Saulters' backing of DUP causes ruction

Robert Saulters, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has caused disquiet amongst Orangemen in Fermanagh, when he chose to publicly back Arlene Foster against a fellow Orangeman Tom Elliott MLA, the UUP’s candidate in Fermanagh South Tyrone.

  • The Gent

    These old duffers in Fermanagh were happy enough when the Orange blindly backed the Official Unionists in the past, but heaven forbid that the Grand Master should dare back a Democratic Unionist – even when its one who is supremely more talented/articulate/hard-working than her Official Unionist opponent in this election.

    How dare Tom Elliot instigate such a disgraceful attack upon the Grand Master – he should be stripped of his office forthwith!

  • fair_deal

    Orangeism remains the one broad ‘church’ in the Protestant community.

    With the ending of the formal link it was highly likely issues like this could develop. The Institution needs to agree a policy on if, how, when and why it endorses particular candidates.

  • yerman

    I’m an Orangeman and I never recall anything within the rules of the Institution telling me that I must blindly vote for or agree with everything another Orangeman no matter how misguided they may be.

    Bobby Saulters was not attacking Tom Elliott, simply saying that he personally would endorse Arlene Foster. However Mr Eliott stoops to gutter tactics and publicly attacks Bobby Saulters.

    Tom Elliott is going to have to get his head around the fact that the UUP have no divine right to get the support of the Orange Institution or anyone else.

  • The Gent


    Nonsense! If the Grand Master wants to endorse Arlene Foster so be it. What’s really hacking the Tom Elliot-types of the UUP off is that the can no longer claim to own the Orange Order!

    Maybe instead of attacking Bobby Saulters for backing the DUP the Tom Elliots of this world should be asking themselves why such an influential figure within the Unionist community should have turned his back on their politics?

    As for Elliot being a “loyalist” – don’t make me laugh!

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    I don’t see where it says anywhere that Tom Elliot had anything to do with this. Have you heard something I haven’t or is this just another excuse to attack the party the DUP see as their real enemy?

  • The Gent


    Elliot got all his other wet liberal cronies on the Fermanagh Grand Lodge to sign this letter attacking the Grand Master, if you don’t believe that you are an eejit. A disgusting act of insubordination. He should be stripped of his office.

  • Indeed

    As a Fermanagh Orangeman i wonder how far this fraternal commitment should extend-does this mean i cant vote for the best candidate, Arlene Foster, because Tom is running and i should vote for the Orangemen? This line of argument by County officers is ludicrous.

    Tom has been more than willing to use the Orange Order for his own political gain in the past, and many feel he was quite ruthless in his quest to become County Grand Master.

    I fully back the Grand Master in his actions and i believe Tom may well regret speaking out against Bobby in such a viciuos manner.

  • Indeed


    If you see the names listed, you’ll see they are all Tom’s nearest and dearest.

    But they’ll reap what they sow….

  • The Gent

    “As a Fermanagh Orangeman i wonder how far this fraternal commitment should extend-does this mean i cant vote for the best candidate, Arlene Foster, because Tom is running and i should vote for the Orangemen?”

    This is the sort of argument we used to hear from platforms circa 1970 – “vote for Colonel Bufton-Tufton – even though he’s a doddering old fool and hasn’t done a hands-turn in his forty years as your MP, because he’s a brother Orangeman”

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    On this issue I happen to agree that the Grand Master should be entitled to his own personal view, but in writing to the newsletter as the Grand Master, he is presenting readers with the impression that the Orange Order are behind Foster. If I was a member of said organisation in Fermanagh (or anywhere) I’d be a bit miffed at seeing that. (And for the record I’ve been calling for a split between the OO/UUP for ages, just I’d hoped the UUP would dump them first).

  • fair_deal

    The gent

    If you can manage not venting your spleen for a moment
    1. I made no comment about whether the Grand master’s endorsement was correct of otherwise. I simply argued for an agreed system of how the Institution does so.
    2. “As for Elliot being a “loyalist” – don’t make me laugh!”
    I did not refer to Tom Elliott either nor did I describe him as a loyalist.

  • Indeed

    The gent,

    agree 100%. With logic like this the Ulster Unionists should be pulling out where Orangeman is against Orangeman in the interests of fraternity.
    So Danny Kennedy its over to you…leave it to Paul Berry
    Derek Hussey…..leave it to Tom Buchanan.

    Where does this logic end???????

  • The Gent


    No I know you didn’t. The signataries on that statement did.

  • fair_deal

    Thanks for clarification but with my name at the top thought all the comment was referred to me

  • queens_unionist

    I myself am not an orangeman…i find it unfathomable though how any orangeman, defender of the union could vote for the UUP as they are in talks with Sinn Fein IRA and will ultimately sell the union down the river as long as they keep there income coming in!!

  • GavBelfast

    As opposed to ultimately selling it down the river (your phrase) for a couple of photos, queens-unionist?

