UUP PEB: Fed up with being spectators?

This election looks set to be the first fought on YouTube… UUP’s Election Broadcast available online, first!

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • SCW

    I like it. It’s fresh, it’s positive, progressive and forward looking.

    A lot better than the negative PEB from the DUP which as of yet has not made it online.

    Speaking of the DUP, no election website up and running yet and no PEB to show?

    Were they that embarrassed about it?

  • Observer

    Lol … What are they suggesting that actually, yes, they have members?

    I was waiting for it to come up after Sir Reg Empey came up on screen … Sir Reg Empey … Politican … AND … UUP Member!

    The UUP is trying to make some appeal to voters. They make issue with the ‘Punch and Judy’ politics between the DUP and Sinn Fein. But unfortunately there are some burning issues to be sorted out. And weren’t the UUP once involved in the ‘Punch and Judy’ Politics, once many many dark years ago?

    However I think people can sympathize with the very fact we need to ‘move on’.

    But the UU’s started this process and the DUP will finish it, and indeed make a better job of it.

    If you want to see reconstructed terrorists in government that fair enough. After all you allowed them in on 3 separate occasions!

    I want fair, accountable and STABLE government. But not at any cost.

    In summary my analysis for what its worth is that the UUP are scrabbling for every and any vote they can get. They make no appeal to me.

    And by the way – nice shot of Stormont with the Union flags up were they belong – but it’s just a pity they aren’t up more often than 17 days in the year! Its just a pity the UUP is no longer a Unionist Party.

  • Greenflag

    Ok nice people pattering on with the usual banalities and the usual begging bowl out for more public services in a state which is already drowning in a 70% public sector economy ?????

    The Punch & Judy piece on McGuinness /Paisley was’nt bad , but anybody with half a brain knows that if it’s not to be the former P& J combination then which combination can it possibly be ? UUP & SF ? DUP & SDLP ? Empey means well but lets face it even Enda Kenny is convincing in comparison

    Spectators in their own country ? IIRC this sound bite was/and is still the staple mantra of Northern Ireland’s nationalist and republican population since the NI State was founded ? Is it not ironic that the UUP are now opposing being spectators when being ‘spectators ‘ was what their party leadership under Molyneaux advocated for most of the 1980’s and 90’s ?

    ‘It’s fresh, it’s positive, progressive and forward looking. ‘

    ???????????????????????? Not to this viewer it isn’t . Have heard it all before Joe . Deeds not words .

  • bo shank


    “They make no appeal to me.”

    in the fine words of steps ‘tragedy’.

  • Frustrated Democrat


    I think the UUP and the UKUP are the Unionist Parties, the DUP have become the SNP of Northern Ireland i.e they should be the DNP.

    I wouldn’t put the DUP/DNP in charge of a bun fight in a bakery. They would be throwing bread rolls and calling them fairy cakes – but a lot of people will notice that this time round – we now our bread rolls from our fairy cakes just as we know Never! Never! Never! from Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • Inspector Clouseau

    That was a Party Election Broadcast for the ……Alliance party.

    Looks like Reg and Co have gievn up on recapturing the hearts of mainstream unionists and are making sure that Alliance don’t take any other votes from them.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    If the UUP lose any seats in this election (say 4 or 5) will Reg resign?

  • Piss poor, where’s the politicians. Election boradcasts are all about making them familiar to the public. A wasted opportunity. But then given the UUP’s previous ad campaigns the fact they have fecked this up doesn’t surprise me

  • Greenflag

    Frustrated democrat

    ‘but a lot of people will notice that this time round – we now our bread rolls from our fairy cakes just as we know Never! Never! Never! from Yes! Yes! Yes!’

    This quote of yours conjured up in the mind an image of the oul rustic in the Vicar of Dibley who when asked something would repeat No No No No No No No and then Yes seventeen times before saying No . Welcome to the new DUP world where now yes is no and no is yes . They must have learnt it from SF ?

  • slug

    I thought it was nicely done. The message that the DUP and SF can’t work together is one that is worth making now, because it will only grow stronger if the new executive becomes logjammed.

