Tuesday 14th April.
This poster of “Lady” Hermon, the outgoing Independent MP for North Down is in Hamilton Road, Bangor. I find Bangor curiously “non political” in the traditional Norn Iron sense. It is almost semi-detached from Norn Iron and Sylvia seems to attract votes from liberal unionists, LetsGetAlongerists, Greens and nationalists.
She sits on the Opposition benches in the British Parliament but I regard her as genuinely “independent”. This leads people to assume she has “Labour” sympathies.
For my American readers, the “Lady” in the title does not mean she is a member of the House of Lords. “Lady” is also used as a title for wives and widows of “knights of the realm” and Sylvia is the widow of “Sir” Jack Hermon, a former Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constaabulary.
They married quite late in life. She is a former Law Lecturer at Queens University, Belfast. And I think it is fair to say that she married Jack Hermon late in life and first came to attention as a very public defender of his reputation when he was in declining health.
Jack Hermon was maybe the last of the old-style RUC Chief Constables. Yet curiously in an interview some years ago, Sylvia said that Sinn Féin politicians had the decency to ask about his health, while unionist politicians rarely did.