United Unionist Force?

Sunday Times carry a story today about talk surrounding a possible merger between the UUP and DUP in order to fight next year’s Assembly election. Fears forcing this possible merger rest within the Ulster Unionists’ who are worried that they may not return any MP’s and therefore make them irrelevant come the Assembly election in 2011.

* No link but tried to upload scanned copy of article

Surely this would be a positive thing for Unionism? It’s just a pity that the UUP will not make any agreement regarding South Belfast this side of the election.

  • Justin Case…

    Poor piece of journalism/ blog piece.

    The real issue is the DUP’s meddling with how the First & Deputy First Ministers are appointed.

    Maybe Andrew you should try to find the real story behind the Hatfield talks.

  • Andrew Charles

    John Burns of the Sunday Times – a poor journalist?

  • Justin Case…

    A poor piece of journalism. There is a difference.

    Instead of merely clinging onto the coat tails of a journalist maybe you would care to give us an opinion? That after all is the point of this website

    You obviously do not know the details around Hatfield so at least you could maybe guess what the issues were? Or maybe you could have actually foun out by now, four months later. I thought you worked at Stormont? What do you do all day? Sit in a office looking at a wall?

  • I think you need an apostrophe in next years Assembly election

  • PaulaLivesICarrick

    Having been approached already to be part of a new party I can confirm this story is correct.

    Justin Case – there is no need to prove tat you are an odious little jerk on every posting – we already got the message.

  • Given that UCUNF will undoubtedly be viewed as a failure surely it is simply a matter of time before a merger takes place. The only real difficulty with this is whether this actually creates more political space for the TUV to operate in and hence just results in a different Unioinst problem from the current one – though clearly 2 Unionist parties would be clearly better than 3.

    Protocol warning: Please adjust your mindset
    For those of a particulalry tribal and/or sensitive disposition and those unable to judge an arguement on it’s merits please be aware that the term Unionist in my name is not an entrirely accurate reflection of my political views though it should also be noted that my paternal grandfather was a keen supporter of the Union and I am invoking the FIFA grandparent rule and am opting to call myself so. (I’m sure he would have approved.)

  • Andrew Charles

    I agree Moderate Unionist. It will surely be a positive move for Unionism.

  • unionistvoter

    absolute farce and b******t. why on earth would anyone in the UUP want to join with the DUP

    perhaps if they agree to have the court injunctions lifted and let the people see the real DUP the public will see why so called unity has no basis or substance

  • iluvni

    Surely that ‘protocol warning ‘ ought to be changed to ‘self-absorbed pretentiousness’ warning.

  • “Surely this would be a positive thing for Unionism?”

    No, it wouldn’t. The UUP, for all its shambolic faults at times, allows a diversity of opinion on a whole range of issues within its ranks.

    The DUP, on the other hand, is a monocultural, fundamentalist, centrally-controlled party of zombies, permitting no deviance from their laid-down cultural, religious and social norms and policies. Well, when this United Unionist Force (UUF) arrives which of the two present parties’ philosophies is likely to prevail?
    Exactly.

    Andrew, Unionism’s diversity is (or should be) its greatest strength, why this obsession in making it a “one-size fits all”? Do you really think it will increase (rather than consolidate) the total pro-Union vote?

  • Andrew Charles

    There needs to be a conversation within Unionism which is open and transparent as to the way forward.

    Individual parties doing deals with parties outside the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland are a waste of time at this moment. We need to sort out the issues we have here within Unionism in NI first.

    I understand the UUP’s move towards the Tories – it’s basically what Trimble advocated from day one – ‘normal politics’. But it does not recognise what people in NI need or the views within Unionism.

    Many in the UUP, as demonstrated by ‘unionistvoter’, will oppose any move to a new United Unionist Force within Unionism. These views were apparent when the UUP Executive met to discuss the Hatfield talks and likelihood of a closer relationship between the UUP and DUP. This idea was opposed by the Executive many of whom are still annoyed by the DUP and their rise within Unionism. They are also suspicious of getting closer with the DUP and therefore want to put clear blue water between themselves.

