Wee Jamie Bryson has thrown his hat in the ring for the 2014 European elections - so the failed hunger striker tells Alex Kane.

All at the LAD bunker wish him every success, we really do.  If he does get elected, he may learn how the real world works and also how insignificant Are Wee Country is in the grand scheme of Europe.  Unfortunately, it probably won't bestow upon him some grown up views.

It would seem Bryson thinks the European parliament is a bit like a council chamber and that he can bring about wholesale change for the Pravince of Ulster's Pradisdent Unionist Loyalist People (PULP), that well known ethnic minority which is denied access to basic human rights such as free health care, free speech, free education and clean drinking water. The list goes on and on but the most basic of those human rights, the right to march anywhere and anytime, is being denied Mr Bryson and the PULP, just as it is being to denied millions across the world.  LAD has discovered the UN itself is looking into the matter (meanwhile, North Korea publicly executes 80 people for allegedly watching TV).

Jamie's BFF (that's the kids speak these days) Wullie Frazer will be assisting in Bryson's Euro campaign while standing for election himself in Newtownards.  Frazer and Bryson will be drawing on considerable collective experience in seeking a mandate which has failed to bring anything close to success thus far. Residents of Newtownards will be thrilled to learn that Markethill man Frazer, wants to represent them.

Bryson-Frazer Campaign Bus
LAD wonders if Bryson will be funding his own £5000 deposit for the election?  We're not sure what the going rate is for a PULP mouthpiece these days or the type of funding an independent candidate can accumulate.  Given that previous turnouts in Euro elections in Are Wee Country fall between five and six hundred thousand, if that is repeated in 2014 Bryson will need to poll over 13,000 votes to avoid losing his deposit.  Are Bryson's academic friends helping out as part of some bizarre experiment in validity?  One website offering advice to would be independent EU candidates, states that the cost of running a campaign are huge, spending limits ranging from £270,000 - £360,000.

Maybe with Are Glorious Loyal Pravince operating outwith the boundaries of rational politics, this figure can be ignored.  One thing that can't be though, is that an independent candidate has never been directly elected to the European parliament from the UK.  So it may be more worthwhile sticking a tenner on an accumulator picked by Willie Frazer's nasal hair.

All at LAD, as do many others across Are Pravince, look forward to seeing Jamie's manifesto.  It will undoubtedly cover the Common Agricultural Policy fairly comprehensively, given how pivotal farming is to the local economy. Other highlights we'd expect to see must surely be Horizon 2020, UK government opt out of EU justice and home affairs decisions, and PEACE funding.  Won't it?

LAD are also interested to know which of the seven political groupings within the European parliament Mr Bryson plans on affiliating with, or would he do the righteous thing and become a (Non-Inscrit) NI, literally?

Who exactly does Bryson expect to vote  for him?

No doubt he can draw support from his friends in "legal circles" having acted as 'legal adviser' to disgraced former BNP fund raiser and ousted Protestant Coalition chief  Jim (Dodgy) Dowson back in July.

Bryson's legal speciality is of course in dealing with civil rights abuses and surely he can count on support from Northern Ireland's Jewish community thanks to his in depth knowledge of 1930's Nazi persecution.

Perhaps Bryson is hoping for support from members and former members of the UVF having claimed on Twitter that the outlawed organisation were not terrorists.

 As Alex Kane rightly commented "Try telling that to their victims and the families of their victims."

So what is Bryson's raison d'être; He doesn't seriously expect to get elected so is this just another  shameless self-publicity stunt? 

What do you think?

Jamie Bryson flanked by members of the Protestant Coalition (l-r: Sam (So It Is) McCrory, baldy bloke1, baldy bloke 2, Wee Willie Frazer, Bill (Umbrellas) Hill, Bryson and Jim (Dodgy) Dowson (retired)


A little bit of history was made on Monday when Máirtín Ó Muilleoir became the first Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Belfast to attend an Armistice Day commemoration.

Ó Muilleoir stood alongside the DUP Deputy Mayor, Christopher Stalford, during the two-minute silence for the war dead at Belfast City Hall and described his decision to attend as "difficult for Belfast’s republicans ... because of the experiences we have had with the British army over the last three decades, and more, to accept that a mayor who comes from a Sinn Fein tradition would be at the cenotaph."
However Ó Muilleoir said he was fulfilling a pledge he made on taking office to be a mayor "for all the people of Belfast".
"Part of that means reaching out to unionism and today really was about peacemaking towards unionism,"
"I think it's the most difficult decision I have made in 30 years in politics and community activism. It is a challenge and I think that it had to be done. I think building the peace and building a better Belfast demands that we have to move ourselves into places where we are uncomfortable, which challenge us and which move us into new positions of peacemaking." 
The Deputy Lord Mayor welcomed Ó Muilleoir's attendance and Ulster Unionist Leader Mike Nesbitt commented: 
 "I consider these gestures important at a time when a generosity of spirit will be required from all political leaders, if we are to succeed in our current efforts to reach agreement on the difficult issues under consideration in the Haass talks process."
On the same day an exhibition covering the period from 1912-1914 'Home Rule Crisis... the unionist response', opened in Dublin. It brings together the largest collection of UVF memorabilia ever gathered together in one place. The Ulster Volunteer Force was formed to resist plans to make Ireland self-governing, but many members went on to fight in the First World War. It was officially opened by the Irish Minister for Arts and Heritage Jimmy Deenihan. A priest read prayers before people in UVF costumes laid wreaths at the War Graves Commission memorial to those from the Republic who died fighting for the allies in the two world wars.
Jonny Harvey, who this time last year was chairman of Ulster Protestant Voice (one of the main organisers of last year's flag protests) and now a member of the PUP tweeted:

Sadly on a day of progress, some in the 'Unionist Family' could not find it in themselves to suppress petty begrudgery, led as ever by everyone's favourite shit stirrer, unelectable wannabe European M.P. Wee Jamie Bryson (a former colleague of Harvey in the UPV)
 Bryson's lack of equanimity was echoed elsewhere on Twitter:

Perhaps 'The Purple Standard' is unaware that Máirtín Ó Muilleoir's great-grandfather was a British Army soldier who died in 1916 while training troops at the Somme and his funeral was one of the last British military funerals to take place on the Falls Road in 1916.
As one might expect views on Facebook were even more scathing:

Written attacks on social media are a reminder of events in August when the Lord Mayor was attacked by loyalist 'peaceful' protesters on a visit to open a park in Woodvale, near the now infamous Twaddell 'civil rights camp' and dogging site.

These people speak for a tiny minority of Unionists (the fictitious "PUL" community) as evidenced by their pitiful electoral showing in the past. The protests at City Hall and Twaddell are dying a slow lingering death and only the threat of further 'peaceful' protests, and the potential for further street violence as we approach the anniversary of the democratic decision to fly the Union Flag at Belfast City Hall on designated days only, can give these trouble makers any sort of voice.

Whilst recent statements by Nesbitt et al in calling for the cancellation of the loyalist protest on November 30th are to be welcomed, isn't it time the entire mainstream 'Unionist Family' spoke out as one against the likes of Bryson, Frazer and their apologists in the so-called Protestant Coalition?
The leaders of Unionism must now show genuine leadership and condemn the sort of rampant sectarian bigotry displayed by Bryson & Co. and tell them "enough is enough," or perhaps more appropriately say...