‘The 2010 Group.’

Another meeting of disenchanted members of the Ulster Unionist Party takes place this week-end.

‘The 2010 Group’ has already drafted the broad parameters of a constitution embracing both political and economic principles.

What is emerging poses a dilemma for Tom Elliott’s leadership. He has been at pains to promote the notion of internal party discipline. The members identified with the ‘The 2010 Group’ have deliberately chosen to defy his leadership.

It is difficult at this stage to evaluate the true impact of this political schism in the Ulster Unionist Party.

The fall out from the secret Hatfield talks revealed by this writer continues to be impacting in the Ulster Unionist party.

The tone being struck by the ‘The 2010 Group’ is at variance with the aspiration of those seeking Unionist unity with the DUP.
Eamonn Mallie

  • Pete Baker


    Do you have anything remotely resembling what an objective observer might consider to be an accurate description of a member of this “2010 Group”?

  • dwatch

    It looks like this small group is an anti Orange faction being led by pro Conservative/Liberal supporters within the UUP.
    Will they come to anything, be disciplined, or just fizzle out?

  • Alias

    Well, given that the left/liberal faction didn’t like the Tory link (Lady Herman resigned) and the Tory faction won’t like the left/liberal faction, I’d say that if the 2010 Group forms a rival party that we can look forward to the 2011 Group or 2012 Group at the latest.

    The best thing for Mr Elliot to do now would be to eject these cranks from the party.

  • IJP

    I’m no fan of Tom Elliott’s UUP, but frankly any group of egotistical discontents can leak things to make themselves feel important.

    It’s not news unless there are some serious names turning up to these meetings. I would ask Eamonn: are there any MLAs? Prominent past elected representatives? Recent election candidates? (Any women, even?)

  • aquifer

    If this group can link to the tories the UUP have a terminal problem.

  • drumlins rock

    Who is this group?

  • Cynic

    Tom Elliotts seems a perfectly nice Fermanagh man but if he is the answer, the UUP is dead.

    Yes, the UUP website today does have two brief statements acknowledging yesterdays Financial Statement by the Chancellor. They are brief, cogent but lack any sense of ideas or direction. They also share equal prominence with a statement on the Leaders commitment on changes to the law on hen welfare where he does have ideas – to lobby the EU and get more grants for farmers..

    Ah well, all politics is local

  • Mark McGregor

    This stuff is useless. If there is absolutely no detail given on the members of this group these blogs have no context and therefore no value.

    What is worse is the author, a journalist, claims to know who is involved but is agreeing to keep that vital information private.

  • IJP

    It’s not often I agree 100% with Mark McGregor!

  • drumlins rock

    can we have the wee thumbs up “like this” on slugger ?

  • I can’t understand where the journalism is here and, in terms of leaking by people involved, I can’t understand it either. If a confidence isn’t being broken, what’s the purpose of providing information about the group before it’s prepared to declare itself?

    If the idea of the group is to develop ideas and strategy and more importantly build influence and add members, then these silly little insubstantial posts are only going to be a hindrance, rather than a help.

    To me, the reaction from a journalist to rumours of disillusioned UUP members organising would be – that’s interesting, best keep and eye on that and keep in contact to see whether anything develops. But then maybe I’m being naive and the natural thing is to blurt out half formed elliptical posts on a blog or twitter.

    I’m more confused about these contributions than anything else to be honest. Not about the content, or the Group, just about the genesis and purpose of the posts.

  • Agreed. Not sure whether its the group or the ‘journalist’ seeking most attention.

  • dwatch

    Agree with IJP & M Mag, if nothing is published in the media shortly you can forget about them.

    “The 2010 group” may be a bunch of disillusioned UUP academic business members who like holding dinner parties in each other houses in the nude somewhere in the leafy suburbs of South Belfast,Cherry-valley or Cultra.

    They could not be holding secret love in’s with lefty Prods
    on welfare “Down in Sandy Row were the Fenians never go”

  • bob wilson

    Also as thereis no thread on PMS a quick resume

    PMS engages in activity it shouldnt have. DETI (Stormont) fails to regulate
    Gordon Brown guarantee to ‘Britsh banks’ undermines and destroys PMS
    Stormont and Labour Govt fiddle around endlessly and solve nothing.
    New Conservative Govt – who were not responsible for failure to regulate or destruction of PMS come to power
    Paterson and Cameron take a personal interest and in the teeth of a dreadful financial crisis cough up the support needed to resolve PMS
    Media maintain tedious coverage based on premise ‘NI is hard done by, ‘the English’ dont care and our politicans are ‘fighting our corner’

    To over emphaise – the Conservatives could have ignored this problem but have Chosen not to.
    The DUP and SF have in no way ‘forced’ this decision

  • WhiteKnight

    This group (their cabal to counter the old-boy cabal, perhaps?) believes that the UUP will lose votes and MLAs at the Assembly elections next May, along with losses in the local government elections the same day.

