Letter: Colonel Collins’ fame is not what matters in a unionist election candidate

A letter from Harry Patterson:
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The UUP Councillor Stephen Hollywood writes to highlight Col Tim Collins’ abilities as a soldier and businessman among his other attributes (‘In a political landscape marked by polarisation, Col Tim Collins’ ability to bridge divides holds immense value,’ March 15).

His military career is to be applauded and appreciated, I can’t comment on anything he did after that as I don’t know much about it. I had no idea Col Collins was interested in NI politics or even if he was a member of the UUP, until it was announced he was the party’s candidate for North Down come the next election.

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However personalities should not matter when choosing someone to entrust your vote to, it should be the policies of the party they represent. In that respect it shouldn’t matter who stands for the UUP in North Down. I don’t think bringing in someone who is not a resident in North Down, however well known or even famous, will have much effect. Much was made of the ‘Beattie bounce’ which turned out to be a busted gutty or plimsoll if you prefer.

What is needed, and I would suggest wanted, in North Down like some other constituencies is one agreed unionist candidate. The other unionist parties are as much to blame perhaps in this respect but the UUP were first out of the blocks to banjax that idea.

Instead of country first it’s now become party or self first and if the Union or loyalist cause takes another hit then that’s too bad. Polls are one thing but the election is coming soon and we will see then, when it matters, if Col Collins has managed to unseat Mr Farry.

Harry Patterson, Castlecaulfield

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