UUP needs vision more than platitude

Talk of the UUP’s rightful place, and Reg Empey’s description of his party as a ‘broad church’ have the ring “an epitaph masquerading as a birth certificate“, according to Newton Emerson. He goes on quote Lurgan DUP MLA Stephen Moutray: “The UUP does not have any rightful place. It is the people who dictate who will speak for them.”

  • fair_deal

    To be fair to RE (I must be going liberal in my old age being fair to Sir Reg whatever next) expecting a full developed programme so early into a leadership is a bit much. However, he doesn’t even seem to have in mind a process for developing the programme and that is worrying.

    I was talking to a UUer the Twelfth night and he was vociferously claiming that the Hermon/McFarland camp are fully prepared to challenge Reg at an early juncture. I personally thought it sounded daft but he believed it. If Reg is to see them off he will most certainly have to do better than the Irish news interview.

  • fair_deal

    To be fair to RE (I must be going liberal in my old age being fair to Sir Reg whatever next) expecting a full developed programme so early into a leadership is a bit much. However, he doesn’t even seem to have in mind a process for developing the programme and that is worrying.

    I was talking to a UUer the Twelfth night and he was vociferously claiming that the Hermon/McFarland camp are fully prepared to challenge Reg at an early juncture. I personally thought it sounded daft but he believed it. If Reg is to see them off he will most certainly have to do better than the Irish news interview.

  • bertie

    FD

    Like you I’m not a fan of RE, but he does have an uphill battle and any party in such a situation can be expected to flonder a bit. A few platitudes would be par for the course.

    Are McFarland and Hermon in a camp? If so how deep does this alliance go or is not being in the RE camp?

  • fair_deal

    Bertie

    “Are McFarland and Hermon in a camp? If so how deep does this alliance go or is not being in the RE camp?”

    I am repeating the argument presented to me, one I have already expressed some scepticism about. If it is true then it seems the UUP is determined to go down the Conservatove party road to doom. I will provide it as it was presented to me but it may not fully answer your questions.

    McFarland’s candidature was Hermon’s proxy as Jack’s illness prevented her from running. This camp believe that the UUP’s mistake was not being pro-Agreement or liberal enough and that they will get the mystical Garden centre prod if they go down this line.

    They believe that if Slyvia Hermon had been the candidate this would have been enough to swing the result at the UUC in their favour (only a 3% swing or about 25/30 votes were needed). They seem to think there support is solid while Reg’s is made up of a range of groups that could fall out easily enough.

    They have two scenarios:
    1. Reg doesn’t deliver ie doesn’t become liberal enough or his supporters fall out, Alan challenges and can get the required swing.
    2. Reg doesn’t deliver or his supporters fall out, Jack has passed on/Slyvia changes mind, she runs and gets the required swing.

  • Ginfizz

    If I had suggested Lady Sylvia Hermon as leader of the UUP two years ago I would have been laughed out of the room – the fact that she is even considered a serious contendor is demonstrative of just how far the Official Unionists have fallen.

    I mean, am I the only person who sees what a joke this woman is?

  • bertie

    FD

    thanks for that. I’m torn. I still have a residue of affection for the UUP and I like to have a choice of parties to support. On the other hand if they elect her ladyship, I will know that I couldn’t possibly support them again and things would be simpler.

    Analysis that the UUP lost votes because it wasn’t pro-agreement is interesting to say the least. Or maybe they meant they lost Alliance votes.

  • Biffo

    Just a pity the gerrymander option is no longer available, they could really do with it now.

  • The Watchman

    I think the whole premise of Emerson’s article, namely that the UUP can only recover if it embarks on an ultra-liberal direction, is just plain wrong for reasons I have explained elsewhere. (Any more Irish News columnists to shoot down while I’m at it?)

    There is no future for the UUP if the Tatler Tendency is allowed to take full control of it. Even its unofficial spokesman Duncan Shipley-Dalton has admitted that there is no hard statistical evidence that there is a vast bloc of non-voting garden centre Prods out there to be mobilised by Her Ladyship. I think Fair Deal’s explanation of voting trends is much more credible. If the UUP is to recover, it will have to compete directly with the DUP, not leave the DUP to clean up outside North Down.