    However people out there want the Unionist parties to work together rather than constant infighting. A united and strong Unionism is the way forward.

    The UUP’s move with the Tories is confusing to the electorate who only want to see Unionism, as a whole, punch above its weight. They ask: why the Tories, why not the DUP?

    The UUP and DUP are parties representing the majority of Unionist opinion in NI so surely working together would be a positive move?

    Reg has shown that he cannot do this but maybe we should take the lead from the UUP and DUP Fermanagh South Tyrone Associations’ and work together. James Cooper was understandably furious after losing out by 50 odd votes in 2001 to Gildernew. If he can get past this surely we can all do the same? That is a good vision for Unionism.

  • LottaNonsense

    Andrew

    If you refer to yesterday’s Newsletter you will see that the South Belfast Chairman – Bill White, is quoted as saying ‘Let me assure you that the South Belfast Officers have been working tirelessly over recent months (indeed months & years!) to ascertain if such an arrangement (i.e. an agreed candidate with the DUP) would be possible in South Belfast. Discussions have taken place with the UUP Leader, and other senior party officials on several occasions, plus direct & indirect communication has taken place with senior DUP representatives.

    Therefore Andrew, I can’t see how you can say that the UUP do not want to make any agreement about South Belfast, when it seems that it’s the South Belfast UUP that are the people who are trying very hard to get some sort of arrangement with the DUP.

  • oneill,

    “No, it wouldn’t. The UUP, for all its shambolic faults at times, allows a diversity of opinion on a whole range of issues within its ranks.”

    When you invite the Orange Order in to Stormo to discuss the political arrangments of Ulster and then adopt an opportunistic anti-agreement position in line with a party (TUV) which is more ‘monocultural’ and ‘fundamentalist’ than the DUP I dont really think your contention above holds water.

    I suspect that to many Nationalists the DUP are viewed as better and more constructive partners than the UUP who are so unsure of themselves and so worried about wipe out that grannies and family silver would be on e-bay if they thought they could get revenge on the DUP and/or restore themsleves to their former glories.

  • Andrew Charles

    oneill

    Hi. Yes diversity is a strength of Unionism – and closely linked to Protestantism but it is also a difficulty. Furthermore given the fact that we are in the Union people are more likely to question the way forward etc and turn off politics whereas nationalists yes question the way forward but they are united in the fact that they oppose the Union and want a United Ireland. We have a more difficult task in that we are in the Union and want it to stay that way.

    The UUP for many years represented that board church of Unionism. I am not so sure that it does anymore as Unionist opinion is now dispersed amongst the UUP, DUP, TUV and the rest that stay at home and take no part in politics. Why? Because they’re pissed off.

    There needs to be a vision that brings Unionism forward and what a better time to do this in coming to the one hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant. This will bring about confidence within the Unionist electorate.

    There doesn’t necessarily have to be any formal arrangement between the parties and Unionists but an understanding as to where we’re going and where we want to be would be a first step.

  • Cynic2

    This article is all nonsense. You can tell that Liam is away

    Pure and simple Hatfield was about rescuing the Peace Process. The DUP was on its knees and unable to do a deal with SF because of its own internal dissidents. Hatfield was about the Conservatives and UUP recognising that the future of the peace process was more important that short term party advantage and stressing to Robinson that if he tool the leap he would have cross community support in the Unionist community.

    Robinson then cleverly spun that to draw his hard liners into line and stabilise his party enough to do the deal. So for all the NIO bluster, it was Reg and Owen Paterson that saved the agreement

    Now there are people on all sides who would like to see a merger but neither the DUP nor the Conservatives could stomach the monster raving loony right wing of the DUP and, fairly or not, Robbo is now personally fatally damaged by the sleaze allegations and Irisgate. We also need to consider that many in each party would rather stick knives in each others’ backs than kiss and make up.

    So short term there’s no prospect at all of a merger. It will need a number of the current figures in the DUP to shuffle off stage to the TUV and many vocal and shall we say ‘senior’ UUP members to retire (that wont take long given the age profile) to promote any chance of a much wider unionist bloc.

