Tag Archives: naomi long

Tim Farron comments on Martin McGuinness’ death

We woke this morning to the news that the former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness had died.

There is no doubt that he was a significant figure in the peace process. It was quite incredible for me to see him as part of the power-sharing executive after my childhood had been punctuated with disturbing news reports from Northern Ireland. I can’t underestimate how unachievable the current peace seemed to be at that time. It was a remarkable achievement which took a great deal of international effort. It’s one of the things that we can be rightly proud of both John Major and Tony Blair for.

Martin McGuinness was pivotal in bringing about that peace and persuading others on his side of the divide to do so and for that he deserves respect.

Tim Farron had this to say on his death.

Martin McGuinness, for all his past, became a statesman. One moment sticks with me, the remarkable – and unlikely – images of McGuinness when he shook the hand of the Queen on her visit to Belfast in 2012. This single picture epitomised the changes in Northern Ireland.

This is something I, and millions of others, are thankful for. Peace in Northern Ireland is down, in part, to his leadership of the Republican community.

The Leader of our sister party, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, Naomi Long, expressed her sadness:

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Great result for Alliance as majority of Northern Ireland votes against Brexit

The Northern Ireland election results are now  in and they show some very encouraging trends for those of us with a liberal outlook. Our sister party, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, won 8 seats and got its highest vote share in 28 years. Although their number of seats stays the same at 8, in an Assembly that is 18 seats smaller, that is a major achievement. It also increased its first preference vote share by over 2%.

Voters also sent a message that they were opposed to Brexit with the biggest losers being the unionist parties, who lost 16 of the 18 seats. The DUP famously gave more than £400,000 to the Leave campaign. The impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland, particularly on the border with the Irish Republic, would be devastating as Nick Clegg wrote recently.

On her Facebook page, Alliance leader Naomi Long summed up a good night for the party:

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LDVideo: Naomi Long reads out and responds to mean tweets

Twitter abuse is an occupational hazard for anyone who has an opinion, especially if they happen to be female. If you are a woman, it’s not only what you say but how you look that is fair game for the trolls.

Alliance MP Naomi Long had a bit of Friday fun this week as she read out some of the abuse she’d received over the years and get her own back with some witty retorts. I think my personal favourite was her response to the one about the size of her backside – a subject on which Alistair Carmichael waded in with support for Naomi.

Anyway, watch and enjoy:

You might also be interested in one of Jo Swinson’s favourite antidotes to the haters. Thank you, haters, by Clever Pie and Isabel Fay is very funny.

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PMQs: It’s déjà vu all over again

Andrew Selous MP (Conservative) got up at Prime Minister’s Questions this week and said this:

What does he think about Ken Livingstone, who said that: “I get loads of money, all from different sources, and I give it to an accountant and they manage it”? Is that modern socialism for you?

A superb question. But one could be forgiven for being reminded of Yogi Berra’s remark:

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PMQs: Your boys took a hell of a beating

I’m looking forward to the comments this week.

We saw a newly confident Nick Clegg at Prime Minister’s Questions today.

I’ve written before that Nick’s early Dispatch Box appearances were a bit like bear bating. He stood there, red-faced and growling as Labour MPs jabbed at him from all angles.

But, today, we saw an assured and relaxed Nick Clegg who was convincingly combatative. Most impressively, he discharged the session with barely a single reference to a piece of paper. Not for him the “chained to my indexed folder” look of David Cameron. In short, Nick Clegg was Prime Ministerial. “Best ever” was …

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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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