Lindy McDowell exams the case for taking in party outsider Bob McCartney as the new party leader of the UUP. That he’s a controversialist, she argues, could well work in his favour. He would certainly re-awaken interest in the party’s fortunes:
Part of the UUP’s problem as a party has been that, within the electorate, it no longer inpires vivid emotions like love and hate. Or even all that much interest anymore. The party hasn’t just lost its way. It’s lost its heart. It doesn’t just need direction. It needs resusitation. Electric shock treatment. And Bob McCartney could well be the man with the defibrillator.
And, she notes:
McCartney isn’t afraid of taking flak – or of taking an unpopular stance. But he’s light years away from the unthinking intransigience of the backwoods unionist.
As she points out, all it requires is for the UUC to say no to the other contenders, for Bob to get his chance to run.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty