“the Ulster Unionist Party is the Fianna Fáil of Northern Ireland”

Nice piece from Anne Marie Hourihan on Mike Nesbitt’s victory (albeit in a vastly shrinking party electorate) and the more general trend towards the replacement of politics by Television…

Nesbitt was only elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011. In 2010 he tried unsuccessfully to replace the sitting MLA whom the Belfast Telegraph at that time charmingly referred to as “love cheat Iris Robinson”. (MLA stands for Member of the Legislative Assembly). Nesbitt’s is a meteoric rise by anybody’s standards, and it is not altogether explained by the fact that the career ladder in the Ulster Unionist Party has shortened so dramatically.

And she finishes…

Television is moulding our lives; it fills a lot of vacuums. It encourages us to stay the same. It keeps us passive. It is the dominant force in Ireland now that the ideas have died.

I go with Anne Marie some of the way, but it strikes me this is not a move from a position of strength. And as we’ve seen from the George Lees versus Fine Gael case, politics does not always work out the way the TV personality would like it to.

And it’s alway useful to remember, as Joe Trippi once marvellously riffed on Gil Scott Heron’s classic theme, the Revolution will not be Televised