Another UUP no show…?

Slugger hears through the grapevine that Michael McGimpsey was not the only senior UUP politician not to show up for an arranged appearance. Reg Empey apparently did not appear at the FSB’s meet the politicians session in the Europa tonight.

  • IJP

    At least McGimpsey sent a substitute!

    What does this tell us about Ulster Unionists’ attitudes to small business?!

    Why don’t they do us all a favour and not bother turning up on 5 May either?!

  • hoots

    “What does this tell us about Ulster Unionists’ attitudes to small business?!”

    Michael Copeland might have been a good substitute for tonights session.

    Then again,maybe not.

  • Intelligence Insider

    IJP, I have already made an offer of accepting a bet on another column (and in all constituencies) but I will gladly offer you 2 times the price of any bookmaker in Northern Ireland on election day on an alliance candidate to win any seat! For you I won’t even ask for £1000, I will accept a bet of £100 or more.Alliance have been derided in the past as being pro-agreement stooges, that is clearly wrong. Their attempt to bring down the UUP in these elections and help to elect DUP candidates show that Alliance have abandoned the GFA and are actively trying to insure that the DUP are elected in marginal pro-union constituencies. A vote for the Alliance Party is the same as a vote for the DUP.

  • Traditional Unionist

    Wonder how many seats will have a DUP majority of less than the combined UUP APNI vote….

  • Gonzo

    Who knows… if the DUP destroy the UUP, it might clear the centre ground for Alliance to take advantage off after the election.

  • guggler

    Mr ‘Gonzo’

    Kindly repair to bed for a lie-down sir, you’re clearly “ripped to the tits with the brandy” as my late step-son might well have opined.

    Thank you.

  • Traditional Unionist

    Who knows… if the DUP destroy the UUP, it might clear the centre ground for Alliance to take advantage off after the election.

    and charlie kennedy will be prime minister.

  • IJP

    II

    Thanks for another example of unbelievable arrogance.

    Perhaps you could explain for us the difference between the DUP or the UUs, and why we should be so concerned about the latter’s survival?

    Tribal politics will never deliver genuine stability – I’m not a betting man, but you can have any odds you like on that.

  • IJP

    Mr Guggler

    Welcome back, Sir.

    If I may be so bold as you say so prior to my retirement at this tardy hour, this place has been a damned slight duller without you.

    Go raibh maith agat agus oíche mhaith, as they whisper in Bangor West…

  • Alan

    The meeting was a pretty lacklustre affair. presentations were poor or disjointed. Most of the panelists looked jaded. Perhaps for a reason :-

    McDonnell – *I wouldn’t wish an election on my worst enemy.*

    Weir – * Yes you would!*

    The interesting points were on a question of how to improve the tax position for small businesses on which Peter Weir did creditably (mind you as he says – he is a barrister and accountant.)

    Alistair McDonnell gave a spirited ( yes, spirited) defence of the ending of the 11+ which will give me cause to pause when I append the X.

    John O’Dowd dumped himself in it when he started eulogising the benefits of a 5 million All-Ireland market in insurance and one of the other panelists ( was it Alderdice?) suggested he might compare it with the 50+ million in GB or the 500 million in Europe or the 5 billion globally. Time to review the business economics of unity perhaps?

    The UUP were conspicuous ( and I mean stuck out like a sore thumb)by their absence.

  • davidbrew

    But where was Reg? Speculation includes
    a/ pounding the streets for every last vote to squeak the seat was more important;
    b/pounding the streets for every last vote to squeak third place in the seat was more imoportant;
    c/at Eastwoods putting a twenty on himself for leader apres le deluge on 5th May was more important;
    d/trying to catch Jim Rogers who’s been running round the Oval in ever decreasing circles all weekend intoxicated with the unusual and heady sensation of having been on the winning side for once (damn those Glens)

  • Rebecca Black

    “Why don’t they do us all a favour and not bother turning up on 5 May either?!”

    Better direct that at your own party, the UUP are at least going to win some seats unlike Alliance, who to be entirely honest doesn’t stand a chance

    It only remains to ask why do the Alliance Party even bother to contest Westminster Elections, if they wish to see a Northern Ireland dominated by the DUP and Sinn Fein and the progress hard fought for to slide then they are certainly going the right way about it. And IJP, thats not arrogance, thats a reality check.