    Consequently, they believe (although hope is probably a more accurate term) there will be another internal crisis and that Tom will fall on his sword—leaving the way open for some gallant liberal to champion the cause through to the next general election.

    It’s hard to believe that Mark Finlay (the potential ‘third man’ in the leadership race a few weeks ago) is not involved in this. He hopes to win an Assembly seat by then in South Belfast—bringing with him money, business connections and media savvy; and none of Basil’s baggage.

    Quite why they have chosen this drip-drip to Eamonn is beyond me. It would have been much better to organise first and prepare a strategy, than indulge in an ego-driven exercise which just makes the UUP look even more pathetic than usual.

    Too many of these people are in politics for themselves than for the UUP.


  • another pointless non story from mallie

  • “Stormont and Labour Govt fiddle around endlessly and solve nothing.”

    Problem with that narratuve is the proposal adopted was the one the Executive developed and Labour had indicated it would look favourably upon.

    The Coalition brought no new thinking at all instead they simply dragged the decision out for months for what looks like no other reason than the PR value on the day the axe fell.

  • cynic47

    I am amazed that such a senior journalist has allowed himself to be used to plant this pathetic leak. Surely he should be writing up a paid article in the press with names etc. Is that not what journalists do? Why wait for someone else to steal a scoop? Maybe Mr Mallie has joined this new group and is their press officer! Surely not? There is precedent!

  • drumlins rock

    Labour were never going to go with it they didnt give a stuff, so when the Coalition government took over they had to start from scratch, of course we would have liked it sorted sooner but 6 months isn’t that bad for a government to act.

  • drumlins rock

    why should you be amazed Cynic? Eamonn was used in exactly the same way with regards the Hatfield Talks, leaking and spinning exactly the way he was told to by his “source” without substanciating or properly investigarting the allegations.

  • Seymour Major

    Perhaps we will find out something concrete soon. After all, it is not long until 2011 !

  • drumlins rock

    Seymour, maybe someone should also tell the 1922 committee that they are 88 yrs out of date!

  • Progressive Unionist

    These non-sourced posts are frustratingly vague, and the 2010 Group really should reveal themselves if they want to be taken in any way seriously.

    I know not of this new grouping – but reading between the lines, with the heavy emphasis on ‘business’ etc, could this be a straightforward breakaway from Tom’s UUP to the NI Tories – which could give the Tories critical mass sufficient to win a small handful of seats next May?

    Or do they want to form a separate party entirely? Or remain as a ginger group / organised faction within the UUP?

    Hopefully all will be revealed… they’ll look like idiots if they go on with this hiding-away-but-leaking-selectively nonsense…

  • Progressive Unionist

    This group (their cabal to counter the old-boy cabal, perhaps?) believes that the UUP will lose votes and MLAs at the Assembly elections next May, along with losses in the local government elections the same day.

    In this they’re certainly right, whoever they are…

    Consequently, they believe (although hope is probably a more accurate term) there will be another internal crisis and that Tom will fall on his sword

    but why would anyone rationally think Tom would do that before an election – after the UUP get clobbered in the election then yes certainly Tom wil be gone within a week, but it’s almost impossible to imagine a set of circumstances where Tom would fall on his sword beforehand, without fighting a single election.

    (perhaps a series of opinion polls putting the UUP in single digits – but then there are hardly any opinion polls in NI)

  • Skintown Lad

    Why does Eamonn not comment on his threads? I thought that was the point of the whole thing. This post is the equivalent of whispering “Guess what?” and then just running out the door.

  • Mark McGregor

    Skintown and others,

    It is Emaonn’s perogative to post on Slugger how he sees fit. Blogging here does not require a commitment to reply to comments – I rarely do myself these days.

    Personally I love the way he has taken to new forms of communication so well in such a short period of time.

    However, I hate this tease feed approach, where so much of the real story is suggested, hidden or drip fed.

    Spit it the feck out!

    A cub journalist described this as ‘more later Mallie’ – that isn’t blogging to me. That’s making your position in the story central and looking like a control valve between knowledge and people.

    (sorry, I’m playing the man – bad Mark)

  • Paul

    The launch of this group coincided with the start of the new academic year at QUB. Not saying that there is a connection, obviously, but it is surely a potential dimension to the alleged matter Tom Elliott must be concerned about .
    Or not.

    See, we all can be gnomic, just like the real journalists, if we try.

  • Big Bad Bob


    In what way would a “breakaway” of, say, six unknown businessmen give the NI Tories a “critical mass”?

  • Mark McGregor

    In recent memory the only party in the north that dealt with a declared internal faction was SF, the 32 County Sovereignty Committee – expelled en masse, to become the now 32CSM.

    However, even within a party as focused on internal discipline and united external face as SF those involved, later expelled, were always open about their involvement.

    This UUP ‘group’ willing to advertise its existence but not its membership or purpose looks more and more like a school boy conspiracy of people without the confidence to stand over their ‘convictions’

    Ante-up motherfeckers

  • the liberal uup wing lost the leadership election ie basil i would laugh my head off if they went and joinede another losing group the pathatic ni tories.lmao

  • GoldenFleece

    So you are saying the UUP is a losing group as well paul?

  • Munsterview

    Could be referred to as Dissidents !

  • Munsterview

    “……What is worse is the author, a journalist, claims …….!

    What’s new : is that not how the game works ?

  • Munsterview

    “………….“The 2010 group” may be a bunch of disillusioned UUP academic business members who like holding dinner parties in each other houses in the nude somewhere in the leafy suburbs of South Belfast,Cherry-valley or Cultra……..”

    So : we have had Cougar Town, we have the request for crotchless trousers from Big Maggie, then there was the hints of strange things with goats some weeks back and now nude unionist dining parties !

    Just how many in the unionist side actually realise that a political party is first of all about politics ?

  • it would be nice if the group made themselves known

  • Munsterview

    Come now, you can hardly expect the Continuity UUP to go public, can you ?

  • i dont even think such a group even exists its all a load of nonsense

  • Munsterview

    Remarkable as it may seem, the week after the election I discussed Tom with an academic from up there, now down this neck of the woods. His folk are UUP but liberal and he predicted that once the shock had worn off that the ‘progressives’ would get together and begin to function as a sort liberal think tank that could show that the UUP had to quote him, ” some brain as well as brawn” and that they were not all backwoods men !

    Could the ‘Continuity’ UUP be what this is about ?

  • Alias

    Anyone would think that the UUP members elected a sectarian mass-murderer like Adams and his sidekick McGuinness to lead their party or had a rancid old bigot like Paisley or his long-term poodle at the helm.

    In fact, Tom Elliot is a considerable step towards decency and normalisation in Ulster politics, and the fact his detractors have nothing to throw at him except idiot labels reveals their own poverty.

  • USA

    How do you manage to be sssoooo wrong sssoooo many times?

  • Seymour Major

    I’m afraid, Munsterview, this is about the disaffected within the UUP.

    In the earlier thread, they mentioned talks with “other parties” and “London.” That information indicated a co-ordinated defection by a number of people.

    The latest information indicates that this group intends to stick together as a pressure group with a set of principles. Maybe they have decided, after a round of thinking and debate, to stay within the UUP and just cause trouble.

    They should not have leaked any detail of their discussion to a journallist. That is so very clear. Any suggestion that this is brain over brawn by the liberal wing of the UUP is rather premature.

    Alias, Tom Elliott is not the worst, by any means. He is not a fool either. However, I can not accept that he represents any kind of progress from the previous leadership. Forget his remarks about gay pride and the GAA. It was really his conduct before the General Election that gave away his true colours and his selfishness which has now caused the schism within the UUP.

    When I look back on Elliott’s conduct before the general election, it is quite obvious to me that he put his leadership ambitions above the success of UCUNF. That his conduct lost votes and almost certainly at least one seat is an understatement. Having muscled his way into becoming the first candidate to be declared, Elliott then decided that fighting FST against Arlene Foster would not be good for his leadership prospects. He then took advantage of the DUP overtures and set up meetings with them. He was then able to vacate his candidacy when a joint unionist candidate was declared.

