UUP leadership contenders…

With only one candidate officially standing for the leadership, there’s plenty of rumours about who else might be standing. Reg Empey is one such. David McNarry is also considering running. But I’m not sure Jude Collins will get many takers on his outside tip of the day – his name sake Colonel Tim Collins.

  • me

    I’ve always said – a UUP containing Sylvia Hermon, Tim Collins, Tyrone Howe, Duncan ‘the Ship’ Dalton and other like-minded souls is precisely what the North needs at the moment. The UUP should stop trying to woo votes from the DUP and start concentrating on those voters who can read,write, and don’t hate Catholics/nationalists/republicans/Irish people generally.

    P.S. Jude would need to be careful casting aspersions on Paisley’s doctorate – yes, we all know it’s a joke – but Paul Daniels said as much ten years ago and ended up on the receiving end of a libel Writ. Still, maybe the DUP’s reluctance to issue writs in the Paul Berry case has heralded a new approach to defamation litigation on their part….

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Me

    “Jude would need to be careful casting aspersions on Dr. Evil’s doctorate”

    Paisley and the DUP generally are notorious for sending out libel writs – but following them up is another matter of course.

    Fact is Paisley’s `doctorate’ is of the honorary variety. In the academic world it is generally considered bad form for people awarded honorary doctorates to style themselves as `Dr’.

    Furthermore, Paisley’s hood was given to him by the Bob Jones University. However, there is a register of colleges in the United States from which doctoral graduates are entitled to be legally regarded as `Dr’ Whomever. BJU isn’t one of them.

    So the fact is that `Dr’ Paisley’s doctorate has neither academic nor legal standing. He isn’t even technically entitled to call himself Dr.

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    By the same logic equally Samuel Johnson should never be referred to as “Dr Johnson”.

    What is the register of US HE institutes? And how many others are not on it?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Bob Jones University isn’t a properly accredited organisation either and it had its charitable tax status removed because it actively promotes a policy of anti-miscegenation. Laughable. Sin of pride very apposite.

    Duncan (the ship) Dalton. Nice to be remembered anyway. Here is hoping the new leadership of the UUP will be someone who creates space for the like of Sylvia, Col Tim, Tyrone et all…

  • la redoute

    Me`s comments had me laughing for ages most really have a dry wit.

  • Me

    Great to her from you Duncan (i’m a fellow member of the library) – seriously – come back over here, gather together some sensible souls and take the UUP into new, constructive and hopefully successful territory.

  • la redoute

    What people want is a party that is honest and effective which the uup hasnt been for a long time.

  • The Watchman

    Yes, a UUP dominated by Sylvia Hermon, Tim Collins, Tyrone Howe, DSD etc. would be ideal ….. for the DUP.

    Folks, what’s the point of enduring an electoral tsunami without learning some lessons? Do you really want the UUP to be the Provisional wing of the Ulster Tatler? Do you take a masochistic pleasure in defeat? Would you not give Peter Punt something to worry about?

    Duncan in particular should own up to his own role in helping to make the UUP unelectable. Or perhaps he thinks that people in South Antrim voted for Willie McCrea because the UUP wasn’t liberal enough.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Very tempting idea I can assure you and its certainly something I am actively considering. I have been paying close attention to the leadership race and may yet be booking a last minute flight to pop over for the contest. It should get interesting.

  • la redoute

    Watchman is quite correct the uup has to learn some serious lessons very quickly the liberal clique has caused this defeat never once did they listen to party members on the ground who rightly said trimble was deeply unpopular.
    No what the party needs to is to listen to its members and to whats its members want.

  • fair_deal

    I can read write and don’t hate the groupings listed but don’t vote for the UUP – did my education go wrong somewhere?

  • davidbrew

    “me” -aka BL the BL, libel cases a speciality perchance?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    “Duncan in particular should own up to his own role in helping to make the UUP unelectable. Or perhaps he thinks that people in South Antrim voted for Willie McCrea because the UUP wasn’t liberal enough.”

    Its more that they stopped voting for the UUP rather than actively switched to McCrea. McCrea lost nearly 1000 votes from his 2001 totals, the problem for the UUP was that Burnside lost 5200. The people of South Antrim are not crying out in their droves to be led by McCrea but the quite obviously not liberal Burnside alternative seems to have made them ferociously apathetic. Unfortunately my theory has never been tested so we just don’t know. Economic theory tells us people seem to like choice so my instinct is that a more liberal minded and better managed, disciplined and organised UUP could do a lot better. Yes. Do I think that all those voters who moved over the DUP can be brought back? No. But it should not be the primary goal of the UUP to try to get them back. There is plenty of room for two unionist parties, in fact there is need for two in order to span the broad spectrum of opinion that is unionism. It often seems to me that people like Watchman seem to forget that the likes of me are as much part of the unionist community (or maybe Diaspora now that I am in the USA) as he/she is. This desire to unify unionist representation seems always to be at the expense of diversity of opinion and us garden centre prods are just naïve fools undeserving of active representation. Its strange for people who talk such a good fight about democracy that they never seem very comfortable with its messy outworking.

    But that is enough I don’t want to get into endless squabbles with anon posters. You have your opinion/theory. I have mine. Maybe one day mine will get properly field tested or maybe it won’t we shall have to see on the 24th June. Thats my last post on the subject for now.

  • Davros

    About Doctorates, snobbery and being careful – serendipity- reading Anthony Cronin’s biography of Flann O’Brien – he frequently skated on thin Ice in his Irish Times column, the Cruiskeen Lawn!
    From an ongoing fight with an academic :

    “He began by questioning O’Rahilly’s credentials. ‘An M.A. by gob? I, too, am an M.A. of the same wretched university and can prove documentarily (by producing the preposterous “thesis”) that the degree, like the university, is a fake. There is, however, nothing fake about being President of any of its colleges.’ In his second article he seized delightedly on the fact that O’Rahilly had chosen to sign himself ‘Dr Alfred O’Rahilly, M.A., D.Sc.’ ‘Note in passing that the sage is a doctor at both ends, which is a most unusual distinction.’ He had great fun with the fact that O’Rahilly had called him a hired humorist. He did not deny that he took money, but, he said, ‘Iformally deny that hired or otherwise, I am a “humorist”. I am a most serious and thoughtful commentator, and a large number of persons and interests have found much of what I have written far from funny.’16 And O’Rahilly’s claim that he was exalting himself into a ‘super-bishop’ provoked one of his most famous witticisms. ‘Really,’ he said, ‘I have no ecclesiastical ambitions … I am merely a spoiled Proust.’

    ( my emphases in bold, pp 178-179, No Laughing Matter by Anthony Cronin)

    p.s. and have learned some great new words that will puzzle the moderators 😉

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Mick

    Sorry, I may be succumbing to senility, but I just checked back on my post, and I could swear I made a comment in which I said that for all his study of the Bible, Paisley had missed the bit about Pride. I’m sure I included the remark in my post, as Duncan seemed to refer back to it. (“Sin of pride very apposite indeed.”)

    Has my post been amended? If so, why? It would be a harsh call to say I was playing the man – I would have thought it was a legitimate criticism to make of such a religiously-driven figure. And certainly there are no grounds for accusations of libel.

    Furthermore, there is no indication that the post has been amended, which is unfair. Surely if a comment has to be edited then it should be edited transparently? Surely you don’t want to go down the road of simply excising extracts?

    What’s going on?

  • Anonymous

    My original post has also been heavily amended without so much as a ‘by your leave’. Again, I hadn’t said anything particularly offensive or controversial. If this is some sort of new editorial policy then we should at least be informed.

    [Ed:] You are welcome here as a guest. I don’t have the time to explain why I may have cut something out of a post. The onus lies with you to make your points as cleanly and effectivly as possible! -Mick

  • Davros

    Billy – as I’m now in latin mode, O me miserum! seems appropriate here !

  • fair_deal

    Duncan SD

    Beggs Snr McGimpsey the Younger et al got equally trounced at the westminster elections and neither had adopted any of the stronger positions that Burnside had. McGimpsey the senior, also got well beaten by the DUP in the second wealthiest and one of the most liberal constituencies in Northern Ireland – how does the liberal UUers explain those results?

    Me

    Hard to vote for a party that I was made as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit when i was a member.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Mick

    “You are welcome here as a guest. I don’t have the time to explain why I may have cut something out of a post. The onus lies with you to make your points as cleanly and effectivly as possible!”