  • The Raven

    Well as I said before, I don’t vote – the lack of a none-of-the-above box ensures that. This time though, UUP will be getting my vote, if only to assuage my conscience and add one more straw to help unseating the DUP. Oh yes – that’s the depth of mistrust, disappointment, malcontent, whatever that I – and I think many others who just about fall into the unionist side of the house – have for that lot.

    So a merger like this would leave me completely disenfranchised – or near enough. I think it would be interesting to see how many others would fall into the same category. Probably a lot more than one would think.

    So Moderate Unionist, when you talk in such disparaging terms about the UUP, remember: most of us out here in reality-land are totting up just how little the DUP has done for us, and how much they’ve done for themselves over the past two-to-three years, and will be voting accordingly.

    Gregory, in my neck of the woods, is beginning to visibly sweat…

  • Andrew Charles

    Lottanonsense

    I know and welcome those moves but have a look at the South Belfast News last week where Paula Bradshaw, their candidate in South Belfast denied the fact that any talks took place. I understand that she may not have been party to these talks, but surely she must have known given the fact that Unity has been in the headlines for months now.

    I understand that Paula wants to be the candidate – I admire her determination, but we must think about what is best for Unionism. South Belfast doesn’t have the advantage East Belfast, East Londonderry or any other ‘Unionist’ constituency has. It’s diversity of opinions and vibrancy as a constituency has to be admired but we are all Unionists and believe in the same thing – Unionism.

    The SB UUP Association have got to be praised for their actions. This represents very positive and mature thinking – I know of many decent and admirable people within the Association. At this late stage I do not know if there will be a last minute agreement but time is obviously of the essence.

    I also understand and respect Paula’s ambition and position. However we must do what is right for the Unionist people in promoting our ideology, vision and identity.

  • Harry J

    No, it wouldn’t. The UUP, for all its shambolic faults at times, allows a diversity of opinion on a whole range of issues within its ranks. …

    like sylvia and mcfarland

  • Garza

    I would never vote for such a unionist unity force. Never.

  • Harry J

    Therefore Andrew, I can’t see how you can say that the UUP do not want to make any agreement about South Belfast, …

    because it has to be done on Tory terms and they wont let it, regardless of what the UUP want

  • Andrew Charles

    Harry J

    I don’t think the UUP in SB are opposing unity – I believe it is the Tories.

    Chekov

    Ball not man – focus on the point and theme of the thread – not the personality.

    Your attack simply reflects on you not me.

    What do you think of creating a strong vision for Unionism?

  • George

    Andrew,
    A united and strong Unionism is the way forward.

    This is all coming about because unionism is feeling the heat of parity with nationalism.

    Rather than stretching out in search of new voters to increase the unionist vote, this idea of “united” unionism is merely once again going to the old well and putting all its water in one bucket.

    This strategy would not the way forward, it’s borne out of desperation and an attempt to hold back the nationalist tide.

  • Munsterview

    Seems that ‘united’ Unionism is faced with a stark choice, power or principles! Politics being politics easy to predict what will win out. Of course sections of it could try thinking outside the box, Robinson could fit comfortable in with Fianna Failure and they would show him how to do things properly.

    Up to his armpits in the brown stuff for a fiver indeed!

    They could show him how to do five billion and still do victimhood, how can a party leader expect to be taken seriously when confining property speculating to a piece of his back yard or was it the side of his house? Mc The Knife was able to make an application for a million in the morning and by lunch he had a 115% loan to value and a third or fourth house on a golf links and still made E.U. Commissioner.

    Credit where credit is due that is real sleaze. And of course not forgetting the ‘Cougar Town’ aspect, if we must have scandals at least lets at least have something interesting on the menu.

    While fun is not the first image that would come to the Southern mind regarding any branch of Unionism, it just shows how much we have to learn. Perhaps a few of our staid female Pols down here could also do with leaving their hair down and opening the Lock Gates occasionally. As scandals go given the relatively trifling public finances involved as against the headlines generated, that was real value for money.