  • hedgehog

    “Piss poor, where’s the politicians”

    Its kind of nice to see some normal people tho

  • I thought it was well produced. Though Reg was the weakest bit in it (other than Basil’s wig, which deserves a list placing all of its own): every other odd & sod seemed to understand that, when doing telly, speak (ie talk “naturally”, conversationally), don’t speechify (ie NEVER raise your voice on TV, it just doesn’t work). Of course the fundamental message is pants: “Bad DUP, planing to go into office with Sinn Fein, hiss, boo!” Yeah, right, that’s a line that the UUP are going to be able to make stick.

  • willis

    You do get a glimpse tho’

    It won’t be this Assembly election….

    but the next one will be a cracker!

  • shamo

    Have seen both DUP and UUP broadcasts now…I think both parties need a good PR consultant. Do unionists smile?

  • SCW

    Karl Rove

    The very point is that the DUP have NOT said they’re going into government with Sinn Fein – THEY’RE COMMITTMENT FREE SO FAR.

    Indeed tonight’s Belfast Telegraph states that Downing St will be concerned with the content or lack of content in the DUP Manifesto because there’s more hurdles to cross just to keep the 12 Apostles happy.

  • Um, I’m dismissing Reg’s chances of making this particular, bogus line of attack stick. Anyone else remember the keeness with which Disco Legs Dave was always keen to jump into bed with SF? Oh yeah, the entire sodding electorate does.

  • alex benjamin

    answers to your questions my DUP friend.

    “Lol … What are they suggesting that actually, yes, they have members?”

    yes, that our members make up the community, work, live and breathe like every one else and have a stake in our society.

    “I was waiting for it to come up after Sir Reg Empey came up on screen … Sir Reg Empey … Politican … AND … UUP Member!”


    “The UUP is trying to make some appeal to voters. They make issue with the ‘Punch and Judy’ politics between the DUP and Sinn Fein. But unfortunately there are some burning issues to be sorted out. And weren’t the UUP once involved in the ‘Punch and Judy’ Politics, once many many dark years ago?”

    what are these burning issues, stuff like IMC that peter spoke of this morning, the sme imc that the DUP voted against? as for punch and judy, yes we were involved while you lot sat on sidelines fannying about and oh, yeah, took your Executive seats

    “However I think people can sympathize with the very fact we need to ‘move on’.”

    how very gracious of you.

    “But the UU’s started this process and the DUP will finish it, and indeed make a better job of it.”

    the bit where ceasar’s son rides on to the battlefield after the fighting is done springs to mind here,

    “If you want to see reconstructed terrorists in government that fair enough. After all you allowed them in on 3 separate occasions!”

    we started the ball rolling on decommissioning, again the DUP were in government at the same time and only came out when we collapsed it. pussies.

    “I want fair, accountable and STABLE government. But not at any cost.”

    so let’s carck on with plan b then until you lot get ur hardcore haedbangers on board that agreement fundamentals are only show in town.

    “In summary my analysis for what its worth is that the UUP are scrabbling for every and any vote they can get. They make no appeal to me.”

    bo shank put it best

    “And by the way – nice shot of Stormont with the Union flags up were they belong – but it’s just a pity they aren’t up more often than 17 days in the year! Its just a pity the UUP is no longer a Unionist Party.”

    pity indeed.

  • Token Dissent

    Personally I found it a powerful PEB, and a refreshing change from the usual politics of fear. Good looking unionists!

    The line about looking to the future and building new coalitions is interesting. Could this relate to the suggestion of a future ‘moderate’ opposition?

  • fair_deal

    It is not a bad effort from the UUP. The production values are reasonable except for the Hearts and Minds inspired caricatures (better artist required next time).

    The use of ordinary members is a sensible tactic. It presents a younger and fresher image and much preferable to using the uninspiring bunch that are the UUP candidates.

    However, they were light and somewhat weak in the message department. The “Punch and Judy” stuff is a re-hash of an argument that failed in previous elections. The normal politics stuff would have flown better if they actually made a few suggestions of what they would like to do (especially as they didn’t make a particularly good job of it the last time). The choice of going with a strong emphasis on quick devolution will also hamper any attempt to attack the DUP on St Andrews. I also wasn’t sure if the final line(s) was the UUP’s election slogan, anyone know?

    The DUP one was ok. It was their first serous attempt at being more positive while trying to avoid over-selling. The UUP went overboard in its selling of the Belfast Agreement and were made to eat it for years afterward. Certainly streaks ahead of that god awful slit wrists doom-laden gathering storm clouds panic-mongering headlines etc they used in the last Assembly election. (They really should have asked Stena Line to have paid for that one).

    In the visuals department, the glaring error was Paisley’s hair sticking up in all directions There is discussion among the electorate about the impact of age on Paisley that poor imagery can encourage. It also seemed as if Gregory was being blinded by the sun as he did his to-camera piece.

  • Quite good- at least it tried to focus on real issues, as opposed to the DUP’s usual foaming at the mouth over ‘Sinn Féin/ IRA’. Despite the odd sectarian flight of fancy, the UUP seem to care about creating a better future, unlike the Paisleyites.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    Anyone got a link to the DUP’s PEB?

  • BillyO

    Not bad. A lot better than the DUP one.

    Very positive and forward looking – much better than the usual doom and gloom/ smash Sinn Fein broken record of previous campaigns.

    One small point – the PEB claims that the DUP and Sinn Fein are two parties that “won’t talk to each other”.

    It’s a one way street – it’s the DUP who refuse to talk to Sinn Fein.

    I’m not a Sinn Fein suuporter or voter – I just think they are trying to convey a false impression.

  • another_pleb

    A far better effort than the DUP one I saw the other day (spooky music, badly framed shots and everyone speaking with the same stilted, constipated tone of voice and where was wee Jeffrey apart from a 2 second piece of archive footage?).

    The UUP PEB didn’t have any spark though and they’ll need a spark if they want to get their voters out.

    I’m just glad I’m not a unionist.

  • Queens Unionist

    “Good looking unionists!” – Token Dissent…
    Reg good looking?

    it looks ok as a PEB just a pity they waffle on.
    Good to see Jenny Dunn actually doing something for unionism, or what she would class as unionism. its a pity such efforts cannot be made in SRC.

  • GavBelfast

    The UUP one was a nice change from the usual stuff, positive but light-weight.

    I’m afraid the DUP one on Monday night was all about not letting SF get bigger than them, but the usual real fire was reserved for the DUP.

    Then Robinson (the trousered one) has the cheek to say today that they aren’t concerned with the UUP any more.

    Someday, the people will see through the tiresome scare-mongering.

  • Observer

    The UUP are desparate when their Press officer has to come onto Slugger to defend the party he is trying to represent.

    But hey Benjamin … at least we didn’t have fish and chips this time ;0

    The UUP can moan all they want, no one is listening and there’s two elections to prove that.

    The DUP is a strong, united and Unionist team seeking a fair deal for the people of this province.

    Stablity is a key to a future.

  • alex benjamin

    au contraire observer, i think it says more of your desperation that you have repeat the same old mantra of an automaton on ‘nobody’s listening, two elections, fair deal’ etc etc, i presume the 2 grand rule applies to you too yeah? lol

  • jerryp

    I really fear that by the time this election comes around, I will feel 10 years older than I do now.

  • SuperSoupy

    As a Republican and clearly not part of the target audience I liked it.

    As others have noted it could have been mistaken for a APNI broadcast and I found it at odds with their pre-election posturing.

    A well thought out strategical measure to draw votes from Alliance and stop any ‘moderate’ drift but not something that seems to scream fightback.

  • SDLP voter

    My number “1” will go to the SDLP but I will transfer to the UUP on my ticket.

    Despite fundemental political differences, I believe they would work well together on the day-to-day issues. The same can’t be said for the SF/DUP “It’s not us, it’s them!” crowd.

  • SuperSoupy

    SDLP voter,

    Have the SDLP really moved so far to the right and away from Nationalism that their voters see the UUP as a natural 2nd preference? Not APNI? UUP?

    I really don’t think you’re indicative or to be honest really an SDLP voter.

  • Billy


    “The DUP is a strong, united and Unionist team”

    Really! – they haven’t seen too united lately.

    “Stablity is a key to a future”.

    That’s a joke. Now that Sinn Fein have now signed up to policing (which they should have done long ago), the DUP will simply create more obstacles to power sharing to appease their backwoodsmen.

