Northern Ireland.
Alliance reaches out to all sections of our community. It has shown itself able to listen and not preach, to lead and not simply follow, to deliver change and be unafraid of progress.
I believe in the need for politicians to show leadership and the need to build a united community. These are the principles I entered politics to promote and I believe they can be best achieved through the Alliance Party.
While it’s only a small trickle of councillors and ex-candidates shifting out of the UUP – half to the DUP, half turning to the Alliance – it is making it all the harder for them to be seen to stand still in May’s local governmnent elections. Will the TV pundits and fancy graphics judge UUP performance against the number of seats they won back in 2005, or against the number they held the day before the election?
In the meantime, Tom Elliott may put away his Queen records and instead start humming
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you
Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about and reports from civic, academic and political events, reviews cultural performances, chairs discussions, and live-tweets, streams and records lectures and conferences. He delivers social media training, coaching and consultancy, produces podcasts, is a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, FactCheckNI board member, and is a member of the Corrymeela Community.