    Here at the same time the best we could do was Minister Mary Harney getting a hair do at taxpayers expense. They do have a lot to learn from each other, may not make for better politics but at least it it will make for more entertaining politics! That is start anyway.

  • Munsterview

    Seems that ‘united’ Unionism is faced with a stark choice, power or principles! Politics being politics easy to predict what will win out. Of course sections of it could try thinking outside the box, Robinson could fit comfortable in with Fianna Failure and they would show him how to do things properly.

    Up to his armpits in the brown stuff for a fiver indeed!

    They could show him how to do five billion and still do victimhood, how can a party leader expect to be taken seriously when confining property speculating to a piece of his back yard or was it the side of his house? Mc The Knife was able to make an application for a million in the morning and by lunch he had a 115% loan to value and a third or fourth house on a golf links and still made E.U. Commissioner.

    Credit where credit is due that is real sleaze. And of course not forgetting the ‘Cougar Town’ aspect, if we must have scandals at least lets at least have something interesting on the menu.

    While fun is not the first image that would come to the Southern mind regarding any branch of Unionism, it just shows how much we have to learn. Perhaps a few of our staid female Pols down here could also do with leaving their hair down and opening the Lock Gates occasionally. As scandals go given the relatively trifling public finances involved as against the headlines generated, that was real value for money.

    Here at the same time the best we could do was Minister Mary Harney getting a hair do at taxpayers expense. They do have a lot to learn from each other, may not make for better politics but at least it it will make for more entertaining politics! That is start anyway.

    Posted by Munsterview on Apr 11, 2010 @ 04:03 PM

  • Drumlins Rock

    Children, go out and enjoy the sun.

  • unionistvoter

    I wonder if mr charles could clarify, under this new arrangement he seems to thing will happen will all candidates have to be independents with no previous links to either political party?

  • Munsterview

    Oh yes, and another thing also, the ability to fluently articulate a political viewpoint like ‘Chekov’ so eloquently do!

  • Harry J

    is checkov upset because the Tories lied again?

    where are the 18 UCUCNF candidates they promised us?

  • If unionism is to survive it has to amalgamate, what is so hard to understand about that. It makes no difference the only thing they agree on is they want to stay in the union, they do not have so many votes to play with that they can afford to keep dividing them.

    Having said that neither does nationalism. I see hope here. If we keep the peace and actually discuss the issues instead of violence, and best of all, make clean choices. Who knows we may find there is more that brings us together than keeps us apart.

    Except for the foul fingered and inappropriately named little troll who cannot debate the issues without throwing his dolly, and even his dummy out of the pram.

  • Comrade Stalin

    unionist.voter:

    absolute farce and b******t. why on earth would anyone in the UUP want to join with the DUP

    Several DUP MLAs, councillors, and one MP are ex-UUP. About half the party’s activist base is ex-UUP, including (I believe) Andrew up there. Maybe you could explain that ?

    Chekov, I don’t blame you for the abuse outpouring. You must be feeling the heat something shocking.

  • Moderate Unionist

    “suspect that to many Nationalists the DUP are viewed as better and more constructive partners than the UUP who are so unsure of themselves and so worried about wipe out that grannies and family silver would be on e-bay if they thought they could get revenge on the DUP and/or restore themsleves to their former glories.”

    If true, MU, I think that reflects much more the fact that the DUP’s version of “Unionism”, a Prodistan based on good ole time religious, cultural and social values, could be quite easily accomodated within a federal 36 cty all-Ireland state. It’s the secular 21st Century version of UK Unionism which frightens most Irish nationalism.

    Andrew,

    “Hi. Yes diversity is a strength of Unionism – and closely linked to Protestantism but it is also a difficulty.”

    Protestantism, if it means anything, is the triumph of the individual conscience over group-think One Unionist force, party, call it what you will, would never permit that individual conscience, diversity of opinion in its ranks. Pro-Union folk don’t fall into one easily defined box, encompassing social and cultural attitudes, religion. If you accept that as a fact, then Unionism needs the widest choice possible at the ballot box to fully reach its full potential.