    I have severe doubts that this executive will ever happen, given the deliberate ambiguity of the DUP manifesto.

    However, even if it does, I give it a matter of weeks before the DUP brings it to a halt on some pretext or other.

    The difference is that, this time, the UK govt has had it’s fill of NI. If the executive is brought down, it’ll be on to plan B which is quite ironic as that is even more distasteful to Unionists.

    The DUP simply don’t want to share power and, therefore, your idea of “stability” is pie in the sky.

  • 2050


    The DUP simply don’t want to share power and, therefore, your idea of “stability” is pie in the sky.

    I agree, they see powersharing, normal political cooperation as a step, (however minuscule) towards the dreaded United Ireland and god forbid equality with Catholics.

    They have committed to nothing and done nothing for the people. Same old sectarian bullshit. I’ll be amazed if they do a deal and face down their hardliners.

  • Is there any sort of consequence in the UUP for screwing up worse than anyone ever screwed up in the whole fricking century before you? I only ask because the election has brought back some spacers we haven’t seen on Slugger for an age. Like AB up there:

    Here’s the deal: McGimpsey acording to our detailed tallies is some 4k votes ahead of spratt, mcdonnell is breathing down our neck cos of the peoples front of Judea – splitters!!!…at the moment there appaers to be only a few hundred votes in it. Bottom line is that spratt just hasn’t been penetrating despite all the DUP spin…we have witnessed first hand the DUPs canvass operation…it involved the doc getting off his bus in sandy row, shaking hands with three pre-arranged stooges then off to another fakey…hats off to the dups, they kwow how to bullshit allright…so frankly i’m not suckered by their guff…I’ve been out on the canvass myself with michael and the feedback has been excellent…this incidentally has been the case across the country, lagan valley, east belfast, upper bann, east londonderry, south antrim…so while stalford and his trendies are praying for our armageddon, our sense is that it aint gonna happen…right i’ve work to do…

    Posted by: alex benjamin at April 29, 2005 02:45 PM

    Seriously, what would you have to do in the modern UUP to get your P45? F*ck Reg’s cat?

  • Well done!!!

    This is a sea change from the frolic of David and Daphne.

    It even plays well in California.

    Who was the spin doctor?

  • páid

    take away the shots of the union flag and it was an alliance video.
    UUP might do ok, as might the SDLP. Folk getting tired of the drama queens methinks.

  • Independant SRC

    Queens Unionist

    U appear quite hostile towards the UUP.

    As an independant on SRC the only “political party” who deal with issues connected to the Students union are the UUP lot. Throughout this academic year they have dealt with the SSHH campaign, elections to the SRC, accountability of the sabbatical and non-sabbatical officers and i’m sure other key issues.

    Whereas the DUP are more concerned with singing the national anthem, dealing with the Trident missile system, attacking executive members because they have an irish name, and opposing the irish folk music society.

    It should comfort the unionists and wider community at queens that the UUP at queens, under Jenny Dunn, deal with student specific issues and not a bigoted sectarian agenda.

  • Wilde Rover

    That was refreshingly non-sectarian. It lacked the bombast or doom and gloom associated with dark rumblings about land prices in Scotland. Good to see young people featuring so heavily. Pity the image isn’t reflected more in their candidates.

    Haven’t seen the others, although I am sure the SDLP had to wait nervously while teams of crack black-ops libel lawyers told them they were a go. Bravado from the inexperienced is often amusing.

    I look forward to the DUP one, and hope that they maintain the link to the great Anglo-Irish gothic writers as they weave the Fear in the Big House scenario with the politics of the prick tease.

    Read on another thread that Nelson Mandela is in the SF one? It seems Adams still has his eyes on the Aras prize. Positions like President would seem to suit SF, in that they require no tough policy decisions on regular non-constitutional issues, a clear, thought-out economic strategy, or the need to deal with the reality of the EU.

  • Crataegus


    the DUP one on Monday night was all about not letting SF get bigger than them,

    Stupidity, for the message that that would send out in Republican and Nationalist quarters is SF matters SDLP don’t. Of course the DUP need the threat so in their sick world this probably makes sense.

    What a bunch of wasters.

