Will UUP go into Opposition..?

CAST your mind back to March, and you might remember me (and others) having a go at the UUP for forsaking the chance to regroup in Opposition for the lure of the ministerial limo (even if it’s ‘only’ a Skoda; probably still better than the old Vauxhall Omega though!) Well, tomorrow the UUP will be considering whether they did the right thing. If they decide to make the leap to the opposition benches it would be a breach of manifesto policy, as the DUP has reminded us – although arguably they are masters at this. Maybe it’s one policy worth ditching for the UUP’s long term good – unlike the abortive decision to try and incorporate the PUP to gain ministerial position. The UUP appear weak in government next to the DUP powerhouse, but will it have the balls to bite the bullet and leave? I doubt it, even though it might be seen – in unionist terms – as for the greater good of a British parliament to have a more effective Westminster-style opposition. I don’t think the UUP has much to lose, and there could be much to be gained from a stance on issues like water charges that wasn’t beholden to an agreed Executive line. However, the party doesn’t appear to have much in the way of vision or leadership to go out on a limb with something that would genuinely shake things up at Stormont.