    “We have a more difficult task in that we are in the Union and want it to stay that way.”

    That’s a negative way at looking at the situation. We actually have the easier task because we are already have our dream scenario, it’s ours to lose. Why do polls consistently show the majority of NI’s population happy with the status quo whilst a lot less than that figure vote for the UUP/DUP?TUV at the ballot box? We’re doing something wrong, we’re not fully welcoming all pro-Union opinion into our parties. Would a “one-size-fits-all” Unionist party change that situation?

    “ I am not so sure that it does anymore as Unionist opinion is now dispersed amongst the UUP, DUP, TUV and the rest that stay at home and take no part in politics. Why? Because they’re pissed off.”

    Because the one-size fit- all Unionism presently on offer doesn’t reflect their views? I don’t know, maybe there really doesn’t exist a secular, liberal pro-union segment of the electorate. But to date we haven’t fully tested that thesis. Unionism, for its long term future, needs to offer a full range of possibilities at the ballot box; one or two Westminster seats won will mean nothing ultimately if we lose the next Border Poll.

  • Andrew Charles

    “I wonder if mr charles could clarify, under this new arrangement he seems to thing will happen will all candidates have to be independents with no previous links to either political party?
    Posted by unionistvoter on Apr 11, 2010 @ 03:34 PM”

    Please feel free to call me Andrew!

    If you’re referring to this coming General election where joint party candidates cannot be agreed then fielding an independent is an option just like in Fermanagh South Tyrone.

    Outside of this election – i.e. the future, it could involve joint party candidates or by where an arrangement between the parties including a joint logo or slogan etc is tied to candidates under one banner.

    I do not know what has been going on behind the scenes but it could offer a positive way forward for Unionism.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Because the one-size fit- all Unionism presently on offer doesn’t reflect their views?

    Except in FST, of course.

  • Driftwood

    Those of us who believe the Earth to be significantly older than 6ooo years, and think Darwins theory of Evolution to have a basis in fact will not be going near the DUP. It is a quasi-religious cult that is up to its neck in corruption.

    People like Trevor Ringland probably have more in common with Alliance in terms of local issues. But we are part of the United Kingdom.

    When people like Andrew charles make statements like this:
    Individual parties doing deals with parties outside the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland….
    It shows the patty parochial outlook.
    Northern Ireland badly needs fully integrated into the mainland system. We should all be entitled to vote for the parties that make up Her Majesty’s Government.

  • “Except in FST, of course.”

    Yes, apparently it operates on different rules to the rest of the UK.

  • Andrew Charles

    oneill

    There is a need for an open conversation within Unionism to discuss all of these issues whilst not moving away from our aim: retaining the Union and maximising the Unionist vote.

    Infighting and the arguments that are being thrown around by elements of Unionism only go to discourage and depress Unionist voters. Unionists want unity, leadership (on behalf of all parties), agreement not fighting, and vision. This can be offered if agreement is sought between the parties here in NI. Unionism must be settled and at peace with itself in moving forward.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Yes, apparently it operates on different rules to the rest of the UK.

    Chiefly, the need to keep the taigs out at all costs.

  • within a federal 36 cty all-Ireland state

    Surprised nobody picked up on that. Even a DUP/Fianna Fail dream team would find it difficult to conjure up another 4 counties on the island.

  • Andrew Charles

    It’s about Northern Ireland and Unionism – nothing wrong with promoting your political ideology just like others do.

  • “the secular 21st Century version of UK Unionism”

    Who has been advocating this? I must have missed the memo.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Oneil

    >>It’s the secular 21st Century version of UK Unionism which frightens most Irish nationalism.<< Hey weren't we promised that? Will we ever see the likes again? Andrew I wish you could have left Chekov's sub-lime(an in joke for those who read them) attacks on you, they were hilarious. Pity my responses were wiped too.

  • Justin Case…

    Andrew, care to answer my questions about what you know about the Hatfield talks? Everyone who is anyone in the political field now knows almost enough to give a minute by minute run down.

    What do you think of the proposals? It relates to this thread but you haven’t made the slightest comparison.

