UUP bombshell

Two senior UUP members have officially given their support to DUP candidates in their constituencies. Lord Molyneaux is supporting the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson in Lagan Valley and former UUP president Martin Smyth is behind the DUP’s Jimmy Spratt in South Belfast. The News Letter editorial points to a renewed split in the UUP.

NIO poll findings were revealed yesterday in the Dublin based Sunday Tribune which indicates:-

– the DUP`s six sitting MP`s are all safe.

– the DUP`s Sammy Wilson will take East Antrim from the UUP`s Roy Beggs.

– the DUP is in a position to potentially take South Antrim and Upper Bann from the UUP with figures too close to call.

– the UUP is slightly ahead in South Belfast.

– Sinn Fein`s Conor Murphy is predicted to seize Newry and Armagh from the SDLP.

– Mark Durkan of the SDLP is narrowly ahead of Sinn Fein`s Mitchell McLaughlin in Foyle.

– Eddie McGrady of the SDLP is also ahead of Sinn Fein`s Catriona Ruane in South Down.

Update

UKUP leader, Robert McCartney, has announced that he will not be standing for election, giving the DUP a clear run in North Down against the UUP`s Lady Silvia Hermon. UKUP is affiliated with the UKIP .

  • spirit-level

    Yep predictable, raises the average age of Unionist thinkers/ policymakers now to the over-70 mark.
    Great: “unionism adopts old farts agenda” it ought to have read. As stalford would say:
    Pathetic!

  • fair_deal

    So the rumours of NIO polls being worse for the UUP than the BT poll prove true. Almost restores my faith in rumours 😉

    Mick

    Any info on North Down?

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    I’ve been astonished too by the lack of young blood in the unionist movement as a whole. Is this the reason why young unionists are apathetic, or a consequence?

  • Occasional Commenter

    spirit-level, I heard Tam Dalyell (Father of The House Of Commons) point out that the Labour Cabinet that created the NHS was one of the oldest cabinets ever.

    Maybe old == radical ?

  • spirit-level

    Occasional Commentator
    You got me there 😉

  • Dessertspoon

    The missing young people can be found ignoring politics because they do not see its relevance to them. Nothing changes and its always the same people who stand for everything and do very little. Time to introduce a law that you can only hold one elected position at a time and get rid of the Councillor/MP/MLA monopolies some hold and allow some space for new(ish) blood. To be fair this isn’t just a Unionist problem I think all parties suffer from it.

  • Occasional Commenter

    spirit-level, I should have been doing work over the last while but instead I checked up the ages.
    In 1945, the average ages of Attlee’s cabinet was 62.6. In 2001, Blair’s average was 52.9.

    I’m taking the list of Cabinet Member’s and their birth years from
    “>Attlee and
    Blair

    I really should do some work now.

  • Occasional Commenter

    I think the link I used for Attlee’s cabinet worked in the Preview. Here goes again. Attlee’s cabinet

  • yerman

    Looks like the bombshells are turning into something of a blitzkreig for the UUP today – Bob McCartney has just announced that he wont be standing in North Down.

    The only semi-safe UUP seat has just become extremely vulnerable!!!

    Looks like the Lady wont have much time to groom the dogs now for a few weeks – but she might just have a LOT more time after the 6th May!!!

  • Weirfan

    Hurrah!

  • Christopher Stalford

    Our YU friends – come out, come out wherever you are!

  • yerman

    Christopher,
    They’re probably in the Anderson shelter somewhere in the grounds of Cunningham House waiting to see where the next thunderbolt will strike.

    I can just see Tim Lemon running round doing his Corporal Jones impression – all together now! “Dont panic, dont panic”

  • Ted

    Don’t worry Christopher – they haven’t gone away you know!

  • Keith M

    The combination of these endorsements and McCartney’s decision not to run may well spell complete wipe-out for the UUP. Trimble looks like he’ll have another award for his mantlepiece; “the most unsucessful party leader in the history of UK politics”. Even Lloyd-George’s Liberals had some Westminster seats after his disasterous leadership.

  • Tiny

    The news that Smyth & Molyneaux are endorsing the DUP is hardly surprising, lets be honest who would have suggested that Molyneaux would support McCrea, as for Smyth it shows that despite being a man of the cloth he lacks basic decency, the honourable thing would have been to resign from the party, however after the revelations about the pope joke telling Rev Dickinson it seems politics dosn’t bring out the best in Pres Clerics

  • Keith M

    Tiny : “as for Smyth it shows that despite being a man of the cloth he lacks basic decency, the honourable thing would have been to resign from the party”. Why should he resign? Should everyone who holds a different opinion for the current leadership of a party resign? If (big if) the UUP is to recover for what the Trimblite faction have done to the party, it’s going to need intelligent, experienced and capable people to help the next leader.

  • South Belfast Voter

    Tiny

    A disgraceful comment. Martin Smyth is an honest and thoroughly decent individual – a Christian minister and a trustworthy politician – it is a despicable claim to say that becuase he refuses to back Michael McGimpsey he should have to resign from the UUP.

    Its people like Martin Smyth, the Clarkes and Jim Molyneaux that kept South Belfast in the UUP column for donkeys-years. Why? Because they were decnt honourable solid Unionists, unlike this cabal of Trimble-groupies Cunningham House seems determind to foist upon the elecorate in the area. The Ulster Unionist Party is heading for a damn good thrashing in this election and they deserve it 110%

  • tiny

    membership of the UUP like any other political party is dependant on supporting the policies of the party, he does not, he should have resigned before endorsing the DUP runner, it would have been the honourable thing to do, admitably honour is not a DUP concept

  • South Belfast Voter

    Tiny

    Lying to the electorate on the other hand, and making a liar out of himself in order to satisfy the Trimble Brigade, that would have been the correct course of action to take.

    I repeat 110%

  • South Belfast Voter

    Martin Smyth opposed the Agreement in 1998 and has consistently done so – just because gutless, spineless Beggs went crawling back to the Purple Prince, don’t expect everyone to do so.

    A man of real principle – then again principle isn’t a UUP concept.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Difficult to see how either the fact that Smyth and Molyneaux continue to be vindictively disloyal or that the DUP and SF share the common goal of finally eradicating any middle ground in NI politics constitute news.

  • South Belfast Voter

    disloyal to who?

  • Jimmy Sands

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a party member to support the party candidate, or at the very least not to actively oppose.

  • Henry94

    Jimmy Sands

    The middle ground will not be eliminated even if, as it looks, the UUP are. There will still be those who are willing to share power and those who are not. But they will all be in the DUP waiting for the end of Paisley’s career (one way or the other).

    The DUP clean sweep will simply set the stage for the next split.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Despite wishing McGimpsey the best in the election, and he may need it, I can’t blame Martin Smyth for not backing him. I do think he should have drawn the line however, at endorsing a candidate from another party.

    I don’t think being a member of the party should mean giving unquestioning backing to the leadership, but some degree of loyalty is essential. I’m a supporter of Trimble and his policies but if he can’t engender this loyalty from his party, perhaps its time the UUP looked around to see if there is anyone else capable of doing so.

  • Alan2

    Lady Silvia was 2642 votes ahead of the DUP at the last election where the Alliance stood aside. Bob McCartney took 3,583 votes which will mostly go to the DUP plus Alliance ARE standing in this election.

  • fair_deal

    Just saw the UUP election broadcast. They mean it all this time, honest. Trimble’s face got redder to prove it. They also finished it off with the simply british tagline – if at first your slogan doesn’t work give a second go.

    I’ve noticed the words decent and decency popping up a lot in UUP slogans statements and by some of their sympathetic bloggers.

    Am I the only one who finds this annoying?

    Us young folks these days. No decency or morals at all. Its like Sodom and Gomorrah. We even vote for other parties

    Tiny

    When the outgoing MP goes out of his way to be photographed with the candidate of another party and makes positve comments that is newsworthy.
    When the patron of a party goes out of his way to be photographed with two candidates of a opposing party and makes positive comments that is newsworthy.
    The News Letter, Belfast Telegraph, UTV and BBC agree.

  • Tiny

    I have just watched the now orange squash drinking Jimmy Spratt on the news, when asked if Smyth and Molyneaux were endorsing him he repeated that they had merely agreed to be photographed with him, was it not the late Enoch Powell who described the DUP as a party of ‘stunts’

  • fair_deal

    Tiny

    A picture speaks a thousand words.

    Has Martin Smyth provided a quote that Michael would “make an excellent Member for Parliament” for UUP literature?

    Has Lord Killead provided a quote praising Michael’s public service for UUP literature?

  • The Watchman

    Very funny to see the Gimp on Newsline saying there was nothing untoward in Jim and Martin being pictured with Jimmy Spratt. Yeah right. Anything you say, Michael. Of course, they weren’t endorsing him, after all it’s not as if there’s an election within a month, is it? Let’s see if they object to appearing in the DUP literature. In their own way, they have slipped the dagger into the Gimp, and done it in such a way that they stay within party rules about not backing non-UUP candidates. (And that’s more than can be said about some Lisburn UU councillors.)

  • jimmyquickswipe

    I don’t think Smyth or Molyneaux have explicitly ‘endorsed’ Spratt on a technicality. The UUP leadership can’t take action against them on this basis. After the failed court action (About £30K worth) brought about by the party on the 3 MP musketeers, people like Smyth & Co are much more aware of their legal boundaries of ‘decent’ in the party.

    I think the Clarkes just don’t give a ‘f*ck’.

    Just a guess.

  • Tiny

    fair-deal, have they said they are endorsing Donaldson and Spratt in plain english?

  • oliver

    Thought the UUP election broadcast was excellent, setting out the strength of the UUP team, a combination of Westminster expreience and youthful energy-liked the bit with Reg Empey talking to Rodney McClune and McGimpsey.

    The key message was that the DUP would throw away everything while the UUP would build up a less extreme and more stable future. Came across very forcefully.

  • Karl Rove

    The Gimp’s best line on the news tonight was when he was asked, ‘so will you be producing any pictures of yourself with martin & Jim?’ and he blustered, ‘sure I can produce photographs of myself with all sorts of folks’. Yup – and the one I foresee the DUP press team plastering all over South Belfast is the one with you and Martin McGuiness, thumbs aloft, sitting together, side by side, in the front row of the waterfront. Oh well, couldn;t happen to a nicer man.

  • Alan2

    What like jumping first three times and being left to hang by Gerry and Co each and every time?

    Respect to the man for giving it a chance and jumping first but a man who repeats his mistakes is a fool.

  • Alan2

    I would prefer an Assembly but direct rule will do just fine if it can be made a little more accountable to the people of Northern Ireland…perhaps accountable to sitting Westminster MP`s.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “A disgraceful comment. Martin Smyth is an honest and thoroughly decent individual – a Christian minister and a trustworthy politician

    To be sure. I remember well his comments when some nurses from the Irish Republic were burnt out of rented accomodation on the Donegal Road. Does anyone else ?

    ” – it is a despicable claim to say that becuase he refuses to back Michael McGimpsey he should have to resign from the UUP.”

    It’s backing a candidate from a rival party that is the problem. If it were my party I’d have them sent to Siberia.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Here’s an excerpt from an Irish News article from 1997, where Martin Smyth was quoted as describing leaflets threatening the lives of “fenians” moving into houses in The Village as “understandable” and he refused to condemn the threat made by the paramilitaries, instead directly comparing himself with Gerry Adams. I’d like the people who posted here describing Smyth as decent/Christian etc to outline for us the circumstances that might lead to threats by illegal loyalist paramilitaries being described in that manner.

    ================================
    By Niall Blaney

    LOYALISTS have launched a “witch-hunt” against Catholics living in
    the Village area of south Belfast.

    Posters have been pasted up in streets throughout the mainly Protestant
    district warning Catholics to leave their homes within a week.

    The poster warned: “In the light of current events, as from 12 noon on
    the 1st of July 1997 the loyalist people of the Village/Donegall Road
    will no longer be able to guarantee the safety of any nationalist who
    chooses to remain within the area, nor can they guarantee the safety of
    any property where nationalists are dwelling.”

    The chilling Nazi-like bills said the current political climate meant it was
    “unwise to have a nationalist as a neighbour and even worse to befriend
    one”, adding: “Do you know who lives next door to you?”

    MP for the area, Rev Martin Smyth, last night said the posters were
    “understandable” given recent events both within and outside the area
    and blamed republican activity for the threat.

    He refused to condemn the threat to nationalists in the area and said:
    “I’m going to join Gerry Adams in not condemning – he doesn’t
    condemn so I won’t.

