Tag Archives | Unionism

The Stormont Opposition – how will it work practically?

For the first time since 1972, Stormont has a formal Opposition. Author and journalist, Dr John Coulter, outlines how this will work practically and not deteriorate into a primary school playground shouting match. The Stormont Opposition will only work if it is established as a working Shadow Cabinet with Nesbitt become Shadow First Minister, not more…

Nesbitt’s gamble: at last the Ulster Unionists (and the SDLP) will have to decide what they stand for or face oblivion in the next Assembly

Since the election and even before it, commentators have been  casting around  desperately for anything that suggests that the old muscle- bound duopoly is starting to crumble.  Even the DUP  “victory”  is being  hyped as a harbinger of change alongside the Sinn Fein “ defeat”.  Something, anything that  might mean fresh movement or greater stability. more…

Assembly election: the old Stormont and King Solomon’s Mines

One of the first books I read myself as a child was King Solomon’s Mines by H Rider Haggard. It is a ridiculous (and at times racist – though less so than was typical of the times) colonial romp across a fictitious Africa. One image that always stuck with me was when one army (the more…

Sinn Féin’s partitionist approach to united Ireland referendum(s)…

… or an attempt to avoid ‘stupid’ questions about the party’s stated commitment to campaign against the fundamental principle of consent – that it is for the people of Northern Ireland to exercise their right of self-determination.  Those are the options from a comparison between the commitments on Irish unity Sinn Féin presented to the people more…

President Obama jumps the Sinn Féin shark…

One of the benefits of being a US President in your final year in office, as well as getting to decide who can and can’t come to your party, is the freedom to say what you really think – even if President Obama continues to appear to be mis-briefed on shared, as opposed to integrated, education more…

Is Education the Number One Priority for Unionism this Election?

Education, Education, Education. There have been 3 Assembly Executives elected since 1998. At each juncture, a unionist First Minister was elected and subsequently under d’Hondt a unionist was given first choice of available ministries. Each time control of the Education ministry fell to a Sinn Fein MLA – whether they were the 4th, or the more…

Nesbitt “We are not here simply to be controversial. We are here to offer an unapologetic unionist perspective on the event of 100 years ago”

Nesbitt

The UUP held an event in Dublin this afternoon to give a Unionist perspective on the Easter Rising. Here are the remarks given by the party leader, Mike Nesbitt; (I have highlighted some key passages) I hope today has been challenging, but not for its own sake. We are not here simply to be controversial. more…

Gerry Adams at Easter. In full

I though it worthwhile to put on the record Gerry Adams’ Easter Centenary address, part unreconstructed old republicanism, part election address, a classic of its kind in style and content, without further comment.   On Sunday 27th March, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD addressed the Easter Rising commemoration in Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery. Mr Adams more…

Easter Rising 2016: Live and let celebrate

Last week a Muslim acquaintance of mine wished me Happy Easter. I try to remember to wish Muslims Happy Eid. I would submit this has parallels with how Unionists and other non Republicans should approach the Easter Rising celebrations. Christians can and do invite those of other or no religion to Easter events as a more…

With hindsight should unionism have been represented in Dublin yesterday?

It’s a fair question. Representatives of unionism would have been warmly welcomed  to the reviewing stand in O’Connell St on their own terms which would have underlined the end of the old ambivalence towards the use of violence in the North. But perhaps this was not the moment. By common consent, reconciliation has not been more…

Arlene Foster the vision thing and Angela Merkel

ForwardWithArlene banner

Following Arlene Foster’s successful first conference as DUP leader and before the frenzy of the run up to the elections in the spring it is maybe time to take stock of the third DUP leader and her achievements thus far. Firstly even to have become DUP leader is a significant achievement and one which speaks more…

…but they’ll never take our EU membership?

sterling and euros

The debate on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union has properly begun.  In these early days of the debate David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon have made an unusual partnership to try and add a Scottish question to the European one.  The UUP is playing a game of public angst with the Scottish claims more…

Protestant Identity, Vulnerability and Bonfires.

Chris Jenkins writes for us about his experiences touring some bonfires last summer…. The cameraman runs up towards the bonfire. The wooden pallets tower over him. Teenagers begin to light the colossal structure with flaming torches. “He’s gone too close”, I think straight away. The fire started to move quickly, and the young men lighting more…

What does the future hold for the UUP?

UUP15 set

Craig Harrison writes for us about his views of the UUP conference and its future Anyone who was near the recent UUP conference will have gotten the distinct impression that this is a party in a confident mood. This confidence has its roots in the perceived vindication brought with the independent assessment of paramilitarism in more…

Mike Nesbitt, the UUP’s resurgence and sea battles

I began thinking about this blog a few weeks ago just when the UUP first left Stormont but never go round to finishing it. As time has gone on though its accuracy seems to be to be increasing especially in view of Nesbitt’s speech which Alan has covered below. Five years ago I did a more…

Stormont deal now looking likely

Very gradually, the language surrounding the political talks is changing from negative to cautiously constructive, as Noel McAdam’s report shows .. In the strongest indication the party could return to the Executive, Mrs Foster has said the DUP will respond “positively” to positive developments during the inter-party talks on IRA activity and welfare reform. There more…