A worthy aim, but…

THE new UUP leader, Sir Reg Empey, outlines his vision for the future in the Belfast Telegraph. Many parts of it remind me of one of Reg’s pre-election appeals to the ‘garden centre Prod’ and Alliance types: “We’re a pluralist UUP and will represent everyone. No, really.” But if the UUP vision is of a modern, pluralist, inclusive Britishness – a Union for all, if you will – then perhaps choosing loyalist parades as your first issue to highlight isn’t the way to do attract that kind of voter.

Many of the ‘pluralists’ won’t recognise contemporary ‘Britishness’ in parades, and if that is the UUP’s key issue, then Reg is back where he started. They’re larglely tolerant people, prepared to put up with parades if it means that much to people, but it doesn’t really figure amongst their personal concerns.

If Sir Reg can help resolve parade disputes, then fine. And while that will have positive effects for everyone, it will be asking those who just got on with their lives regardless of the circumstances here to be grateful for the resolution of a problem they were never a part of.

Trying to work both sides of the room didn’t work for Trimble.

  • Elvisthedog

    No comments. Says it all.


  • The Watchman

    It would be strange if, at this time of the year, Empey had nothing to say about parades. He’s right in what he says, of course. However, the wider issue is whether the UUP starts to concentrate on the Garden Centre Prod Road To Oblivion (as Duncan Shipley-Dalton has admitted, there is no real polling research about such people), instead of reinventing itself as a competent mainstream unionist party, that is aware of cultural unionism, if not dominated by it.

  • Dick Doggins

    He must be one of the weakest Unionist leaders since the O`Neil days. His only vain hope is in out DUPing the DUP. Won`t hold my breathe though. Maybe he could unite with elememts of the SDLP,those remnants that still hold on to the dream of a Northern state!