Bob McCartney: next leader of the UUP?

Well stranger things have happened at sea. PA has just published an interview with a UUP source that seems to open the door to Bob McCartney rejoining the party to take the leadership. Slugger hears that although McCartney would not join the party to compete in the race, he might well consider a positive approach in the event that the party was unable to come up with a clean winner from the current set of candidates. It would certainly fit with Burnside’s warning on future co-operation with Sinn Fein. But would McCartney take the UUP anywhere it hasn’t already been?

  • fair_deal

    This is probably an interesting what if scenario but i’d expect my dead dog to be scratching my back door sooner. McCartney did manage to dislodge 30,000 core UUP voters and his articles always had an appeal to a broad cross-section of Unionists. I know most UUers will start screaming about the drop in his vote in North Down (his fall-outs didn’t help, the lack of a party structure but the killer was probably the bigger UUP/DUP battle) The fact the DUP have treated him with kid gloves shows they are still wary of him and his potential reach.

    I think this story is more an example of what remains of the right in the UUP lacks a candidate – McNarry is trying to take the right’s clothes but it isn’t really washing.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Would McCartney not be better of in the DUP? Can anyone realistically see him in the party again? What about the whole backing the DUP against Lady Sylvia in North Down? He can’t just forget about that.

    Maybe he has realised there is a good chance he is going to lose his assembly seat next time round.

  • DCB

    He certainly has talent, but doens’t he also have a Robert Kilroy-Silkesque ability to split already splinter parties to bits.

    I would be surprised if he would be trusted by anyone. Certainly a good candidate to hand the rump of the UUP over to the darkside DUP. And he would make a more believable Darth Vader than Jeffery Donaldson.

  • Bored

    Yeah – a serial ‘faller-outer’ like McCartney is just what the UUP needs at the minute. Christ – these people have all the political sophistication of Sammy Wilson with a hangover…

  • Mick

    Bored,

    Which people?

  • Bored

    Mick – those ‘UUP sources’ suggesting that ‘Mad Bob’ represents the way forward.

  • steve48

    Having been a member of the UKUP before moving to the UUP I have to say that Bob has a fine analytical mind and the ability to dissect political arguements. I have also to say that there is little choose between Bob and DT in their ability to drive members away from their respective parties. I’m afraid Bob is not the answer Ulster Unionism is looking for.

  • seanbheanbhocht

    There is no future for any kind of unionism which does not acknowledge equality. Unionists have had their day. We will never be second class citizens again.

  • DCB

    Steve48 – I suppose being a great baristar does not necessarly imply being a great politican – in fact arguably the opposite.

  • Keith M

    Given the death of talent currently on offer, could McCartney be any worse than the candidates already in the running. He certainly passes John Taylor’s “not associated with the failures of the past” test.

  • Keith M

    “death of talent” = “dearth of talent” obviously…mind you…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bob “I might even take the Labour Whip” McCartney has contributed nothing to the people of NI. I’m not a unionist but I’d be hard pressed to think what he might have contributed to unionism either.

    Keith, Bob’s associated with several major failures in his past, the fUKUP being one of them. Over the long term, the one thing that Bob has been successful at is doing precisely bugger all about anything he gets up to bluster about.

  • Doreen

    Mr McCartney might be a tad devisive (e.g. Dermott Nesbitt, to mention but one); Mr McFarland,on the other hand, seems to me to be a very welcome large gulp of much needed oxygen.

  • Biffo

    Bob McCartney! – nice one Ulster Unionists! The Kilroy-Silk of NI politics – the ego has landed.

  • pakman

    DCB

    “Steve48 – I suppose being a great baristar (sic) does not necessarly (sic) imply being a great politican – in fact arguably the opposite.”

    ?!!!?

  • JDC

    The words that sealed Trimble’s fate:

    “STATEMENT BY THE
    INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON DECOMMISSIONING (IICD)

    21 October 2003

    The following is (a draft version) of a statement made by General John de Chastelain at a press conference at Hillsborough, County Down.

    “The commission has witnessed a third event in which IRA weapons are put beyond use in accordance with the government scheme and regulations.
    The arms comprise light, medium and heavy ordinance and associated munitions.

    They include automatic weapons, ammunition, explosives and explosive material.

    The quantity of weapons involved was larger than the quantity put beyond use in the previous event.

    I do want to make the point – and that is why we have indicated this time – that the amount of arms put beyond use was larger – I would say considerably larger – than the previous event.”

  • Fanny

    This has to be the craziest rat yet to leap from the sinking UUP ship. That such a thing could even be contemplated seriously enough to be worth discussing is astonishing.

  • Chris

    I have to agree with “fanny”…this is ridiculous….why even open a thread on something so stupid?

    McCartney is an idiot. Look what happened to the UKUP…everyone hated McCartney. He is an egotist with the ability to split any party.

    Don’t the UUP need to be reunited?

  • IJP

    Don’t be fooled – the UUP was never united. It’s just it used to get away with it.

  • Jo

    Trimble, and Faulkner before him, got the top job through a reputation for being tough, then, faced with political reality (ie there is a signifcisnt minority who dont vote Unionist and want to have a say in government) both become compromisers, were undermined and were defeated.

    Given that Empey is already sounding tough, he’ll probably get the job, but then view the ignominious spectacle of those who undermined his predecessors themselves make similar compromises to those predecessors, (if they want power, that is)in the safe knowledge that Reg won’t undermine THEM.

  • martin

    They need a hardcore Unionist right wing fanatic

    Someone like Michael Mc Dowell