Friday, 1 October 2010

They're going to get you too? Another one of the UUP's young stars bites the dust.

In the Belfast Telegraph on Wednesday, and on this blog yesterday, I suggested that Tom Elliott must find a role for the younger generation of UUP activists who backed Basil McCrea.  Their energies, I hinted, would find another outlet, if they weren’t harnessed in the party’s interests.

Prominent among this group is Paula Bradshaw, widely acknowledged as a ‘rising star’, who performed creditably for UCUNF (given the circumstances) in South Belfast.  She is considering her political future after being denied the opportunity to run for the Assembly elections.

One selection meeting doesn’t constitute a ‘night of the long knives’, but it will be interesting to see whether this pattern is repeated elsewhere.  Harry Hamilton, one of the more exciting prospects unearthed by UCUNF, has already ‘bitten the dust’ in Upper Bann.

It’s early days, but after its choice of a ’grey man’ as leader, will the UUP throw away the chance to brighten up its candidate list for the Assembly elections?


rutherford said...

how got nominated in South Belfast?

Dilettante said...

Are the Conservatives actively trying to poach these people? They should be.

rutherford said...


Apparently Mark Finlay was the 2nd name nominated. Is this Mark Finlay of the President's Club??

Chekov said...

It's Mark Finlay the businessman with American connections. No problem with that per se, but what about the profiles of some of the brightest talents?

Seymour Major said...

The is a tragedy for the UUP but I cant see how anybody should be surprised. Tome Elliott would not have got the support of some of the existing UUP MLAs without ensuring that their future selection with the best prospect of re-election was assured. That would mean dumping those who had stood at the General Election.

"Are the Conservatives actively trying to poach these people? They should be"

They are not ready to poach anybody at the moment. That is because they cant make up their mind what to do with the Northern Ireland Conservatives. The reason for that, I suspect, is that they have not yet decided that the UUP is unfit for any alliance with the Conservatives in the future.

The UUP has sent delegates to the Conservative Party conference. They will be trying to persuade Conservatives that they still have a role to play in a future parliamentary alliance. Their task is very difficult because they are without an elected MP and without any reasonable prospect of having one elected.

CCHQ is now overdue to make a judgment on which route to normal, non-sectarian, politics they want to support. That may happen during the conference.

slug said...

Just to say that I thought highly of Paula - from her media interviews and overall political approach.

Paula if you're reading this you are a star - this decision was disappointing to many so don't be too gutted.

Anonymous said...

Paula like most parachuted-in or celebrity candidates has little staying power or party discipline. Think Robert Kilroy Silk.

Chekov said...

What at utterly daft, utterly inappropriate, utterly ignorant comparison.

Anonymous said...

I suppose Kilroy Silk won a seat. So think Lady Hermon, Deirdre Nelson, Peter McCann instead.