    I appreciate that you’re busy, and I appreciate your hospitality – which I have been enjoying regularly for well over a year now – but frankly I am disquieted by your last post.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Fair Deal. Damn I really didn’t want to get drawn in to a long discussion on this but I don’t want you to think I am ducking that one either.

    You are quite right Beggs Snr and particularly McGimpsey got ‘trounced’ as well. The DUP ran a better campaign, are better organised, are better disciplined and take long term electoral strategy seriously. The UUP is badly organised, is amateurish, has no internal discipline, has no long term electoral strategy, was/is cliquish and has very poor internal mechanisms of communication. But if you look at what I actually said I don’t profess to have a magic bullet that will deliver back the majority position in unionism to the UUP. I think that honour/chalice has fallen to the DUP for many years to come. My concern is that the current leadership of the UUP and particularly those coalescing around the noble Lord are relying on the assumption that the DUP will drop the ball and the masses will once again flock back to their traditional home in the UUP. It’s a horribly arrogant and I believe misguided assumption. They assume that all that is needed is to tinker a little with the party message machine( I use that term loosely) sit back and wait for the votes to roll in. These are people who think installing a new fax machine is party modernisation. I just don’t share this optimistic outlook. My assumption is that the DUP will be on top for a good long while but that there remains a constituency of unionist minded people who can be attracted to vote for a reformed, reorganised and more liberal UUP. The depth and breadth of this constituency is unknown and I don’t profess to know for certain how big it is. But if you accept my contention that the DUP are going to be on top for a while anyway then the UUP has only a few strategies available 1. Wait and hope the DUP drop the ball, 2. Go all Burnside and look to merge with the DUP to form a monolithic single unionist party(do they want him anyway?) 3. Go all Sylvia/Dalton and fully embrace a proper liberal unionist position. My assumption here is that we are looking at long term strategy not a short term one and thus I prefer the last one.

    I can empathise with your feelings of alienation as a member of the UUP. I never really felt accepted either but then the real liberals in the UUP never actually had any real power. We were never given any real influence and our ideas were mostly ignored by the hierarchy who by the way are mostly the same people who have been the party hierarchy for the last 25 years. Its not just a new leader that is need it’s a whole new leadership cadre. It was always frustrating when the ‘liberals’ got the blame but we never actually had our suggestions listened to by the leadership anyway. The UUP has a pretty uncertain future ahead of it right now and I don’t really know how my liberalising suggestion would play out in electoral terms. Sylvia’s result may be simply North Down exceptionalism or it may indicate deeper potential, who knows. Its simply my personal belief that at this point with few other options available its worth a try and that a desire to either merge with the DUP or to try to be an ersatz DUP in the hope the real one will lose momentum is a poor long term strategy.

    Right hopefully that was reasonably polite discourse and I really should stop here before someone pushes my buttons again.

  • Carrington

    Duncan for Leader! Then the DUP really would be laughing their way to the bank!

  • DCB

    Just like the SDLP hasn’t a mission of out-greening SF so the UUP has no hope of out Paislying the DUP.

    SF and the DUP will create a corrupt little African style powersharing of sorts regieme if they ever get the chance and when that happens there will be room for a challange. Better for the UUP to focus on that than hope that if they sound more extreme than the DUP they’ll somehow regain their influence.

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes. Carrington. What a superb wit.

    P.S. – my own guess would be that it will take six minutes or less for this post to be ‘edited’… [Mod. – Got it in 4 :))

  • Davros

    Mod – Do you think the e mail address provided is suitable ?

  • DCB

    Davros

    May not be, but it raised a chuckle

  • Davros

    DCB – I don’t find that sort of filth amusing, especially in the light of Mick’s hard work today.

  • Anonymous

    [Mod – Please keep discussion political]

  • fair_deal

    Me

    It’ll be Mick gets in the neck for crap like that. Get a life.

  • Carrington

    Me.

    Your recent posts are not what one would expect from “decent” people.

  • Carrington

    Anyway back to the issue in hand. As I see it McFarland and McNarry aren’t heavyweight enough and Reg is too associated with Trimble, which leaves us with one choice – step up John D Taylor.