  • Butterknife

    Nice women in that PEB: very unusual for the UUP!
    Haven’t seen the DUP so can’t do a compare and contrast yet.
    Had the DUP round our door last night. They have a mini A5 document listing what Lisburn has become due to their ‘help’. They no longer have the brass balls to take outright credit no more.

  • alex benjamin

    Karl Rove,

    You’re brutal mate lmfao…ps, reg’s cat: Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

  • uupvoter

    “I really don’t think you’re indicative or to be honest really an SDLP voter.”

    but what about Eddie McGrady telling people to transfer their vote to the UUP?

    Its a wider issue than simply voting along sectarian lines, the SDLP and the UUP are the parties who genuinely want to make it work. I am a UUP voter but I will be transferring to the SDLP because they are the two parties who can work together and furthermore want to work together.

  • darth rumsfeld

    benjy- any chance of a follow up book to Michael Kerr’s comedy classic about the last UUP election disaster ( at.. I think it was the last, there are so many)? As I recall you featured rather prominently in it, Ulster’s very own Peter Capaldi handling thicko politicians, managing scandals and smoking like Chernobyl.

    Is your latest foray onto slugger a test drive for your book? Or is the impending smoking ban driving you even more desperate than the man who give Billy the Potato elocution lesson?

    be gentle with Reg’s cat. It tells him his best policies you know. Miaow!

  • Butterknife

    There i thought Darth you were an impartial political commentator. Seems you have an axe to grind ….

  • uupvoter

    darth with an axe to grind against the UUP? Never!! lol

  • darth rumsfeld

    lads, lads, I love the UUP. it’s right up there with the Goons and Hancock as a British comedy institution. You misunderstand me completely, just as those people who have claimed I am a DUP supporter/member.

    I am implacably opposed to the weak kneed dross that has been in the leadership of both the major Unionist parties, and sadly cannot bow the knee to Bob, though I have a high regard for several of his candidates- as indeed I do for certain UUP and DUP candidates- Steven Nicholl in S Antrim being an example of a hard working community activist- no coincidence that he has deep Orange connections.

    BTW it says it all that a uup voter has to be anonymous.Something to ashamed of?

  • uupvoter

    “BTW it says it all that a uup voter has to be anonymous.Something to ashamed of?”

    I could say the same of you my friend!

    You post insightful comments, sometimes hard hitting but always behind the cloak of a pseudonym, are you too ashamed to own your views?

  • Butterknife

    That is a bit of a silly comment Darth. After all you either vote for a party or you do not. Would you rather people not vote at all? Think about it rationally …

  • Token Dissent

    SuperSoupy – “Have the SDLP really moved so far to the right and away from Nationalism that their voters see the UUP as a natural 2nd preference?”

    I love your attempt to classiy all unionism as on the right, and all of nationalism as lovely progressive lefties. A complete mis-representation of Northern Irish political culture. Nationalism of all kinds is always at home on the right. Orange and green= two sides of the same coin.

  • darth rumsfeld

    …oh and congratulations to the Young unionists, who have created a record by getting all their members on television. And in fairness the UUP are streets ahead of the DUP as at today’s date on presentation- a big change from every previous election. Still we can expect the DUP to move up a gear, though whether we can be treated to thunder and lightning over Cunningplan House part 2 is debatable…..

  • darth rumsfeld

    BTW, is there a policy decision on the part of the UUP to downplay their candidates’ link to the Orange Order? Their web biographies show most are quiet on their membership- Tom Elliott being the major exception

  • middle-class taig

    Good work from the UUP.

    The messages I took from it were:

    – we have to work together with nationalists;

    – we don’t have a fair and just society here, but we’d like to;

    – let’s get rid of those useless Brits and make the decisions ourselves.

    My only complaint was the lies about “DUP and SF don’t speak to each other.” Have the balls to tell the truth about who won’t speak to who, lads.

  • alex benjamin


    no not at all, biographies were submitted by candidates themselves, so up to them if they choose to show their membership of loyal orders or masonic.

    btw, thank you for your positive comments on presentation. First election in a while where we have been able to properly concentrate on a joined-up campaign and sort out ‘look and feel’ of UUP as a ‘brand’.

  • Hokey-pokey

    Good insofar as it goes, but Reg actually spoilt it for me. I’m not saying that out of spite – I think a few more people and less Reg – perhaps him surrounded by all those profiled saying “On March 7th vote for a positive future, for all of us….” would have been better.

    Anyway its fairly academic now, the UUP are coming back with around 18-20 seats. Another defeat.

  • darth rumsfeld

    And in other news, the great Leslie Cubitt will be campaigning for the UKUP in East Londonderry….on the 2005 DUP manifesto!
    Watch this man. He is a genius. Shame he probably won’t get elected.

    I also hear that the DUP in N Antrim have reached an understanding, where the Ballymena councillors won’t canvas for the Great Crocodile, while he won’t attack them. A doff of the cap in the Tower Centre is a much a public endorsement that his IRKness will get from local stalwarts, if the rumours are true.

  • Doesn’t that f*cker in the press room have better things to do (and I don’t just mean that Valentine’s card & tin of Whiskas lobster thermidor he left outside the catflap last night)?

  • alex benjamin


    you weren’t playing so hard to get last night so stop your fronting!!

  • It’s feline nature – someone sticks what looks like a cocktail sausage through the flap, of course I’ll pounce.

  • alex benjamin

    with the size of your flap is it any wonder…

  • uup voter

    Now, now ladies!

  • Ziznivy

    I thought it was reasonably slick and delivered a positive message, the 80s porn music in the background not withstanding. Using members was a good idea, particularly the delectable Miss Dunn.

  • lighter

    80s porn music maybe but infinitely more preferable to the diddly de crap piped into our homes by the Sinn Fein PEB!

  • Butterknife

    Miss Dunn my number is 07968 … If only:(

  • Peter North

    Big up for the 80’s porn music – it’s far better than the shit we had in the 70’s.

  • Peter (now pointing) North

    Wudn’t mind making my next film with Paula Bradshaw… cheeky MILFY minx

  • marilyn

    Wouldn’t mind a round with Mark Cosgrove myself…

  • Po

    Well with 682 views in the last 12 hours, the sex appeal is clearly working out nicely for them… 🙂

  • Incidentally, it’s not just Darth who esteems Leslie Cubitt:

    DUP Leadership that’s Working!

    Leslie Cubitt
    Former businessman and sitting Councillor Leslie Cubitt has the best attendance record amongst the current Elected representatives within Limavady Borough Council. His obvious ability in politics is compounded by his ongoing desire to provide the best deal for the ratepayers within the Borough. His loyalty to the rate paying public has made him extremely popular with his constituents, however he feels there is much more to be done.

    He is frustrated in the time taken to make and implement decisions affecting rates and if re-elected Leslie will lobby for administration changes, whilst continuing to provide a sterling service for the constituents he serves. Current successes include a community centre for Ballykelly and the overdue erection of footpaths in the Magilligan area. Sitting Chairman of the DPP in Limavady, Leslie’s main interests outside politics are Rugby and Cricket.

    There were really has been a slackening of effort in the Paisleyite head shed this time around.

  • Mind you, that surplus ‘were’ was none too fly either.

  • Chris EastBelfast

    The UUP have learnt their lesson’s from previous campaign disasters and Reg is an intelligent poitician and know’s what needs to be done.

    The UUP now have a director of election’s, they are united now and each constituency is better co-ordinated.

    Logisitically this will be a much better election campaign performance from the UUP.

    I wish them and the SDLP well.

    Nobody can possibly deny that themselves and the SDLP would work a lot better together than the DUP and SF. It would be much better for NI in general if they won and the DUP and SF became small players..if only people would realise this and stop getting suckered in by DUP extremist biggoted views and fear tactics.

  • j dickinson

    Hello all,

    Well, the UUP broadcast does look appealing but discussion here seems to have focussed more on the aesthetics – not least the aesthetics of the delectable narrator! – and missed the main point, that they said they were ‘ready for government’ with sinn fein – as far as i know they’ve never actually said that before.

    If its true then it would mark a real break from the DUP who seem to be completely confused with themselves depending on who you listen to.

    I must say I didn’t expect something like this from the UUP at all – if anything I had written them off pretty much completely as they seemed to be trying to move to the right of the DUP – everything they were saying seemed to point to a sort of Super-Prod style campaign against the St Andrews Agreement.

