Hopeless, Ulster Unionists

Malachi is right to suggest that the Ulster Unionists have missed a golden opportunity to create a civic unionism with some Catholic support. In Sylvia Hermon, they threw away the chance they had of a winning candidate without a sectarian bone in her body. The single relevant asset the tiny group of NI Conservatives possessed was the offer of Catholic candidates and they threw that away too. Now they’re trying to outflank the DUP on the right alongside Jim Allister. Where is civic unionism to be found in that manoeuvre? Does it replace the earlier illusion that unionist and nationalist voters alike would come running at the prospect of a link-up with Cameron? Their whole position is hopelessly confused and a gift to a DUP plagued with unaccustomed semi-public doubt. It’s not that Catholic voters would come flocking to the UUs at the first sighting of a Catholic candidate. It’s simply that a party comprised of Protestants can’t pose as non-sectarian without any Catholics in it. True enough, the SDLP are little better. But at least they don’t quietly put Protestants off; just that they fail to attract more than a handful. From the evidence of the roller coaster ride that has been Stormont politics these past few months, the whole idea of civic politics is some way off. It’ll be enough in the meantime just to keep the show on the road, starting with next week’s crucial vote on the devolution of Justice.

  • Scaramoosh

    Yes; she is a woman, has Catholic friends, and a vision that goes beyond the myopia of taking the Tory whip …no wonder Reg and the co could not handle her.

    The most foolish of many Reg acts as leader.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    But surely thats the whole point of the Assembly and our “solution”. It entrenches sectarianism (political certainly and religious mostly). Recognising the rather obvious reality that there is two communities NOT one.
    This of course disappoints the Overclass of integrationalists, trots, Workers Party, Alliance types.
    But it is the reality.

  • dwatch

    [i]Now they’re trying to outflank the DUP on the right alongside Jim Allister.[/i]

    Surely you are not referring to the Sir Reg’s UUP along with Cameron & Conservatives who are trying to attract Catholic UCUNF support in South Belfast to beat the SDLP in this general election?

    Profile: Sir Reg Empey
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/northern_ireland_politics/8528722.stm

  • Border Fox

    That’s Reg for you ! Always in the Vanguard.

  • interested

    The UUP are mad to vote against P&J especially as their political masters the Conservatives are in support of it, what is staggering is the UUP were willing under the failed Trimble & Empey leadership to devolve P&J in 2005 without IRA decommissioning and with out the requirement for Sinn Fein to support the rule of law and order. Are the UUP really going to vote against the scraping of the parades commission and the extra money for the PSNI to tackle the dissident’s threat? And now the Orange Order is on board then the UUP are really making a mess of things!

  • If we accept the Brian Walker analysis (and it is attractive), the problem doesn’t stop at Donaghadee, and it isn’t Sir Reg’s alone.

    Thanks to the supreme lunacy of UCUNF, David Cameron is saddled with the problem by extension (which suddenly explains a bit more of the rationale behind those curious talks at Hatfield House). I doubt that Cameron’s political opponents, and his intra-party enemies (who seem to multiply by the day) will be slow in raising the issue.

  • So Sir Reg and his little grey yes men/boys in new suits are not invited to the big swinging dicks party… and would now plant virtual bombs in a pathetic attempt to appear attractive and relevant. I wonder if that is because they have nothing new to offer party goers?

  • iluvni

    Sir Reg would be doing the whole country a favour by totally rejecting the Sinn Fein/DUP carve-up. Lets hope he does.

  • David Crookes

    It is nearly THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS since the NI Parliament was prorogued, and yet the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party is still an Orangeman. We can forget about getting ‘civic unionism’ from the UUP until its members decide what sort of party they want it to be. Why are young intelligent persons not joining the UUP? Because they don’t know whether the umbilical cord attaching the UUP to the OO is still intact, they don’t know what sort of union the UUP really wants, and they suspect that the UUP has an Unseen Secret Leader called the Rev Martin Smyth.

    Stop looking back to the 1950s. Look forward to the 2050s. Forget about institutions that failed all of us when they were put to the test. And remember that aside from the unpatriotic self-importance of individuals, there is no reason why two or three different unionist parties should exist.

    The UUP needs a sea-change. Those who believe in ‘civic unionism’ want an urbane intelligent Triton to sound a clear blast on his conch. They will not give their votes to a collection of beached jellyfish.

