Just how unionist are they?

Something that Andrew McCann said yesterday interested me.

Failure to include the leaders of Provo terror in government will, in essence, mark a return of the AIA with some window-dressing North/Southery. Even I could live with that, so I’m sure the DUP and the pro-Union people will be able to in preference to Martin McGuinness 007 holding sway over children’s education.

Lets look at this ideologically. The very first of the Ulster Unionist Party’s aims and objectives in its constitution is to:

Promote, strengthen and maintain the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland under the Crown, and uphold all democratic institutions in Northern Ireland.

Thus the primary reason for the existence of the UUP is the Union, and it should always act to preserve that Union. Andrew’s comments struck me as interesting as, if we take the Prime Ministers at their word (“Joint Stewardship”), then if the DUP do refuse to go into government with the provos, then they could be said to be an anti-provo party and not a pro union party – isn’t that what the SDLP are for? Is the threat of the dissolution of the Union a reasonable price to pay to avoid dealing with Sinn Fein?

Maybe the DUP are right and it’s all a big game of political bribery that is a bluff anyway – but they’d better be sure!

I used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t.

Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday