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Alternative Ulster

Mark Devenport | 14:24 UK time, Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Peter Robinson was talking about how much Northern Ireland has changed at this morning's DUP event at Belfast's Ormeau Baths. He portrayed this campaign as the first in which the main issues are those that face people in their everyday lives and the first where voters can pick those who can deliver.

Well here's another proof of political change for all you ageing punks out there - it's the first election in which the original drummer from Stiff Little Fingers is a candidate. Brian Faloon is standing for People Before Profit in South Belfast. Brian was drummer on SLF's first album "Inflammable Material", which featured their anthemic "Alternative Ulster".

After one album he left the band - prompting the rest of SLF to pen the plaintive "Wait and See" with its lyrics...

"Then came the day you said goodbye
We tried to smile but had to cry
You knew that you'd be missed
But we wished you all the best
But still we wished you would stay

Till then you were a part of everything
And everything that might have been
And now that everything has turned into what is
If you'd have waited you'd have seen
But you gave yourself the sack
Now there's no turning back
Now all your future's 'Wait and see'. "

So how will he do come May 5th? And where will the Stiff Little Fingers vote transfer? I suppose we shall all have to "wait and see".

P.S. Does this mean Eamonn McCann will have to swap the Pogues T-shirt he always wears for an SLF one?


  • Comment number 1.

    "those who can deliver"

    Mark, I'm not sure that I'd guarantee any party political utterance during the course of an election campaign as proof of anything :L

    I'm reminded of the phrase 'stand and deliver'. The 'two gentlemen of Verona' who presently occupy the OFMDFM see are standing for election, each in the hope that he will be cock of the north.

    "Stand sir, and throw us that you have about'ye."

    Bout'ye is a well known Belfast request after your health, if not after your wealth.

    From highwaymen to Highway Star is a short etymological step and the latter, I've just discovered, was the former name of Stiff Little Fingers.

  • Comment number 2.

    When Peter Robinson was drumming up support at the time of the Hillsborough Agreement his special riff was 'clever device'. Perhaps it will come back to haunt him and the taunt will be Suspect Device, another SLF title:

    Don't believe them
    Don't believe them
    Question everything you're told
    Just take a look around you
    At the bitterness and spite
    Why can't we take over and try to put it right

    Perhaps the electorate should have been taking a closer look at the Stormont stables - and asking a few more questions of political and public servant decision makers. But who's to put it right?

  • Comment number 3.


    Eamonn who? Ah, right, your man that called Gregory Campbell a "sectarian disgrace."

    I have to say, that comment almost made my day (behind a few by PM Cameron).

    Mark, you know what the difference, as I see it, between the likes of Gregory Campbell, Jim Allister and such, compared to David Ervine, Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley (Snr)? Campbell and Allister CONTINUE to promote sectarian bigotry. As far as I am concerned, they've all done a degree of damage, but to continue that into the present day, instead of renouncing it, is unforgivable.

    Love, PieMan

    P.S. It reminds me of the old story about the Frog in the water heating on the stove. McGuinness and Ervine jumped in quick and fast and jumped out again (albeit it with considerable damage). I think Campbell and Allister are in the the slow-cook, and have gone past the boiling point. They tell us the water is "lovely".

    Love again, P.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.


    Eamonn McCann not only called him a "sectarian disgrace", he also said that he "is a man who injects sectarian venom into any issue that he speaks on".

    Fitting words and describes him to a tee!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Talking about G Campbell, the local paper Coleraine Chronicle headlines this week leads with the story about senior DUP councillor Timothy Deans in Coleraine stating that G Campbell continuence to run for Stormont and remaining as an MP is an absolute disgrace,,the cracks are appearing!!

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.

    Greedy Gregory Campbell has three well paid jobs. And some people have problems getting one. Greedy Gregory should be ashamed of himself hogging all this money to himself. And he has the cheek to call himself a Christian.

  • Comment number 9.


    Sickness; probably curable by a psychiatrist!!!

    "Iris Robinson isn't going to the social event of the year"

    Probably a good thing considering the numerous old men with money and numerous young men with hormones that will also attend!!!

    As for your #8. False Gods, according to the Bible, leads to a warm eternity!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    "how much Northern Ireland has changed"

    Some things don't change, Mark. Here's a little yarn that might not (yet) have winged it's way to the Nolan Show.

    Lisburn Borough Council would usually stage its Mayor's Parade in the beginning of May - May 9 in 2009 and May 8 in 2010. Now such a day this year would come just after the election. Are you with me so far?

    Well, this year's Mayor's 'bit of a do' has been brought forward to April 9 - and its a Carnival and FREE Concert. No Stiff Little Fingers, just Jedward and Joe McElderry. If you'd like a free wristband before they all run out maybe the DUP Mayor, Paul Porter, could make sure you get one.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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