Debate has erupted about the difference between the Alliance Party and Conservatives and Unionists. The question arose about the ‘new’ UUP, can they deliver ‘non-tribal’ politics, can they change the political landscape of NI and can they offer the people of NI a real new alternative?
I suppose what I am getting at, will they succeed at changing the NI mindset?
We should remember of course that the UUP, being the party of Carson and Craig established Northern Ireland, entrenching the Ulster identity and fought off parties like NI Labour, independent Unionists and the DUP. The party even removed PR in the late 1920s due to threats from independents to defend their political position.
I spent time in the UUP and it did maintain all be it a different yet similar interpretation of NI and of Ulster to the DUP. The Orange Order were also still highly thought of in the party at that time. Has that changed?
Are the Conservatives and Unionists the old Alliance Party of the 1970s?