Who Let The Dogs Out?

As I predicted….and even a broken clock is right twice a day….Alliance are the Party most affected by the emergence of NI21. Far too early to say if NI21 will have any impact on Norn Iron politics or whether Basil McCrea and John McCallister lose their seats in 2016 and they become a footnote in Norn Iron History…a good subject for a Politics dissertation at Queens in about fifteen years time.

Either way, Alliance are taking no chances. They will have learned a lesson from the Womens Coalition taking precious votes andseats in the elections after the Good Friday Agreement. They lost votes to “amateurs”.

So predictably the Alliance Party is taking no chances with NI21. Having failed to woo Basil and John, they now have to kill off the new Party. And reveal themselves as the nasty Party.

One of the first attack dogs out of the traps is Ian Parsley over on Slugger? Parsley, you may recall was the Alliance Partys candidate in the 2009 European Election before defecting to the UUP-Conservative coalition to be a candidate in the 2010 Westminster Election….before er…defecting back to the Alliance Party last year. What is he up to, criticising other defectors like Bail and John? Surely he cannot have his eye on Stewart Dicksons Alliance seat in East Antrim? I hope Mr Parsley clarifies that having let his supporters down so badly in 2009, he would not even think about standing AGAIN for Alliance. Surely the wisest thing to do….in the event of Dickson standing down….is to back the candidature of his wife…Paula Bradshaw …who has only one defection to her name (UUP-Tory to Alliance in 2010).

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20 Responses to Who Let The Dogs Out?

  1. factual says:

    IJP has clarified on his blog that he has changed party no more times than WChurchill.

  2. I see Breidge Gadd was talking up NI21 in The Irish News today, suggesting that they could be the party for the younger generation, I think she said something about more younger people seeing themselves as “northern irish”, and being content with that identity, which might help NI21 get votes from the younger age groups. To be honest, her column might’ve just taken a few facts and figures to justify her opinion, as the guy in the column beside her said that if NI21 were to make a success of this venture, they should not have labelled themselves as unionist.

  3. bangordub says:

    Mr Fitz, surely the McUnionists are the cuddly party now?

  4. It does come across as a ‘baldmen fighting over comb’ kind of story don’t you think tho? If I were APNI I’d actually be a bit worried before McUnionism came around, a large number of their incumbents are elderly and their 2nd string defections dont look great in the main, now that these gs have come along I think they may be bricking it ever so slightly.

    • I think that there have been worrying signs for Alliance.
      The fact that they can get two Executive seats from 52,000 votes irritates me.
      But I think that the cosiness between Ford and DUP SF is a worry to traditional Alliance people who dont see DUP and SF as natural allies.
      Remember that Farry seat was supposed to have been abolished but its still there a year after it was supposed to have disappeared.
      One problem that Alliance has that it has a lot of ambitious Young Turks who are anxiously monitoring the health of that older generation of MLAs.
      A few careers seem to have been cut off already.
      And look out for Mr Parsley and/or Mrs Parsley ( nee Bradshaw) getting the East Antrim nomination.
      Naomi Long is on her way out of Westminster and she will need an Assembly seat. Note the ridicule heaped on East Belfast MLAs Lyttle and especially Cochrane on Slugger. These are clear indications that Long will lose East Belfast in 2015 and fight an Assembly seat there in 2016….which is curtains for Cochrane. In fact if Long didnt fight East Belfast, Alliance would probably lose a seat anyway.
      The irony is that both East Belfast MLAs are young.
      Some Alliance MLAs Dickson and Lunn hark back to a gentler churchy Alliance.
      But the new breed led by Farry is secular and totally ruthless.
      And Ford will certainly stand down as Leader…..Long or Farry?
      But ultimately Alliance have nine seats Westminster and Stormont.
      Its a game of musical chairs. One seat will be taken away in 2015 and that leaves nine at least people trying to sit on a maximum of eight chairs.
      Clearly Lunn in Lagan Valley might stand down….but is there an obvious successor there?
      Clearly Dickson might stand down….and thats Parsley/ Bradshaw territory plus unsuccessful running mate Mulvenna (a long standing member who might not be thrilled with the defectors)
      Clearly McCarthy might stand down in Strangford….and while I see no obvious successor. Good old Naomi MIGHT be fitted in there. But they might go for Tim Morrow.

      But my point is all those young eager Turks who fought unwinnable seats (to gain kudos in the Party) in 2010 have a more difficult job to get into Assembly.
      So knives are out for NI21 AND Party colleagues.

