Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Daphne of Lagan Valley

Earlier tonight I was browsing on the internet and came across Daphne Trimble's Blog.  Yes THE Daphne Trimble.  It caught my attention because the last post on it was an attack on me, albeit a very ill-informed attack.  However don't be expecting any up-to-date posts from Daphne because the blog was rather short-lived and stopped in May 2010.

Daphne started her blog on 1 January 2010 with the subtitle Daphne for Change in Lagan Valley.  She got off to a good start on the first day with an introductory post and a critique of the Human Rights Consortium but from there it was downhill.  There were just three more posts during the month and all of them were attacks on the DUP and predictions of electoral success for the UUP.

There were just two posts in February and the second announced that Daphne would be standing as a Conservative and Unionist candidate in Lagan Valley at the general election.  She was upbdeat about their electoral prospects and said: 'Conservatives and Unionists are offering Ulster voters of whatever religious persuasion the opportunity to play a fuller role in the politics of the state. Our MPs will not sit in Westminster on the sidelines, but will be an integral part of the next party of government.'  Well at least she got it right when she said, 'Our MPs will not sit in Westminster ...'  They have no MPs left at Westminster.

March was a sparse month with just two posts, both towards the end of the month, but Daphne was still in an upbeat mood about electoral success.  In relation to North Down she asked, 'If Sylvia [Hermon] is returned, what will she do?  Will she sit with Labour? Or with the remnants of the DUP.'  Well at least none of the Ulster Unionist candidates were faced with that choice.

April was positively frenetic by Daphne's standards with twelve posts and lots of visits to Lagan Valley by Conservative MPs from England.

The first two posts in May continued the pre-election theme and maintained a positive and optimistic spirit but by the third post it was all over.  Daphne was reporting that she had lost out to Jeffrey Donaldson MP.  Three more posts followed, with the last on 28 May, and then Daphne abandoned her blog, going out with a personal attack on the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Her predictions about the success of the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists New Force (UCUNF) proved to be false, as did her precitions of DUP collapse.  The UUP ended the election with not a single UUP MP at Westminster and the UUP collapse was followed by the collapse of Daphne's blog.

It is worth reflecting on the fact that Daphne Trimble contested the 2010 Westminster election as a Conservative and Unionist and today we are suffering the impact of £4 billion of Conservative and Unionist cuts to the Northern Ireland block grant.  That is £1,000 million a year over the next four years! 

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