Mid Ulster: Reassuringly A Long Way From Holywood

Well no….that’s not actually what it said on Slugger O’Toole.

Mid Ulster is reassuringly predictable and therefore of little interest to people…the Metrotextuals in South Belfast, East Belfast and North Down. Few …if any members of Platform for Change in Magherafelt, Cookstown and Coalisland. And yet they elect six MLAs and possibly on a decent turnout.

Its unfair to n political nerds, geeks,anoraks and the blogges.

In a submission to the Boundary Commission, I am proposing a change…WEIGHTED VOTING.

Under this proposal areas such as Mid Ulster, West Tyrone and Fermanagh-South Tyrone will be downgraded and elect just one MLA each. Areas such as South Belfast, North Down and Lagan Valley will be upgraded and will have ten MLAs each.

This should ensure an Alliance-Basil McCrea landslide…and neutralise all those pesky people who have never even heard of Platform for Change, Integrated Education, British-Irish Studies Institute and Stratagem.

You KNOW it makes sense.

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9 Responses to Mid Ulster: Reassuringly A Long Way From Holywood

  1. factual says:

    Slugger O’Toole is an excellent weblog.

    It was first on the scene north of the border, and it attracts more visitors than any other political blog up there to this day.

    It generally has a perceptive take on events in that puzzling corner of our island.

    Belfast may seem to us a strange place. Yet – hop on a train or bus and it only takes a few hours to get there. Six county politics are an esoteric matter that few understand – despite being so near it is also quite difficult to understand and hence the need for a weblog like Slugger.

    The regulars at Slugger Central often have direct experience of actually living up there, at some point in their careers, and can explain what is going on up there in a way that is both authoratitative and simple to understand.

    Let’s be clear on something – when Slugger says that this by election in MidUlster is boring, I have to admit they have a point.

    What are the issues? What is at stake? Who is the protest candidate? None of these questions have yet come to light in the TV debates or newspaper sketches.

    So I think slugger makes a good point.

    • First and foremost Belfast is NOT a strange place.
      I lived in it for the first 26 years of my life.
      I worked or studied in it until I was 53.
      Places like West Belfast, Crossmaglen, Coalisland, Irvinestown are strange places to the middle class elite from South Belfast and North Down.
      Mid Ulster bores them because they want to believe they are different and of course….superior.
      Slugger is indeed the first of its kind.
      And I will readily state that Slugger is at times…excellent.
      At other times it is total unadulterated CRAP.
      And the Mid Ulster post is an example.

  2. Belfast is a strange place – people down there talk funny. They sound like chainsaws grinding through corrugated tin. They all live in pokey houses and through stones at each other and some even say bad words. And they have a odd view on things – not like the rest of us at all. That is why I like Slugger O’Toole. It allows us to laugh at them . Extremely valuable.

    Next time I venture south to Belfast I will take some popcorn and my shooting stool and laugh at the denizens.

  3. Meanwhile in Mid Ulster it certainly is a one horse race. The interest to me is the turnout, (and I do not mean 1798). Will there be a ramification of the idiotic hypocritical support of the private health clinic in Belfast by Sinn Fein among those redneck backward thinking neanderthals of the bog? Or have they suddenly became advanced sophisticates who will do the decent thing and jump on every bandwagon that noice people support?

    Will the SDLP vote increase?

    Will the unionists support the circling of the wagons?

    My take is this.

    The SDLP is interesting not because they may win – I think a one legged man has a better chance at an arse kicking contest – but if Patsy does not increase – or at least halt the decline the signals and the spin will have further consequences. It will encourage the left wing “liberals”, who I will label the “Conals”, to become even more assertive. The argument to be made is clear. The electorate is moving away from the “old fashioned” conservative Christian view on social mores. McGlone and Alisdair have had their day and it is, they will argue, time for new young and dynamic leadership with more socially “progressive” agenda for a new “Northern Ireland” (sic and sick). People with a new agenda, new policies and a modern progressive outlook should now steer the party to electoral success. People like ……….. ummmmm …….Conal McDevitt. Does anyone think he will try to lead a putch?

    Sinn Fein – the only fly in the ointment is abortion and Marie Stopes. The neanderthal throwbacks who inhabit the world outside Belfast have some weird ideas like the sanctity of life. However I cannot see them voting for anyone else – but they may decide to have a sitzkreig and watch eastenders instead. I would interpret a declining Sinn Fein vote not as a “normalisation” as some pundits will suggest but as a clear signal is losing support amongst its grassroots, the decline is only prevented and minimised by the fact that there is no credible alternative for voters to turn to. However the loyalty to the tribe will kick in and most will vote through gritted teeth, at least they will deny the unionists. (No – the SDLP is not a credible alternative – at the end of the day they are a partitionist party whose raison d’etre is gone ).

    I cannot see the unionists winning in Mid Ulster. I will look at the turnout to see if there is a last attempt to win the seat or a capitulation to the reality of a greening Ulster and the claim that Ulster is British declines and its expression diminishes in Westminster.

    At the end of the day a Sinn fein win. But by how many?

    • factual says:

      I don’t think there will be a putch against Alasdair. I think Alex Attwood will be the agreed next leader, and that Conal will ascend to the role of South Belfast MP and Claire Hannah will take over as MLA. SDLP will pull out of the Executive and argue for opposition.

      • Attwood? Not a chance. I predict he will not be worrying too much about the next leader.

      • factual says:

        Attwood’s gaining a lot of profile from being a minister. He is highly able. Certainly either he or Conal, I think Attwood is more liked in the SDLP. People look up to him in the SDLP.

      • And why do you think this?
        Look up the 2011 SDLP Leaership Election Results.
        By the way are you a Sinn Fein sock puppet. For a resident of Dalkey, you talk a lot about Short Strand.

      • factual says:

        OK I had forgotten that Alex A had done poorly. I think that it would have made sense for him to be next leader given that he is older than Conal.

        However if Conal is sought as leader then he would not take up the Westminster posting for South Belfast. Perhaps Claire Hanna will be the MP for South Belfast, joining Mark Durkan and Margaret Ritchie, and Conal will be the leader of SDLP, with Alex Attwood being minister and Seamus de Faote or Niall Kelly being the second MLA for South Belfast.

        So that is Conal McDevitt – leader and MLA Alex Attwod – minister and MLA Claire Hanna – MP (South Belfast) Seamus de Faote or Niall Kelly – MLA by cooption (South Belfast). Or it is possible that Claire might be MLA and Seamus MP, or alternatively Nial Kelly.

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