Tom Elliott (updated with video of press conference)

Tom Elliott, UUPTom Elliott has won with a comfortable majority. His supporters will be travelling back home to Fermanagh with a feeling of contentment that it was a job well done. Basil and his supporters can take some comfort from his 31.4% share of the vote, which was in his zone of acceptability.

The campaign highlighted the need for the UUP to take their brake off and shift out of reverse. Basil’s supporters will be desperately hoping that the party machine doesn’t forget that victory for Tom – particularly by such a decent margin – doesn’t mean that the issues around the party’s strategy and standing in the wider community have gone away. To survive and remain credible and influential in local politics, the UUP will need to stop the modernisers from giving up on the party and politics … or worse still, taking their energy and talents elsewhere.

The DUP will be happy tonight. Alliance will be happy that the UUP won’t be steering too far into their centre ground. And the SDLP will be upset that they’ll still not have a credible ally in the centre ground – the UUP and SDLP tend to succeed together and fail together.

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.

  • Progressive Unionist

    “I think it’s safe to say that there is a viciously sectarian streak running through certain people in that [SDLP] party.”

    Comrade, that may be true of a small few (as is the case with the UUP) but it’s certainly not my experience of the vast majority of SDLP members I’ve known or met.

    Like Slug I would certainly vote for Margaret Ritchie and Mark Durkan at Westminster level. If anything I think the SDLP are certainly further along than the UUP is in confronting internal sectarian elements and in commitment to a shared future.

  • Progressive Unionist

    “Republican supporters accept the grim necessity of the armed conflict and the consequences of it.”

    Like murdering hundreds of their fellow Irishmen and drowning the orange third of their flag in blood?


  • Munsterview

    Progressive Unionist

    Progressive ? In a pigs ear you are !

    As usual with your lot ignore a complete contextualized posting and pick out a line.

    ‘The devil citing Scripture to suit his own purpose’ is a phrase that readily to mind.

    The UVF murder of a catholic barman and the Silent Valley Explosion took place when the then IRA were already on a road to politics only and the Provos even as an idea and concept did not exist.

    It seems to me and many Nationalists and Republicans that all too often the difference between progressive unionism and DUP unionism is that while both think the same thing, so called progressives have the sense to hold their tongue in public while political clowns like Campell do not even have the wit to do that !

    I gave two weeks in Joe Cahills company visiting his contemporaries in the South and I met many of his generation in the North during the seventies. It was a last resort for all to return to armed conflict, most had seen two periods of imprisonment or internment in a pre-Provo existence and they well knew the price that they as individuals, their families and communities would have to pay for their resistance.

    Even back then Joe had the measure of your bloody lot, I heard himself and Thomas Og McCurtain discuss what would happen if the troubles lasted a few years. Joe held that at some stage the State would rearm loyalist tugs and turn them loose against nationalists, both in state uniform and out of it….. not that there was ever much difference between the activities of both sets of loyalist for nationalists / catholics, in their behavior on the ground.

    They, even back then could see the British Army handing over to a new force as the conflict was localized as it had been in other ex- Colonial countries before the Brits were kicked out. The Specials were no longer fit for purpose and there would be some kind of new Planter army.

    That generation of republicans were determined to ensure that their and my generation of Six County Nationalists would be the last to experience these conditions of second class citizenship in their own country.

    Joe Cahill, Sean Kenehan, Marie Drum, Marie Moor and the rest were successful in that.

    Finally, if you want to trade similes, are you forgetting that there was quite a bit of blood on the green part of the flag also and well before any started to go on to the orange side ?

    Same old story for Unionists of whatever hue…… all State violence including the Bloody Sunday and Ballymurphy massacres is simply imposing the King or Queens peace and any armed Republican response, terrorism, toryism or whatever ‘ism’ is in vogue at the time

    Stuff your black and white world no matter how well you attempt to square it off or whatever levels you try and present it, in.

    It is over……gone…….learn to live with it !

  • Progressive Unionist

    Munsterview, with respect: The PIRA “armed conflict”, however some wish to rationalise it, was directed largely against their fellow Irishmen and women (of the Unionist tradition), and thousands are dead as a result.

    If the Irish Tricolour was invented earlier this morning, with it’s symbolism of equality in Ireland between the orange and green, it could be potentially inspirational. But that’s not the case. You can’t divorce the flag from the (recent) history.

    From your post above, I’m guessing (correct me if I’m wrong) that you see yourself as an Irish Republican. – and so surely you believe in the meaning of the Irish Tricolour? Equality between Orange and Green?

    And yet, regarding our Orange third of the flag, you say these things: “As usual with your lot”… “Even back then Joe had the measure of your bloody lot”… “some kind of new Planter army”… “Same old story for Unionists of whatever hue…”…

    I am your fellow Irishman, albeit of a different tradition (proudly British and Unionist – as well as proudly Irish).

    I cannot for the life of me understand how these sentiments you express are consistent with the idea of Irish republicanism?

    It seems to me… all too often the difference between progressive unionism and DUP unionism is that while both think the same thing, so called progressives have the sense to hold their tongue in public while political clowns like Campell do not even have the wit to do that!

    Really? Trevor Ringland? Basil McCrea? Roy Garland? – all “holding their tongue in public” – you really think that?

    “It is over……gone…….learn to live with it !”

    To be honest, I just don’t know how to respond to that. It’s just nowhere near that simple – and I think you know that too.