    “I have always looked for and would prefer an integrated community,
    but where republicans move in they become no-go areas.

    “Unfortunately these people (loyalists) are doing the same by claiming
    these areas as their own and this has been aggravated by incidents
    along Great Northern Street recently.”

    Mr Smyth said that people living in the street were being harassed by
    republicans from the Grosvenor Road.

    UUP councillor for the area Bob Stoker did condemn the poster and
    those behind them.

  • David McC

    Wasn’t tonights UUP election broadcast a real laugh! McGimpsey Junior and McCune looked like two schoolboys geeting a lesson their uncle Reg about what the policy of the UUP was on the building of the Waterfront Hall. How inspiring!!

    And then there was Trimble – whose face was getting redder as he told more and more lies about what the UUP had acheived for Ulster in 10 years. Good job he wasn’t Pinnochio or his nose would have come through the TV!!

    Surely the most loyal Trimbleite must have saw how unconvincing DT looked? And he’s trying to appeal to ‘decent’ unionist people – surely no decent person would ever vote UUP!

  • Tiny

    I would prefer an Assembly but direct rule will do just fine if it can be made a little more accountable to the people of Northern Ireland…perhaps accountable to sitting Westminster MP`s.

    Posted by: Alan2 at April 11, 2005 09:09 PM

    How exactly will this state of affairs come about, DUP cloud cukoo land?

  • fair_deal

    Tiny

    I’m not going to follow you into this semantic cul-de-sac. The media, who have never been great friends with the DUP, do not consider it a stretch to describe their behaviour and comments as an endorsement. The UUP got a kicking today, the best way to deal with that in politics is to admit it and come back with something positive. (And of course further down the line get your retaliation)

    Oliver

    Here are the following flaws in the UUP election broadcast:
    1. It featured David Trimble heavily. Talk to a lot of ex-UUP voters and a primary issue among their reasons for changing was Trimble. Also despite a very strong push of Trimble to get the so-called ‘garden centre’ Unionist in past elections it has singularly failed. His electoral liabilties outweigh his electoral strengths.
    2. It used a number of logos. A confusing corporate image sends a confused message.
    3. There was a bias to Greater Belfast in the selection of candidates (with the exception of Lady Hermon) All the filmed pieces were in Belfast.
    4. They over-emphasised candidates in no hope constituencies. Burnside barely featured
    5. As far as I could see they did not include their sole female candidate, if they did it was fleeting.
    6. The narrative in the minds of most voting unionists in the handling of the political proces since the Assembly election is kind to the DUP. The advert failed to significantly challenge this narrative or offer a plausible alternative one (it needs more than one line from Trimble near the end).
    7. Many of the key messages are re-treads of arguments used in the Assembly election, i.e. decent Unionists wouldn’t allow Paisley to be given the mantle of Unionist leadership. The DUP and Paisley are much bigger bogeymen among UUP politicos than they are among the average Unionist voter.
    8. The Reg monologue (Reg didn’t too well in previous party focus groups of UUP voters either so is it wise to give him a big chunk?) and the Waterfront story is not exactly something at the forefront of the mind of Unionist voters. The McGimpsey/Beggs footage was terrible – Beggs acting like a mannequin and you didn’t get a decent face shot of McGimpsey. McGimpsey explaining to Beggs how the big shiny digger works. A project that Nigel Dodds was a key mover in (sort of pops a hole in the Waterfront example). Whoever did their storyboards needs the sack.
    8. Rounded off with the Simply British nonsense. This is not the party slogan for the election so why was it there.

    Also when it comes to slogans the UUP forgot the first basic rule of competing slogans, verbs beat adjectives. Thus, “Leadership that’s working” beats “The people for the Union, the people for decency, the people for you”. Just as “It is time for a fair deal” beat “Simply british”.

  • fair-deal

    Fair_deal, in the last 8 years of Molyneaux’s leadership some 42 police officers lost their lives, almost all at the hands of republicians, in the first 8 years of Trimble’s the total is 6 with so-called loyalists accounting for half. Thats how history will judge Trimble, a serious player who saved lives, Molyneaux will be judged to have been of little consquence and he knows it. Put in another way, Trimble has had thousands of pages written about him, Molyneaux a mere 145.

  • Jonty

    Molyneaux and Paisley are the 2 Unionist leaders who oversaw the imposition of the anglo-irish agreement, Something they were unable to break, or smash or whatever their slogan was at the time

  • Alan2

    ..and they both will be dead. Hitler was apparently the most video taped person in the world. He is dead too. Your aspersion that Trimble is responsible for saving lives is…well it doesnt matter but I think people were just sick of the killing and bombs and nothing really much to do with politicians.

  • fair_deal

    fair-deal

    1. You seem to be reading someone else’s comments I cannot remember posting anything in praise of Lord Killead. Molyneaux’s leadership was a failure just as trimble’s will be judged as a failure, the only difference was the form of their failure.
    2. We are discussing elections here not the judgement of historians who have had their ear bent by paul bew and co. Hence its the voters’ opinions who count and they don’t like him. The UUP’s own focus groups highlighted this.
    3. Yes. Trimble has had 1000’s pages of written about him, including an excellent book by Dean Godson which exposes the poverty and failure of Trimbleism.
    4. Gerry Adams claims the credit for the drop in deaths. John Hume claims the credit for the drop in deaths. Major, reynolds, blair, ahern etc claim the credit. Trimble will have to join this long queue.

  • IJP

    Gerry Adams claims the credit for the drop in deaths. John Hume claims the credit for the drop in deaths. Major, reynolds, blair, ahern etc claim the credit. Trimble will have to join this long queue.

    Too right.

    Of course, we all know Sean Neeson and David Ford are the ones really due the credit… 🙂

  • lorre

    Lord Molyneaux & Rev Martin Smyth are two disgraceful judases whose only wish is to destroy the UUP because of their personal spite and vendatta against David Trimble.

    Their cowardly, backstabbing, dishonourable & disgraceful act will go down in Northern Ireland’s political history as much much worse than Jeffery Donaldson’s act of jumping ship from the UUP to the DUP.

    At least Donaldson resigned from the UUP and joined the DUP something Lord Molyneaux & Rev Martin Smyth haven’t got the courage to do.

  • Dessertspoon

    I’m starting to think that people in Norn Iron shouldn’t be allowed to vote. They obviously can’t cope with the difficulty of choosing between so many fine candidates….!!

    Quick word on North Down – anyone who votes Weir(DUP) needs their heads read!! Anyone who votes DUP generally really. I suppose the therapists will make a lot of money after the election.

  • spirit-level

    I agree entirely with you lorre
    “Lord Molyneaux & Rev Martin Smyth are two disgraceful judases whose only wish is to destroy the UUP because of their personal spite and vendatta against David Trimble”

    David Trimble is to be praised , because at least he made a go of trying to get politics to work in Norn Iron, and was realistic enough to know that you can’t do that without Nationalist Representation, as does the whole world.
    Only the DUP oppose what is clearly sensible and right.

  • Davros

    Sadly Spirit-level the DUP have seen that republicans behaving in such a way have been rewarded with more and more concessions – so it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that they copy the tactics used so successfully by Sinn Féin.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “David Trimble is to be praised , because at least he made a go of trying to get politics to work in Norn Iron, and was realistic enough to know that you can’t do that without Nationalist Representation, as does the whole world.
    Only the DUP oppose what is clearly sensible and right.”

    “Sadly Spirit-level the DUP have seen that republicans behaving in such a way have been rewarded with more and more concessions – so it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that they copy the tactics used so successfully by Sinn Féin.”

    Can’t help but agree with both of those.

  • Alan2

    Actually no….the UUP has ruled out power sharing with SF.

  • Rebecca Black

    “I’ve been astonished too by the lack of young blood in the unionist movement as a whole”

    thats not really fair, the UUP candidate running in my area, Gareth McGimpsey isn’t one of th grey haired brigade. Early 30s, PHD in politics, he’s a candidate with alot of promise.

  • davidbrew

    surely as an Ulster Unionist he’s a candidate with a lot of broken promise? :0)

  • oliver.gorringe

    Rebecca, he was in that PPB last night. I think he may have nodded too much while Sir Reg was talking – its a slightly annoying habit.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    I know he’s young Rebecca (that’s about all I know of him to be fair).
    I’m compiling a list of the candidates and their ages, although some are proving difficult to obtain information on (damn you google). So far of those I don’t have the figures to hand, but if I remember right, from those I’ve collected, the average age of SF/DUP is around 48, while that of the UUP/SDLP is 54. Not a huge difference but not insignificant. Incidentally, if you drop IP from consideration the DUP drop to 46 I think lol.

