Alex Kane resigns from UCU-NF…

Slugger understands Alex Kane tendered his resignation from the UUP yesterday. According to a party press release, Danny Kennedy is to take charge of the party’s press office…

Slugger Comments: Losing Kane as the director of communication (who apparently was not being communicated with either by his party leader and that little group still sitting around Reg who serially crashed the party’s car under Trimble) is possibly indicative of the depth of feeling inside the party that playing footsie with the DUP at a time when it was the DUP (and not the UUP) was in deep trouble was (to put it mildly) not their greatest idea…

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

  • alan56

    Danny Kennedy ?????

  • Greenflag

    How is Danny Kennedy at the oul mental telepathy? I hear it’s the preferred mode of communication for UCUNF -Obviously Alex Kane was not in favour of thought transfer ;)?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Is a the press release out Mick? cant see anything elsewhere yet, whilst it was a bit strange having a republican athiest as DoC, I think it was better having him on board, and dont really see Danny in that role, to put it mildly.
    Im still trying to make sense of the rest of your post Mick, dont know what is “reporting” and whats your wee bits added in.

  • Would it be fair to hold the Tories responsible for the loss of two of the most capable and respected UUP members by firstly trying to bolt themsleves on to the UUP and secondly by trying to arrange the bolting on of the DUP to the UUP?

    The UCUNF project is beginning to resemble the many premises after they had a visit from the David, George and Boris et al from the Bullingdon Club.

    With the DUP also apparently being coerced into a deal with SF by both governments, just like Trimble and the UUP before them, perhaps the TUV should rebrand themselves as the Reliable(if a touch extreme) Unionist Party.

  • Keithbelfast

    written is a rush i think. but what have the UUP agreed to that has forced Kane out?

  • Mick Fealty

    the bits after apparently and possibly are NOT reporting…

  • Mick Fealty

    Good question Keith…


    Moderate unionist… that last is purely Connolly House… Your slip is showing… 😉

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick can you confirm he has resigned from the Party as well as from DoC, they is quite a difference.

  • Greenflag

    moderate unionist ,

    ‘perhaps the TUV should rebrand themselves as the Reliable(if a touch extreme) Unionist Party.’

    Good idea but they should also add in a caveat for the voting public , that unlike the DUP they will hold out against power sharing with SF for 20 years instead of the DUP’s never -ever never .

    That way ‘unionist ‘voters ‘ will truly see what’s in store for them and when and which brand of con men they can trust ;(

  • alan56

    Perhaps Alex was not treated well by the ‘inner circle’. Putting the urbane and convivial PR tactician DK in charge of press is unbelievable!

  • Keithbelfast

    there’s your answer Mick – from EM’s twitter: “Danny Kennedy is new acting UU director of communications. To questions the other day he blurted [b]”No.No.No.”[/b] Tus maith leath na hoibre!”

  • Mick,

    I strongly resent the implication of cross dressing both in relation to my underwear and my political opinions.

    Connolly House? Rather straight from the actual Voice of Traditional Unionism.

    “The manner in which Sinn Fein seeks to advance its agenda, not through accepting the processes within devolution, but by loading its gun to the DUP’s head with every pet project, is a reminder that even if the present Stormont crisis is sorted, Sinn Fein will be back for more, and more. Blackmail feeds off the success which foolish surrender to its demands produces. “

  • Mick Fealty

    Nice try. You were good. Really good, for a while. Just got a little overexcited. Cross dressing can do that, so I hear! 😉

  • Mark McGregor

    phew…if you are saying it so can the rest of us. I was concerned it’d be man playing.

    And it wasn’t ‘good’ it was/is tedious and dishonest.

  • Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse (and I’ma real-life UUPer, not a SF plant!)
    FFS on both counts.

    Thought his last article in The Newsletter was a bit strange:

    “But how does the UUP build a centre-ground relationship with the SDLP if, at the same time, they seem to be working together with the DUP to unseat the probable next leader of the SDLP? How do they build a coalition – which may even embrace the Alliance Party along with the SDLP – if there is a unionist electoral pact geared towards the winning back of SDLP and Alliance seats in the next Assembly election? In other words, how do you create the sort of inter-party relationship required to boost cooperation and consensus in a power-sharing Executive if unionists build a communal bloc which inflicts electoral damage on the SDLP and Alliance?

