Some things you cannot make up.
I was on a bus between Antrim and Belfast when I was alerted to the news that the Green Party had ceased campaigning in Mid Ulster and the candidate is “no longer endorsed” by the Party.
The statement issued by the Greens is very curious
“We have ceased campaigning in the Mid Ulster constituency as the Green Party NI candidate has withdrawn from the campaign.
Whilst he will still appear on the ballot paper, his membership of the party has been suspended, and he is no longer endorsed by the Green Party NI”.
To break this down
1 they have ceased campaigning AS (because???) the candidate has withdrawn…”
presumably this means he withdrew himself rather than been withdrwan by the Party.
2 he will still appear on the ballot paper
Well yes….but have postal votes been issued and have people actually voted for him already?
3 his membership has been suspended.
Well that is clearly a matter for the Green Party. But was he suspended because he withdrew? Or was there some incident leading to withdrawin?.
The most curious aspect is that the Green Party has no further comment to make. The Greens are a bit mouthy and always have comments to make.
In fairness, Stefan Taylor is hardly a household name. He got less than 500 votes in the two most recent Assembly elections.
So is a candidate already on a ballot paper and suspended by his Party a news story? Or is it only a story if it is Sinn Féin, DUP, UUP, SDLP? Can you imagine the Slugger O’Toole headline?
The Greens rightly complained that the BBC was giving more coverage in this election to TUV (one MLA) than to the Greens (two MLAs). I even signed a petition to support the Greens.
They have a right to be heard. And a right to be silent.
But I think that the voters in Mid Ulster deserve a full explanation. We all do.
How many members do the Green Party have? 500? More?
They deserve an explanation and no doudt their WhatsUp group is filled with”What is going on? and “Ssssh dont talk to the Press”
For all their democracy, there is probably a Green inner circle who know the story. And an outer circle that knows some of it. Nothing wrong with that of course. It would be the same in any party.
There might be good reasons why the story is not public. But being embarrassed is not a good reason