Apparently Doug Beattie, UUP Leader who we keep being told is a modern kind of unionist has made a very unfunny joke about Edwin Poots and Mrs Poots. I have not heard the joke and I do not want to hear it.
Beattie has apologised. Is he fair game for criticism?
There is really two responses …reject the apology and milk Beatties “joke ” for political advantage (as the other parties would do) OR say Beattie has apologised and we should “move on” (the likely UUP response).
The worst phrase in politics is “we should move on”. Typically we have had two months of this from the Tories.
There is a tendency for politicians who have behaved badly or unwisely to apologise and rush to the high moral ground putting the onus on those offended to forgive and forget.
I do not buy that. And certainly not in election years. Part of the process is to accept the consequences of wrong or unwise actions. And if the offended do not want to accept the apology and would rather milk it, then that is a consequence.
Barry McElduff offended a lot of people (probably including Doug Beattie) with that Kingsmill “joke”. McElduff paid a political price (resignation) despite initial Sinn Féin “let’s move on” defence.
What exactly is fair in politics? Should a politician be reminded that they were once a member of another party? Should a politician be reminded of a criminal conviction, such as a road accident?
I do not know. But I look forward to the inevitable (????) post from the moralist on Slugger O’Toole, who have perhaps hyped Doug Beattie and liberal unionism.
If they are hesitating because they need some kinda real or false Equivelance…well there is the McElduff incident and his resignation.
Doug should apologise to Mrs Poots. He has said sorry to Edwin but not his wife. Does Mr Beattie think Mrs Poots has any right to an opinion on this matter he personally insulted her he owes her a sincere apology not her husband. Doug Beattie needs to realise Twitter is not a barracks room.
I think he should apologise to both. What passes for humour in an officers mess up the Kyber Pass (oooh Matron) is not so funny in a Presbyterian ladies sewing circle.
But more so Doug is portrayed as a good guy but extremely unpopular with nationalists in Upper Bann.
The feeling is that he is “liberal” on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and just another unionist the rest of the week.
A message board like Slugger can hardly ignore this and I am giving them a wee shove in the right direction.
Lets see how they handle it.
Id say so but will Beattie resign?
What do you think of the quality of his apology?
I have not really read it.
Seen second hand versions only.
I dont think “quality matters” There are no circumstances in which Id vote for him anyway.
Twitter is always an apology waiting to happen.
The point is he has given his political rivals ammunition and they should use it,
Beattie has had a charmed life. Every so called liberal is looking for a unionist leader who can outreach to the middle ground.
Nesbit, Swann. Aiken….now Beattie.
There is an old saying that if you have a reputation for getting up early, you can lie in bed all day.
So Beattie will get an easy ride on the likes of Slugger. “nothing to see here…..lets move on!” is how Id expect it to play out there with a few references to Bobby Storeys funeral.
For a politician It’s probably not a great idea to use Twitter spontaneously to make humour/chat. It should be used simply to put out political messages which should probably be checked by an assistant before posting.
I suppose there will be more jokes and more apologies before Election Day.
According to Squinter on Twitter Doug insulted Edwins daughters as well as his wife. And someone else on Twitter says Doug Beattie was only repeating a Joke he got of a leading light in the Alliance Party.
Thats the trouble with Twitter. If someone is saying it is a joke told by an Alliance member, then the person saying it needs to identify who it was.
The only guilty party at the moment is Beattie.
Whether we “move on” or not is not Beatties call.
Nor is it a call to be made by his friends and UUP members. If DUP or others want to “cast it up” to him during the campaign, then I think it is a legitimate tactic for them to do that.
Likewise many were outraged at the DUP/TUV tributes to Davy Tweed.
Yes they also apologised but again if UUP, SDLP, SF. Alliance want to remind the voters about that, Id fully support their right to so do.
I think the joke tells you more about Doug Beattie than any amount of liberal bleating. The mask has slipped. Mrs Poots has higher morals than Deadly Doug. She should at least expect a full apology for Doug.