    And please try not to avoid me altogether, don’t you know that is rude. Also I see you have embarked on deleting comments which are none too kind to your ‘blogging’. That demonstrates insecurity.

    Btw how are all your ‘pr’ businesses doing? http://www.blogger.com/profile/02972898306227643157, why do you have so many? And don’t you think using blogspot is just damn cheap looking?

  • Justin Case

    Meiow…

  • Justin Case…

    I am more of a dog person myself Pippakin

  • Justin Case

    No, no cannot see that. I have two dogs, and neither of them, not even the female, do ‘bitchy’.

  • Justin Case…

    Pippakin,

    If I wanted to do ‘bitchy’ I would draw attention to some of the pieces on your ‘blog’, but I don’t do bitchy so I won’t say your style of writing is atrocious.

  • Andrew, why don’t the DUP just stand aside in the interests of unionist unity, like they have already done in that hotbed of nationalism/repulicanism, North Down?

  • oneill,

    honestly, put your hand on the holy bible and tell me that the UUP who have just invited the OO in talks on the future of Ulster and the who have the vast majority of their elected members also in that organsiation are in any realistic way offering a secular 21st Century version of UK Unionism and I’m afraid it will be eternal damnation for you.

    …and if you are a non believer then may I suggest you try and line up what may be laudable apsirations with the reality that the ingrained sectarianism that runs through the DNA of the party and which is confirmed by the overlapping OO/UUP membership and also by the abject failure of UCUNF to meet its own grandiosely self proclaimed non tribal objectives.

  • Harry J

    #

    Andrew, why don’t the DUP just stand aside in the interests of unionist unity, like they have already done in that hotbed of nationalism/repulicanism, North Down?
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Apr 11, 2010 @ 07:43 PM

    the DUP stood aside in NOrth Down because there was a sitting Unionist MP. Shame the UUP dont do the same

  • MU

    Simple question: how many of the 18 CU candidates for this election are OO members?
    A “vast majority”?

  • “the DUP stood aside in NOrth Down because there was a sitting Unionist MP.”

    It was a “sitting Unionist MP” last time as well, the DUP still competed, why?

  • Harry J

    times have changed and the Unionist electorate want their politicians working together. Those who dont will pay a price

  • oneill,

    I am talking about those elected in the here and now as opposed to those that might (and a very big might at that) be elected in the future I suggest that the vast majority of elected UUP members are also members of the OO which they join to ensure they get elected.

    If I am overstating the case please be so good as to provide me with the actual figures? Would it fair to say that they are an acute embarassment to you – that is assuming you have a secular bone in your political body.

  • PaddyReilly

    There seems to be a total failure here to understand the nature of the contest. Assembly elections are STV, with six seats per constituency. As some constituencies have four seats which are inevitably destined for Unionists, there is room for four flavours of Unionism.

    It seems to me an inevitable rule of politics that political parties fragment to the furthest degree, plus one, that the electoral system will allow for. The plus one is because there is always some outfit which is on the brink of extinction, or possibly because not every constituency has the same ideas.

    So expect that in constituencies where more than half the seats are currently held by Unionists, four flavours will emerge:-

    Liberal Unionist (the Lady Sylvia brigade)
    Conservative and Unionist
    Democratic Unionist
    Traditional Unionist

    However in Westminster elections, the system does not admit of such fragmentation, so the tendency will be, in some constituencies at least, for the contest to be between straight Unionist and straight Nationalist.

  • Reader

    Paddy Reilly: Liberal Unionist (the Lady Sylvia brigade)
    Hardly liberal! At Westminster she voted for ID cards and 42 day detention. Lady Sylvia is more nu-lab Unionist.
    The nearest we have to liberal unionism at the moment is UCUNF, though there’s certainly a bit of foot dragging.

  • Munsterview

    ”…….. for the contest to be between straight Unionist and straight Nationalist….. ” A bit discriminating there Paddy, where do Gay Unionists and Nationalists fit into the equation ?

  • Mike

    Andrew

    As I’ve said over on another thread, I am a South Belfast voter and won’t be voting for any communalist ‘unity’ candidate.

