Peter McCann, has a guest post at Jeff Peel’s site:
UCUNF could and should have brought a realignment within Unionism. Something that would have been welcomed by a sizeable number of voters. Realignment is not, as has been portrayed by some, Unionist Unity. Unionist Unity is simply ‘them and us’ politics that is devoid of any mature or rational thinking. The realignment that is needed is something that redefines what it means to be pro-union.
Pro-union is celebrating our links with and contribution to the UK. It must stand for civil and religious freedom, where all sections of society can participate – regardless of sex or sexual orientation; whatever religion or non-religion; it should not matter if you are able bodied or disabled – we must build a forgiving and tolerant society of equals.
Any election campaign based on Conservative principles such as these would and should have been extremely uncomfortable for some within the UUP. It could well have prompted the defection of those not in favour of inclusive and non-tribal politics. Would that have been a bad thing? I don’t think so.
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