Trouble at t’ UUP Mill?

While the UUP leadership contest provides the surface focus there’s talk of possible legal challenges to the membership list.

The Belfast Telegraph understands many on the list have not paid dues and in some cases missed several deadlines to do so.

Letters are to be sent informing individuals they cannot take part in the vote on Wednesday, September 22, despite an amnesty offer by party chairman David Campbell a few months ago.

Mr McCrea said: “I can confirm I did formally ask to see the membership list when I submitted my nomination papers last week.

“I think it is only fair that I get the list so I can see who the people are I have to canvass. But so far it has not been made available.

“This is the first time that we have held a one member, one vote election for party leader and it is imperative that those who are entitled to vote are able to.”

And, in the background, the selection of the party’s candidates for next year’s NI Assembly election is also causing waves.

The sitting MLA, and Deputy Assembly Speaker, David McClarty faces deselection after the UUP’s East Londonderry election committee failed to select him as a candidate.  Only the party’s Executive Committee can save him.  But he’s already quoted as as being “devasted” by the decision.

Today a BBC report adds

Another Ulster Unionist MLA may face deselection following a vote in Upper Bann on Wednesday night.

George Savage came fifth in the selection meeting. His Assembly colleague Sammy Gardiner came third.

The poll was topped by Colin McCusker, son of former MP Harold, while Craigavon councillor Joanne Dobson came second.

On Monday, Ulster Unionists in East Londonderry chose two other candidates ahead of deputy speaker David McClarty.

The party’s Westminster candidate Harry Hamilton came fourth.

It is understood the party is planning to run three candidates in the constituency.

They tried three candidates in East Londonderry in 2007.

Update  The BBC report is misleading, unless Harry Hamilton has switched constituencies since this year’s general election – which is unlikely to say the least.

More likely is that he came 4th in Upper Bann selection poll.

And that three candidates will be selected there.

We’ll have to wait to see what the final candidate lists, in both constituencies, look like.

, , , ,

  • slug

    The old guard of UUP Assembly MLAs I assume deserve to be given a lot of credit–they were politicians through the tough times and that required bravery and courage.

    However many of these MLAs are I’m themselves sure willing to recognise that time moves on and its important for their Assembly team to be on average younger and more balanced. This is not trouble at’mill. Renewal at the mill so the wheel does not grind to a halt.

  • Dewi

    I know the figures arn’t in the public domain but what’s your estimate of membership numbers Pete?

  • drumlins rock

    Pete first thing is I’m think your getting EL & UB mixed up there, its prob 2 in EL and 3 in UB.

  • Pete Baker

    You might be right. But that’s not how the BBC report reads.

    They did run 3 in EL in 2007.

    And it might be the only way to get McClarty on the ticket without knocking out one of the 2 already selected by the local election committee.

  • Pete Baker

    Haven’t the foggiest notion, Dewi.

  • Pete Baker

    “However many of these MLAs are I’m themselves sure willing to recognise that time moves on and its important for their Assembly team to be on average younger and more balanced.”

    Again, you might be right.

    But these sitting MLAs have put their names forward and their local selection committees have not selected them.

  • slug

    That would not be sensible. I expect they will have to bite the bullet and select just the two.

  • drumlins rock

    pete its a dogs dinner of an article, making Harry Hamilton out to be the 4th choice in EL, think they have inserted that sentence in the wrong place.

  • Pete Baker

    Good point DR.

  • drumlins rock

    I personally think it would be a big mistake running two “liberal” candidates in East Londonderry, and would virtually eliminate the possibility of second seat, can you really see either of those chose gaining the TUV transfers when they are eliminated?

  • It has always been a rule that candidates for leadership or anything else) do not get the membership list. From recollection and central mailing with information from each canidatee is pemitted. Basil is making a fuss over a rule that applies to both candidates. Anyone running for leader should have a wide enough base of supporters to be able to canvas locally, and if a candidate does not have that base/reach then really the question would be should that candidate be in the race at all.