    My problem at the moment is that I don’t have an answer to those questions. And if we don’t find answers to those questions then we won’t, collectively or individually, be able to repair the dysfunctional nature of the Executive and replace it with structures that deliver the sort of devolution we thought we were voting for in 1998.”

  • Mallie’s flies are undone!!

    Oh to be a fly on the wall at the DUP meeting at Parliament Buildings. Who said I haven’t flies on those walls Timmy?

  • Alias

    “And it wasn’t ‘good’ it was/is tedious and dishonest.”

    Not really. MU has been speaking TUV language for a while (sell-out etc) so it was obvious where his sympathies lay. I don’t think anyone has a duty to declare an interest as a poster but as a Blogger, they do. It’s the Shinner toadys who pose as non-alligned that are most annoying.

    In regard to Kane, I’m sure a forthcoming article will give his side of the story since he has never been the demure sort.

  • ardmaj55

    Mick, to change slightly the direction of the post, Is the deal [assuming the deal is now as good as done], now officially SAA being ‘owned’ by SF and DUP, because in that case DUP won’t be able to say this is not binding on them [as Campbell has attempted to suggest about the 4th May for P&J]. The DUP have always claimed SAA is an accord signed only by the Govts, so unless this has to be signed by the parties, we are no further forward.

  • Scaramoosh


    The mask has slipped. Just go and vote TUV and split the vote.

    “But how does the UUP build a centre-ground relationship with the SDLP if, at the same time, they seem to be working together with the DUP to unseat the probable next leader of the SDLP? How do they build a coalition – which may even embrace the Alliance Party along with the SDLP – if there is a unionist electoral pact geared towards the winning back of SDLP and Alliance seats in the next Assembly election?”

    They sack REG, who more and more gives the impression of being a man who does not want power, and offer the leadership to Sylvia Hermon. All problems solved in a stroke.

  • Alias

    I think Mick makes the most salient (and damning) point about the UUP’s electoral finesse: at a time when they should have been preparing to denounce the DUP as unfit to represent the unionist cause/people, they had only undermined their own ability to undermine the opposition by discussing pacts with them. Clearly you cannot declare them unfit to serve if you deem them fit to serve by discussing electoral pacts.

  • Interesting that those who call for leadership from the political parties seem to be oblivious to the differences in the nature of, shall we say, Catholic and Presbyterian leadership. The Catholic hierarchy can issue edicts whereas the Presbyterian moderator is merely the first amongst equals ie the chairman during the annual bun worry in June. I suspect this difference has consequences in the field of politics.

  • Keithbelfast

    Kane in Newsletter – “But while I remain broadly supportive of a realignment of unionism which embraces the UUP/Conservative pan-UK approach and a policy strategy directed at that very significant electoral demographic who aren’t entirely comfortable with purely ‘little Ulster’ unionism, I am fundamentally opposed to a so-called ‘unionist unity’ involving the DUP and Orange Order.”

  • granni trixie

    Scarmoosh: Sylvia doesnt ‘do’ being part of a team – who would she be leader of?

  • Banjaxed

    What a strange beast the UUP has become recently. When they thought they were out of the consulting loop at Hillsborough they started making right wing noises about P & J and in trying to outdo the DUP extremes they fell into a sort of half-way house between the DUP & TUV. Now, as Mick correctly states, when the ‘DUP was in deep trouble’ they (the UUP) are amazingly trying to dig an even bigger hole for themselves by playing footsie with a party which wouldn’t give them the time of day for almost 40 years. In addition, in an even more divisive gesture towards their own moderates and (few) Catholic members, they played the Orange card.