    It is when you put all of that history into context that you get an idea of this group’s state of disaffection and why, instead of giving Elliott loyalty, they are treating him with contempt.

    This group will decide what is best for them and good luck to them. Whatever they decide to do, they can not be blamed for tearing the UUP apart. That blame falls fairly and squarely on Tom Elliott.

  • “The tone being struck by the ‘The 2010 Group’ is at variance with the aspiration of those seeking Unionist unity with the DUP.”

    All bap and no beef, Eamonn 🙂

    AFAIK Tom Elliott isn’t one of those seeking unity with the DUP.

  • madraj55

    So, Elliot was supposed to be the new beginning for the UUP?. You have to wonder if this collection of misfits will even make it to the centenary of Partition as one party. The more Elliot calls for discipline, the less discipline is left. The law of diminishing returns is beginning to take a toll on the UUP.

  • dwatch

    “AFAIK Tom Elliott isn’t one of those seeking unity with the DUP.”

    Indeed but there is another group ( McNarry and his Orange buddies) who are seeking unity with the DUP.

    Tom Elliott is piggy in the middle.

  • Munsterview


    My last post on this matter was a serious comment, thanks for throwing some apparently knowledgeable light on the subject!

    While I will not loose any sleep over the various faction contending inside the UUP, I have consistently over past months given my personal belief that both the UUP and SDLP are necessary in the short and immediate term to give the fullest possible voice to the greatest possible range of views, if there is to be a normalization of political life in the Six Counties.

    To this end I would like to see the dissident wing of the UUP accommodated inside the party, there are only so many splits a party can have and yet remain viable. All parties on this Island have gone through periods when those parties needed to be saved from themselves and it seems that currently it is the turn of the UUP to churn up the political waters for a while.

  • Alias

    SM, Tom Elliot received a convincing 68% of the vote so there is no basis to claim that there a split within the UUP or anything that remotely approximates it. There are an unspecified number of undisciplined malcontents who are putting their own selfish agendas (which also conflict with each other between left and right divisions) before the party’s interests. Like all party leaders, Mr Elliot needs to address those within the party who seek to undermine it and his authority to lead it. If discipline doesn’t work (and this lot look beyond it) then he needs to expel the malcontents from the party. If they feel they joined the wrong party but lack the courage to resign from it, then surely he would be doing a good turn by bringing clarity and peace of mind to the congenitally confused?

  • Seymour Major


    I actually agree with you that it would be in the interest of this group to stay inside the UUP, at least until after the Assembly elections, if they want to be at their maximum effect as a group. However, I dont think it is just the interest of the party which is the only factor at play here.

    One thing I have learned about politics and defections is that personal ambition is usually one of the big driving forces behind it.

    I suspect that one of the factors which may be working against these people staying in the UUP is the UUP’s failure to make way for new talent on the liberal wing to replace some of the present MLA incumbants.

    I am now worndering if there is any connection between what this group is discussing and the talks going on between David Cameron and Tom Elliot. I quote here from the Impartial Reporter.

    “We eventually agreed to go away and come back with options and suggestions for each other and meet again at the end of this month. I still think there’s merit in having the link between the two parties,”


    I understand, having talked to some Conservatives, that the end of the month is actually an ultimatum for the UUP to either merge with the Conservatives for the Conservative Party to formally break the link. The merger is not, of course, going to happen. You may see a formal announcement by the Conservatives shortly after that date confirming that they will, after all, be contesting Assembly elections.

    If the Conservatives do contest electiions then there will be plenty of room for new candidates. That might well be an allurement to this group.

    Could it be that this group will then break cover shortly after the end of the month?

  • still no names nothing its a complete wind up in no such group nothing just all hot air rumour from mr mallie.

  • dwatch, the OO appears to be a fairly broad church. It’s my impression that the OO leadership now leans mainly towards the DUP.

  • Paul, AFAIK this ginger group exists. Lots of parties have similar factions.

  • no names nothing if they exist then come out and tell us all.its all a load of nonesense and mischeif making.no such group exists

  • lamhdearg

    wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_constitute_a_group – Cached

  • great post

  • dwatch

    Eamonn Mallie, WTF are you. You have left us all high and dry wondering how this second secret 2010 Group meeting that was supposed too happen this weekend.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I shall be sitting up all night in anticipation…..