    Given the closeness of the UUC vote and the UUP’s likely flatlining for at least the short term, it would not come as a surprise if there is plotting against Empey from the Tatler Tendency. Unfortunately, as the UUP has narrowed in breadth over the last decade, its extreme liberal wing has become proportionately more important. One suspects that it will move by stealth.

    McFarland is a more viable candidate for that wing than Her Ladyship.

  • Waitnsee

    I think you’ve misread the article Watchman – Emerson isn’t saying the UUP needs to be more liberal to recover, he’s saying it needs to be more liberal to have any hope of surviving at all.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    “Even its unofficial spokesman Duncan Shipley-Dalton has admitted that there is no hard statistical evidence that there is a vast bloc of non-voting garden centre Prods out there to be mobilised by Her Ladyship.”

    An absence of the gathering of such statistical evidence should not be taken as evidence of an absence of the existence of such potential voters. Besides there is evidence in the form of the number of unionist voters who appear not to participate in elections, the low turn out in many unionist areas, and the rate of effective transfer evidence from the 1998 assembly elections. It is simply the case that no one has done the work to accurately gather the necessary statistical evidence in the form of more accurate polling.

    My view is that such evidence needs to be gathered and a clearer picture of the non voting community gathered in order to determine what does or does not motivate them Please do not misrepresent this as some kind of admission that I no longer advocate the pursuit of this group. The UUP will compete with the DUP but it will do it by building its own strong new unionist message not by pandering to the lowest common denominator. People will return to the UUP when it is seen to be an effective political movement, with a clear sense of its own vision and a degree of ideological cohesion. Ersatz DUP was always, and always will be a dead end for the UUP. The UUP has to earn its place in unionism and gets nothing as of right.

    Although if it makes you any happier there is statistical evidence that the majority of unionists, including a majority of DUP voters, still broadly support the parameters of the Belfast Agreement. They want it renegotiated not destroyed.

    By the way I never ever read the Tattler, or took any interest in it. I don’t like that kind of high society self congratulation so how the hell I am in the Tattler wing? You want to call me liberal go ahead I am happy to be described as liberal. It a badge of honour and long and honourable political tradition. Also ‘New Unionist’ works for me as well! But knock the Tattler crap on the head.

    By the way good article Newton but give Reg a chance its still early days and I reckon he deserves a good shot at it. I will reserve any judgement until at least the New year.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    And it has just occurred to me watchman that a great deal of your personal bile for me probably comes from your ‘friends of the union’ friendship with Mr Burnside! That’s makes a degree of sense now.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    “A man who turned down a place at Cambridge in favour of the tutorials on offer driving Enoch Powell round his constituency, and then worked as Jim Molyneaux’s bag carrier when he was party leader.”

    Pop quiz watchman. Who is this columnist talking about? And talking of lack of evidence how many students with no entry qualifications were offered paces at Cambridge to study history? It’s a question that always troubled me.

  • Waitnsee

    Well, that certainly seems to have shut Watchman up.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    we should be so lucky!

  • bertie

    Is being in Friends of the Union a term of abuse or was that just an incidental part of the sniping?

  • Moderate Unionist

    bertie
    You are getting so into this you may have to join the UUP 🙂

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Why would it be abuse? There is nothing wrong with FofU. It simply provides an interesting nexus point for two personalites and might go someway to understanding why watchman seems keen to promote me to unofficial spokesman for the Tattler brigade.

  • VerucaSalt

    “A man who turned down a place at Cambridge in favour of the tutorials on offer driving Enoch Powell round his constituency, and then worked as Jim Molyneaux’s bag carrier when he was party leader.”

    Who was that?

  • Springvale

    Thats an interesting comment from fair_deal although i dont see it.

    Im hearing from some interesting sources that the Robinson wing of the DUP are getting rather impatient, especially in light of the unfortunate Berry incident and that if things dont go their way in September, they might have enough support to challenge Paisley.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Springvale
    It’s always good to introduce a little humour into the proceedings.

    As for the demise of the UUP. I doubt it.

    Hopefully all political parties will have to face the reality of telling their supporters that negoitation means that some goals will not be attained and a number of “sacred cows will have to be slaughtered”.

    Then we might move things on abit. Alternatively, we can just “stick to our guns”. No pun intended.

  • Springvale

    Hopefully all political parties will have to face the reality of telling their supporters that negoitation means that some goals will not be attained and a number of “sacred cows will have to be slaughtered”.

