Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Reg against the Reverend?

Gordon Brown's election announcement signals a 29 day dash to the election finishing line. Which is all very well if you have your candidates, and their campaign team, ready to go.

In seventeen out of eighteen constituencies Conservatives and Unionists at least have a Westminster hopeful in place. The eighteenth, outstanding constituency, remains South Antrim, where Adrian Watson was rejected, due to his propensity for immoderate outbursts.

Reg for South Antrim?
So who will fill the vacancy in a constituency which should offer the Conservatives and Unionists one of their best chances of a Commons seat?

The best bet is still Sir Reg Empey.

Three Thousand Versts is led to believe that literature and posters have been prepared, for a possible challenge to Reverend Willie McCrea by the UUP leader.

Realistically, Sir Reg's leadership is now linked, inextricably, to the Conservative and Unionist project. However you assess his performance in recent times, Empey is one of its most articulate advocates, and South Antrim is a vital seat.

Selection in the constituency has hardly been carefully choreographed, however the UUP leader might be the best choice now available. UCUNF is a force made for Westminster, and its architect could yet make the House of Commons his political platform.

6 comments:

O'Neill said...

McCrea, despite fierce competition, must qualify for the title of the biggest hyprocrite in N.irish politics. He also epitomises the Deadend segment Unionism and seeing his scalp taken would be surely one of the highlights of this election.

It's a pity the selection process has ended up the way it has (although having seen Watson reveal his true thoughts and character in the last week or so, I agree with you, then it looks like his non-selection was a lucky escape). Sir Reg will have his work cut out, but it's surely a winnable seat and the risk must be worth the taking?

Anonymous said...

Good job Reg didn't rule himself out from running in the election.

Oh wait......

Really must be double or quits time in the UUP if they're having to consider running Reg as the only outside hope of even winning a single seat somewhere across NI to justify the whole UCUNF experiment.

Orangeman said...

It would be Reg's boldest move since he wore that awful check jacket for the photo of him in Vanguard c. 1975 that Godson put in his book.

There was speculation in 2001 that the Doc was going to contest the Turtle's seat which the DUP was wise not to do.

The only good argument for this is sheer desperation. 30 days to polling, to turn up in a constituency which your party does not hold, where the local Mayor was pushed out amidst London pressure, where there are allegations of smears, where your name has never been on any local ballot paper...

"A brave move", as Sir Humphrey would say diplomatically.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Watson would have been a very unfortunate choice given his recent conduct in the Media, he is obviously a Watson and not a UUP supporter. It proves the selection process is now rigorous and testing, as it should be.

If Reg runs, as seems likely, then McCrae is a goner.

One more DUP to bite the dust.

peteram79 said...

Reg has been incredibly weak in his dealings with Sylvia Hermon and failed to support the NF link-up with the vigour I would have expected.

Perhaps, giving him the benefit of the doubt, this was due to internal party management issues. Even so, given the antics of the aforementioned Hermon, McFarland, Watson, Danny Kennedy etc, and the loss of the three prospective Conservative candidates, Alex Kane, even Jeff Peel, one could hardly say his equivocation has been a roaring success in this field either.

Nonetheless, I wish him all the best if he decides to go for it and tackle the Reverend. While one could have some sympathy with what happened to his family, I believe McCrea has long used up that goodwill and then some with his antics down the years.

It's a big gamble and Empey hardly has a track record of stunning electoral success behind him. It's probably not a move he needs to make, and mabe it's a risk too far if it will not only definitely end Empey's political career but could also bring down the NF project entirely. But maybe it's a gamble worth taking and one would at least have to respect Reg for laying himself on the line if he decides to take the plunge.

In short, a diffiult one

Anonymous said...

Well done Reg a gutsy decision and one I am sure will result in a victory for the new force.

Some courage at last, bye bye Willie.