  • Carrington

    I suppose now I can genuinely see what Ulster Unionist members meant when they said there was no-one left in their party with the stature to replace Trimble. With him gone they really are in trouble – it’s not so much a leadership contest as it is picking the best of a bad bunch.

  • Anonymous

    Come on Mick?!?!?!
    Carrington decided to post three times in a row without response – is that now to be considered immune from adverse comment.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    I really should give up here but i have to ask carrington, why? Please explain how in the short to long term Lord Kilclooney will make a difference? Any empirical data to back up that assertion? any useful anecdotal evidence? Just wondered if there was any reasoning behind that assertion and if you could articulate it to me to try to persuade me I am wrong in my own analysis. I feel that an obseesion with who is the heaviest candidate doesnt really get to the heart of the problems the UUP has. Damn this South Beach diet i blew my leadership hopes!LOL.

  • Mick

    I’ve no idea what you posted me. But at least one reader emailed me privately suggesting that I red card you for it. I’ll wait to see what it was for myself, before I make any decisions.

  • hector

    Posted by: DCB at June 3, 2005 05:29 PM
    ‘SF and the DUP will create a corrupt little African style powersharing of sorts regieme if they ever get the chance and when that happens there will be room for a challange’.

    And just where is power-shared in any African state?

  • Mick

    Me, the email addresses you’ve used are enough to red card you alone. Take it that you are now red carded. You’ll be welcome back in two weeks.

  • The Watchman

    I think I’ve identified the essential difference between my perspective and Duncan’s. I believe that the UUP exists to win votes and seats. Duncan (and I hope I don’t misrepresent him) seems to believe in a higher purpose, namely for the UUP to span the broad spectrum of unionist opinion, and that is more important than vote-share. He concedes that the electoral consequences of the UUP moving away from its old roots are unclear. Therein lies the problem. People like Alex Kane have been talking about attracting all those non-voting Garden Centre Prods but no one has yet done any relevant market research, devised a strategy, or considered how to prevent real votes from leaking to the DUP as a by-product.

    I agree with Duncan that the Garden Centre problem has to be solved but I also believe that the UUP’s survival, let alone recovery, will rest on people who currently vote, not those who may (or may not) be persuaded to vote in the future. Riding off into the blue yonder in pursuit of such people is speculative in the extreme. Under Trimble, the UUP torched its voting base and seems terribly surprised by the fact that it can scarcely win a Westminster seat anywhere now. The new leader will have to come to terms with this and be ready to eat some public humble pie.

    I don’t believe that people like Duncan are beyond the unionist pale, but I also don’t believe the moderate tail should ever have been allowed to wag the UUP dog. Sadly a lot of the blame for the wreckage lies with people like Duncan. (Goodness knows, some of us risked RSI explaining again and again why all this would end in tears.) They egged Trimble over the cliff, whilst apparently wanting him to go even further than he did. 2005 has been the most awful lesson for the UUP but I’m not sure it will be taken properly to heart even now.

  • fair_deal

    I have had enough of this Garden Centre Prod stuff. So I’ll put my neck on the chopping block the Garden Centre Prod is a media myth.

    The extra turnout was the result of an unprecedented media campaign involving the local national and international media, dodgy promises from a then very popular Prime Minister and a massively-resourced pro-Agreement campaign with a simple message that was hell to counter (Vote Yes for peace). It dominated the media share in the final week 72% Yes to 28% No. NO party can match it with their resources to get anywhere close to those levels of turnout (as the Assembly election less than a month later showed).

    The rise in turnout was common in ALL Unionist areas it was NOT simply a middle class phenomenon. It was a cross-section who took a chance on the agreement (many of whom I think became disapoointed by the agreement in actualite). The UUP specifically developed a number of campaigns that were supposed to appeal to the Garden Centre Prod and none of it worked e.g. Simply British, the REUNION initiative. The UUP obsession and an growing indifference to working class areas contributed to its electoral decline in working class areas (where the UUP had always maintained a significant if not majority vote).

    I also have a sneaking suspicion that not all of these 100-120,000 are necessarily Protestant/Unionist – A proportion of it was a Catholic/Nationalist vote in very safe Unionist areas that previously lacked any point in voting.

