UUP: party of law and order…

Reg Empey in this morning’s Newsletter is on the attack over the DUP’s questioning of his pact with the PUP. “It will mean that instead of an excutive split six seats for unionists and six for nationalists, unionism will have a five seven majority”. Indeed, it may be that the DUP’s public annoyance is routed in the possibility that it had its own private plans (Bob McCartney and Paul Berry have both been mooted) stymied by this move. Questioned on the danger of allying itself with the a party directly linked to the UVF for his party’s credibility on policing and criminality debates, “I don’t believe that to be the case. Our party has always been the party of law and order”.

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  • Ian

    If the PUP/UVF are now throwing their lot in with the UUP, then they should place their faith in the latter’s negotiating abilities, cease all activity and decommission. But they’re not doing that – in fact, they’re waiting on the outcome of negotiations (i.e until after the November deadline) before even considering stopping paramilitary action and even then according to their most recent utterance they still won’t be decommissioning (the ‘pike in the thatch’ approach for which Unionists have so often condemned Republicans).

    The implications are that the UUP/UVF are negotiating with ‘guns under the table’ i.e. with the underlying threat of a renewal of the latter’s sectarian murder campaign if either (a) there is a threat of joint authority in the event that the local parties don’t strike a power-sharing deal, or (b) future demographic change threatens the future of the Union.

  • Crataegus


    Slur genuinely not intended. It is merely my observations from those I meet and by no means statistically provable. Probably reflects more on the retro bates I associate with.

    Middle ground Nationalism may not like violence, but they can more easily identify with the Republican cause than middle Unionists can with the cause of the PUP or UDA. It may be because the equivalent Unionists are in a political state that they approve off and their Nationalist counter parts are not, but there is a subtle but discernable difference.

    I cannot conceive of the PUP ever getting the support that SF does, no matter what they do. I have watched SFs support grow and it is a now party that is supported by people from diverse backgrounds. They are increasingly likely to get votes in South Belfast or the upper Antrim Road. These are not the tight knit working class areas. Quite a lot of well educated and well heeled people are voting for people who were quite willing to support murder to further their political objectives. I for one find that distasteful as there are alternatives. The SDLP are a decent enough bunch so why go out and vote for Lucifer?

    I am under absolutely no illusion, and would be the first to recognise the sheer hypocrisy of Unionists, and the DUP in particular, but I cannot see droves of Unionists in say North Down going out to vote for say a former UVF bomber, it is inconceivable. In a very fundamental way Law and Order is important to middle Unionism and hence the Unionist Parties endlessly going on about it. The desire is real, but perhaps the political parties are subverting that real desire into cynical sound bites and political posturing.

    I am no Unionist and have no particular axe to grind, but I do believe that many on both sides have to address the hypocrisy of their positions. Surely better to strive to build better relations with people with similar standards of decency than jump into bed with the devil because he is saying all the wild aspirations floating around in the deepest parts of one’s id. The position the SDLP has been taking recently has been refreshing if a little overdue.

    This, and other threads, shows the pandemonium within the UUP because of this decision. If there were defections of leading members of SF to the SDLP would there be quite the same reaction?