  • yerman

    Rebecca
    I’m no particular fan of the Alliance Party but they have the same right to stand as every other party – why are the UUP standing in Foyle? They have no chance of winning it? Same goes for West Tyrone, Mid Ulster, Newry & Armagh, South Down etc etc. Its pretty warped logic to say that a party should just run if they are going to win the seat. What about offering the voters a choice?

    Also, why do you assume that the Alliance Party should be the sacrificial lambs in an attempt to save the suicide squadrons of the Ulster Unionist Party? It is absolute arrogance in the extreme to demand that the Alliance Party simply rolls over to your demands and it is also an insult to the intelligence of the average person in Northern Ireland.

    Why do you believe that your party has a divine right to win elections? Is that not a matter for the people to decide? If enough people want the UUP to represent them, whether Alliance is in the race or not, then they will elect them. If they dont then they will vote for someone else – its as plain and simple as that.

  • pakman

    Rebecca Black

    “the UUP are at least going to win some seats”

    Which ones?

    As for APNI representation in Westminster I thought the Turtle had tried the lure of the Upper House on Ford. As I recall by way of a bribe to stand aside in unionist constituencies.

    PS any chance of the corroboration sought on another thread?

  • IJP

    Rebecca

    What are you talking about?

    If you don’t stand, you can’t win – not now, not ever.

    We’ve learned from 2001. You obviously haven’t.

    The DUP’s and SF’s success came on the back of long-term strategy. Note bene…

  • Rebecca Black

    “while the mainstream parties in the UK ignore the North entirely?”

    fine, name one seat that you stand even an outside chance of winning.

    “The DUP’s and SF’s success came on the back of long-term strategy.”

    I don’t think it has, I think their success has come from the depressing state that Northern Irish politics is in, history has proved again and again that when times are bad and seem bleak people turn to extremes because they frustrated with how things are going.

    (Although I do like the election posters that Alliance have been putting up.)

  • davidbrew

    not quite as funny as last week, but cynical souls might suspect the UUP campaign to self destruct is in fact being carefully choreographed by Lord Ballyedmund (blackadder?) as part of a cunning FF plan to hook up with his old mates in the Irish Senate:0).Pity the UUP are now so practically irrelevant that their demise will hardly be noticed.

    Though to be fair , having seen the Peter Robinson PEB on the DUP website, it is brilliantly, scandalously direct in kicking the UUP- superb as entertainment, but not necessarily that helpful for information. The only thing missing was a coffin for the Gimp to emerge from after dark. Who says knockabout politics is dead?

  • IJP

    Rebecca

    I didn’t write the first comment you’re asking me to reply to, so I can’t respond on that.

    However, we’ve been moderately close in North Down on a number of occasions and were within three-figures of East Belast in 1979. There is no reason, down the line, why Alliance shouldn’t make a similar challenge again.

    I don’t think it has…

    With respect (and in your case I genuinely mean that!), this is the Ulster Unionists’ (and SDLP’s) problem – they are not living in 2005 and they haven’t noticed what’s happened!

    They haven’t grasped that both the DUP and SF have had a deliberate strategy of gradually eating into their vote (and even their members) in a targeted way. Just look at the DUP: firstly rural evangelists, then God-fearing working-class Prods, then any working-class Prods, and now barristers, doctors and the works…

    The utter failure of the UUs and SDLP to compete strategically is responsible for their comparative collapse.

  • Traditional Unionist

    However, we’ve been moderately close in North Down on a number of occasions and were within three-figures of East Belast in 1979. There is no reason, down the line, why Alliance shouldn’t make a similar challenge again.

    and charlie kennedy will be prime minister!

  • Paul P

    In the months that lie ahead alot of UUP supporters and members are going to leave go once and for all of Trimble and Trimbleism. Surely they will find a home in Alliance?

  • IJP

    TU

    and charlie kennedy will be prime minister!

    I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a LibDem PM in our lifetime, no.

    Paul P

    People who recognize on the basis of the past eight years that the political process will only lead to stability if it is carried out by people who have all the people of NI’s interests collectively at heart will find a home in Alliance – whether their preference is for the Union or not.

    Those who believe in sectarian carve-up will not.

    But let’s not be fooled – most Ulster Unionist public representatives would not qualify on that basis as they continue to support carve-up. But yes, some (and some in the SDLP) would and they will be more than welcome. (Particularly if they’re under-30 and can further bolster the youth wing…!)