      • Setting aside my obvious disdain for an intellectually dishonest and democratically dishonest party, if I were a young Turk in the APNI I would actually be asking the questions, where are we going to gain a seat next? What are we doing to push outside of the Greater Belfast Metropolitan Area? They have a council seat or 2 in Craigavon but can you honestly see them holding these in the future? Will they try and push for an MLA in Upper Bann because I sure as hell don’t see them getting a seat there? Where else then do they move forward and become something more than a party for South Belfast media types because they really have no strategy beyond holding what they already have which is actually a recipe for your own destruction or stasis, no?

      • I think they can nibble away at places but the new council districts will be a problem for them.
        In terms of the Assembly they staked everything…including Rowntrees £98,000 (innocent money, chocolate money…QUAKER money) on winning one extra Assembly seat to get two Executive seats.
        And they won that gamble.
        The most optimistic scenario for Alliance is that they could take a seat in South Belfast. Their apologists will say that they could win an extra one in North Down.
        Pessimistic scenario for them is that they lose a seat in Strangford or East Belfast.
        And all of that becomes more problematic with NI21 in the field.
        Alliance first preferences are bound to drop and its hard to see how an Alliance newcomer in Lagan Valley could outvote McCrea. And a good candidate for NI21 in North Down, East Belfast, South Belfast, Strangford COULD certainly damage them.
        Youre right. They have little choice but to kill off NI21.

      • DC says:

        Interesting analysis – you seem to know a lot about the alliance party.

        i am not too sure if alliance voters care that much about its bed fellows in stormont as they might value grubby compromise deals that keeps the stormont show on the road and maintains a form of political stability. Albeit one that isn’t producing that much.

        However, i reckon they would care if they believed someone did something primarily motivated by personal reasons (i.e. doing something for selfish reasons based on pride and i am right everyone wrong) which came at the expense of good relations and cost a lot of public money and did damage to society and community relations.

      • Perhaps.
        I think that Alliance (two seats) IS and has shown itsef to be more wedded to the “Government” than UUP and SDLP.
        I think the deceit they use is that they have one seat (Farry) as of right. And the second seat (Ford) is mandated by the Assembly. But the reality is its the gift of DUP and Sinn Fein.
        They could for a while get away with presenting themselves as noble selfless people who held their noses in taking the Justice Ministry for the greater Common Good. But they are now rather shameless about enjoying this much power. That will work against them especially in the context of NI21 advocating Opposition.
        Their Young Turks including the internet warriors are shameless about their entitlement to power and their right to hold onto it by any tactical advantage. I merely suggest that this is not the thinking of SOME traditional Alliance people who could ind that NI21 has more integrity on this.
        Am I right?
        On this one…probably yes.
        Alliance needed mCCrea and McCallister.
        Now that they havent got them, they will have to destroy them.
        all of which will be a great inconvenience to the plethora of LetsGetAlongerist lobbyists and organisations….including Slugger O’Toole 😉

    • Alliance need to be vewy vewy carful or else the big boys will take Farry’s toy away

  5. DC says:

    ‘They have little choice but to kill off NI21.’

    i guess this explains why IJP has come out all guns blazing.

    • Well…looking at it logically….or at least as logically as i get
      I was at the Alliance Party Conference when Paula Bradshaw was welcomed into the Party. (January 2011).
      I was at the South Belfast count (May 2011) when Ms Bradshaw and Brice Dickson were the most energetic Alliance tally people.
      As I recall Mr Parsley blogged around the same time that he had canvassed for Alliance in …was it seven???…constituencies.
      Am I right in thinking that Ms Bradshaw is on the Alliance Party Executive?
      Am I right in thinking that Mr Parsley is an officer of the Party in East Antrim, having re-joined with less hoopla after his 2009 defection.?
      I observe from Mr Parsleys wikipedia entry…that he is “a politician” which suggests he might have electoral ambitions in …East Antrim…where the sitting Alliance MLA is even older than me.
      Mr Parsley might well feel that he has some bridges to build with his current political party and might well feel that an attack on NI21 might be an excellent method of re-habilitation.
      How will we ever know?
      Youd think some journo on perhaps Slugger O’Toole …perhaps even Mick Fealty …would ask Mr Parsley if he intends throwing his hat or Ms Bradshaws bonnet into the East Antrim (or other) ring in 2016.
      Or perhaps a co-option is on the cards.

  6. factual says:

    Alliance have the secret weapon of Mr Kieran McCarthy who is very popular in Strangford.

  7. Lurkio says:

    I read this a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was a bit exaggerated. But now I think about it, you make a decent point. I am not totally convinced but I see where you are coming from.

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