    Yeah maybe Robinson will tell the DUP faithful in September that Paisley, the sacred cow had to be sacrificed.

  • fair_deal

    Springvale

    I don’t see it either.

    The Robinson rumour has been around forever and a day, it can usually be put in the category of UUP wishful thinking or some spinning by the DUP to keep the media and the NIO guessing. Not much point in being impatient with Paisley as its the Provos we are all waiting for (again) and if the continuing leaks in the Sunday Business Post etc are anything to go by the Provo statement is getting less and less significant.

    The media have been in a spin about the factions in the DUP since they became the dominant party but as an outsider the strong impression I have gotten from DUP friends and contacts is it is mostly a figment of Martina Purdy’s imagination. Like any party factions exist but there is an underlying consensus about where the DUP wants to go.

    I can’t see Robinson having enough support to challenge Paisley if I am wrong on that his majority would be tight.

    Robinson is a intelligent and skilled politician and of those two scenarios is not good enough. He knows Paisley is needed to sell the deal so getting rid of him is stupid and he only has to look at the UUP to see what happens if you try and take a Unionist party into a political deal when you have a bare majority in the party.

  • bertie

    MU

    I reckon I’d be as welcome as a fart in a space suit!

    DSD
    Am I the only one using this site who hasn’t a clue who Watchman is, or who he is supposed to be. I am a member of FOTU but I’m still stumped.

  • realitycheck

    “Robinson is a intelligent and skilled politician and of those two scenarios is not good enough. He knows Paisley is needed to sell the deal so getting rid of him is stupid and he only has to look at the UUP to see what happens if you try and take a Unionist party into a political deal when you have a bare majority in the party.”

    Absolutely, and further from that, it would be a very foolish man who challenged Paisley, that man has God like status among his most fervent supporter, and now in his twiligh years Robinson just needs to sit tight and let well enough along, the man who is seen as stabbing Paisley in the back will be hated beyond belief by the true Paisleyites

  • Moderate Unionist

    fair deal
    Agree with your analysis. Paisley is absolutely essential to sell any deal. What happens after that is anybody’s guess. My guess for what’s worth is succession planning, but Big Ian is unassailable. Big Ian is the DUP.

    bertie
    What makes you think that? It might be easier to address the issues that concern you, as part of a group. You have a choice of parties. If you want to change policy or implement it more effectively you must chose the organisation that would be most receptive to new thinking. Perhaps you should talk to them both.

  • I reckon

    “Robinson is a intelligent and skilled politician and of those two scenarios is not good enough. He knows Paisley is needed to sell the deal so getting rid of him is stupid and he only has to look at the UUP to see what happens if you try and take a Unionist party into a political deal when you have a bare majority in the party.”

    Absolutely, and further from that, it would be a very foolish man who challenged Paisley, that man has God like status among his most fervent supporter, and now in his twiligh years Robinson just needs to sit tight and let well enough along, the man who is seen as stabbing Paisley in the back will be hated beyond belief by the true Paisleyites

  • fair_deal

    Realitycheck agrees with me! NURSE! 😉

  • bertie

    Fair deal

    such is the power of Slugger. Hope you are feeling better soon.

    MU

    I’ve seen how the UUP has treated people like me. As an arch Arlene supporter I would not expect that there would be an outpouring of joy in the UUP to have me, unless it was seen as her support dwindling and this would re-energise what Ted refers to as the ABBA (Anyone But Bloody Arlene)wing of the UUP. If I was tolerated I suspect that it would only be because I was not important enough to be considered a problem – too irrelevant to be hated.

    Besides I would prefer not to have to join any party. Party loyalty can often obscure what the parties came into being to deliver on. I would much prefer to be part of a pan unionist front, (without the UVF/EDP etc.), which can operate outside party structures, that does not need to worry about winning elections, but which can focus on elements which can unite unionists, using the skills and ideas of people who also have not found a home within a party (as well as those who have). This is why I joined Friends of the Union.

    Here ends the non party political broadcast on behalf of the Friends of the Union.

  • Moderate Unionist

    bertie
    Why don’t you join Arlene in the DUP?

  • bertie

    MU my second paragraph is my main reason. I know that we need political parties and that we need to have people in them. But I don’t see that the world would be any different by me joining one. I’d just have a label.