    I voted for Trimble every time he asked, but I wasn’t going to stick with the UUP this time. I dont like negative unionism, and I dont like sectarianism, and having lived here for 48 years I can spot a sectarian undertone a mile off!

    Then suddenly they turn around and hit you with a positive message in their TV broadcast like this! Also their website is superb and really positive I love the slogan “For All of Us” – But I am still unconvinced – What happened to prompt the sudden change in direction? How believable is this new bright and forward-looking UUP? Is it going to survive the election? If they win will they really bite the bullet and share power with sinn fein and give us a government???

    It’ll take more than an election TV ad and a professional-looking website to shift my vote. I hope they’ve seen the light but I want to see the proof, if Empey and his party will commit to government on March 26th or not even if it means sinn fein?

    I have two wee kids and a massive rates bill and if Reg Empey can give me that commitment he’s got my vote.

    If he fudges then I’m looking elsewhere!

  • Crataegus

    If this broadcast is a positive sign that the UUP have at last decided to move to the centre then I welcome it and it show a clear gap opening between them and the DUP. Hopefully future actions will reinforce the message this broadcast is trying to give.

    Best PEB yet but probably the most expensive. Trys to convey a positive vision for the future.

    The worst PEB is that from Sf as it is fundamentally dishonest and inaccurate.

  • Greenflag

    ChrisEastBelfast –

    You’re not an extra terrestrial by any chance :)?

    ‘Nobody can possibly deny that themselves and the SDLP would work a lot better together than the DUP and SF.’

    You mean just like David Trimble (UUP)and Seamus Mallon (SDLP)? or like Brian Faulkner(UUP/NIUP) and John Hume(SDLP)

    An interesting theory CEB but murdered by the facts of history and political experience .

    Have a read of the Stormont papers from the 1970s and see how John Hume and Austin currie were loathed by the UUP . If you substitute Hume for Adams and Currie for McGuinness and the DUP for the UUP it’s simply deja vu all over again in the NI twilight zone 🙁

  • Elvis Parker

    When all is said and done the fundamental premise of the broadcasts appeal is – ‘sure wont Ian and Marty be awful’ – which many would agree with. But would Reg and Mark be more inspiring? Particularly as they would always be looking over their shoulder at DUP and SF. Probably not.

  • darth rumsfeld

    chriseastbelfast -McGimpsey??-

    The problem is that the UUP have lost so many of their footsoldiers,and big players have retired.That’s a double blow. Alex might also be able to tell us that serious money has been directed to other non-electoral expenses this week, a serious blow for a cash strapped organisation.

    The fact that the UUP is punching above its weight for the first few days of the campaign doesn’t mean it can sustain that for long enough to woo back voters.And it’s using youtube and other media precisely because it is doesn’t have the bodies to stuff letter boxes,knock doors etc. Bet it won’t be the activists putting up posters either.OK so the ways of reaching electorate are changing, but the the UUP membership has fallen below critical level in so many areas.

    Who are half their candidates anyway? The number of young people willing to take a chinning for the party is superficially encouraging, but the electorate will look at Munce, Dunn, Donaldson, Swann etc and ask where the familiar names are. If all of them fall in the campaign there’s a danger that they’ll never try again, and all of the young..er..talent.. will be squandered at one go.

  • Hokey-pokey


    You are right re. the Orders – I recieved my UUP leaflet last night and the three candidates – Empey, Copeland and Rodgers – all Orangemen supposedly – made no mention of their membership.

  • Butterknife

    Darth you made an interesting point about how the message delivery is changing and how it’s being presented to the electorate.
    Life is becoming harder with the plethora of taxes, I would even go so far as to see we will see fuel poverty etc in a few years, and people are now seeking new avenues of making money to supplement their income and tax avoidance schemes. It is here that people are offering services to wanabe MLAs in putting up their propaganda on lampposts etc and I would not be too surprised that some entrepreneur doesn’t employ workers from an agency to canvass on their behalf.

  • darth rumsfeld

    so we’ve moved from the times when any duffer stood for election and claimed he was District Master for 20 years, member of the Black, Masons and Brownies..to the time when any duffer stands for election who is a member of all of the above, but is too embarassed to reveal the fact in case it reveals the true reason he has been elevated to the status of candidate by his fellow members.