  • Cynic

    Is it true that a large number of new members have suddenly appeared on the membership list in FST? Indeed so many that its now not so much the Ulster Unionist Party now as more the Fermanagh Rump Unionist Party – FRUMP.

    A cynic might have assumed that many of those new members might have been champing at the bit to vote for local boy Tom Elliott as Leader. Indeed, some of the older Party Officers due for the chop under Basil might have thought that was the way things would go.

    But two strange things seem to have happened.

    First, someone has noticed that to vote in the leadership contents they have had to be members for 6 months – and they haven’t been.

    Second, many of them seem strangely disinclined to vote for Tom Elliott anyway and may be more impressed with Basil.

    Indeed, all of this and the differences between the two candidates seems to be causing consternation among the Party officers. One or two are rumoured to even be advocating postponing the election (as if it hasn’t taken long enough already) to ‘avoid a schism in the party and allow passions to cool’

    Such a delay would allow time for sober reflection they say. It would also allow time for all those new Fermanagh members to become eligible to vote and for emergency surgery on the engine of the Good Ship Elliott which currently seems dead in the water while the Basil Battle Cruiser ploughs on regardless with guns trained on the Armchair Admirals in the Party Officers Group

    Politics is a rum old game

  • If they add McClarity that would be 3. The UUP vote has been in steady decline, and that wasn’t halted by a fresh face. It just isn’t that sort of constituency. As a relatively safe Unionist seat the UUP vote declines while the DUP vote is steady. Different to East Belfast, but the same principle holds. If a new message and fresh face, with professional campaigning was all it took then the UUP should have seen some improvement it didn’t. That lost/missing/elusive vote either chooses to slap the DUP (EB and not by voting UUP but Alliance) or staying at home as in EL.

  • slug

    The Ruling Cabal of Officers in the UUP – it is hard to conceive of a group more worthy of summary execution.

  • Dan

    As much as I want the UUP to continue on with the quite funny impending implosion that seems destined to happen, I do feel somewhat sorry for the seemingly decent-ish McCrea. Therefore, do I want this sorry state of affairs to continue and have them collapse into the toxic waste they would if the likes of Elliot were allowed to win, or do I want to see if any good could come out of a McCrea win?

    I’m torn.

  • Pete Baker

    Perhaps the post should be titled “Grassroots Revolution at t’ UUP Mill?”

  • alan56

    It was alway likely that this would get rough and so it is.
    I feel sorry for Elliot that he has become tarnished with the failure of the party establishment over the last 10 years. Elliot did not start out an an establishment candidate but it seems they chose him. Doing him no real favours I suspect. He needs to ditch them quick and assert his own vision for the party if he is to avoid a McCrea victory by default. This has turned into another mess choreographed and presided over by the same team of illustrious party officers. Oh dear….!

  • Cynic

    Its like a Punch And Judy show but where Mr Punch has escaped and become his own man.

    My money is that Basil gets the sausages.

  • slug

    Lets not be too lily-livered. There should be competition for the post of leader. Indeed I believe there should be more public debates between the two similar to what we have seen countiless times among the Labour contenders. (A point made on 3000 Versts today). The debate should be courteous but there is no reason why the alternative positions cannot be laid out in public debate in a courteous way.

  • slug

    Can we have a public debate between the two candidates please? Similar to how Labour is doing theirs?

  • drumlins rock

    Cynic your living up to your name but talking crap. The six month rule means there is no point in a last minute rush, FST has always had a very high membership level, although many of them are older and severly disadvantaged by having to travel in person to belfast, to give you an idea you would have to leave home at 4pm to make it down in time and would be returning long after midnight, if there is a rush of people willing to to do that because they think Tom will be a good leader then they deserve a vote! but wont get one.

  • Dan

    Alan: “tarnished with the failure of the party”? I would have thought his ‘screw an Chumann Lúthchleas Gael’ attitude would be the perfect mindset of the party of old.

