And Then There Were…Fourteen…..Er Thirteen

Ooops…he did it again. Mike Nesbitt that is.

Does he seriously think that he is doing a good job in leading the UUP? Does any member of the UUP think that?

He is a disaster…..but lets be frank. One of the Unionist parties in disarray brings is not something which should concern nationalists.

Losing David McNarry is unfortunate. Losing John McCallister today is careless. Losing Basil McCrea????

The UUP had sixteen seats in the Assembly Election 2011….and has now seen two MLAs defect in very different directions. The UUP now have fourteen seats…and may soon slip to thirteen. It vexates Conall McDevitt of SDLP that UUP will still retain a position senior to SDLP.

On this …Conall is plain wrong. The real scandal is that the Alliance Party on 52,000 votes has two seats on the Executive, allowing the ridiculous David Ford to swagger and prance around as the imagined Leader of Norn Irons third party, rather than the fifth party. And the BBC seemed more than happy to indulge Fords fantasy.

It gives me no pleasure to say that two years ago, I blogged on other sites that the Alliance Party’s tactic, was to secure just one additional Assembly seat…and get that all important Executive seat. Nor does it give me any pleasure to say that I spoke about this to SDLP MLAs and suggested that SDLP needed to direct hostile fire on the Alliance Party. This they n manifestly failed to do.

Granted SDLP thought that they would do better in 2011. And in that context thought that the harmless Alliance Party might be ok with an extra seat. If that is the case then the SDLP strategists got it badly wrong.

The Alliance Party may well claim to be representative in religious terms but it is unknown and even invisible in large areas of Norn Iron….the kinda areas unknown to too many elitist folks in Belfast.

The Alliance Party is no friend of SDLP.

Oh Stop Press: Basil McCrea…he has also left. (that’s the problem with trying to follow events in A different time zone). It’s not just a matter of losing personnel….UUP are losing their senior people. McNarry, McCallister and McCrea were big hitters and will get more media attention than anybody promoted to join Nesbitt and Kennedy. A comeback for Elliott and McGimpsey and Kinahan is capàble…but there is not exactly an abundance of talent on the UUP benches.

Whether McCallister or McCrea stay independent or form a knew party or join Conservatives or Alliance depends on local circumstances.

Alliance needs them. …perhaps as a partner rather than within the Party.

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15 Responses to And Then There Were…Fourteen…..Er Thirteen

  1. hoboroad says:

    I wonder what they will call the new Unionist party? I mean a lot of titles have already been taken. In fact why call it a Unionist party. Basil seems fond of using the term Northern Ireland so I guess that Ulster won’t figure in the new title. A party which starts off with 3 MLAs and maybe a MP if they can get Lady Hermon onboard could be viable.

    • I know the Herman (curiously) takes the Labour whip whilst the other two are Tory. That said, it would be a smart move but I’m not sure if Mc Clarty would fit.

      • I’m not totally sure they would want McClarty.
        Am I right in thinking he is on the Ulster Forum?
        In some ways they are all very different.
        And fitting into the Alliance Party might be more difficult for some than others.
        I’m pretty sure I heard one say that he had given AP his eighth preference vote in 2011.

    • Probably the name has been chosen months ago. Probably by some PR company. Likewise the Logo.
      I’d guess it will be something like New Direction or some fluffy nonsense.

  2. hoboroad says:

    Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrea has said it is likely that he and John McCallister will set up a new party to challenge the DUP and the UUP.

  3. The Twitter attack on Mc Callister by by Edwin Poots and Tom Elliot last night was fit only for the school yard and that’s unionism is a nutn shell, politics befitting the school hard men.

    On today’s Talkback, Basil sounded genuine in wanting to move on politics proper but curiously wants to form a unionist party. Odd.

    He and Mc Callister are most certainly soft Conservatives but there’s clearly no appetite for the party here, hence his on air refusal to join the party from Trevor Nunn.

    Meanwhile, Sinn Fein are playing politics proper in the Dail and the SDLP are doing the same in Westminster, as opposed to the unionist arse licking of David Cameron in the commons.

    Btw FJH, Gerry Adams is now tweeting and is surprisingly entertaining. Check him out if you haven’t already

  4. hoboroad says:

    Nesbitt on UTV tonight would not answer a question from Marc Mallett because he said it came from Basil McCrea what a plank that man is.

    • This is perhaps the thing that I understand least about Mike Nesbitt.
      He goes into TV studios and spouts this kinda nonsense to a journalist.
      seven or eight years ago, he would not have let a politician get away with that.

  5. factual says:

    It will be interesting to test the waters. I have heard that there is a fourth MLA that might create a gang-of-four, with a mission to provide the DUP, SF, SDLP, and Alliance partiy Executive with an opposition.

    What this project has in its favour compared to other start ups is that the party can be the only party of opposition (that is not “fringe” like TUV and Greens). This gives it some freedom and opportunity to be uncomtaminated by the compromises of government reponsibility.

    Believe it or not in our grandparents time SF had no TD in the Dail south of the border and no MPs north of the border, playing second to the SDLP. Hard to imagine these days as that is but it does show that a party that captures the mood and puts in the work can grow.

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