    Despite the fact that I’m not a unionist, I have always respected Alex Kane’s views on the political scene here and on unionism specifically. I may not always have agreed with him but he was one of the brighter sparks in their current box of damp squibs and I read his columns avidly and regularly. Therefore, for any party in such dire straights as the UUP appears to be, to get rid of a worker of Alex Kane’s calibre, needs to have immediate counselling with Samaritans or a similar body, as political suicide is clearly the next item on its agenda.

    With apols to one of our fine contributors to this blog, I’ve started to wonder if the term ‘moderate unionism’ again warrants the description of an oxymoron? I realise that’s not an original observation but Reg EmptyHead is rapidly making it a valid question.

    And I haven’t even mentioned the hames they made of the ‘yes-but-no-but’ marriage to the Tories.

    What’s that old saying about lions led by donkeys….?

  • Keithbelfast

    ‘moderate unionist’ = ‘not-so-moderate republican’?

  • Banjaxed,

    “one of our fine contributors to this blog”

    Apposite and shrewd observation.

  • Mark McGregor


    If you’d listened to me instead of trying to watch football you would have know that already.

  • Banjaxed

    I’m not sure to whom KeithBelfast’s comment was addressed but if it was to me, I’d be grateful for an expanded version of his jesuit-like equation.

  • David Crookes

    If what we hear about Alex Kane is true, it is sad news for the Ulster Unionist Party. Alex is an elegant exponent of common sense and decency. He comes before his readers with no banner-strings attached. The departure of such an urbane and thoughtful man from the UUP ship must be construed as a protest against the Vicar-of-Bray dithering which has characterized the bridge of late. (Let’s form a group with the PUP. Let’s join up with the Tories. Let’s talk to the Orange Order. Let’s explore the possibility of a pact with the DUP.)

    At least two leading members of the UUP take themselves with the most frightful seriousness, but what sort of union do they really want? One in which their own importance will be enhanced? At present their creed is best expressed by a famous line of Vergil: flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo ( = if I cannot bend the heavenly powers to my will, I shall move the powers of hell). The UUP should take warning from St Paul. If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

    While Alex Kane has not written the death certificate of the UUP, he has revealed by his departure that the patient is dangerously ill.

  • Framer

    Alex Kane, like Esmond Birnie, who has also just gone off to a private sector job, were both early Tories in the Campaign for Equal Citizenship’s partially successful campaign to get the UK party sytem operating here in 1985-89.

    UCUNF, which neither of the above appeared to enthuse over, was a hybrid or mongrel version of equal citizenship.

    Like a union beteween horse and donkey it is probably going to be sterile.

    It has hobbled the UUP and leader Reg, who is further hobbled by Lady Hermon and the quasi-socialist wing of the party.

    It is difficult to lead an army heading in three directions but the UUP is not haemorraging support like the DUP has and will.

  • Alias

    Ban, it’s pointless guessing about whether MU is “Connolly House” i.e. a Shinner in drag or a TUV supporter rather than a moderate unionist. My money is on the latter. 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ll take your money on that Alias…

  • Alias


  • granni trixie

    Framer: you have given away you id with this this item.

  • Considering Mick can no doubt see the IP addresses I would never…ever back against Mick 🙂

  • Mick Fealty


    I would never use that kind of unfair advantage against anyone. Just a guess.

  • Kevsterino

    I don’t think MU is posing as anything, but events of recent weeks could be inspiring many folks to consider where their beliefs fit into a changing paradigm.

    Just a guess as well.

  • pittite

    Sad to see visionary like Alex resigning he was in the team responsible for drawing up rule changes and implementing the modernizing reforms allowing the UUP to become more responsive and flexible to changes required by modern communications and politics.His resignation raises many questions as to the thinking behind the secret talks and how McNarry was able to go on TV espousing a sectarian 1970s ‘United we stand ‘approach to unionist unity against the wishes of the Executive which had met only 5 days previously.
    Reg is well able to show leadership and to get a grip and stop the rot at the Executive meeting tomorrow with a strong statement to get strategy back on track.The silver lining will be that unionist unity ideas of the younger officers will be buried and again the UUP will learn how such talks usually backfire and are usually instigated by the DUP to destabilize the UUP.

  • Scaramoosh