    BTW I hadnt logged on when submitting a couple of comments, meaning they needed cleared before appearing online, they are yet to appear, does Eamonn actually check any of them?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Alas I have been on a longish weekend break and missed Mr Mallies latest exclusive

    “Difficult to analyse the impact” (E Mallie)
    I don’t think so. It looks surprisingly straight forward with less than six months to go to an election. Elliott won a fairly comfortable victory in the leadership which unfortunately showed up demographic and fundamental divisions within the party.
    Elliotts strength lay west of the Bann in Tyrone, Frmanagh and Derry where unfortunately their broader electoral strength is very weak (FST, Mid Ulster, East Derry and the probability of a seat in West Tyrone).
    But seemingly 99% of the UUP council memnbers are from Fermanagh and they are all over 80 years old so the losing camp in the recent leadership are confined to permanent opposition. Unsurprisingly Elliotts first act was to call for Party unity……ie support him and his faction. And he is also determined to plug the leaks to journalists. And seemingly intent on clearing out people like McAuley (East Derry) and of course Bradshaw in South Belfast.
    So the “liberals” have to act. Whatever the strength of the UUP in the next Assembly, possibly around the same or less than currently, the liberal East of the Bann will play a key part.
    As the party has been “warned” about disciplinary action about leaks, the “2010 Group” have been remarkably careless in giving lists of members and seeking publicity thru a journalist. Clearly a deliberate candidate. Clearly they are saying that they want to be detected.
    Handing a journo a list of names knowing he will publish the existence of the list but not the actual names (a half story not a story in my view) is a dubious practice (in my humble opinion).

    How can Elliott react? Well of course it depends on who they are. But if they were to be expelled from the UUP then clearly it would damage the UUP in the east. Divided parties take a hit. And that might be bad news for Fred Cobain in North Belfast and John MacCallister in South Down. Yet a person like say MacCallister might calculate that he would hold the seat with or without the UUP brand. But the UUP would lose it without him as standard bearer.
    So its Elliott who has the dilemma. He needs the “liberals” more than they need him. If they get thrown out of the party (or engineer their own expulsion) four or five will be elected (if necessarily thry Alliance surplus (South Belfast) or Alliance eliminations (South Down, East Derry).
    The four or five elected could be enough to deprive UUP of an Executive seat, which would constitute failure for Elliott and his reign would be over. Arise Danny Kennedy or poster boy Mike Nesbitt to save the Party.
    Likewise if the “liberals” manage to stay inside the party, they will make up around half of its strength and be able to demand concessions from Elliott, including possibly his head.

    Thats MY analysis of the “impact”.
    I may be right. I may be wrong.
    But I did not find it unduly difficult.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    It would be difficult to think of any such group getting off the ground without the involvement of some usual suspects (or maybe just a single suspect) at QUB, who generally speaking prefers a low profile.

  • UUP Supporter

    At least one of the Conservative ‘new blood’ has made it through to stand again.

    Step forward ‘captain’ bill manwaring in that key target seat of west belfast.

    Who says Tom is against liberal candidates?

    ‘The captain’ had to beat off a throng of …. well… 0 other candidates to regain selection.

    New blood or old hat?

  • Neil

    In Manwaring’s favour, he is at the very least an optimist, having mailshotted my very Republican estate for the Westminster elections.

  • Progressive Unionist

    Fitz – if these “2010 Group” folks are Tories then they are certainly not “liberal” – the Tories cuts will damage the lives of millions of Middle Britain families.

    If the 2010 Group want to defect to the Tories then they should have the courage of their convictions, and speak up and stop leaking through Eamonn Mallie and just go ahead and do it.

    Tom’s rural anti-GAA UUP may not be the answer – but neither is the Tories.

  • Progressive Unionist

    Great! I hope the day will come when SF routinely mailshot loyalist estates, and when Unionism will routinely mailshot nationalist estates.

    Bring on normal politics.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I dont think I used the word “Tories” in my piece as I think they are not relevant in electoral politics here …the nature of the euphoria/Sluggerite cheerleaders that greeted UNPFC whatever and its shambolic demise in May…and of course Elliotts campaign against them…..being a great source of “I told ya so” amusement to me.
    The Tories are not of course liberal….except they are more “socially” liberal.on issues such as homosexuality, sectarianism and this new very odd totemic issue of GAA.