  • Moderate Unionist

    bertie
    If everybody took that view we would have nobody in a political party. Independents don’t do well because they don’t have enough credibility or resources behind them, but I don’t have a monopoly on politican direction so I respect your analysis and wish you well.

  • Ginfizz

    Thw whole tenor of this piece seems to be urging Reg to adopt exactly the same approach that Trimble tried in the past – that worked, right enough! Newton Emerson should put aside this nonsense of being a UUP supporter and go and join the Alliance – that is clearly where his political loyalties lie.

    There is clearly no appreciation that political parties exist to win elections – Reg will not do this by pursuing the line that Newton advocats. The difficulty facing the UUP is that they have been totally triangulated, to use Clinton-speak: like it or not boys, the DUP is now “mainstream” – how the UUP regains the centre-right of Unionism, where elections are won and lost I don’t know, but that’s what is needed if they are to stop the slide and mount anything approaching a credible challenge in forthcoming election contests. The appointment of Danny Kennedy as Deputy Leader is surely demonstrative of just how little talent the UUP has to offer.

    Fishing for votes in the centre-ground, Alliance/Soft SDLP pool worked in 2001, because the fight in Unionism was still very close, and it was enough to tilt the balance in South Antrim, Upper Bann and North Down (where it remains enough today).

    That inter-Unionist fight has now been won so convincingly by the DUP that even if every Alliance vote were added to the UUP total, I don’t think it would make a difference in any seat that the DUP holds or is targetting.

    Newton Emerson wants a party that panders to his sense of superiority – Hermon Uber-Liberal Unionism is ideally suited to him, but it revolts the vast majority of ordinary “decent” Unionists.

    Pursue the logic of this article and the UUP will continue to plummet like a stone.

    PS. Post-Paisley those people who vote UUP simply out of hatred for The Big Man will have less reason for doing so, and that hardcore of support may start to break up.

  • The Watchman

    One of my comments seems to have gone missing probably for some technical reason. So may I repeat it.

    Duncan, if you think you know who I am, please could you “name and shame” me. Go on, I want to see you making a fool of yourself when you suggest the name you’re thinking of.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Fair_deal is right, the only way Paisley leaves is feet first. Under no circumstances would Robinson be daft enough to challenge him directly. His chance will come when he fights Little Paisley, McCrea and Dodd’s for the leadership. Besides the whole game right now is about the Provo’s, without a significant move by them there is nothing doing. Robinson wont take any major chances with DUP support by going after a deal he cant sell and he needs Paisley to sell it. The hard part of course is selling it to Paisley himself or at least to Jr to stop him chucking in a spanner again.

    On another note fair_deal you didn’t buy my house in Bloomfield but did you move up that way anyway? Still working at the same place?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    I didn’t realise you were ashamed of your views and that was the reason for the nom de plume!

    Why don’t you just tell us instead of all this ridiculous hiding away. If you comments would be received differently due to the exposure of your real name what does that say about the power of your argument? Unless you have a specific -I would lose my job- rational for hiding behind a secret identity then it is simply moral and intellectual cowardice to use a nom de plume in my view. I am aware of who you are and anyway I wouldn’t believe you if I offered that name and you refuted it. So I wont bother.

  • Waitnsee

    Ginfizz, I’ve read and re-read your comment and from what I can see you actually agree with Newton Emerson. You just don’t realise it!

  • bertie

    Moderate Unionist

    If I was to be come a politician I would have to pick a party because, as you say, independants don’t really get anywhere.

    Thank you for you good wishes which I return. It is the advantage of slugger that you get the chance to explore issues with people that you would not normally interact with. I don’t meet many pro agreement unionists and to be honest I don’t exactly go out of my way to. I do appreciate the fact that you haven’t dismissed my opposition to the agreement as being merely based on bigotry, which is which a lot of other pro-agreement unionists throw at us.

    I have to go and lie down now. I have just being agreeing with an Alliance supporter (Young Fogey) on another thread. Fair-deal and reality check have found something to agree on as well, so before I apply to join the SDLP, I must rest.

    Fair-deal when the nurse has finished with you send her my way please.

  • fair_deal

    DSD

    Good guess Duncan.

    Campbell should be included in your list.

    No marriage split up about a year after that so still living in a nice working class part of south Belfast. I have moved jobs twice since then too.

