UUP [selectively] boycotting Policing Board

To get to the interesting part of this story, you need to scroll down to the end of the BBC report – on the first public meeting of the new Policing Board, now including Dawn Purvis of the UVF-linked PUP. Not present in the line-up today though were the 2 UUP nominated members of the Board who are exercising what is described as a selective boycott, as the UUP mentioned previously in this statement released when the chairman of the Board was voted in. Update The Press Association spoke to one of the UUP’s Policing Board members, Fred CobainHere’s the relevant section of the BBC report

Ulster Unionists stayed away from the meeting as part of a “selective boycott” over its membership.

Independent, non-elected representatives now outnumber political members of the authority.

The party has accused Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain of turning the organisation into a quango.

Neither of the UUP’s two representatives, MLAs Fred Cobain and Danny Kennedy, attended.

A UUP spokesman would not confirm when they would attend.

He said: “If things come up which we deem to be crucial we will go on it. But it’s our decision and at our discretion.”

And the relevant section from the previous UUP statement

*Until we can be satisfied and certain about the reason for tinkering with the Board, we are unable to give it our unqualified commitment, formed as it was without consultation or consent. We have no alternative but to insure ourselves against agreements that may have been made behind our backs. We will reserve our position and decide our degree of involvement in and with the Board as things unfold.[added emphasis]

And a quick reminder of what the IMC had to say about the PUP and the UVF in its most recent report

5.6 In the case of the PUP, we noted in our Eighth Report the lead it had given to end the UVF’s feud with the LVF in the late summer of 2005 and the energy it had put into its subsequent efforts to persuade the UVF to change its attitude to violence and other crime. We expressed the hope that these efforts would show success and concluded that financial measures against the PUP in the Assembly were not appropriate. We also said that we hoped the PUP would give a clear and robust lead to the UVF to stop targeting nationalists and ethnic minorities. The last three months have shown little tangible evidence of progress and the recent statement from a spokesman of the UVF that it does not intend to do more before 24 November 2006 is not encouraging. We very much hope that there will be significant progress before our next report.[added emphasis]

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  • yerman

    This is issue which divides the UUP #7,392:

    They are all over the place on the Police Board issue – after being wrongfooted by the DUP about going onto the Board all of their members now hold different positions.

    Trevor Ringland : Not a party appointee but I there’s no doubt of his UUP credentials. He’s taken that One Small Step onto the Police Board and couldn’t be levered out of there with a tyre iron – much like Reg Empey when he was in Ministerial Office.

    Fred Cobain : Has a very very very thinly covered contempt for the Policing Board and has now taken on the role previously held by John Taylor of not bothering his arse turning up to meetings. My guess is that he probably thinks that they should be boycotting, like they are the Belfast DPP.

    Danny Kennedy : Danny, more than predictably is sitting where he is most ‘comfortable’. He’s firmly on the fence without an earthly clue into which camp he should fall. From this position of not having a bl**dy clue what to do emerges the ‘tactic’ of a “selective boycott”.

    You couldn’t make some of it up:

    “a UUP spokesman would not confirm when they would next turn up. He said: “It`s a selective boycott.”

    A UUP spokesman said today, that the best press coverage we’ve got this week was the revelation that we spent about 150 quid buying helium to fill balloons at the last election. When we finally decide if we will boycott our selective boycott then our members will turn up but only speak after inhaing some of the aforementioned helium. That will show the level of Ulster Unionist disgust on the shameful and disgraceful issue which caused us to take this highly principled and moral stand in the first place. Namely us not getting that extra seat we wanted and it going to the DUP.

    Maybe of course, they’ve decided to re-highlight that piece of UUP policy which was unanimously agreed at a UUC meeting some years ago, and to the best of my knowledge was never rejected later.

    They’re boycotting the Police Board (well no Governent now thanks to the nasty DUP) until the name and symbols of the Royal Ulster Constabulary are re-instated!!!

    The Ulster Unionist Party – and you thought things couldnt get more shambolic than the last election campaign. Well it just goes to show you that you aint seen nothin yet!!!!!

  • Whatever happened to Rodney McCune?

    The third seat was to be taken by….Tom Ellott. Nice guy but really……those three just shows the price of winning support in leadership contests. Reg would have been netter appointing Trimble!

    I genuinely like Tom and to an extent Fred, but really. And Danny! Why not take it to its lodgical conclusion and appoint Billy Armstrong! The boycott does have a reasonable rationale behind it, but the problem is that no one on Gods green earth cares! I have a real belief in the history and objects of the UUP but Reg and his merry crew really need to accept that pulling stunts like this just make him and the rest of us look stupid. Get on with getting some decent candidates selected and planning for a proper election campaign.

  • dodrade

    Do you think anyone actually noticed their absence? Does anyone care?

  • junketeer

    You’d think that the UUPers would have at least learnt from the late great John Taylor on these matters…… You ALWAYS turn up for the first five minutes before bu**ering off – that at least means you can claim the travel expenses etc etc.

    Really, schoolboy errors from these young pups.

  • Loyalist

    Just how ridiculous does this look? Listen carefully now, can you hear it? That noise in the background. It’s the knives being sharpened for Reg…..