Sorry mam!

15 06 2010

I’ve been testing out a posterous account over past couple of days (hence posts on un-NI related stuff like Chinese sinkholes and AT&T hackers).

Add to that a general lack of posting (due to starting small business), and it’s all looking a bit higgildy-piggildy at the moment.

Needless to say, there was a huge outcry from readers about this (I said I was sorry mam!) but rest assured I’ll get the blog back on track in a day or two…


‘Guy in boxer shorts’ behind @BPGlobalPR offers BP some PR tips…

15 06 2010
See Leroy’s open letter at

Leroy reckons PR and social media strategy are all moonshine in the absence of an ethical business model. He says PR people shouldn’t be keeping the press at bay, they should be opening up access and involving the maximum number of people in fixing the problem.

Mmmmm…. wonder if he might be on to something here?

AT&T on that iPad security breach

14 06 2010

‘Rest assured, you can continue to use your AT&T 3G service on your iPad with confidence.’


Are there any reasonable explanations for spectacular sinkholes in China? – Telegraph Blogs

13 06 2010

Surely we saw something similar in The Fastastic Four?

Watch out for a well-polished bald guy and the destruction of planet Earth…

If you’re in the UUP, and looking for positives…

7 05 2010

If you’re in the UUP and feeling a bit sore, keep reading. A buddy of mine has pulled together some silver linings – I’m sure there’s more, but these are the one’s he spotted…

1) Ross Hussey doubled the vote from 05 – Assembly seat back in play.

2) Mike Nesbitt took a big swing our way – second Assembly seat territory.

3) In Lagan Valley, a second Assembly seat should be safe enough.

4) Danny Kennedy beat William Irwin by a margin.

5) John McCallister fell only slightly short of beating Jim Wells, and would have done if not for tactical voting – if there is only one Unionist MLA it should now be John.

6) South Antrim is an even stronger marginal than before, and a second MLA is in play.

7) And by no means least, Bill Mainwaring drew out an extra 300 to 500 votes for us in Belfast West, which doubles the 2007 total.

Why did the UUP do so badly, and what comes next?

7 05 2010

I had a short conversation this morning with the UUP’s former communications director, Alex Benjamin. When I asked him what the problem was beinhd UCUNF’s poor showing, he came up with some good insights which I thought were worth sharing.  So, with  his permission, I’ve blogged it below…

1. The most important thing to me was consistency (or lack of). Reg was wobbly and message was wobbly. You can’t pitch at progressive types with the ‘end-the-tribal-politics’ line whilst simultaneously re-enforcing tribal politics with a pact in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Alliance is consistent in message and you get what you vote for. Ditto with Hermon.

Why, if you wanted to end tribal politics, would you vote for us? Why, if you want a strong Unionist position, would you vote for us?

The message was diabolically mixed. We have McNarry’s and Elliott’s and Ringland’s and Bradshaw’s. No side is in charge, therefore we effectively have two parties in one. People aren’t stupid, they can see that.

In addition, the Cameron cuts line was deeply unhelpful and we overestimated the influence of the Euro result. Europe was not a barometer.

2. As the UUP itself recognises, more work was needed on the ground. It takes more than a few TV shots of Cameron and Hague to swing things. Naomi again, for example, worked her patch really hard.

3. People still have faith in DUP and Sinn Fein after big deals on devolution of Policing and Justice. They have also sung together on dissident activity.

4. The future? The usual navel-gazing will likely ensue and UUP people will fight with each other whilst other parties get on with the job. If that happens, the UUP will be seen to be irrelevant.

5. The DUP will further develop centre-right ground buoyed up by their strength in the hung Parliament; Alliance will build on recent successes and continue to squeeze us further at Assembly level in the soft Unionist seats (where our ‘tribal politics’ line could have worked had it not been so undermined by the unionist pact).

What is the basis for the continued existence of the UUP? The UUP needs to find answer and fast. 

I’ve paraphrased in places, but have preserved the spirit of the opinion.

A question about UCUNF…

7 05 2010

A quick thought on the UCUNF election…

The UUP’s mission goal is ‘strengthen and maintain the union’. The public clearly wants the DUP to do that (8 MPs, to UCUNFs 0 MPs).

What should the UUP’s mission goal be now?

What do the public want the UUP to do next?