Thursday 29 March 2012

John McCallister Delivers

One of the phrases that is often used on election literature is [INSERT NAME] Delivers.

Well this morning that became literal for one of the candidates in the Ulster Unionist leadership race. At 7am the wife of John McCallister went into labour a week early and the MLA for South Down ended up being talked through the procedure for delivery of his son Harry James by Ambulance Control. He certainly did deliver and showed calmness under pressure.

It couldn't be more timely an event for McCallister only yesterday former UUP now Independent MLA David McClarty said:

"The reason why I would possibly plump for Mike is that John is a young man with a very young family, and leadership of a party is so time demanding that it’s not fair on a young family. 
"There will be criticism directed at him, and families experience that criticism and take it to heart. When you’re in politics you develop a think skin and it’s like water off a duck. But wives don’t, and families don't, and that happened with me when I wasn't selected by the Ulster Unionist Party. It hurt badly but it hurt my family even more and a young family doesn’t need that pressure."

Somebody had better not tell the Prime Minister David Cameron, or his Deputy Nick Clegg, nor the leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband that as all three have young families. As for that matter does Barack Obama.

Just when is it right to take the leadership of a party Mr McClarty? Is it when you are ready and the party decides you are ready or is it only when you are old and grey with kids off to University or whatever. Because if the latter had McAllister had children while he was a teenager rather than now at 39 they would be through University, but would being a teenage father have made him any more able to be leader of a political party? Of course we cannot tell.

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