The broad church of unionism

The UUP’s continuing efforts to broaden the appeal of the Union and the Party continue with a reaction to an Electoral Commission report on the participation of ethnic minorities.

  • Stephen Copeland

    I see the UUP still subscribes to 1970s tokenism. Do they also have a ‘Ladies’ section?

  • yerman

    “Do they also have a ‘Ladies’ section?”

    Yup, also known as the Ulster Womens Unionist Council

    http://www.uup.org/welcome_uwuc.htm

  • Yokel

    Aye the republican movement was always more equality driven…

    Sent both women and women out to kill and be killed
    Killed men women and children
    Gave a job to Mary Nellis which is stretching equality of opportunity to the limit……

    Tokenism: Ladies section
    True Equalty: Having sufficent ladies loos in offices and other venues of meeting

  • Stephen Copeland

    Yokel,

    Tokenism is appointing a person who is probably the only ‘person of colour’ in the UUP to responsibility for ‘Race Relations’ (or ‘Community Relations’ as the very same web page says – but that is a very different thing).

    True equality would be for responsibility to be allocated on grounds other than your skin colour or gender, disability, age, etc.

    Your other points are just whataboutery, so irrelevant.

  • JohnKerry

    Richard Watson is also on Esmond Birnie’s Finance and Personnel team. He is not the only person of ethnic origin in the UUP. There are others, however he was the one most willing and most suited to the post of race relations spokesperson.

    Besides it’d be a bit of a joke to appoint a white person to the post of race relations spokesperson

  • Fraggle

    “Besides it’d be a bit of a joke to appoint a white person to the post of race relations spokesperson”

    why is that then?

  • Stephen Copeland

    JohnKerry,

    … it’d be a bit of a joke to appoint a white person to the post of race relations spokesperson

    This is indicative of exactly the tokenism I was referring to.

    ‘Race relations’ involves all of us, it is not just for the ‘people of colour’. There is no reason whatsoever for a brown person to be better able to examine, respond, propose, or coordinate policy in relation to race relations than a white person.

    This is a 1970s approach. Perhaps that is the era that the UUP are still stuck in?

  • JohnKerry

    One of the most prevalent issues facing the different communities that make up the term ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland is racism and racist attacks. How could I or any other white person understand and be able to identify and relate to people who have gone through this.

    “There is no reason whatsoever for a brown person to be better able to examine, respond, propose, or coordinate policy in relation to race relations than a white person. ”

    Perhaps this is true in a more diverse country but Northern Ireland is still 98% white and extremely divided, I think it sends out a very positive message that all unionist minded people are welcome in the UUP.

  • Stephen Copeland

    JohnKerry,

    You are creating ghettos for ‘minorities’; Race Relations for the brown, Womens affairs for the female; Age issues for the old, and so on. A truly inclusive party (or society) does not pigeon-hole people on account of their biology, but tries to genuinely bring people together as equal members who can each contribute to every area of life.

    You are simply a generation behind the rest of the world on this.

  • qubol

    Is this the same UUP of Martin Smyth, the Martin Smyth who addressed the Northern Ireland Spring Bok Club? The same UUP that backed loyalists in their threats to the Chinese Community to develop a Chinese Community Centre on Donegall Pass? I could go on……………..

  • Dec

    Does the UUP have a Ketholic section?

  • JohnKerry

    ah jeez, to hear you lot, you would think the other political parties in NI were a utopian crowd of beautifully mixed members all embracing and walking off into the sunset together..it ain’t so. At least the UUP is trying!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Stephen

    Why do nationalist parties have quotas, for example, for the number of female candidates they run in elections?

    Isn’t that exactly the same kind of tokenism?

  • RmcC

    Yes, better a quota for the number of MEN to run.

    I wonder if anyone’s ever considered that.

  • slug

    Before the UUP get too self-congratulatory on how diverse they are, I notice very few women on their new officer team.

  • RmcC

    No but seriously, if women are in the majority in NI why should there be a quota of female candidates? Bit illogical.

  • Alex. Kane

    Good Morning Rmc,

    Having chaired a number of selection meetings for both the UUP and the Conservatives, it is my experience that the majority of delegates are women and that they tend to ask the toughest questions of the female candidates.

    I’m not convinced that a quota system would work (let’s face it, New Labour tried it and ended up with an army of vaccous ninnies known as the Blair Babes).

    Political life can never be made “woman friendly” in terms of hours or conditions. Most branch and party business takes place in the evening or weekends. Surgeries and one-to-one visits will take up Fridays and Saturdays. Various other constituency business (functions, launches, charity events, prize giving etc etc will also take large chunks of time). On top of that, people assume that the best time to get you at home is before 8.30am, or after 10.30pm.

    The blunt truth of the matter is that the lifestyle and hours are appalling—and always will be. And that is true for men, too. Yes, let’s have more women in representative politics, but don’t let us kid ourselves that life can be made easier for them.

    Best wishes,

    Alex.

  • RmC

    Thanks for that, Alex.

    But perhaps you should read my posts again. I didn’t advocate a quota system for women but one for MEN.

    Tongue in cheek I’ll grant you, yet the fact is that in “normal” circumstances quota systems are introduced to benefit minorities, eg blacks and other “ethnic” groupings. Also we had the 50/50 policing initiative to benefit the nationalists, who are still in the minority in NI.

    Not so women, who outnumber men in NI. So, again, is it not a tad illogical that there should a quota system to ensure that a MAJORITY be more fairly represented?

  • Yokel

    Considering, I wouldnt vote for the Ulster Unionists or the DUP for that matter I doubt whataboutery has anything to do with it..the bottom line is that no party gives a stuff about the equality agenda unless their are votes in it. For that matter nor do I. To raise up Mary Nellis suggests more a tongue in cheek post than anything (bless ya Mary). If I wanted to be po faced and serious I wouldn’t have stuck that or the loos comment in there. Secodnly given that you come at issues from a broadly republcan viewpont of course I’m going to take a stab at your comments which were in their own way designed to take a stab at the unionist viewpoint, its caled back and forth and no one gets shot or stabbed in reality.

    You werent one of those kids that took the ball of the pitch if you weren’t winning now were ya?

    Even in this country humor isnt universial or at least understanding humor…tragic…..

  • Yokel

    Thats for you Stephen by the way…..

  • Stephen Copeland

    … I wouldnt vote for the Ulster Unionists or the DUP for that matter …

    You couldn’t anyway.

    [Even in this country humor isnt universial or at least understanding humor…tragic….. ]

    Because they don’t stand in US elections. 😉

    Thats for you Yokel by the way…..

  • Yokel

    Ah now youve spotted the spelling but don’t be confused…I have spent most of my life here, was born and schooled here and I’m now..well here. I’ve been around for sure but I still work alot with Americans and other nationalities who have adopted American English so I do have habit of dropping u’s…..

    I wouldn’t vote for them because I see far too many of them talking crap, reacting to issues in a way that makes them sound like reactionaries and and joining Orange Order marches….and anyway I suspect some of them had a hand the phrase ‘Queens Highway’, its a road..a road ok..a road…