    Bertie

    Get your own nurse mine is still busy 😉

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    fair_deal,

    Sorry to hear about your marriage, I wasn’t aware of that. Well I hope that otherwise you are keeping well. We had our differences but I never felt it was nasty or personalized with you. Just an honest difference of opinion.

    I am not so sure about Campbell. He has some positives but he is not in the same intellectual league as Dodd’s or Robinson. Jnr and McCrea get in because Paisley snr would like to see McCrea take over as the most Free P pure of his acolytes and Jnr because his family name will give him a certain amount of pull(not enough to counterbalance his other deficiencies though). I wish it could be McCrea but I would put my money on Dodd’s. I reckon Robinson will always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. My own view is that the Free P thing will pip it for Dodd’s who can unite both wings, secular and religious. Robinson is at the Whitewell Tabernacle and the Free P’s just don’t brook that kind of dissent from the one true word! The DUP is a political movement but it is also a religious movement at it roots and in many of its organizing principles. That internal tension will surface at some point and play out in any leadership contest and that’s why my money is on Dodd’s.

  • fair_deal

    Marriage – thank you for your kind words. That’s life and things are presently going well for me.

    Send my regards to Jim Cooney if he is still at the Kennedy school (if he remebers me I was on a Leaders for tomorrow programme there in 96).

    On personalities and politics, I have always operated on the principle that I walk into a room talking to a person, we can shout bawl name call etc in the room over an issue but when I walk out I will still be talking to the person. Its how I was brought up, my immediate family is always considered argumentative and blunt with one another by outsiders but it’s this honesty that keeps us close. Though I must admit this approach has gained me a somewhat negative reputation. I have also found that being talked to everyone means you are better informed but no one trusts you – such is life.

    (This policy of openess has one notable exception who I have sworn I will s***, p*** and dance on his grave).

    I think you underestimate Gregory. The Free P section starting drifting off from McCrea’s potential candidature for a few years now, drifting chiefly to Dodds as a means of stopping Robinson. Papa Doc wouldn’t be able to deliver the church vote for the son either IMO. Robinson’s role as the enforcer in the party will hurt him just as it hurt Brown in the last Labour leadership election

    Dodds is young enough to wait. If it is a contest between Robinson and Dodds, Campbell could have a potential kingmaker role, he’d certainly be an able deputy.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    I might be underestimating Gregory but I had a long conversation with him once about why the DUP had chosen not to boycott the Assembly in 1998. My view was that had they done so it would have quickly been fatal to the UUP position and would have collapsed the agreement far sooner. By not doing so they implicitly accepted the parameters of the agreement and tied themselves to operating within those parameters at some future point if they did supplant the UUP. Essentially therefore their opposition to the Agreement was a temporary political tactic and not a principled position and was a little hypocritical. He just didn’t seem to offer any good arguments beyond ‘we are not an abstentionist party’ and so I was underwhelmed by him. Probably a solid deputy though.

    I will send regards to Jim when I next see him, he is pretty good at remembering people. Now that’s intriguing:

    (This policy of openness has one notable exception who I have sworn I will s***, p*** and dance on his grave).

    Does the name start with a B and end in side? Because if so I can fully empathize. I have no problem with heated discussion and can get over it but what pissed and still pisses me off is the assumption by some people that an ulterior motive existed to drive my positions. The ‘he only did it for the job in the Assembly’(yea right that has worked out well for me!) or the really irritating ‘Vichy unionist’ crap were very aggravating. To support the Agreement was a different choice but it does not translate directly into perfidy or weakness. I had genuine reasons and I went with what I believed to be right. I always accepted that others had a different view and could mostly respect that(not when it was evidently sustained by sectarianism though). It would have been nice if some others could have worked a bit harder at respecting my views and my motivations and also if I had been able to better manage my own emotions and temper to better understand theirs. But you live and learn I suppose and it all makes us better people. Glad things are positive for you and hopefully I will be in Belfast again next year to buy you a beer and have a raging argument! :)…

  • fair_deal

    No not him, this person isn’t in the UUP and not particualrly high profile simply a personal thing about me wanting to meet him up a back alley with a baseball bat (Honest officer I thought this was first base ;-))

    The conspiracy theories of your motivations went much deeper than those you mentioned.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Oh god not that old MI5 chestnut again! I should have sued that dick I really should!

