Is Reg speading himself a bit thin..?

SIR Reg Empey must be pleased at Northern Ireland’s low unemployment rate, which stands at 3.7%. It would be even closer to zero if the Employment Minister didn’t have so many jobs for himself! OK, a bit facetious, but as Minister, MLA, UUP leader and councillor, and at a time when his party is in dire need of a massive overhaul and engaged in an internal debate over its role, is Reg spreading himself even thinner than his comb-over? Chris Thornton takes a look.

  • realist

    Ahem, the rest of the minister are just as bad if not worse..

  • RSR

    would have to agree with realist, he’s not the only local minister with more than one job, lets not forget Dr. Paisley and some of the rest of his cronies, most of them have 4 or 5 jobs too.

  • unionist

    Errr….yeah, why look at Sir Reg over this issue?

    It’s not uncommon

  • Dawkins

    Belfast Gonzo,

    Most unfair to say that Reg is spreading himself too thin. I’d rather this than all those politicos spreading themselves too fat.

    Bad example to the common folk, what with clinical obesity in NI out of control and the health service being over-extended (whoops!) as a result.

  • unionist


  • Ginfizz

    Robinson stood down from Castlereagh recently, will Reg follow suit? Is this why Copeland is sniffing around Pottinger so much of a late?

  • inuit_g

    Hardly “of late” – Copeland’s been working in Pottinger for years now, his office is on the Albertbridge Rd.

  • East Belfast

    Clearly Reggie’s been busy. I mean, he hasn’t had time to open that office which has had the sign on the front of it since just before the last election.

    Not that he would be trying to fool people with an empty office and a sign though would he?

    And surely he shouldnt still be advertising Copeland as an MLA.

  • IJP

    I think the point is that he’s said he’ll head up a root-and-branch reform of his party while doing all the other stuff. That doesn’t apply to the other ministers.

    The underlying point is: is his heart really in the party leadership at all?

  • Cathal

    Exactly IJP, though I can’t see why anyone would want to lead the UUP at present.

    A deeply divided party going precisely nowhere.

    Has anyone shown Sir Reg the 9.4% poll thats been doing the rounds yet?

    Admittedly a poll is just a poll, and single figures probably *slightly* underestimates his party’s support but not by much.

    (and I even wouldn’t be all that surprised if it was true – they’ve been losing support to the DUP for years and to APNI ever since Reg took over, and now that process seems to have accelerated)

  • noel adams

    i dont like snp but salmond is donatiog the third of his MSP money to a charitable trust.He stillcolects first minister and MPs money so wont change his name to mother therisa but still a devolved politico putting something back.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I wonder exactly what the figure Salmond is giving back is. Since he’ll be paying the high rate of tax, any charity should be able to recover 40% of whatever Salmond donated if he went through GAYE.

  • noel adams

    comrade stalin can not help with tax take but the ammount is one third of 52K.

  • Scotty

    Cathal I dont think that poll is accurate – for the UUP to go from a 14-5 to a 9-8 advantage over alliance in such a short space of time??

    That would mean a 3% swing to a minor party, I can’t believe that’s true. I think it much more likely that more of the drop of UUP support would have gone to the DUP than Alliance. (besides these polls always overstate alliance support)

    We can all agree the UUP are going downhill nowhere fast but the DUP will be the main beneficiaries, alliance can pick up the crumbs!!

  • IJP


    A wise note of caution. Polls are wildly off as a rule in NI.

    However, the “root-and-branch reform” surely cannot happen if the Leader is busy blaming the Brits for not allowing him to pay FE Lecturers properly, before dashing off to a crucial Council committee meeting.

    Reform of any political party is frustrating and all parties make mistakes during it, but I know it needs a Leader.

    Otherwise the trends will continue.

  • George
  • Ginfizz


    Perhaps that would explain why he was in Carrington Street (South Belfast/Pottinger) rather than the Cregagh Estate (East Belfast/Castlereagh Central) during the recent floods?

    Come on, it’s so obvious. Reg plans to stand down and co-opt Copeland into Pottinger and the boul Sonia Copeland is going to try to get co-opted in Castlereagh Central.

    Incidentally why does he still have the sign on his office (Albertbridge Road and Belmont) proclaiming “Councillor Michael Copeland MLA” when he ceased to be an MLA more than 6 months ago? If you are who I think you are Inuit you should be well placed to answer these questions……

  • Ginfizz

    Hmmmmmmmm…… No response …….what a schock!