    Really, both main unionist parties are shambolic in terms of policy, it’s just that only one of them will suffer for it this time round. The other will have to wait for its turn when it is truly in the vanguard and the mistakes are waiting to happen.

  • queens_unionist

    who mentioned there would be 2 photos.
    That is UUP anti DUP propaganda.
    If you were intelligent enough to even read what the DUP’s policies were regarding decommisioning then you would be enlightened.
    I think its time to face up to reality. The DUP speak for the majority of unionists, and Sinn Fein IRA are not prepared to decommision and so therefore be excluded from any powersharing executive

  • sean west

    You guys should get a life.Do you think anyone
    in England is remotely intrested in this drivel.
    How is orange and who is green.It is crap.
    They are all non events.They will all come to London and do nothing because they do not count .
    No one is the slightest bit intrested in some election in the six counties.

  • queens_unionist

    OK thankyou for that political incisive comment there.
    Your prediction of elction results was greatly noted.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Actually the DUP only speak for the majority of voting unionists. That’s quite a different thing altogether.

    Is it just me or are some posters on here not getting enough homework from their teachers?

  • yerman

    The UUP of course, dont even speak for a majority of unionists who vote.

    No party can claim to speak for those who dont vote.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Perhaps you could point out where I made such a claim about the UUP…

  • yerman

    Beano – I assumed that you were inferring something – otherwise your post was utterly pointless!

    If that was your intention then thats fair enough.

  • Alan2

    “The UUP election slogan, decent people….vote Ulster Unionist” has been branded “grossly offensive” by an Alliance party Westminster candidate. East Belfast contender and MLA Naomi Long said:” To claim that the UUP have any monopoly on decency, would be laughable if it were not so offensive.”
    She added:”At the last Westminster election in East Belfast, the UUP polled less than a quarter of the votes cast- are they seriously suggesting that over 75% of East Belfast people have no deceny?”
    Ms Long said people “on the doorsteps” have been angered and offended by the UUP`s “desperate attempt” to “shame people into supporting them.”

    The Alliance site also has a couple of articles hammering the UUP and SDLP

    “Ulster Unionists are no ‘centrists'”: Alderdice
    “They and the SDLP delivered a political carve-up that was in nobody’s interests. They have had their chance, their day has passed.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    The fact is that this statement reflects only one mans personal opinion, noway does it reflect the whole of what the orange order thinks. Hes abusing his position. I look forward to what he has to say on the 6th May, I wonder if he will admit to being wrong or might he just say nothing and forget he ever said it??

  • Enniskillen DUP


    I also look forward to May the 5th. Everyone knows that Arlene will beat Tom especially Cooper; why do you think he is not standing again?lol. If Tom lets Gildernew in in the process then he will have to step down as grand master or he will be heckeled at the 12th of July(in his own village!). We will see where the Fermanagh UUP Gentry are on that day!
    Puppet on a String!

  • Enniskillen DUP


    I also look forward to May the 5th. Everyone knows that Arlene will beat Tom especially Cooper; why do you think he is not standing again?lol. If Tom lets Gildernew in in the process then he will have to step down as grand master or he will be heckeled at the 12th of July(in his own village!). We will see where the Fermanagh UUP Gentry are on that day!
    Puppet on a String!

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Maybe the unionists here think that Tom Elliott is the best candidate which makes sense as he now would have just a big profile, after all he is a cllr and a MLA.

    What do you think Arlene will do is she doesnt beat Tom, will she hang her head in shame? I doubt not, shes so pathetic she’l think of some way to try get out off the deep whole she has dug herself into here.

    It will be a bad day for FST but at least there will be one clear message to all the Arlene supporters, look at the problems they have inflicted on the FST people. Ultimately the blame will rest on Arlenes shoulders- I wouldnt like to be her on the 6th! Hopefully she will do the decent thing and leave the political scene. Doesn’t mean the DUP have to, just her.

    How can they honestly try to attract more members in the long time here with people like her being their leading FST person.

  • Tiny

    I once heard Bobby Saulters speak at the opening of a renovated hall at Waringstown, it was just before Drumcree, I remember thinking afterwards that if this is the standard of Orange Order leadership their protest was doomed to fail, so it turned out. The only hope for the Order in the long term is broadening its appeal among the unionist community, rebuilding its reputation among the community and living up to the ideals its members claim to hold dear. The last thing they need is to snuggle up to the DUP.

  • Alex S

    i once sat behind Mr Saulters and two friends (one with straw in his hair) at a UUP Conference some years ago, as we all stood to give the leader, Trimble, the usual standing ovation Saulters and Co sat disdussing if they should get up, I nudged Saulters seat and you know what, up he got, a man of steel!

  • YoungFermanaghUnionist

    I wish people wouldn’t knock Tom Elliott. He is a decent man whom I know on a personal level and he is friends with many members of my family namely my dad and he has been a true and loyal member to the orange order and that should not be knocked.

    Having said that he should not be standing in this electing he is purely a puppet on a string who is being guided by Mr Cooper. Tom in 2001 said that Arlene was the best candidate for the job of running for westminster why does he not feel this now and why is cooper not running again.

    My dad all my family, friends and relatives will be voting for Arlene Foster in the election she is Unionisms only hope of winning the seat she is a superb candidate and will be a great MP, Tom is too soft he cant stand up to Sinn Fein Ira Foster can and she has been heckeled in the streets by Republicans they know she is a threat. What we need is a collapse in Toms vote and to see as many people as possible vote Arlene Sinn Fein havent won this seat yet and if we vote Arlene they wont either

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Now I wonder, there seems to be a sudden influx of different Fermanagh people using different names (young Fermanagh unionist, proud Arlene Foster Voter- TH, Fermanagh unionist) – Its all a big coincidence if you ask me, we all know that this is the same person don’t we Thomas??

    Stop trying to lie your way through it; tom isn’t a family friend and is it not petty obvious why tom doesn’t think this?

    can we keep this civiised and to do with issues ? A.U.

  • Young Fermanagh Unionist

    Tom is a friend a he asked me at the last election to vote for Cooper only I was too young. I am not Thomas and I do not wish to be insuated as a fraud.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    ok then right your ‘not’ thomas, surely tom would have realised that you where too young last time?

  • Young Fermanagh unionist

    Funny you should say that he said to me on my doorstep that he wasnt sure if I was old enough or not. Toms a good man I find it easy to talk to him and hes been to many orange parades but hes too soft.

    Only Arlene can win this for unionism and I ask you a fellow young unionist in Fermanagh to vote Arlene your vote will be wasted on Tom.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    im like yourself – still under age 🙁

    And honestly your not fooling anyone here thomas.

  • Young Fermanagh Unionist

    im now 21 so I can vote and I will be voting my sister brothers mum dad friends and relatives will all be voting arlene

    why do u insist im Thomas, who is thomas im more concerned about who you will be encouraging people to support at the election.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    ahh it doesnt matter it just seems all to coincidental and then the ‘TH’ after the proud arlene voter name realy gave it away.

  • Young Fermanagh Unionist

    Its a sad reflection on you when you think Im a double poster slugger moderators will prove otherwise if you desire.

    You will learn on may the 6th that many many unionists will vote for Foster in the election more than Tom will get.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Only time will tell

  • peter

    Who is the Unionist candidate that could win?. My heart says to vote DUP but my gut feeling tells me that Elliot is the man to beat SF.

  • Alan2

    With the decline of the SDLP I don`t think this seat will remain attainable to Unionists for much longer anyhow…a bit like Mid-Ulster. It was always the split Nationalist vote that handed it to the UUP and I think those days are coming to an end.

  • Davros

    It was always the split Nationalist vote that handed it to the UUP and I think those days are coming to an end.

    Alan – ebb and flow – if the UUP get hammered, there could, in effect, be an end to the equivalent split
    within Unionism.

  • Alan2

    This is going to be a SF hold.

    SF SF 34.1%
    UUP UUP 34.0%
    SDLP SDLP 18.7%
    Others Others 13.2%

    SF SF 51.1%
    DUP DUP 31.1%
    SDLP SDLP 16.8%
    Others Others 1.0%

  • Alan2

    Sorry, those figures are for the 2001 Westminster elections.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “i cant vote for the best candidate, Arlene Foster, because Tom is running and i should vote for the Orangemen?”

    The funny thing is that Arlene wouldn’t be allowed to join the OO if she ever wanted to. Women aren’t much use apparently.

  • Alan

    She could join the Ladies Orange Institution..which is for erm..ladies and not men.

  • Fermanagh Unionist

    Unionists in Fermanagh will have a lot to answer for it they vote Tom Elliott is is too weak to be voted for.

    Its either Gilderniew of Foster and if people vote Tom then its going to be Gilderniew.

  • Unionist voter

    The Orange order has many female members.

    Dont rule this race over yet Arlene Foster is putting up a good campaign it could be close.

  • roger

    I see the DUP have an impressive Van which they are using to promote their campaign run by the ever present and excellent councillor Bert Johnson.

    In Contrast the UUP’s is nothing to look at small and pokey with kilaloo music comeing from it and when Tom Eliott does speak its hard to understand what hes saying. Tom looks very alone when I see him around Fermanagh I feel he is this elections Jim Dixon and as much as I hated Cooper I voted for him in the last election because he had the best chance of winning for unionists and this time we have a great candidate in Arlene and I will be voting for her becuase she has the best chance in winning for unionism.

  • Logic Vote

    Well I just voted for Foste via postal vote as she is the only unionist with any chance of winning.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Just so everyone knows the last four posts are all from the same person! Why do they even bother changing their name in the first place?