In an exclusive opinion piece for the ‘Journal’, SDLP MLA for Pat Ramsey, explains why he thinks the people of Foyle should vote for Mark Durkan on May 7.
Well it is no secret I’ve had a few social media battles recently while out canvassing for Mark Durkan.
I am well used to the cut and thrust of local politics and will, of course, take it in my stride.
Regardless of these spats I am delighted to support and endorse Mark Durkan as Derry’s choice as Member of Parliament.
Durkan is happy to fight for Derry and his beliefs in ways which matter: To fight for a better Derry deal without having to hurt anyone. Mark’s vision and ability to deliver has been proven time and time again.
Mark is proud of his city and takes pride in his work for it.
He is proud of his flag without having to flaunt it.
His motivation is to improve Derry’s lot through parliamentary procedures. Durkan is the secure choice for Westminster. He is secure in the importance of the task at hand. Mark is not insecure when it comes to respecting what is important to those sitting alongside him, those that share the House with him.
As a result Mark is a well-respected figure in the Commons.
Angus MacNeil of the SNP even went so far as to praise Mr. Durkan’s parliamentary talents. There is little doubt he is one of the most respected Irish politicians to ever sit in Westminster: A respected parliamentarian, renowned for his capabilities.
Mark is the man we want to send to the Houses of Parliament. Certainly we should return a candidate who will actually go?
Mark will attend the House, work hard for Derry and secure our city deal.
His opposition will stand against him in Elections but not ‘stand up for Derry’ in the Commons.
Is this the joined up thinking we want to champion our city’s cause?
Mark will legislate in London to maximise any and all returns from Parliament to Derry.
In fact it is not just Derry which needs Durkan but the Houses of Parliament themselves.
God help us, with both UKIP and the Conservatives set to win seats in this Parliament this group of MPS will need all the parliamentarians it can muster.
Derry, we should return Mark not only because we need him but the whole of the UK will need someone of his character, integrity, oratory, negotiation and legislative skills, inside the Houses of Commons to battle the wave of Conservative austerity and UKIP nonsense.