    Say what you like about all the new candidates, but they’ve come through – an admittedly drastically pruned- field. What they need to answer ( and this PEB emphatically does not) is “why”? Why stick with a hopelessly becalmed ship when -unfortunately IMHO- they can beaver away with Punt’s children in the party in which Unionists presently repose their trust.

    In the old days you could understand the Hezbollah inclined being devoted DUPers, but what on earth makes these fresh faced under-60s think they can achieve anything post-election?

  • bo shank


    what a strange and machiavellian way of you have of looking at politics, young people are joining and fighting in the UUP because they believe in its ethos, what it stands for and is something they want to inherit.

    politics is cyclical and ultimately the DUP won’t be perched at the top of the tree forever. Maybe these young people have more faith in the party than you ever did when you were a member.

  • Northsider

    I think the UUP PEB is very refreshing and will appeal to a broad swathe of garden centre unionists who are being driven into the election booth by Hain and Blair’s rates stick.

    Fair play to Reg at al, they completely avoid the scare-tactics, hectoring and taunting which characterises the DUP PEB. As someone else on where pointed out, hopefully some day the electorate will see through this.

    It’s disappointing to hear form UUPers on here (Rove and Rumsfeld) disparage this approach and sneer at the new faces. The UUP seems a more settled, united party judging from this PEB, maybe their departure from said party along with like-minded individuals is the reason why. Only crime is disloyalty?

  • darth rumsfeld

    when you’re flatlining a nice new life support machine isn’t going to do anything to improve things, just make sure it gets no worse. These bright eyed things have all the enthusiasm, and prosepcts for a happy ending, of the new signings for Leeds United -once great, trading off the past, and in the wilderness for years

  • I’ve got some Peter & Jane books, Northsider, if that’ll speed along your literacy level. Which is to say, I didn’t disparage the PEB, quite the reverse, I praised it, and mildly enough pointed out that Reg was the weakest bit in it. The PEB was positively good, as far as these things go. What I’ve criticised, mostly elsewhere rather than on this thread, is the actual strategy of the UUP in this campaign, not the techniques it’s using to pursue that strategy. And as far as I can see, its strategy appears to be, ‘vote for us, shure aren’t themuns in the DUP just itching to jump into bed with Gerry Adams’. Which for a variety of reasons we surely don’t need to go into again here is not a line of attack the UUP can currently, credibly make stick.

  • Observer

    If the UUP was returned as the main Unionist party on March 7th would it be willing to go into an Executive with Adams, Marty and Co. on March 26th?

    Also I distinctly remember Empey expressing a willingness for ‘going into’ opposition at one stage during his leadership?

    Maybe Ben & Jerry could give us a statement?

  • ballyclare

    Yes they’ve said they will go into government – surely any unionist with half a brain wants our government back?

    I mean we’ve got water charges, rates – not that a government of our own will be a panecea but I’d like it to be Sir Reg or Mark Durkan handling these problems and not some eejit from deepest Sussex or wherever!

    Fair play to the UUP at least they’ve got the balls to say it as they see it – gutsy move on their part.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “not that a government of our own will be a panecea but I’d like it to be Sir Reg or Mark Durkan handling these problems and not some eejit from deepest Sussex or wherever! ”

    hmmmm, ballyclare seems to forget one of the disadvantages of being a small region in the UK is that you might sometimes get better minds coming in to administer than those big ..er brains of our small political pond.

    Now obviously we can exclude Maharajah Hain from this , but the only advantage to having Durkan and Empey in power is that if they screw up we can vote them out…Oh, but hang on a minute- no we can’t actually, because of the D’Hondt formula and compulsory coalition, so the same old dead wood get shuffled round the “Cabinet” table ad infinitum.

    And you think this is good, just because the author of the incompetence speaks with a local accent???!!!

  • AvalonSunset

    ballyclare -‘I mean we’ve got water charges, rates’

    Aye- who got us into this fine mess – the laurel and hardy show that we had previously in the assembly. Let’s not forget that the “threat” of water rates is not Hain’s doing – look a little closer and the blame has to firmly rest with the NI executive in the last assembly.