  • UUP Supporter

    Cynic, I have it on very good authority that the number of new members in FST can be counted on the fingers of one hand

  • drumlins rock

    no problem, would you be free on the 22nd? think we could get the Waterfront Hall for it.

  • joeCanuck

    Most political parties are coalitions of a sort, with at least two wings. This is exemplified by this current leadership battle.
    To continue a military analogy used earlier, the UUP has been adrift since Jeffrey Donaldson rent it asunder with his repeated attacks on the leadership. It seems to me from afar that they don’t really have a clue as to where they want to go or how to claw back the voters who deserted to the DUP when they began their slow slide to the centre.
    They need to elect the leader most likely to be able to unite both wings and develop a vision for the future. For example, the attempt to forge a strong link to the Conservative Party was a good idea but it was badly executed. They also need to find a wedge issue that will draw back some of the loosely attached DUP supporters. They should have been able to do that with the shenanigans of the DUP leadership but failed; those voters disgusted went to Alliance in East Belfast.

  • slug

    Indeed – a fair analysis.

  • slug

    On Telly before the final debate.

  • Cynic

    Thats not my information but time will tell. Perhaps someone added up the ballot papers wrongly – it happens a lot down there

  • sammymehaffey

    Yes they appear to be a bunch of self serving dictators far removed from the feelings of the natural UUP public. Perhaps they would be more at home on the IFA.

  • sammymehaffey

    Has wee Jeffrey really been a loss to the party.?He has been strangely quiet for someone whose volume is usually turned up quite high.

  • joeCanuck

    Because of something that was WRIT?

  • Mrazik

    Maybe he’s lost the remote control?

  • slug

    OK guys. I’m no fan of Donaldson. But I don’t think these comments are very gracious.

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    Cynic,

    As a Party Officer I can confirm that what you are saying is complete and utter nonsense, so whoever you are hearing it from obviously isn’t as well in as they think they are.

    Thedissenter,

    Very true, when I joined I did not tick a box allowing my information to be disclosed, therefore I do not want my home address etc just been shown to anyone who cries conspiracy.

    Slug,

    Please don’t be so easily taken in by certain candidates’ rather hasty comments of party colleagues.

    Drumlins Rock,

    Very true, any members coming from Fermanagh on the 22nd will have to be spend 4 or 5hrs on the road that night, so this argument that Fermanagh distorts the vote is erroneous.

  • joeCanuck

    Is it symptomatic of the Party that they apparently don’t know how to organize an electronic vote? It’s ridiculous that people would have to spend that amount of time on the road to cast a vote.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dropping a candidate in alongside the other three is a tricky business. Balancing the vote to maximize the possibility of winning requires full co-operation from everyone involved, and that might be hard to do if the local association perceive that HQ has attempted to go over their heads.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Basil is making a fuss over a rule that applies to both candidates.

    This is characteristic Basil – shooting from the hip without stopping to think about the implications.

  • Greenflag

    Wee Jeffrey Donaldson would have made a good leader for the UUP :)?

    I guess he missed the boat when he jumped ship for the more floatable DUP . On the other hand his earlier criticisms of the UUP leadership seem to have been in retrospect on the nail .

  • sammymehaffey

    Perhaps they need to meet with heir friends?

  • joeCanuck

    Don’t agree, Greenflag. I think he singlehandedly destroyed the unity of the UUP. Had he achieved his aim, which was indeed, to become leader, the party would have self-destructed immediately. His repeated calling of meetings to usurp Trimble set them on such a course.

  • sammymehaffey

    Surely nobody could ever think that wee Jeff could ever be a leader of anything?

  • asitis

    I don’t think the current crop of officers are anything like they are being portrayed, those I know seem to put the party before personal interests and spend an awful lot of time voluntarily working to that end.

    It is very easy to slate them as faceless fools but in reality they seem to genuinely care about the good of the party. As for old has-beens;

    Mark Cosgrove, Paula Bradshaw, Richard Holmes, Philip Smith, Sandra Overend, Bill Manwaring and Mark Ovens all seem quite moderate and forward thinking – not sure there is a ‘cabal’ in that group, it also surprises me why Basil would want rid of such ‘non establishment’, and obviously committed, volunteers.

  • Peter Brown

    Yes it was all Jeffrey’s fault – that’s why he’s still an MP with one of the largest majorities in the UK and the party he rent asunder (sic) single handedly but which now has no MPs when it had 10 in 1997 and 6 when he left. Everything is Jeffrey’s fault …are there still people out there who believe that?

    I suspect that if you ask former UUP voters why they no longer vote UUP Jeffrey will not be in the top ten reasons but I could hazard a guess at most of them….

  • Drumlin Rock

    can somebody name this Cabal?

  • Drumlin Rock

    I would agree Joe, and if your a member in good standing attendance should not be necessary to vote, a postal vote should be available.

  • Pete Baker

    “This is the first time that we have held a one member, one vote election for party leader and it is imperative that those who are entitled to vote are able to.”?

  • Seeker

    As Posted below

    asitis says:9 September 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I don’t think the current crop of officers are anything like they are being portrayed, those I know seem to put the party before personal interests and spend an awful lot of time voluntarily working to that end.

    It is very easy to slate them as faceless fools but in reality they seem to genuinely care about the good of the party. As for old has-beens;

    Mark Cosgrove, Paula Bradshaw, Richard Holmes, Philip Smith, Sandra Overend, Bill Manwaring and Mark Ovens all seem quite moderate and forward thinking – not sure there is a ‘cabal’ in that group, it also surprises me why Basil would want rid of such ‘non establishment’, and obviously committed, volunteers.

  • slug

    Actually I should say I didn’t really mean the above-I was just saying it for a laugh.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Nah, the tone is very much that of casting doubt over the election process.

  • Pete Baker

    But is it accurate, CS?

    The first time they’ve held a “one member, one vote election for party leader”?

  • joeCanuck

    sic: asunder▸ adverb: into parts or pieces (“Torn asunder”)

    Courtesy of Shorter OED

  • sammymehaffey

    That is not the Cabal. What makes you think Paula is a long standing officer of the party?

  • Cynic

    All the FST members seem very sensitive on this issue.

    Has Basil got his copy of the definitive members list yet?

  • Yes. This is right. Previously delegate based UUC. Rules might have been there for Reg, but there was no vote of course.

  • Cynic

    look at the state of the party and say that again with a straight face

  • Comrade Stalin

    It is not very surprising, one member one vote is actually relatively unusual in terms of UK parties, and parties here as well I suspect. In Alliance the senior party leaders and executive are all elected by council delegates who are in turn drawn from the constituency associations (and IIRC the leader has to be re-elected every year at the AGM).

  • Greenflag

    JC , apologies I was’nt being entirely serious above note the yellow face.:)

    Some might say that the self destruction of the UUP has been underway since Brian Faulkner’s time and is now overdue which ironically is in keeping with it’s traditional glacial approach to any change be it social , economic or political .

    I think it was Churchill who made the point that ratting on your party was ok as long as you were successful . Reratting i.e multiple political leaps back and forth across the political boundaries is only possible for the true political survivor by which he presumably meant himself 🙂

  • Comrade Stalin

    Jeffrey was a sitting MP. That’s a big loss, especially when you consider that most of his votes crossed over with him. Which is an interesting point to consider if you want to discuss whether NI voters value the candidate (and his reputation for local constituency work) more than the party at the polling booth.

  • Impartial Observer

    Not a spelling issue Joe but the fact that the party is not rent asunder and if it is JD was not solely responsible.

    Its problem is as Greenflag states below is that it has been suffering death by a thousand cuts for a considerable period of time and was probably mortally wounded before Jeffrey came along and is still suffering wounds now (mostly self inflicted). Perhaps a world record attempt for the world’s longest harakiri?

  • asitis

    sammy

    That is the majority of the officers group,

    Paula was elected for her second term as Communications Officer in March.

    Cynic

    As I said, from what I see of those above, they seem to have a genuine desire to work for the party, doing so in a voluntary capacity.

    Maybe of other ‘committed’ members of the UUP considered the party above their own personal agendas,the party wouldn’t be in the state you mention

  • drumlins rock

    Cynic , you make baseless accusiation like “its now not so much the Ulster Unionist Party now as more the Fermanagh Rump Unionist Party – FRUMP.” and then accuse us of being oversensitive for putting the record straight. We only have the membership list for our own constituency like everyone else, stop stirring up lies and half truths.

  • Cynic

    I stand by those comments.As you are so well informed what is the breakdown of the membership numbers by constituency?

  • Cynic

    ….then they don’t seem to be very good at it, give the performance and fiasco over candidate selection at the General election

  • john hunter gowan

    Its all over Basil has won. tom Elliott has said he wouldnt go to a rugby match!! (Check out the Impartial Reporter)
    Ken Maginnis will be backing Basil now for sure!

  • davidonlineone

    It wouldn’t be the Party Officers team I’d be specifically looking at as accountable for the Westminister results – its the members of the joint committee and in particular the chairman that need to go – or at least justify or outline what impact they had – for example, who endorsed ‘new force’ and the lack of UUP branding or the removal of adrian watson in antrim?

  • informed

    The long fact has been, and this is probably why the uup in the past had a delegate system, Fermanagh always had the bulk, possibly up to a third, of theoverall UUP membership.

    So all along in a one member one vote scenario fermanagh and S. Tyrone would be a crucial battle ground.

    If some people didn’t realise that, then they didn’t know the UUP!

    I suspect there has been no influx of members on fermanagh, what has happened is that suddenly someone has realised that on average the party membership in each constituency is approx 150, but in fermanagh it could be 750 tough one for Basil!!

  • informed

    THe real issue regarding Jeffey his is now the leader the UUP never had, regardless of what he did to the UUP had he stayed he would have been the leader instead of Reg, and potentially he would have been First Minister if he could have pulled the party together.

    No some will find this far fetched but while he was hated by some inthe UUP by the end, his treacherywas joining the DUP. Had he stayed post Trimble he would have been rehabilitated.

    Yes. Peter, he is an MP, but you knew jeffrey, that wasn’t his only ambition, he may still have a chance – though personally I doubt it inthe DUP – but has been eclipsed by Arlene and may be the adage – he who wields the knife never wears the crown may actually mean Never wears the crown

  • Joseph Addison

    The Cabal in my humble opinion is Campbell,Maginnes, Cooper,Cobain and Kennedy ; with occasional input from Elliot, McNary, Miller; Cosgrove,Nicholl, Rogan and Wilson. The majority of the officer team have been kept in the dark as have the Executive. This is a classic example of Mushroom Management or the creation of officers responsible for sexual matters.” When we want your fffffing opinion we’ll ask you for it; until then Belt Up” In my opinion Empey wan never a full member — hence he was doomed from the very start. I also think that Campbell has orchestrated the near total collapse of the UUP vote from 258K to 102K during his time.
    This is the reason for the total lack of faith in the Cabal 491K are not voting for anybody. Alan Macfarland is right the Cabal are in complete and utter denial; have no clue whatsoever and can only offer total decline under Elliot their chosen puppet. Listening to him is like watching a rerun of the ” Life of Bryan” What have the Romans ever done for us.
    If Basil is not elected leader the Party might as well shut up shop ASAP.

  • sammymehaffey

    Exactly correct about the Cabal. Campbell and McNarry etc have kept the party in the dark ages.
    The Paula’s of this world are not responsible for the decline. It is amazing that they have stayed this long.

  • fudged

    The cabal have been running the party while Empey tried to lead.Schomberg and Hatfield were the high points for the cabal that wrecked the UCUNF project .It never had a chance after Mc Narry said ‘united we stand divided we fall’ and yet he claimed to be one of the projects champions at the beginning of the process .The truth is the success of UCUNF would have weakened the cabal(and their side interests in business/ property ventures) .Empey lost control and when Hatfield backfired and it hit the headlines in the Times Patterson panicked and Empey regained control to enable him to deliver a credible and tragically almost successful performance of 102,000 votes with himself almost winning in S Antrim .The mixed messages however had meant the project was doomed.The cabal have to go the only hope is Basil.Kinahan’s attempt to bring the two sides together while brave will only continue the fudge of orange control which will always consign the UUP to the sidelines within its comfort zone of managed decline.This campaign is like old vs new Labour and winning is about getting out of that comfort zone

  • Joseph Addison

    Rule 11(5) of the current party rules state that not less than 15% of the council may petition the Chairman to convene an emergency meeting. One might well ask how many members does the Council have? Therefore a motion of no confidence in the Chairman of the Party is obtainable, considering the dissatisfaction about his conducting the Party in the best interests of the Council. A petition could be organised at the Waterfront Hall on the 22/10/10. We have all had enough and the constant cries of promised reform and pleadings for party unity are now falling on an increasing number of deaf ears. We have been promised reform and jam tomorrow and told not to rock the boat. Thus our good natured and hopeful response has earned us the continued tyranny of the Cabal and continuously emasculated all progress.
    The majority of the MLA team are near or well over retiring age with no women Assembly Members. The party does not reflect the make up of the Electorate. Approximately 14 are members of the Orange or similar orders. All are white and all appear to be Protestants. There appears to even be no Agnostics let alone Atheists, Jews. Roman Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs, Mohammedans, Buddhists or any other religion.This Party is meant to be representative of 1.6 million people!!! Secularity is essential and the party needs to adopt a policy of not using the Union Jack as a political emblem. Prayers should be dropped along with the singing of the National Anthem ramming a totally false premise of so called Uber Protestant Supremacy is not for the 21st century. It is to old hat and ante deluvian. Some might even say prehistoric . I inwardly love my Monarch and Country. I am happy inwardly doing that in a self deprecating and British way.
    Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.

  • Cynic

    Dear Lord if you don’t think Wilson should have gone there’s no hope for you

  • Cynic

    ..sorry Watson, not wilson

  • Peter Brown

    I agree with everything except the last line – the UUP has for a considerable period of time been like a tediously long version of the Emperor’s New Clothes except that he only had one set of invisible clothes and when the crowds turned on him he accepted that he had been wrong.

    Surely if Tom is merely a new version of the same invisible clothes the Party is currently wearing Basil is a different set of invisble clothes – New Labour New Clothes as it were.

    A triumph of spin over substance whose manifesto is radical change within the party (where have we heard that before?) but nothing to appeal to voters except going to GAA matches and Gay Pride – the voters lost to the DUP are unlikely to be wooed back to the UUP by these initiatives and aren;t the Alliance party already wearing the clothes that Basil is trying to steal?

    If garden centre unionists (assuming for the purpose of this exercise that they actually exist) aren’t already voting for the Alliance Parety why will they vote for Basil and the New UUP when they didn’t really vote for the immediately post GFA UUP which must have been the most appealing incarnation of a unionist party to them?

    Two bald men fighting over a comb…..

  • john greene

    If the media run with the story Jeff Peel has posted on his website Basil will be in trouble!

  • Joseph Addison

    John Greene,
    If Tom Elliott and the Cabal start their Remove The Whip from Basil Campaign or he wins I think the majority of Moderate Unionists(Liberalistas to McNasty) will remove themselves from the UUP. Then he will have his little Uber Us Alone Orange,Purple and Black Political Sect of The very slightest umbrage takers doing a Unionist Unity Jig with Robinson and Campbell’s best friend Paisley Junior. Misuse of Westminster and Stormont funds will become an even better art form than ever. Incidentally why are publicly funded parliamentary aides working for Elliott. Add Empey, McGimpsey and Nicholson to the Cabal team as well. The political joint vested perks laden gravy train filled with bus pass holders must go on.

  • UUP Supporter

    http://jeffpeel.net/2010/09/11/basil-mccreas-hypocrisy/

    Interesting – maybe Basil isn’t so red?

    Or maybe he doesn’t know what he really believes

  • slug

    Basil was never RED. He is centre right.

  • UUP Supporter

    Then why does he keep talking about working with the Labour Party in England?

  • slug

    I have not heard him do so.

  • UUP Supporter

    What about what he believes, to have offered to join the Conservatives a few months ago, he has certainly backed down now, change of mind or political opportunism?

  • Drumlin Rock

    I’m not a big fan of Mr Peel obviously, but he was vice-chair of the NI conservatives at the time and his account sounds accurate so I’m taking the following quote as accurate….
    “McCrea made clear to me – and Owen Paterson, Conservative spokesman on Northern Ireland at the time – that he may even defect to the Conservatives if the UUP was not prepared to do the deal.”
    Sounds not very loyal of Basil, but not overly surprising either.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Here’s an article where Paula Bradshaw condemned an attack in the area where she is the director of a community regeneration organization :

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10373606

    “[Bradshaw] said tensions had been raised when carloads of young men came into the area to attack bonfires and steal flags.”

    We are very fortunate to have politicians who so helpfully explain the background to random sectarian attacks. I’m sure the thugs who committed the attack were pleased that a a local public figure was able to helpfully explain to the public their justification for the attacks, and that she took special care to make sure that the justifications were true.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Basil is compulsive; he’s like a dog that chases cars. He just doesn’t stop to think things through.

    He clearly didn’t have the foresight to see that this kind of comment could be used against him in the future.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If Tom Elliott and the Cabal start their Remove The Whip from Basil Campaign or he wins I think the majority of Moderate Unionists(Liberalistas to McNasty) will remove themselves from the UUP.

    There are no moderate unionists in the UUP, ergo there will be no immediate change in the party membership of any significance if McCrea loses. Jeff Peel’s story (not news to many of us but I’m glad he put it on record) exposes him a busted flush.

    Then he will have his little Uber Us Alone Orange,Purple and Black Political Sect of The very slightest umbrage takers doing a Unionist Unity Jig with Robinson and Campbell’s best friend Paisley Junior.

    A position which is clearly not opposed by the majority of UUP members or MLAs, as not a single one of them objected to it when Rodney Connor ran. You can’t flip flop on this sort of shit and get away with it.

    Misuse of Westminster and Stormont funds will become an even better art form than ever. Incidentally why are publicly funded parliamentary aides working for Elliott.

    Do you really want there to be public discussion in the MSM of Basil’s utter mismanagement of his office costs allowance ?

  • radex

    The disqualification of members who have paid their subs less than 6 months previously is very dubious. It seems to be based on the premise that membership lapses on 31st December each year. That implies that there are no valid members during at least the first half of January except those who paid in the previous year, which is a very small proportion of the membership – most pay at their Constituency Association meeting in late January. Members of many years standing seem to revert, acc. to the rule book, to a probationary membership for 6 months after they have paid their fees, unless they maintain their membership continuity by paying their dues for the subsequent year before the close of the preceding year. The logic of this would seem to be that there could never be a leadership election in the first 6 months of the year because over 90% of the membership would be on probation. I hope some of the lawyers get their teeth into this.

  • Dan

    Sure everyone knows to regenerate an area you have to set fire to it every now and again.

  • Seeker

    I have heard him say a number of times that he would be more of a Labour supporter, maybe he could clarify. He certainly seems to have surrounded himself with some of the more left of centre members of the party.

    The examples of his bad judgement keep coming, the Office Cost Alowance fiasco, getting all friendly with the shadow Secretary of state then saying he never agreed with the conservative link up.

    Add his ‘pledges’ of firing the party officers and running an annual ‘X Factor’ for his MLA’s makes you wonder just what kind of mess the UUP would become if he were successful.

    Let’s hope we never find out