  • oliver.gorringe

    The DUP in South Antrim and North Down have candidates that repel quite a lot of people. So the UUP may be able to get some tactical voting (voting to keep people out) in these constituencies.

  • Rebecca Black
  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Thanks Rebecca, assuming from the lack of mention that he hasn’t been a councillor or MLA yet.

  • Rebecca Black

    In fact, there is a new section on the UUP website about the elections with details on the candidates in every part of NI. Worth a look.

    I’m surprised the average age for the UUP has worked out so high. We have a few young candidates running – Gareth McGimspey, Rodney McClune, and many others do not have grey hair!!

  • Rebecca Black

    no, but he has been involved with Strangford UUP constituency since 1989 at various levels.

  • slug9987

    I see the Conservatives are standing three in NI – East Belfast, Strangford, and North Down. Not that I expect them to do well but interesting to see they are keeping in there.

  • Lorre

    Lord Molyneaux seems to forget who gave him his peerage so he could have a political voice in the house of Lords. It was not Dr Paisley or the DUP, who was his sworn enemy once.upon a time.

    I wonder will Lord Molyneaux have his photograph of support for the DUP’s gospel singer in South Antrim as is his photograph on Arlene Foster’s DUP promotion phamplets. David Burnside must be wondering has his old friend gone that gagga he forgets what party he belonged to.

  • Lorre

    Correction from my last post.

    Lord Molyneaux’s photograph is on Jeffery Donaldson’s promotion phamplets and not Arlene Foster’s.

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    Lorre: “I wonder will Lord Molyneaux have his photograph of support for the DUP’s gospel singer in South Antrim”

    Hasn’t Molyneaux effectively said he’d like to see Burnside succeed Trimble?

  • Alan2

    He called for Timble`s resignation yesterday and suggested Reg Empey as leader.

  • idunnomeself

    This picture will lose Finlay Spratt any hope of getting a vote from dozens of young Unionists I know in South Belfast. Lots of them voted SDLP last time becasue they hated Smyth, I suppose they’re more likely to vote McGimpsey than SDLP now, provided the UUP don’t knee jerk and try to be DUP lite now.

    Look at them, two old tired men who failed us in the past asking us to vote for the same old failure again??

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Interesting take idunnomyself, hope you’re right. As for the Tories, i’m glad to see they’re not giving up. Alan Greer (East Belfast) was a few years above me in High School, presumably taking his A-level politics when I was doing Key Stage 3s lol.

    Rebecca I don’t have ages for all the candidates, info on some is hard to find (presumably the younger ones, since the older ones are more established and have more written about them online) so the average age is probably a little on the high side. Still trying to get information on some.

  • fair_deal

    idunnomyself

    It is Jim Spratt not Finlay Spratt. Please try to keep up.

  • Indeed

    idunnomeself…

    one has to question the logic behind these young unionists in S Belfast who voted for the SDLP previosuly…..unionists voting for a party whose sole aim is a united Ireland. Maybe its these same young unionists who reckon Trimbles pact proposals where a great idea…….

  • Bob Wilson

    Im annoyed that Tories aren’t running in Lagan Valley but I too am happy to see they are still going. Perhaps the demise of UUP will provide them with an opportunity?

  • idunnomeself

    When i say Unionists I mean people of a pro-British ethos, often brought up Protestant.

    But who don’t vote on the basis of if they like partition or not. The SDLP candidate is strong on issues like fair trade/ the environment/ social issues, and these matter a lot to the most politically aware young voters I know, so obviously he picks up votes from there.

    The fact that both Unionist parties in South Belfast have lost this slice of their natural constituency should be worrying them, but they don’t seem to care.

    Jim Spratt can’t unite all the unionists for the simple reason that not all of them are merely obsessed with keeping the border. That’s all there is to it, maybe he can unite the ‘traditional unionist’ vote (whatever that is, and that in itself is doubtful as he is a blow in) but he can’t unite *all* the potential Unionist vote.

    Anyway Fair deal I thought you were the clued up one on presentation? Would you want your candidate emphasising that two very old, and very doddery looking men, both of whom firmly belong to the past, think he’s a chip off their block?