UUP split in it's view of the Assembly

THe Newsletter’s leader notes a split between UUP MP’s and most of it’s MLAs, after Sylvia Hermon and David Burnside, unusually, found themselves on the same of a political argument.

  • DessertSpoon

    Do Burnside and Hermon et al see devolution as a threat to their positions as the big fish in our small pond?

  • fair_deal

    It seems some in the UUP think if the Assembly is closed this will make a substantial dent in the DUP’s Advice office network leaving the MP’s constituency office as the only political offices and thus arrest the growth of the DUP in their constituencies.

    Trimble’s tortuous explanation of Lady hermon’s comments last week was the one amusing aspect in his interview on the Politics Show last sunday in an otherwise half decent performance.

  • Rebecca Black

    “It seems some in the UUP think if the Assembly is closed this will make a substantial dent in the DUP’s Advice office network leaving the MP’s constituency office as the only political offices and thus arrest the growth of the DUP in their constituencies.”

    you could be reaching slightly fair deal in your paranoia!

  • Will

    Rebecca,
    I would have thought that fair_deal’s analysis would have been one of the more benign spins you could have put on this.

    All of the parties must benefit to some extent from having constituency offices on the high streets of towns across Northern Ireland – even the UUP have a few of them which actually open for more than 3 hours a week! However, I admire your tacit admission that it would take more than the closure of DUP advice centres to halt that party’s advance now.

    Rebecca, what do you make of the comments from your esteemed MLA David McNarry on her Ladyship Hermon? (in Friday’s Belfast Telegraph). I cant quite remember the exact quote but it was basically that someone who joined the party one day and was parachuted into a seat the next day, who doesnt seem to do much, should spend time trying to ask more probing questions of Northern Ireland Ministers than how much the Assembly costs.

    Also interesting to see that on the YU blog site that they attached themselves to the Trimble/Hermon wing of the party by calling for the Assembly to be shut down.

    It seems that Ulster Unionists just cant help it. No matter how much they love trying to attack the DUP (lots and lots) and even the Shinners (although they dont bother with that much), there is no greater sport for an Ulster Unionist than attacking your fellow party members. It is after all what Ulster Unionists are best at I suppose. Can we expect a UUC on the issue soon????, lets hope so.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The UUP sees Westminster as the Premiership, with the Assembly the second division and the Councils as the conference, so is this surprising?

    I think it was to a few UUP MLAs!

    I bet it was Trimble who lobbied for the election date change, so Westminster and the locals would coincide, to bring out the UUP vote… if so, I wonder if it was the right decision?

  • jonty

    the assembly isnt working, we have no MLAs because we have no Legislative assembly.

    See how the DUpes support the waste of £53 million pounds of taxpayers money.

    They dont want to stop their gravy train

  • Vavid Dance

    Am I alone in thinking Trimble finds the whole thing entirely hysterical and, if I’m not, should we have doubts about the fellow’s mental wellbeing ?

    May he cat eat his smirky smugness bebloodygorrah !

  • Will

    Gonzo
    “I think it was to a few UUP MLAs!”

    The UUP have always had a bit of a thing for Westminster – maybe that’s why some of their MPs spend so much time there rather than bothering with those nasty creatures some people call constituents. No surprise therefore that a certain female UUP MP then isnt too bothered about the Assembly. I’m all right (well at least until May 5th that is) Jack (excuse the pun) so lets just pull up the ladder on all the other plebs like Billy Armstrong and Baby Beggs.

    Its a bit short sighted of the UUP to call for the closure of the Assembly though when the prospects (even for the most rose-tinted of YUs) aren’t exactly glowing for the UUP in the General Election: lets face it, returning with 3 MPs wouldnt be a half bad day for Trimble & co.

    “I bet it was Trimble who lobbied for the election date change, so Westminster and the locals would coincide, to bring out the UUP vote… if so, I wonder if it was the right decision?”

    It wouldnt exactly be a revelation of earth-shattering proportions if we were to find out that it was Mr Trimble calling for another dual election day. After all, he’s tried to use just about every other ploy in the book in order to lure those mythical creatures called UUP voters out to the polls – border polls on the same day etc etc. I’m waiting for him to get the Government to pass legislation closing garden centres and banning everyone from stepping foot on their lawn on election day to see if that gets those supposed garden-centre going, UUP voting prods flocking out to back the purple one.

    The grand master plan didnt exactly work last time round though. Look at the 2001 Local Government Results, ignoring for a moment if you will the fact that the UUP lost the Westminster seats of North Belfast, East Londonderry and Strangford to the DUP on that day.

    The Ulster Unionist Party only gained extra council seats on two Councils that day; Ballymoney and North Down. Looking at the results in Ballymoney where the UUP increased by one, they might not have picked up that seat if the DUP had ran a third candidate in Bushvale.

    In North Down their extra seats came courtesy of the Conservatives (who dont have any more to give) and one from the Alliance (who no doubt will be fighting hard to take it back).

    A total of two areas where the UUP gained seats in 2001 compares to 15 Councils where the DUP gained seats and there was only Omagh where they lost a seat (to a Nationalist). It didnt exactly work in 2001 so I dont see how it will be Trimble’s saviour this time around.

    After 1997 Local Gov Elections:
    UUP – 185 cllrs
    DUP – 91 cllrs

    After 2001 Local Gov Elections:
    UUP – 154 cllrs
    DUP – 131 cllrs

    The gap is narrowing – wont take a massive swing this time to take the DUP over the line of being the largest party in Local Government as well as at all other levels of representation.

    Maybe when Ulster Unionists see the tide turning against them at District Council level we’ll see them calling for the abolition of councils as well!

  • cg

    Will
    What’s wrong with a Dual election day?

  • Will

    cg,
    I personally dont have a massive problem with the two elections on the one day. It isnt going to be the saviour of all the UUP (and SDLP’s) problems as David Trimble and others obviously think.

    However, with a first past the post and a PR election at the same time it will inevitably lead to some people being confused and mistakenly spoiling their vote.

    As I said, I dont really mind the two being held at the same time, but at least be honest about the reasons.