    Any analysis of turnout will show it is working class areas have had the greater decline in turnout in comparison with middle class areas in the last twenty years.

    It is also worth noting that turnout problems are a common problem in the UK and in 2005 the nationalist community faced its first problems with turnout. Although I fully accept Unionism has greater prblems than nationalism and that it is something the Unionist parties especially the DUP has to look at but chasing people who don’t exist won’t work.

    The UUP’s key problem at the last election was not the 100,000 who haven’t voted since 1998 but 40,000 who switched to the DUP and 30,000 of its regular voters who sat at home in the last election (there is no conclusive evidence on whether they are liberal or not yet prepared to make the leap to DUP while Paisley is there).

  • garret

    Unionism is being destroyed starting with the UUP. Unionism is against justice and equality and the GFA is about justice and equality, so the GFA is destroying unionism.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    I don’t like debating anon posters but I am on holiday so what the hell.

    You did misrepresent me actually, but its not a surprise. By the way if something “spans the broad spectrum of unionist opinion” then wouldn’t it also have a larger vote share? My suggestions are not mutually exclusive propositions. I wouldn’t advocate a strategy that offered no prospect of winning any votes other wise what the point of a political party at all? My contention is that the UUP in holding to its roots (and yes it held very firmly to them whatever egging he thinks I may have done) actually distanced itself from a section of the unionist vote and they register that as abstention rather than positive DUP voting. Whatever you might think Trimble never properly embraced the liberalising agenda and he never really listened to me/Alex or a host of other people. I know that a lot of traditionalist members would like to put the blame on the likes of me for the outcome but it’s a cop out and an attempt to evade the reality that the same people have been running the UUP for 25 years and still do. It would be nice to think the moderate tailed wagged anything but I can assure you it was the UUP dog doing all the wagging and those of us in the moderate tail never had any control.

    The problem I see with this is that essentially the solution being offered is get back to ‘traditional’ unionist values. This is basically the hope that a return to old unionism will bring those disaffected DUP converts back to the UUP. I just don’t see it. I cant see what an original UUP branding will offer anything that isn’t already available in a shiny new DUP package. In that case why would our voting consumers switch their brand back? It would be nice to get some serious empirical work done to find out what the demographics and electoral layout really does look like though and until then its all guesswork. You can be no more sure that ‘traditional’ UUP is anymore popular than I think real new formula ‘New Unionist’ UUP would be.

  • fair_deal

    Thank you for the stock prejudice against Unionism.

    You can sleep contented you have struck a blow for the ‘republic’. Just remember any future executive six of the ten ministers will be Unionist and Ian Paisley will be first minister with the Union flag flying over the building when the assembly meets (don’t have nightmares).

  • garret

    “Just remember any future executive six of the ten ministers will be Unionist and Ian Paisley will be first minister with the Union flag flying over the building when the assembly meets (don’t have nightmares).”

    Enjoy it in the little time left before the demographic tide washes away this horrible little sandcastle of supremacy.

  • garret

    ” Just remember any future executive six of the ten ministers will be Unionist and Ian Paisley will be first minister with the Union flag flying over the building when the assembly meets (don’t have nightmares).”

    And who will they be sharing power with? Thats right. And thats why there won’t be this executive. The unionists aren’t up for sharing power. No matter what they say.

  • fair_deal

    “the demographic tide”

    1. So much for all children of the nation when good old sectarianism will do.
    2. This tide is awful slow about coming in.

  • bertie

    Re Paisly’s docorate:-

    Daniels said that he wasn’t a real reverend, ir was to do with an answer to a quiz question about clergy in the House of Commons. I would be suprised if he had another occasion that would lead him to comment about the doctorate.

  • Keith M

    “Enjoy it in the little time left before the demographic tide washes away this horrible little sandcastle of supremacy.”

    UK General Election combined SDLP & SF/IRA voteshare :
    2001 : 42.7%
    2005 : 41.8%

    European Parliament Election combined SDLP & SF/IRA voteshare :
    1999 : 45.4%
    2004 : 42.2%

    If the tide is going anywhere based on recent elections it’s going out for Irish nationalism.

  • Darrell Monteith

    Dr Paisley’s doctorate is issued by Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina and is one of the most eminent Christian Universities in the world. I have visited the place and it is as large and significant as any university I have ever seen in the world.