  • The Watchman

    No, Duncan, believe it or not, I’m not actually ashamed of any opinions I hold. However, on that subject, someone who voted for the Agreement, for Sinn Fein in government, for the release of prisoners and for the dismembering of the RUC might be more familiar with shame that myself. Or perhaps I’m being optimistic.

    Lots of people on Slugger, perhaps the majority, post anonymously. Many people simply cannot afford, for a variety of reasons, to be linked publicly with a political opinion. The point is that people can be candid under a pseudonym in a way that they could not be if they were identifiable. I don’t have to justify my entirely sound reasons for anonymity to you, any more than Fair Deal, Bertie, Fermanagh YU etc. should have to justify their anonymity to me. It also doesn’t affect the quality (or otherwise) of my argument. If the argument winds up you or Roy Garland, good. It’s the least people like you deserve after wrecking the party.

    You say you know who I am and in that case, you should state it publicly here, rather than mounting your high horse in a priggish fashion. Stop being a coward and come out with a name. I’m slightly flattered that several people seem eager to unmask me and can easily guess who you think I am. All I will say is that I hope the Anti-Terrorist Squad is better at correctly identifying suspects than you are. (As to Burnside, I’ve met him only once. Whilst we were talking, he caught sight of David Davis nearby and, forsaking myself, promptly started a conversation with Davis, which was rude but understandable in the circumstances.) I would be quite impressed if you had discovered my identity. But, either way, I couldn’t really give a toss what you think. So believe what you like, Duncan.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    You go first with your guess and if I concur then I will say so and climb off my horse. I reckon I will figure it out eventually so remember:

    ”If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends.”

  • Bored

    This is boring: spit it out Duncan, or clam up.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    I will play nom de plume whackaday when he puts one up through the wee hole.

    Sorry to bore you.

  • Bored

    You are coming over as a bit of a windbag Duncan – ‘I know something, I really, really do’. Tell us then. ‘No, I won’t but I might one day, and I really, really know stuff, and my dad’s bigger than your dad, and I’ve been to the moon, twice’ etc. All very unimpressive.

  • 6countyprod

    And so, after all that wind, and getting back to Stephen Moutray’s point: the Ulster Unionists do not have any inherent right to lead or even be a major player in Northern Irish politics.

    I reckon they are a spent force, and that they will ultimately make their bed with the Alliance party after the remaining centre and right-of-centre folks have moved to the DUP.

    The UU’s have always been a presumptuous bunch. That’s why they have lost their way and have become almost an irrelevancy.

  • Moderate Unionist

    6countyprod
    It seems to me that it is you who are making the presumptions. Maybe the irony is lost on you.

  • bertie

    I don’t accept the view that the more left wing a unionist you are the closer you are to Alliance (and pro-agreement) and the more left wing you are the closer you are to the DUP (and anti-agreement).

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Actually I don’t wish to name him. If he wants to stay anonymous it is his choice. I was interested to find out because I find him to be a little arrogant in the manner in which he expresses his views and I was interested in who was behind it. I still believe in being open but it’s not my place to name him. That is enough of that and back to the real thread.

    Did you mean right wing and DUP? I suppose to comment on the issue at hand the UUP under Reg may indeed present itself in broad terms but I suspect it will end up getting no benefit for it. As John Redwood said:

    “The Conservative Party is a broad church….The problem is that we don’t have enough worshippers at the moment.”

  • bertie

    ooops yes I did mean right wing and DUP

  • 6countyprod

    Sir Reggie, the tailor, is like the emperor with no clothes. He is oblivious to what the problem is, and what needs to be done in order to get the situation in hand.

    The UU’s need an inspirational leader, someone to take the DUP-bull by the horns, and someone who knows where he is going, not a himming and haaing and ‘sort of’ kind of leader.

    My guess is, he will be no match for either the Doc, Peter or Nigil. The UU’s seem to be in for a long winter, out in the cold. So, I agree with the basic tenets of Newton Emerson’s article on Sir Reg: He’s only started and already he’s finished.

  • 6countyprod

    Bertie

    I suppose I am thinking more in terms of left-wing being liberal, and right-wing being conservative. I wasn’t thinking pro or anti agreement. Mrs Hermon introduced the term ‘liberal’ into the discussion a few months ago. Burnside did a hatchet job on her proposal (on Radio Ulster), and, to me, it showed up a clear divide in basic philosophy within the UUP.