This is not a return to Blogging. I just cant be arsed anymore. There is a lot of stuff that I just cant be arsed about. Coronation Street, Manchester United and Politics just dont interest me anymore.
I believed in Ireland. I still do. But it is harder. I believed in GOD. I still do. But it is harder.
I was 18 when I voted in 1970. I have voted in every Westminster election since…except i spoiled my vote, rather than vote for Bobby Sands in 1981. I have consistently voted SDLP or Sinn Féin since. I will not be voting on 8th June. David Simpson (DUP) will be re-elected. Sinn Féin will posture that every nationalist can rally round their candidate and win Upper Bann. They have peddled the same lie in 2010 and 2015. Sinn Féin may be committed to a united Ireland. But I have no time for them. Charlatans.
This is a campaign in which I wont be involved. But I hope that SDLP retain their three seats and make some inroads in other places. It reminds me a little of the time when DUP and UUP resigned their Westminster seats to contest bye-elections in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement. They actually lost Newry-Armagh to SDLP. In the majority of cases in June, there is no real point in voting but obviously in a few places, it can be crucial.
South Belfast? I like Alasdair McDonnell. Despised by the Media of course and the Belfast-based Twitterati and the BLogosphere. Will he be the victim of one last conspiracy?
A diverse constituency, he has done well to hold it. Not least because of a fifth column of anti-Al conspirators within SDLP. There is a genuine threat but Id argue that the March Assembly results do not translate into Westminster, three months later.
So….will there be a contested Selection Conference in South Belfast? Will Claire Hanna throw her Easter bonnet into the Ring?
In basic terms, Al might not be charismatic but he can claim that he has actually delivered against the odds when his SDLP rivals cant. Whatever his shortcomings, I think the SDLP faithful are a bit pissed off with his critics.
The prize is a big one. Holding South Belfast extends the mandate until 2022. The constituency was not going to exist beyond 2020.
SDLP might just be catching another break in 2017.