Collins rules himself out…

TIM Collins has ruled himself out of standing for the UUP leadership, after Lord Kilclooney suggested he would support an outsider of Collins’ stature on Talkback. A new career in the media beckons the ex-soldier, methinks. Kilclooney has also ruled himself out – but he seems unnerved by the prospect of the UUP being led by someone associated with the failures of the past. And that includes all the current candidates.

ADDS: I made a slight correction there after checking something. Kilclooney has actually ruled himself out completely, and I had wrongly suggested he was still interested in the leadership on an interim basis.

  • peteb

    It’s one thing to say, as John Taylor does, that his party needs a new leader “who is not identified with the past, and who has the imagination to advance a radical new approach for the party”…

    But if he has to resort to suggesting someone who isn’t even a member of that party… well.. it’s certainly a radical approach…

  • heck

    could someone even tell me why Collins is even suggested and a UUP leader. All I know is that was accused of shooting at an iraqi civilian, (and aquited by the British Army), that his regiment incorporated the discredited UDR, and that it also bullied recruits. OH -and he made one nice speech.

    Does anyone know his views on the GFA, economics, abortion, gay rights, Europe, –anything of substance?

    Is being able to make one nice speech all it takes to be UUP leadership material?

    Hey what about me? at least I opposed the Iraq war so unlike him I am against violence.

  • slug9987

    I would say his views are standard mainstream British liberal/conservative. He would be a good leader for the UUP.

  • Jo

    Have a flick through his book in Easons, Heck, its not a bad read. The man is more than a uniform – despite what some of the RM would argue here.

    He also had a good rebuttal for Alene Foster on Talkback a couple of weeks ago, it was reported and commented on here, I recall.

  • Bored

    ‘A good rebuttal for Arlene Foster’ – hardly difficult. That said, he’s probably the best of a bad bunch (Lady Sylvia having ruled herself out).

  • Gonzo

    Collins also has that certain quality that Trimble, Empey and many of the UUP leadership lacks – charisma.

    He’s smart enough to turn down the poisoned chalice, but if he did take the offer up, it would make politics here a darn site more interesting.

  • Carrington

    Collins would be a God-send to the DUP – [ed. Mod]

  • Bored

    Mick – eh, forgive my impertinence, but does the clearly defamatory post of Carrington above, not strike one as something worthy of immediate ‘editing’. I assume that this is the sort of stuff that you’re trying to prevent rather than spirited debate?

  • Carrington


    I voluntarilly retract my post, in the spirit of Slugger, and ask the editor to delete it, as I don’t want Mick geeting into grief.

    But I KNOW every word of it is true.

  • slug9987

    Being UUP leader gives you an immediate position within British public life. With a few years in the job comes the offer of a peerage. The job could also lead on to careers within the Conservative party including ministerial responsibility. He should be groomed for the South Belfast constituency. The problem with the job is that it could well be 5 years before the next general election, snd the seat is not guaranteed.

  • fair_deal

    Tim Collins is a member of the UUP (unless he has let it lapse). He joined the East Belfast Ulster Unionist Association after he left the army (when Lord Laird was trying to line him up for a challenge on Peter Robinson). The Conservatives were trying to get him to run as well.

  • fair_deal

    I hereby announce my candidacy for the leadership of the UUP. I can promise it will be taken in a very radical direction under my leadership.

    (Everyone else is so why can’t I?)

  • PatMcLarnon

    His myopic views re the Holy Cross sectarian fest and the revelation that some of the people he commanded had relatives or associations with loyalist paramilitary gangs in the Glenbryn area indicate that he would have been a consistent choice as UUP leader.

  • Traditional Unionist

    He should be groomed for the South Belfast constituency. The problem with the job is that it could well be 5 years before the next general election, snd the seat is not guaranteed.

    with the exception of the nationalist held seats (minus f&st and sb) and probably east belfast and north antrim, tim collins could probably win any other seat in ni he took a fancy to.

  • Achilles

    I suspect the UUP will aim for a high ranking Orange Order person in order to gain more influence through that organisation. Either that or someone high profile to attempt to swing unionist interest towards the party.

    I do hope that the party can develop a leadership of personality and not extremeism as a route to recovery.

  • Roger

    Why Collins is even being considered is absurd of his owwn admission he is unqualified.

    T Unionist the only seat he could take is Willy McCreas the DUP need to put a better candidate in here next time.

    It doesnt say much for the UUP leadship contenders when Taylor suggests that an outsider would be better.

  • Traditional Unionist

    you telling me a modern day war hero couldnt beat wilson/campbell? even with the majorities there, it could be done.

  • Chris

    John Taylor is an old fool.

    I cannot believe he thinks Tim Collins would be a good leader of the UUP. He’s being living in the army “bubble” for the last 22 years….what a stupid suggestion.

    If nobody else is good enough..why has he ruled himself out of the race?

    All I know is, whoever becomes leader needs a united party behind him. All the arguments need to stop. Thats the one thing Ian Paisley is good at. Everyone in the DUP is so scared of him, nobody dissents..

  • Roger

    T Unionist

    So what your saying is that everybody is going to leave the DUP to vote for Collins, when you say he is a war hero it was not a very popular war so that is not in his favour.

    I watched hom on a BBC programme hosted by Mark Crethers and he was really no match for anybody he was tied in knots many times so in answer to your question no he wouldnt beat Wilson, Robinsons, Campbell, Dodds, Paisley, Donaldson and Simpson the only hope he would have is against the hugely unpopular McCrea.

  • heck

    could you imagine him refusing to talk to Sinn Fein because they support violence?

    maybe he could claim they supported an illegal way that killed innocent civilians

    and maybe he could tell the northern ireland paramilitaries that they are wimps because their war only killed a few thousand people. He is a professional because his war killed a few hundred thousand.

    he was a professional killer for the whole of his working life. Maybe it’s ok to kill for the queen but evil to kill because you oppose the queen.

    unionists refusing to share power with people “who support violence” is a load of sh***

  • Traditional Unionist

    it was not a very popular war

    less so in northern ireland than anywhere else. it was largly only champane socalist students who opposed it, the electorate generally were no worse than mildly sceptical.

    he was tied in knots many times

    you clearly didn’t watch the same programme I did.

  • DCB

    He’s certainly not the safe pair of hands candidate – but I would have thought that that’s the last sort of candiate the UUP need right now.

    There so down on the chips that its far better to go all in on Collins.