Councillor Carole Howard……..ex-Alliance

It is now ten days since Alliance Councillor Carole Howard (East Belfast) defected to Ulster Unionist Party.

I had hoped to read an in depth analysis of this on Slugger O’Toole. Alas I am disappointed. Surely the defection of a councillor from one party to another is newsworthy.

If a SDLP, UUP, DUP or Sinn Féin councillor had defected TO Alliance, would Slugger have considered it not to be newsworthy.

I cannot answer the question. I can merely point out that Slugger has a tendency to talk up the Alliance Party. And often engages in fantasy Politics.

Alliance enthusiasts think that the Alliance Party can get 16 seats (up from 8 seats) in May’s Assembly election. It seems on the outer edge of Reality. A high degree of wishful thinking.

But whatever about potential Alliance gains, the defection of Carole Howard to UUP is not a prediction. It is a fact.

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8 Responses to Councillor Carole Howard……..ex-Alliance

  1. gingray says:

    In itself, could be a sign that alliance will take hits in more pro union areas.

    That slugger ignores it is unsurprising, certain favourites never have negative stories. Still, it’s been fun recently asking Brendan why alliance MLAs have so few Catholics in the ranks

    • THanx for this comment. I am trying to re-boot this blog. And as I have no meaningful social media presence, I need all the help I can get.
      I think Carole Howard said that she defected because she wanted to “openly and comfortably” express her unionism.
      I think this indicates that Alliance Party operates a “whatever you say …say nothing” policy.
      This is more difficult post-Brexit and pre border poll where people are finding it is “make your mind up” time and the “we are neutral on the border” soundbite no longer works.
      Slugger puts forward a “middle ground is growing” narrative. If they say it often enough, it goes unchallenged and being accepted.
      But as I keep saying, the middle ground is where the chaos is. Much as letsgetalongerists want it to be true, Alliance is not the only moderate party in the village.
      People calling themselves moderate have more choice and that is not good for Alliance…..
      Slugger seems to anxious to highlight the alleged shortcomings of Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin, Irish government, Irish nation, SDLP, “new” nationalist think tanks.
      All the time giving a lot of support to unionist and Alliance voices.
      For example, Alliance has the Justice Minister and yet our PSNI seems incapable of enforcing decisions made at Executive level. Naomi Long has simply gone missing.
      The real point here is not the decisions Alliance makes, it is simply the case Alliance dont like making decisions.
      Sluggers seeming position is actually counter productive. It merely galvanises nationalists of all strands into a fairly effective pan nationalist opposition.

      • kalista63 says:

        The party that cannibalised Anna Lo for saying that, as an outsider, a United Ireland was logical thinks it isn’t unionist enough?

        Then there’s all those huffers, who failed to get nominated by the UUP, seamlessly slipped in to Alliance. Yeah, not unionist.

      • Exactly.
        I have always said Alliance are too sweet to be wholesome.
        I am never sure whether they are puppets or puppeteers.

  2. hoboroad says:

    Didn’t Brian Feeney used to call Alliance the NIO front party? Reminds of the old joke about the message on the NIO’s telephone answering machine. This is the Northern Ireland Office please speak after the high moral tone.

    • He did. I think Brian gets the Alliance Party.
      When I started on Slugger O’Toole in 2010, one of their leading lights (an Alliance candidate) referred to me (Fitzjames Horse) as “a failed SDLP politician from North Belfast”.
      At the time, it actually confused me because I assumed it meant Michael Morgan.
      Later another Alliance groupie said “come off it Brian, we all know who you are”.
      And the penny dropped. These people think I am Brian Feeney.
      I have of course blocked all Alliance people on Slugger that he/she had missed my (eventual) denial that I was Brian Feeney and every time he/she had met him assumed it was me.

  3. Luke says:

    Carole Howard may well have left Alliance because she was disappointed not to get a promotion in Alliance. There are many people in Alliance of high calibre and so not everyone can be selected for a promotion. Alliance wishes Carole well in her future plans and thanks her for her work. However, as she was elected under the Alliance banner she should step down and allow the Alliance party to stand someone else. However the UUP unlike Alliance is a sectarian party so I am disappointed she chose to endorse them.

    • I normally dont publish comments that are from Alliance supporters, members or staff.
      but I make an exception in your case.
      As a general rule, you are right that people elected for one party should resign if they defect.
      The reality is that all parties (UUP in this case) welcome defections and are vitriolic (you in this case) when someone defects.
      You are prolly unaware that Cllr Billy Webb and John Blair now MLA were originally Taxpayers Alliance before they joined Alliance.

      Dont bother replying I wont publish your comments.

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