Tag Archives: alliance party

Opinion: What’s that you say, Mr Robinson?

Peter robinson by alan in belfastThis weekend,  Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson addressed his party conference for the last time before the General Election and launched his ire at losing his seat in Westminster last time out. Talking of the DUP candidate’s chances for East Belfast next May he said:

There may be other unionists in the field, but they will only serve to divide the pro-union opposition to the flag-lowering, parade-stopping, gay marriage-supporting, pro water-charging, holier-than-thou Alliance Party.

It’s an interesting choice of words, which drew applause from his audience but needs a serious look at the implications of what they mean, for our sister party in Northern Ireland.

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Stand up against the politics of bullets and threats

AlliancePolitics is macho at the best of times – strength and power, even clarity is used in a ruthless context.  All too often there are militaristic metaphors: “I intend to march my troops towards the sound of gunfire” (Joe Grimond 1963).

Indeed, it has always been my experience as a campaigner, member of staff for the Party and as candidate, that macho effort is often valued above more subtle contribution.  You often hear Conference bar boasting about the number of by-elections attended (usually citing the first exciting one that we won, forgetting the less sexy ones: Ogmore or Bootle 2), the number of nights, days, weeks and indeed months (in the case of Brent East) spent at said by-election, and the first by-election attended (often Christchurch or Eastbourne, being a direct reference to the decades of perceived thankless service!).

Posted in Op-eds | 4 Comments

Opinion: Alliance holds firm against intimidation

We are now just over a week on from the infamous flag vote at Belfast City Council and whilst it is now clear that the Alliance Party will emerge from this with its credibility and reputation greatly enhanced it has come at an enormous cost to its elected members, officers and activists who have been put under intolerable pressure. Now we know what mob rule looks like. If Northern Ireland was a normal society rival politicians would have by now put differences aside and be standing shoulder to shoulder with Alliance in a united front on the side of democracy …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 56 Comments

The General Election campaign in Mid-Ulster

To be honest I love going on the stump, all of it! Even though you know it is going to be a very hard campaign. There are none harder than campaigning for a liberal party in the deeply polarised area West of the Bann. The hardest bit is getting started – Knowing that whatever you do, however hard you fight, however good your arguments or your candidates, you are going to lose and lose very big.

The street pounding, the leafleting, the phone calls, the “grip and grin”, the talking, talking, talking, persuasion, persuasion, persuasion, cajoling, joling, joling, joling.

The campaign begins so long before the date that the election is called and yet, yet, yet…

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 26 Comments

Belfast’s new Lord Mayor is from the Alliance

With the polls closed and the first results awaited, here is some cheery news from our sister party in Northern Ireland:

Naomi Long of the Alliance Party is the new lord mayor of Belfast.

The east Belfast councillor defeated the DUP’s William Humphrey by 26 votes to 24 in a vote at a council meeting on Monday afternoon.

She takes over from Sinn Fein’s Tom Hartley and is the first woman to hold the post for nearly 30 years.

The 37-year-old is the deputy leader of the Alliance Party and represents the Victoria ward. She has been a member of Belfast City

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