  • Driftwood

    iluvni

    Agree. NI can easily be run from London. This whole devolution of policing is an expensive fig leaf so SF can pretend they are not run from London.
    And so the DUP can pretend the Hillsborough farce was more than a desperatevote saving exercise.
    As for religion, I do not want Catholics or Protestants as candidates in an election. I would prefer that they were all Atheist or Agnostic. What religion is Nick Clegg? Does anyone know?
    David Milliband?

  • dwatch

    “[i]Sir Reg would be doing the whole country a favour by totally rejecting the Sinn Fein/DUP carve-up. Lets hope he does.[/i]”

    Sir Reg & his UUP MLA’S would be doing everyone a favour if they didn’t turn up at the Assembly next Tuesday at all. But after all their whingeing threats to not support the P & J in the media they haven’t the b@lls to do that. Instead all 18 UUP MLA’s will attend and just abstain having made a total ass of themselves already.

  • UlsterScotty

    The reality of Reg’s link with the party named for Irish outlaws is surely the UK ambitions of a certain red-faced peer rather than the desire to free the UUs from any taint of sectarian politics (think Harry Corbett and Sooty, oops, showing my age, perhaps Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop). Let’s not forget that Lord Puce rose to the leadership on the back of his two handed reel in Carleton Street with the Great Betrayer, a dance apparently still remembered by residents of the Garvaghey Road.
    Paisley’s real legacy, which Reg has squandered, was to make the UUs seem reasonable, an illusion which Bro McNarry and his ilk (and in a different way, the fragrant Lady Hermon) seem hell-bent on dispelling.

  • [quote][i]iluvni

    Agree. NI can easily be run from London.[/i] …. Posted by Driftwood on Mar 06, 2010 @ 06:26 PM[/quote]

    Well of course it could [as London could be run from a laptop in Holywood] but it won’t be ….. and it would be extremely damaging and quite delusional to even think to imagine that it could or should be again so administered. Been there, done that, time to move on to virgin fields with new leadership and future ideas.

    Where have you been for the last forty years, Driftwood? Confined in a small cell?

  • Brian,

    “It’s simply that a party comprised of Protestants can’t pose as non-sectarian without any Catholics in it.”

    That is not true, Nationalist parties like the SDLP attract Catholic voters becuase Catholics tend to be Nationlaist – that does not make the SDLP sectarian. What illustrates the sectarianism of the UUP is not the presence or absence of Catholics but their support/membership of an anti-Catholic orgnanisation like the OO.

    Has Cameron or Patterson said anything about the crazy position the UUP have taken. The good work by Major et al is being threatened by the mad Ulster Paddies intent on bringing down Stormont simply because they are not largest Unionist party and even though they are actually part of the Government coalition.

    If the UU abstain or vote against they offer another little chink of light for the beleagured Brown as he will surely seek to exploit the Tory mad Ulster Paddy pals just as they expolited their mad Polish european pals.

    For those who claimed that UCUNF was a complete joke from the start this is simply further evidence of the correctness of that contention.

  • slug

    I don’t agree with the general thesis of the piece by Brian Walker. Malachi’s piece is more interesting.

    *Backing Hillsborough. Hillsborough was a DUP/SF deal. Why should the UUP have to support it? It’s details are pretty sketchy.

    *As for the Tory-UUP link, the attraction is the logic of voting for and against the party of government. Voting for and against tax, social policy, competition policy, monetary and fiscal policy, and foreigen and military issues. The UUP and Conservatives do on the whole share a political position. And the link, I believe, has helped with the quality of candidates coming forward, which is better this year from what I can see.

    *Sylvia Hermon. She isundoubtedly popular. Though this seems to be because she is a nice person rather than for any political position she holds. Now it’s a pity for the UUP that she didn’t want to be on the Tory-UUP ticket but there are others willing to stand. As for her positions on policy issues, its quite hard to know what they are.

    *Reaching out to a wider electorate; included in this is Catholic people. This is where Malachi’s comments are interesting-I think reasonably argued. The Conservatives do have a generally more liberal approach than the UUP and this has seen an influence on candidate selection. I think the conservative brand does appeal to many people who didn’t like the UUP brand. However its not clear that the UUP brand attracted Catholics anyway.

    *The real issue for the UUP is not the fact of the UCUNF link – which seems a good strategy – but how it is done. At the core, here, is the importance of batting for NI and being proud of NI. Not allowing the UCUNF link to dilute that pride.

