Some idiot clearly thinks that telling the BBC about this was clever. The Newsletter are clearly over the top in their headline today, but really, what did these “sources” expect?
We’re not talking about splits in the UUP. Reg Empey and Alan McFarland aren’t plotting each other’s downfall, they had a disagreement over small aspects of strategy. It’s not like there are diametrically opposed and irreconcilable positions, which was the case previously.There is also a lot of nonsense being portrayed about party reform. Nominations for tomorrows AGM closed last Friday, after everything now in the media had occurred and after the reform agenda was outlined. There is only one nomination for Leader and one for President. Seven people are nominated for the three seats on the Party Officers (declaration of interest: I’m one of them). Not one of the seven, as far as I’m aware, is standing in opposition to reform. Everyone in the UUP knows in what direction the reform process will be going, and we all know what sorts of debates we are going to have. But in many ways it is all going to be very similar to the overblown Empey/McFarland disagreement. It won’t be an argument between two or more fatally split factions, it will be a debate with disagreements over specifically what direction reform should be going, not the general direction.
I don’t mind that the structures of the UUP are being debated in open public forums, that’s the way it should be. We’re a party that should be proud of not being secretive. What I do mind is ignorant rambling.
I used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t.
Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday