For what it's worth, here are my reflections on political events in Great Britain and Northern Ireland over the past few days.
Points in no particular order of importance:
1. I am surprised that there has still been no real forward move made by the smaller parties, such as UKIP, Greens, etc. UKIP did well in the European Parliament elections, but it was noticeable that, overall, Europe was not a major issue in the election. The Green candidate came third in one of the Brighton constituencies, and the BNP increased their vote slightly. But overall, most of the power remains with the two-and-a-half party system, and there is no sign of this changing.
2. George Galloway, on the RESPECT ticket, did win Bethnal Green and Bow, but I interpret this as mainly an anti-war vote. In fact, the two major issues, in my opinion, were the war, and Tony Blair himself.
3. I stayed up watching BBC, SkyNews, and ITV News until about 0230, just after the Sedgefield result was announced. The anti-war Independent, Reg Keys, polled over 4,000 votes, which, frankly, is an excellent performance by an Independent.
4. But I missed the TV Moment of the Night. Here is a transcript. Absolutely Classic.
5. In the North, the meltdown of the Ulster Unionist Party is a reflection of the frustration which many Unionist voters feel about the Peace Process; but especially the fact that Sinn Féin continue to grow, even though the IRA have not renounced the armed struggle, let alone "decommission" the guns. The prospect of SF/IRA "negotiating" with Ian Paisley and the DUP sounds interesting; though not as interesting as the look on Paisley's face!!
6. Throughout his political career, Ian Paisley has been on the sidelines making plenty of noise. But now, at 79 years of age, he has REAL political responsibility. I think it will be the making, or breaking, of him.
7. Following on from point 5, and the growth of Sinn Féin on both sides of the Border, I wonder: do voters know that SF is the most pro-abortion party on the island?