    Ive been observing liberal unionists from the days of Phelim O’Neill, Richard Ferguson, Robin Bailey……via Peter McLachlan to Duncan Shipley Dalton to Basil McRea and John McCallister.
    Ultimately its a thankless and losing task.
    The people we perceive as liberal lean to the Tories as you observe but also the Alliance Party.
    To repeat my mantra from several threads the AP would be mad to actively head hunt any of the so called leaders. Let their political careers wither and die………the real prize for the AP is the voters that will be disenchanted with Elliotts brand of unionism.

    The reality is that the concept of liberal unionism needs to be taken off the political chess board, forcing their voters to make a choice between traditional unionism or……well no choice really.

  • UUP Supporter

    He is going to need a lot of them to vote for him if he thinks he has a chance of getting a seat in west belfast.

    The fact that he looks and sounds like something from the home counties must go down really well in the shankill, lots of tory supporters there.

  • MMX

    Your penultimate analysis is acceptable. However I would detect that you are not a Unionist. There is in my opinion a very wide difference between One Nation Toryism a la Stanley Baldwin and what you perceive as Thatcherism. Which would be a hard message to sell in a province where 77% of GDP is state generated. However do not write off the forming of a middle grouping as opposed to the Fermanagh Luddite version. One could also say that the Cabal, whilst trousering the Conservative money of which 66% of the £300,000. utilised in both campaigns was raised in NI, wanted the project to fail as a means of preserving the status quo for the septuagarian UUP MLA team.
    It would appear that the new UUP strategy is to only pursue the dwindling sectarian head count voting block which is an ever diminishing market share; whilst totally ignoring the 500,000. i.e. 42.5% non voters who they have no clue whatsoever how to appeal to.
    The present political anoraks fail to acknowledge let alone court these people for votes. That is why mainland connected parties of both right and left inclinations are so desperately needed here.
    Otherwise the number of voters will continue in the downward spiral.

  • Munsterview


    Hundreds from the Shank-hill were ferried into Mayo and other areas to help the Southern Boycotted Tory Landlords. Not forgotten of forgiven yet in that neck of the woods!

    With the Grand Old Man now in the Lords, who knows a few more DUP types may suffer from what James Joyce referred to as ‘Notions of Upperosity’. It is already there apparently in the Truly Useless Vestige unionism !

    Now that West Of The Bann is predictable, I will am looking forward to focussing some attention on the Unionist Bun Fight. Icing on the cake if the Tories are also in the picture !

  • Progressive Unionist

    Ultimately its a thankless and losing task.

    Liberal/Progressive Unionism may be thankless but it’s far from “losing” – it delivered the 1998 Agreement which even the DUP have signed up to now (with a few minor modifications at St Andrews)

    “The reality is that the concept of liberal unionism needs to be taken off the political chess board, forcing their voters to make a choice between traditional unionism or……well no choice really.”

    Bollocks – pro-Union voters need to have a choice between forward-looking moderate non-sectarian candidates and the right-wing traditionalist types.

    The moderate wing of Unionism is not going to “wither away and die” to use your phraseology – inclusive and progressive Unionism is entirely in tune with the United Kingdom of 2010 and it’s a hell of a lot better than either the sectarian, exclusive so-called “unionism” proferred by the TUV or the idea that NI should join an irish republic that’s financially in the direst of straits.

    A Shared Future Within the Union – that’s the way forward.

    Wake up Tom Elliottt and smell the coffee!…

  • Munsterview

    “…….The present political anoraks ………”

    Was with you up to this point, even seemed to know what you were talking about and then your remark about ‘political anoraks’ !

    Admit it you are just winging it, you know nothing of these people, anoraks indeed………. as if they would…..Barbour Jackets man, Barbour jackets for future reference, it was a dead give away !

  • Frustrated Democrat

    The point is what best serves people who believe in a non sectarian pro UK stance.

    The UUP no longer fills that gap as it has gone back to its Orange core, which may be a means of preserving itself for a little longer but will not bring it to lead pro UK voters.

    The DUP, although moving towards the centre and may in fact has moved closer than the UUP, still has far too much sectarian baggage and history.

    The Alliance party has declined over the last 20 years even with its current resurgence and had been looked on as little more than a non ‘orange and green’ ginger group, if that is not to many colours to stomach. It is also not openly pro UK.

    What is needed here are Centre Left and Right parties who can appeal to a wide range of voters, the only debate is as to whether or not they should be linked to mainland parties.

