Class politics

I had to add politics as a new category for this one (I don’t it think it will get much use). I blog as an interested bystander – no I didn’t vote. That’ll get some going! The last time I voted on the winning side I heard every piece of legislation that followed justified on the basis of the mandate given. As far as I was concerned I had voted for very little of it and decided if that was how my vote would be used no-one would have it (unless I was convinced by the whole package).

So, what follows is simply observation from the sidelines …

East Belfast – not just a seat lost by Peter Robinson but, by all accounts, a seat won by Naomi Long. Personally, I don’t think many people vote on any great logic, they respond to how they feel. It wasn’t just the scandals Peter found himself in the centre of (there has to be a degree of sympathy there) but I know I felt: big house, posh clothes, smooth talk, earning lots of money, nose in the trough. I don’t think that fits the DUP brand (especially not the East Belfast part). Anyone who gave it any thought in the past might have known that was the reality (even the big man isn’t short of a penny) but it’s different when it’s in your face.

My gut reaction thinking about the parties is that Sinn Fein’s and the DUP’s success has been in their engagement with the man in the street (they were easy to understand). Alliance’s failure was that it was “nice” and well meaning and maybe a little middle class. The Ulster Unionists had a whiff of privilege about them and had been surviving (or slowly dying) on history and tradition.

Naomi seems to have reached beyond the Alliance Party “nice” image and engaged (through some pretty impressive “politics” and “alliances”) with people on the ground, not to ignore a pretty impressive track record of late.

If my analysis is right the Ulster Unionists got it incredibly badly wrong. If your problem is a lack of credibility on the street (with a whiff of privilege) wheeling in some “celebrities” (with no political track record) and allying yourself with the Conservatives is not the brightest move. What ironies in the Lady Sylvia Hermon situation – the Lady who is inclined to vote with Labour jumps ship and survives.

Just a thought …


~ by electrictelegraph on May 7, 2010.

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