Parsley…Sage?

On his excellent blog, Ian James Parsley worries about the life of the current Assembly being extended by an extra year to 2016. It is, he says, a breach of Democracy and its hard to argue with him because the current Assembly was voted in for a four year term in 2011.

Mr Parsley, who is described as a politican and businessman on wikipedia (no I dont know who wrote it) was the Alliance Party candidate…losing candidate in the 2009 European Elections. He also polled 343 votes in Holywood in the 2005 Council Elections….the only time that he has ever been elected to anything.

In late 2009, he fought North Down in the Westminster Election in the Tory-Unionist coalition, while his wife Paula Bradshaw fought South Belfast. Both lost. Both left their Party and first Ms Bradshaw joined Alliance….and then Parsley re-joined Alliance. He still seems to harbour some political ambition. Whether the Alliance Party holds the same ambition for him is of course debatable.

But if he has his eyes on an Assembly seat, surely the most likely seat is East Antrim…where Stewart Dickson is 62 years old. While Mr Parsley would certainly add to the entertainment value of the Assembly and it would sadden us all if he had to wait an extra year to take a seat, I think that focussing on the undemocratic nature of extending the life of the Assembly might not be the most undemocratic aspect of the Stormont regime.

For example Parsleys current political party….Alliance (as of 31st May 2013) took 51,000 votes and got eight MLAs elected in 2007. The SDLP took 94,000 votes (14 seats) and UUP 87,000 votes (16 seats). This means that the Alliance Party is the fifth largest party in Norn Iron, behind DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP and UUP….but yet in terms of Executive seats, Alliance has TWO while SDLP and UUP have just one each. To everyone outside the Alliance Party (and their influential backers and apologists on Slugger O’ Toole..this looks a wee bit….undemocratic.

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4 Responses to Parsley…Sage?

  1. factual says:

    Stewart Dixon is unlikely to want to retire for a while yet. He is not much different from Gerry Adams in age.

    • Ah “Factual” Stewart has been big in the Alliance Party top brass for a long time.
      But having no records in this room at the minute, I am guessing that at most he was only ever elected to the Forum.
      Consider this:
      East Antrim 2010…Westminster candidate is Gerry Lynch an Alliance staffer. If you get a chance look at their Party Broadcast. Gerry is just scary. He performed poorly but was assumed to be on a trial run for the 2011 Assembly.
      He left his job with Allianace and the departure was a source of much speculation on a well known website.
      In January 2011, I was at the Alliance Conference when Fordy said that Gerry was in Africa building up missions (Gerry Lynch is a leading Church of Ireland person…used to see him a lot in and around a Belfast church).
      In May 2011, Gerry was back in Belfast and Dickson was the new MLA.
      Dickson would have regarded his 2011 Election as a bonus late in his life.
      My guess is that he would be happy with one term.
      And Im sure Parsley-Bradshaw would be waiting in the wings.
      East Antrim Alliance do a nice line in back-stabbing.

      • factual says:

        Well I don’t want to comment on Gerry other than to say he is always a good person to read when he writes on topics. Without being obsequious I regard him as knowledgeable and intelligent.

        East Antrim is a safe Alliance seat and it may be that Alliance should take care replacing Stewart Dickson, as they are likely to have the replacement for a while; a candidate of leadership quality would make sense. Someone able to inspire the party and to take it forward strategically.

        I believe Gerry has written a piece on Slugger in which he made clear that he is in favour of a United Ireland, while the stand-point of Alliance is that of being agnostic on that issue.

        I wonder if Gerry’s position in favour of a UI was clear to East Antrim Alliance when they selected him last time?

      • If I recall that Slugger piece…Gerry Lynch stated that he was “now” in favour of a United Ireland and that this was a position that he had arrived at lately. And if I recall he bravely talked about issues affecting him.
        The impression is that he did not feel thisway in 2010.
        Alliance stated position (and personally I wouldnt believe anything an Alliance person says as they are mostly hypocrites) is that they are agnostic on a united Ireland but that members of the Party are unionist and nationalist.
        It is of course a fence sitting position designedcto be vague.
        Usually in East Antrim Alliance run two candidates eg Neeson- Matthews or Dickson-Mulvenna to win one Assembly seat.
        Id be surprised if Ian Parsley or Paula Bradshaw are not on the ticket in 2016
        Maybe both….nightmare scenario….but good for a laugh.

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