    Those who make disparaging remarks about the honoury doctorate they gave him many years ago should try to see if they can get one themselves.

    Dr Paisley’s intellect and understanding of the truth of God’s word is second to none and even a cursory reading of his many, many books would show that beyond a shadow of doubt. I have for for the last forty years heard him preach and teach and I believe his personal knowledge of the scripture is without equal.

    On the other hand I know lots of people who study for all sorts of obscure degrees in various universities and never ever use most of what they study but end up in a call centre selling insurance to unsuspecting hoousewife.

    Forget the sour grapes and recognise a great man.

  • vespasian

    It is intersting to think that Duncan Shipley Dalton thinks he might stage a UUP comeback after his performance as an MLA when he was there before.

    After his actions even his own selection committee didn’t seem to want him any more.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    “After his actions even his own selection committee didn’t seem to want him any more.”

    Evidenced by what? Can you detail when and where I was de-selected by my selection committee?

    Didn’t think so. I choose unilaterally to withdraw from the Assembly at the end of my term and to not seek selection as I did not want to share an election platform with Mr. Burnside. That is not the same as being de-selected by my association. Who knows what would have happened had I stood again, or for that matter if I did choose to stand again in the future. The future is an undiscovered country at this point.

    Vespasian if you want to make comments like that don’t hide behind anonymity. What is it about the prospect of my return that so frightens you anyway?

    To the moderator in what sense is this playing the ball? I have reluctantly started to post again after my earlier experience because I feel I can make a contribution to the debate without having to endure endless personal insults and slurs against my patriotism, or personal bravery. If its going to go down this path again perhaps silence is the better option.

  • pakman

    DSD

    you are entirely correct- the future is uncharted territory. However, not so the past. Do you think that you would have been selected by the UUP to defend your SA seat?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Yes.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    But we will never know will we.

  • pakman

    DSD

    I think your 11.32 is very telling- it lacks the certainty of your 11.31.

    You should have resigned your seat (even for a week prior to dissolution) and let Hunter into Stormont just to highlight the rottenness of the entire system.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Infer what you will. Its simply a statement of fact.

  • IJP

    What on earth is ‘traditional Unionism’? What does it offer NI in the 21st century, exactly?

  • Achilles

    I think it’s a pity Sylvia Hermon isn’t taking on the job. She comes across as a decent respectable person, and by the BBC’s account has an excellent record in the H.O.C. I wouldn’t wish Alzheimers on anyone. She probably now wishes she lost her seat too. No matter, it would be a mistake, nay impossible to “Out Paisley Paisley”. Lady Sylvia would have some catching up to do there. Let’s see. According to his biography:- Study for the presbyterian ministy in Wales but don’t complete. Set up your own religion instead. Spend time in the slammer for incitement to riot. Obtain an honourary doctorate from a university which was openly racist, sectarian and homophobic. According to the news on the telly:- Paisley called the pope the antichrist until he had to be physically removed from Parliament (worth the doctorate alone for BJU), danced down the Garvaghy Road in a Sash with David Trimble (to encourage community relations, understanding and bring peace & goodwill to all men no doubt). With such a resume you couldn’t flip burgers at McDonalds, yet he’s lining himself up for First Minister. Back to the UUP. Sir Reg Empey – you get the feeling that if Adams told Empey to sit down and shut up he would. John Taylor – built a political career on a false posh accent, and now a peerage to suit. No substance or ability to think beyond move 1. Ken Maginnis – a man who understands the mind of a person who would pick up a gun for the love of his country (UDR). Basil Mc Crea. Who is this guy?

  • bob wilson

    IJP
    Keep up! I’ve explained before Traditional Unionism is a more polite term for Protestant Unionism – a numbskull political ideology that thinks if we can just rally all the Prods into one circle of wagons we can defeat Sf, SDLP, Rome, RoI, the perfidious British Govt, the EU, the USA…
    Within the ranks of the UUP their are some who reject this thinking but they would be better off in the Conservatives or Lib Dem (or even Labour .. dear Sylvia).
    It is startling how none of the leadership contenders have as yet stated what their new ideas are or what the raison d’etre for the UUP is ..if it is not Traditional Unionism