    *To develop that point further, the UUP talk of the merits of civic over cultural unionism, and I can see the argument. Civic unionism is inclusive. But it will be important to remain proud of NI, proud of her institutions and traditions, as well as being civic unionists. Civic unionism shouldn’t eschew support local traditions and cultures; rather it should be about supporting them all, in an inclusive way, in a way that is proud of all of the region. The UCUNF link cannot get in the way of putting the interests of this region first. The voters will not like that.

    In sum, I think the UUP is not hopeless at all. The UCUNF link is about being able to vote for and avainst the parties of government at Westminster. It also modernises the UUP and has the ability to make the UUP more inclusive. But this link should not dilute the UUP’s pride in NI’s instituions and traditions, and it should allow the UUP to develop that pride in a more inclusive way than hitherto. And the UCUNF link must not stop the UUP from batting for NI as a region within the UP and putting NI’s interests first.

  • slug,

    ” The UCUNF link is about being able to vote for and avainst the parties of government at Westminster”

    …and we were clearly told that the UCUNF was a venture designed to end tribal politics in Ulster – the recent behaviour of the UUP and their continuing links with the OO have embarassingly and demonstrably shown this to be a nonsense and nothing more than badly thought out spin.

    Surely Cameron will call little Reggie in and give him the mother of all kickings for his irresponsible behaviour in actually endangering not only the legacy of Tory peace making under John Major and Stormont itself thereby creating a serious headache for the incoming government but also damaging Davey’s chances of getting elected by associating the Tory party with mad-dog Unionism.

    ..and talking of mad-dogs if the UUP were a domestic pet they would surely be off to the vet’s for a one-way visit.

  • slug

    MU

    Yes its about both of course. Principally and most importantly about a new type of politics in which some of the issues that get determined at Westminster can be voted for and against, and that is therefore based on economic and social ideology. The UUP and Conservatives share a broad platform that is recognisable across European democracies as “Christian Democrat”.

  • joeCanuck

    They will not give their votes to a collection of beached jellyfish

    Indeed, nor headless chickens. Sir Reg needs to retire.

  • slug,

    “about a new type of politics ”

    oh dear, oh dear, a cocktail of spin and snake oil. A number of metahpors spring to mind and one in particular which suggests the pointlessness of trying to polish something if it is comprised of a paticulalry unpleasant material.

  • cynic47

    Interested

    I don’t think that the UUP is going to vote against anything. They will simply not vote. They have played an uncharacteristic blinder on this one and probably don’t see it yet. The DUP is terrified of all this stuff going belly up and want it to be a Unionist disaster as opposed to a DUP one. The DUP are going to be on their own on this one and if PR is as confident as he sounds to be then it is all sweetness and light in the Unionist community and he has the votes in the Assembly to put the deal to bed. Bet there will be a few worried DUP MLA’s over the coming weeks and month’s. They wouldn’t like the UUP telling them that they got it wrong and the Unionist electorate punishing them for getting it wrong! However if they believe their leader they shouldn’t have much to worry about, they hope!!

  • joeCanuck

    the pointlessness of trying to polish something if it is comprised of a paticulalry unpleasant material.

    You can dip it in a tin of varnish 4 or 5 times, with drying allowed in between the dips. I saw it done once. Looks very like the fake thing you can buy and hilarious when you are not the butt of the joke, so to speak.

  • st etienne

    In Sylvia Hermon, they threw away the chance they had of a winning candidate without a sectarian bone in her body. The single relevant asset the tiny group of NI Conservatives possessed was the offer of Catholic candidates and they threw that away too.
    So a single UU prod is more civic than a bunch of UU catholics? Interesting thought given your earlier rants on the UUP/Tory linkup.

    True enough, the SDLP are little better. But at least they don’t quietly put Protestants off; just that they fail to attract more than a handful.
    uhuh.

  • slug

    st etienne I have commented (in agreement) on your “Why Unionism should hand McGuinness the position of First Minister…” thread on the Open Unionism blog.

  • Driftwood

    Hillsborough was all about Iris. Or rather covering up on the issue. She will be kept in Florida until after the election.
    SF seen their moment arrive, on a river cafe plate, and went for the kill. Robinson tried to stave off an election by pleading with SF over several nights. Result was a SF victory with fig leaf for Robinson by fudge on parading. There is no ‘cunning device’.
    UU should abstain and let Robinson stew.
    Cameron and the mainland electorate couldn’t give a monkeys about this.