The Alliance Party seem to be doing all the running in the outrage stakes. Sorcha Eastwood and Stephen Farry taking the this is offensive to all women line. Eastwood has even dragged in the murder of that female teacher in the South into all this. A chance to show the electorate who the real liberals are in the North. The longer Doug takes to apologise to Mrs Poots the longer this goes on for. Has Doug got some problem in apologising to women?
The damage is done.
All he can hope is that it fades with time and that is eventually forgotten. So Ms Eastwood and Stephen Farry are right to keep it going. Remember Alliance have already lost a councillor in East Belfast thru defection to UUP.
Ms Eastwood is interesting.
His apologies today were addressed to Mr and Mrs I think.
Poots is the one whose offence would be directly felt. Many DUP voters will regard it as an inappropriate joke because it targets a politician’s wife.
Yes …totally out of order.
It seems Doug has a history of sexist tweets on Twitter. He has apologised for his historic mistakes to the Belfast Telegraph. Perhaps he should give himself a holiday from social media.
Doug doesn’t seem to just have a historical problem with women. He uses a slur for Travellers more than once on his Twitter feed. And even tells Muslims to get over themselves.
He cant have it both ways.
He cant be progressive AND conservative.
Doug Beattie has just been on the Nolan show on his Apology tour. And he has a lot to apologise for. Well that is the second UUP military man gone then. I don’t think I said it on Twitter ten years ago but I’m a changed man now is going to wash with anybody. He said a lot of these tweets were published when he was still serving in the British Army. But why didn’t he scrub his Twitter feed before he first ran for public office?
He seems to want to be all things to all men
It seems Edwin has gone to the lawyers to defend his wife’s good name.
Doug Beattie has certainly kicked over a hornets nest. If I was a politician I would just delete all my social media posts especially before the Nolan Show can get their hands on them.
I’d also boycott the Nolan Show. More toxic than Twitter.
I think they can still be uncovered if deleted.
My son just said that to me earlier tonight. And I see three Sinn Féin MLAs all apologising tonight. I daresay someone on Slugger is already writing a post about it.
The difference between a middle aged former British Army Officer publishing hate tweets and a woman in her early twenties or late teens who as far as I know was not involved in party politics at the time of her stupid and pig ignorant tweets seems to have flown over some peoples heads. I wish the SDLP would boycott Nolan then we would see that programme for the Unionist/Loyalist hate fest it is.
I see I have been cancelled on Sliugger. A post was removed.
I see Edwin the carpetbagger has not been selected as a DUP candidate for South Down. Is Jeffrey getting rid off the old dead wood in the party? First Wells now Poots I wonder who will be next to be dispensed with? If you are male pale and stale in the DUP I would be worried.
I found that interesting. But I wonder how big DUP Branch in South Down really is and how they are made up.
I think Jim Wells might have taken some with him and theres not a lot of difference in Poots and Wells. Poots would be at heart a traditionalist.
It seems that Jeffrey has shafted Edwin for a seat in Lagan Valley. Edwin claims he had some sort of deal with Jeffrey. And Jim Wells says he could run as a independent candidate in South Down.
It is chaos. And they deserve it.
According to local journalist Rodney Edwards DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson met the LCC just before he pulled down the Power sharing arrangements. Jeffrey now wants Boris to fly into the North for Emergency talks. From what the Mail on Sunday says he would be better asking for his current wife Carrie to come and chair crisis talks as she seems to be the one in charge.
Jeffrey needs something to show the DUP voters. He is desperate and will take anything.
No early election
The Institute of Irish Studies University of Liverpool/The Irish News survey puts Sinn Fein at 23.2% of first preference votes among decided voters, well ahead of the DUP on 19.4%.
The poll shows the Alliance Party emerging as the third force in the Assembly with 15.6%, ahead of the Ulster Unionists on 14%, the SDLP on 9.9%, the TUV on 6.4% and the Green Party on 6.3%.