    I was a UUP voter who finally got fed up circa 2007 and decided I was going to vote Conservative next time (even though they were highly unlikely to win any seats at any level). I was enthused by the Conservative and Unionist project but would be extremely annoyed by any withdrawal in my home constituency.

    And I certainly won’t be voting for some sort of “pan-Prod” party in future. Essentially what this would achieve would be to lose people like me as voters at all.

  • PaddyReilly

    As posts 5 & 6 indicate, a word can have more than one meaning.

    UCUNF can hardly be Liberal, as it is aligned to the Conservative Party.

    I assume that if either the Liberal or Conservative Party were in power, they would accede to police demands for ID cards and 42 day detention.

  • Justin Case

    Meiow!!! I write to please me, no one else. Now be a good boy and let the grown ups debate.

  • “times have changed and the Unionist electorate want their politicians working together”

    OK, Harry J, inform us what has changed between the last Westminster election and this one… fill us in with the reasons why the DUPes have done a runner this time from N Down?

    MU

    I am talking about those elected in the here and now as opposed to those that might (and a very big might at that) be elected in the future I suggest that the vast majority of elected UUP members are also members of the OO which they join to ensure they get elected

    A party controlled by the OO has (by my reckoning) got 2 candidates out of a total of 18 belonging to the “loyal” orders.

    Hmmm…I do hope that a fair % of that 18 have been selected in at least the vague hope of being elected, yet still they have restrained from joining the OO, what’s the MU take on that one?

  • oneill,

    you are changing the point – I am talking about exisiting UUP elected officers not those without a fenian-in-the-Orange-Order-chance of getting elected.

    Regarding your seperate point of those 18 who are seeking election the fact that they are mostly not sectarian enough probably explains why they will fail to be elected.

    In most cases if you want to be an elected Unionist politician then you not only have to talk the talk during the election but you also have to walk the walk during the marching season.

  • Cynic2

    Paddy

    What is Liberal these days? Does anyone know what Clegg’s policies are? Does he? Has Miriam told him?

  • Cynic2

    If I was a party I would be wary of hitching my wagon to the OO. Membership is plummeting as they die off. The vast majority now seem over 65 and it all downhill from here

  • “Regarding your seperate point of those 18 who are seeking election the fact that they are mostly not sectarian enough probably explains why they will fail to be elected.”

    Nope, you’ve missed the point, under whose name in the election will those “not sectarian enough” be standing? Progress or not?

  • oneill,

    I made the original point about elected officers of the UUP, you changed the point to that of those who would like to but probably wont be elected.

    But on this seperate point I agree that it is progress and would not deny that there are some good secular UCUNF candidates who (presumably) do not want a loyal order about the place.

  • PaddyReilly

    Does anyone know what Clegg’s policies are?

    Not if they only read the Daily Express. May I refer you to their website.

    The Liberal Party stands for reform of the voting system, so that Liberals will always be in power. Funny that doesn’t seem to be much different from Unionism, except that Unionists have already obtained the reform that keeps them in power.

    The question remains, how would one describe the Sylvia Hermon brand of Unionism? It’s not Conservative, UCUNF have already bagged that label, Socialist or New Labour sounds a bit extreme for somewhere as well off as North Down. Is she resurrecting the NILP? Not quite. Liberal sounds better, a bit more middle of the road. Pro-agreement would also work, I think.

  • Cynic2

    Yes but saying we always want to be in power isn’t really a policy. In the case of the Liberals its a wet dream

    Its like their tax bombshell poster alleging the Tories will put up VAT. Vince Cable was asked, if he was Chancellor, might he put up VAT. Answer “Yes”

  • Mack

    Cynic2 –

    What is Liberal these days? Does anyone know what Clegg’s policies are?

    I’m not sure the British Liberal party would get to define the term, at this stage probably the most abused political moniker.

    http://fahayek.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46

  • Drumlins Rock

    dont get hung up on lables, the conservative (small c) party in Australia, and im sure several other countries is The Labour Party.