  • iluvni

    Its a big moment for Empey. Bit like Cameron’s Lisbon Treaty moment.
    I havent met one person, from a Unionist tradition, that (despite all the claims of overwhelming support for P&J to be sorted) who is remotely enthusiatic about the idea.
    As Empey says, the Executive needs to prove it can handle what it already has first.
    He needs to stick by that.

    (I’d also add in that the FAI needs to fuck off stealing our players into any conditions he lays down! Thats the justice I care about)

  • Driftwood,

    “Cameron and the mainland electorate couldn’t give a monkeys about this.”

    That my dear fellow is utter bollix, just how embarassing would it be for David if the lead story on the evening News is that Stormont has collpased and that the UUP are being blamed by both sides (SF and the DUP)?

    We would have Hilary and probably Barrack joining the chorus of disapproval and the poor, probably incoming Tory, government having to deal with a potentially dangerous marching season and a political process in pieces simply because the UUP are still smarting from having their arses kicked by the DUP years before. Having a bunch of mad, irresponsible Paddies in your electoral tent in the run up to the Westminsters will not look very clever.

    Of course, if Reggie is using this as a clever device’ to ditch project UCUNF then that would be quite a good move politically for the UU but even more so for the TUV and the Republican dissers.

  • Harry J

    I havent met one person, from a Unionist tradition, that (despite all the claims of overwhelming support for P&J to be sorted) who is remotely enthusiatic about the idea….

    i have yet to meet one unionist who is remotely bothered by it.

  • Harry J

    Of course fo the UUP not to vote for it means they are in favour of keeping the parades commission as well as not providing an extra £800 million in funding to the PSNI.

    The OO are lining up to support the deal which will be a hmmer blow to the UUP

  • Driftwood

    MU
    If Stormont collapsed, I doubt it would make page 9 ao any mainland paper. They, like most in NI, do not care.

    Mervyn King has more influence on our lives.

    Hilary and Barack dont care either. As long as our troops back theirs in Afghanistan, we are incidental.

    Job security, mortgages, interest rates, benefits…all under Westminster control.

    Although if you are concerned about the height of your neighbours’ hedge, there are 108 MLA’s and thousands of bureaucrats who will be only too willing to take 5 years to consider your dilemma..

  • Driftwood,

    “If Stormont collapsed, I doubt it would make page 9 ao any mainland paper. They, like most in NI, do not care.”

    Newspapers seem to have tired of Ulster politics I will grant you that but TV news would lead with it and that type of publicity Cameron would be a fool to tolerate.

    He simply cannot have the party whom he was led to believe were some sort of force of moderation behaving like a bunch of right wing nutters and using the Tory name to do it. He had serious bother because of some Poles attitudes to WW2 in the European parliament and he would alliancing himself to right-wing-mad-dogs in his own Parliament. Labour and the LibDems would have a field day. Witness how quick the Tories were to react and go into denial mode when they were caught with their union jack y-fronts at half mast over the Unionist unity allegations.

    If the UUP want to come over all-mainlandesque then they have to ditch all the crazy stuff.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    You can take the Orange Order out of the Ulster Unionist party…….

    Oh no you can’t ! ? !

  • Brian Walker

    slug, The UUs could support the Conservatives in government without an electoral pact. How has Ucunf improved their chances of success?
    Driftwood, you know very well that while your perfect integrationist stance is good gas, it’s not shared by any poltical party and will never happen. Btw, weren’t SF pressing hard before the Iris crisis? The big picture is quite simple if not straighforward. Devolution should be completed, it looks like happening and then you can find new things to argue about. If the latest agreement is fleshed out, it must mean that civic politics will pick up some momentum and identity politics will recede just a little. It remains a rocky road etc., well short of nirvana but it has to be a completely good thing. The problem with it is that it’s so damned obvious that it cramps the bloggers’ style and will disappoint a lot of people who prefer to bang on along the usual lines… God, something may be actually working .. I can’t bear it!

  • Frustrated Democrat

    MMG has single handedly managed to rally unionist support behind the UUP with his utterances at the SF conference, with friends like MMG PR is in deep trouble as is his party.

    On the basis that MMG is attacking the UUP position there will now be a widespread belief in the unionist community that the deal is not good for unionism.

    PR has lost his touch and his popularity is disappearing like snow off a ditch.

