TRYING to drum up much interest in the UUP leadership battle must be tough, but the Tele columnists are giving it a shot – Gail Walker is jaded by the whole thing and draws parallels with the agonising the Tories are going through right now, while Lindy McDowell reckons that the best potential candidate to emerge so far is the leader of another party – Bob McCartney (QC). But is he really another Carson? Oh, and Alan McFarland has set out his stall, in case you blinked and missed it.
To elect the current frontrunner, Sir Reg Empey, Walker argues, would merely be to repeat the mistakes of the past:
And so, the party which ignored all the warning signs for years, over and over again, is about to do it again. The party that allowed its best young politicos to grow frustrated and angry. That finally forced them either out of the party altogether or so far to the margins it was they, rather than the party bosses, who appeared stubborn and freaky. That made it impossible for its core support to vote for it in the last election.
This party is looking to re-form, re-fashion and re-invigorate itself by doing the same things all over again.