  • David Crookes

    Frustrated Democrat (page 2, #8), you’ve identified a very powerful element of the unionist character. For years we’ve all been hacking off our own feet with blunt hatchets. Now MMcG and his SF brigade are saying that it is actually BAD for us to hack off our own feet. Well, you can’t trust MMcG. In fact, if MMcG is suggesting that we should stop hacking off our own feet, it must be bad for unionism. Let’s keep on hacking off our own feet the way we’ve always done. You can’t fool us with smart talk.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    DC

    I only point out the reality of what will happen not whether I agree or disagree. As you point out this is Northern Ireland and when SF ‘threaten’ a unionist party it will increase their popularity. I suspect MMG knew what he was doing, the question is to what end?

    Regarding PR; to say he needed UUP support and then when they didn’t give him the support he changes his mind. That is bad politics, it makes him appear to be in SF’s pocket and having to proceed at any price.

    Overall the DUP have played this very badly and if they had been more inclusive from an early stage they could have had P&J sorted out long ago with support from all quarters.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    ” NI can easily be run from London. This whole devolution of policing is an expensive fig leaf so SF can pretend they are not run from London.”

    oh indeed I agree …. and to be that extra bit closer it is a pity too that England can’t tuck NI neatly away up her arse and give us all a bit of peace within these islands from this cantankerous and disageeable lot of British folk.

    Sadly it’s not gonna happen …. nor is direct rule.

    Reg Empey is only playing the politics game ….. to get gullible folk on board like you. He’ll be jumping into bed with Sinn Féin should the UUP be the biggest unionist party after the next British election.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “I’d also add in that the FAI needs to fuck off stealing our players into any conditions he lays down! Thats the justice I care about”

    Tough!

    That’s three players now that have declared to play for the Republic of Ireland. I wonder why?

    “I’d also add in that the FAI needs to fuck off stealing our players into any conditions he lays down! Thats the justice I care about”

    Ah that’s just tough!

    BTW, Lansdowne Road is coming along well….

    http://www.lrsdc.ie/gallery/singlecategory.asp?PCID=131

    Any word of the NI “national” stadium?

  • slug

    Brian

    Certainly the UUP taking the Conservative whip would be one way forwardt-that is the nature of the SDLP Labour relationship. The UUP and Conservatives coming together is to have a closer relationship. One that does make very clear the common centre-right Christian Democrat philosophical core, focuses the electorate on the national issues of fiscal, monetary and foreign policy, allows the two local parties in UCUNF to cooperate for this platform, lessens parochialism by engaging with a larger party, and allows people elected in NI to participate in the government that rules them. It appears to have resulted in a better set of candidates this time than last time. Hermon is not an amazing communicator of political ideas, though she is a nice person.

  • Comrade Stalin

    On another thread a few days ago Driftwood compared the unarmed victims of Bloody Sunday with the Waffen SS. It would be a grave mistake to take any of his fantastic pronouncements seriously.

  • Driftwood

    CS
    Just to clarify…
    Context and all that

    To a hammer everything looks like a nail
    To a soldier under fire everything looks like an enemy combatant i.e. Arnhem

    What do you think paratroopers are trained to do- hand out sweets to people attacking them?

    Anyway, fantastic pronuncements, maybe, as for taking them seriously, well I stopped taking myself seriously a long time ago.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood, I don’t think agents of the state are supposed to shoot people who are unarmed in cold blood. I’m old fashioned, I accept.

  • LottaNonsense

    iLuvni & Gragoir O’Fraincin

    Gragoir: I agree with your point – I went to every N. Ireland home game for years & years, but got fed-up with the dump that’s Windsor Park – & I’m a Unionist & a Prod!!

    This is why the crowds that follow N. Ireland have fallen & are still falling – I believe there are literally 1000’s of people like me who have fallen away from supporting N. Ireland because of the lack of vision of the IFA.

    Nowadays people expect to be watching international football in a modern stadium like, as you suggest, the new Lansdowne Road, & young ambitious players expect to be playing in new modern stadiums as well.

    Why should young ambitious players hook themselves to a team that plays in such a dump as Windsor Park with a maximum crowd of 15,000.

    Well done the FAI with Lansdowne Road – I got a look around it a few weeks ago – Fantastic!

  • Framer

    Every election in NI is a referendum on the union.

    Remember Eddie McGrady’s triumphalist statement when he first took South Down – the border is now at Belfast.

    Distressing as it may be to many ‘moderates’, Unionists have to be Unionists. They can’t be neutral on the union like the Alliance Party especially as over half the Catholic electors vote for Sinn Fein.

    Consequently without electoral integration, that is the mainland parties operating here, the UUP is wise to link up with the most pro-union party, the Conservatives.

    What is perhaps unwise is making the link any stronger than an ad hoc post-election arrangement leaving the NI Conservatives to maintain and enhance their entryist position in the party proper.

    Either way the UUP is going to be unappealing to many moderates who don’t appreciate flags etc. But they can still vote UUP for the financial advantages of union.

  • pinni

    The UU’s are acting like a bunch of spoiled children who are no longer getting their own way. They need to grow up and accept the fact that they no longer are the major Unionist party.

    Their contrived concern, majoring on the minors and sudden swing to the extremes only serve to expose their insecurity and vulnerability. They are a ship without a rudder trying to appear that they know where they are going and that they are still relevant.

    What a pitiable bunch!

  • smellybigoxteronye

    Nonsense Brian. No one apart from the politicians in SF and the DUP *really* cares abut P&J. Stormont is a joke, and the UUs are completely correct in highlighting that we should be concentrating on running it better than it has been in the last few years. I don’t see the Assembly working before a voluntary coalition executive is in place.

  • Garza

    [quote]The UU’s are acting like a bunch of spoiled children who are no longer getting their own way. They need to grow up and accept the fact that they no longer are the major Unionist party.[/quote]

    So basically Pinni the UUP has to shut up and follow the DUP and SF whatever they go and do? What sort of democracy is that?

    I am perplexed of reg’s decision myself. But I don’t think the UUP will lose any voted over this. The UUP have lost all the votes they were ever going to lose in 2005 & 2007. Whether they gain votes from this is an entirely other question.

  • granni trixie

    Who is Sir Reg taking soundings from – which audience is he appealing to? But it is his apparent lack of coherent strategy or rationale for decisions/postions he adopts that will do it for him. If he goes is anyone standing in line to take over? Basil McCrea?

    BTW, Brian, its a big claim that Lady H “does not have a sectarian bone in her body” – she may have charmed you (and “certain member”s of the Labour Party) but I would like to know what evidence you have for saying that?.

  • pinni

    Garza,

    P&J, of course, is not a new issue for the UU’s. And it’s not a matter of them following anyone. They have already made their decisions concerning it. They were – as everyone can now see very clearly – completely outmanoeuvred by Gerry and Martin years ago when they agreed to it, and now they are sick to the stomach when they see that the DUP were able to gain so many concessions from SF before P&J was even put on the table.

    The Trimble/Empey UU’s demonstated that they have the negotiating ability of a dead fish – absolutely useless – and now they want to renege on their prior commitments.

    What a pathetic lot!

  • IJP

    Brian

    Since when did you become judge and jury of who’s got a “sectarian bone in their body” and who hasn’t?

    Trevor Ringland, Paula Bradshaw, Mike Nesbitt… I mean, the rampant Loyalist bigotry stands out a mile!

    You’re the one bringing religious background into it as a determining factor (while again demonstrating ignorance about the religious background of each party’s nominees). Perhaps you should take a look at yourself first?

    As for the UUP and Justice, it’s not for me to defend their position but I’ve never been a big fan of signing a contract you haven’t read. The DUP did the deal and the DUP can vote for it. The real issue, regardless of what is devolved, is getting an Executive in place which actually functions.

  • Comrade Stalin

    IJP:

    As for the UUP and Justice, it’s not for me to defend their position but I’ve never been a big fan of signing a contract you haven’t read.

    A perhaps justifiable position, but fortunately not one shared by your party leader. That is a serious inconsistency you cannot overlook, and which may create problems for either the Tories, the UUP, or both.

    The UUP have the capacity to inflict damage on the process here. There’s an old saying about party before country. I think everyone should be thinking about the future. The DUP stand to lose seats at the next assembly election, and things may well end up at the point where neither of the large unionist parties has overall control. If the UUP had any sense they would be thinking about the ways they could take advantage of this.

  • granni trixie

    Brian W: very disappointed that you have not come back with evidence especially as |I have personally seen evidence at first hand to the contrary (but too personal for here).

    Plus have never heard of Paula Bradshaw – who is she?

  • Turgon

    IJP,
    Let us remember that Brian is the one who accused Sir Reg of “shafting Catholic candidates.”

    Brian is perfectly able to convene his own judge and jury of himself and decide himself who is and is not sectarian in an instant. For you even to question Brian proves your own sectarianism: how dare you and you a Conservative; hang your head in shame and then beg forgiveness from Brian. Alternatively remind him that he has a certain penchant for making up untruths about other people.

  • dwatch