    I cannot believe that voters being pro UK would not want to be linked to the parties which actually run the UK and decide on how much money to allocate here.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Well of course 10 people could get together and form a pro UK centre right party.
    And another 10 could form a pro UK centre left party.
    And perhaps 50 people would vote for the centre right party and another 50 for the centre left party.
    Problem solved.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The strange thing is that our actual voters are around 65%-70% of the electorate. The actual non voters differ from election to election (100% is statistically impossible and you have to take people with a legitimate excuse for not voting into consideration)……
    There is of course a hardcore of non voters….pick your own number below 42.5% ………….lets say 25% …..but do you really think this hard core would enthusiastically EVER go to the Polls. The best case scenario is that a new “party” might add a few percentage points to overall turnout. But most actual votes would come from people who already vote changing to the newparty.

    Allowing for regional variations (55% in West Belfast and 150% or whatever in FST) the overall statistics seem representative of the Communities as a whole.
    in round figures……50% unionist, 40% Nationalist and 10% for the “middle ground”.
    I may or may not be a Unionist. I may or may not be a Martian.
    But the fact is that it cant be in the interests of a Republican/Nationalist parties to support anything about Unionism.
    Nor can it be in the interests of Unionist parties to sustain and nourish republicanism.
    At this moment the weakest of the (now) five main parties appears to be the UUP. It is certainly the issue vexating unionist commentators. The UUP seems long term incapable of holding together its socially conservative and socially liberal “wings”……in part its generational and in part geographic.
    That weakness wont concern nationalists.
    Except of course in the sense that (despite pious rhetoric of living together) the aim of nationalism/republicanism is to destroy unionism. The mirror image of Unionist aims.

    So………socially liberal unionists are the ones with the dilemna. Currently the weakest link. They have no natural home in the UUP but as has been observed in another comment the AP is unattractive because of its agnostic stance on the border.
    If and when the “liberals” jump……..they have three choices.
    (a) the AP hoping it becomes more “unionist” which it wont do (b) throw in its lot with conservatives…….no future in that (c) a UPNI Faulkner type liberal party east of the Bann.

    No choice seems attractive.
    The current “liberal” figure heads will go the same way as M McLachlan, Bailey, Shipley-Dalton….retirement from front line politics.
    Where the voters go is of course the real issue……UUP, DUP even, AP………or the garden centre or Belmont Bowling Club.

  • drumlins rock

    lol, ’bout sums it up FJH, or maybe the UUP, SDLP & Aliance could merge for a while then split into a centre left and centre right party? both mildly pro-union like the old alliance. Of course thats as likely as the DUP & SF merging into one party…. although watching them operate at Stormont who knows!

  • Seymour Major

    I cannot believe that voters being pro UK would not want to be linked to the parties which actually run the UK and decide on how much money to allocate here.

    What about the voters who are not unionist, dont want to vote for a unionist party but do wish the party they vote for to be allied to a party which runs the UK?

    Perhaps that kind of voter does not yet exist. Why would it? Such a party does not yet exist. The concept needs to be tested because it is one which many centre-right nationalists might actually warm to.

  • MMX

    These two strings originally started off with Tom Elliott’s letter to all UUP members. however it would now appear that this was possibly not distributed to all the Party Officers. As described earlier at the last executive meeting one poor unwitting councillor criticised the letter and got given a version of behind the Primary School discipline by the Headmaster. This well known teacher and personal tutor to the Great Leader has now sent an Email to the Parent of an autistic child calling him “a shit head” which has been quoted on BBC television twice this week. A UUP ministerial collegue it appears has made light of this unpardonable slip. Surely this behaviour needs making an example of with the strong disciplinary action promised in the Great Leader’s letter or has a complete state of total anarchy been allowed in the higher ranks of the party.
    A public apology and full retraction of these two unfortunate incidents should now be made immediatly, otherwise no one will take anything the Great Leader says seriously.
    With tongue in cheek one might even suggest that this apology is also read out in all FST Orange Lodges.

  • GoldenFleece

    Well Mr Mallie, it has been a week now, and not an another pip about this. Poor journalism.

  • Munsterview

    Chalk up another insightfull sensible analysis for the White Cockade !

  • Munsterview

    There is a little inconvenient truth lurking here for all ‘progressive’ and ‘leftists’ on this island. It was there in the 1918 election and it will still be there in whatever elections are closest to 2018 !

    I have spend thirty years making frequent trips up to front doors and canvassing in town centers, GAA events or wherever there was a likely vote to be had. My own politics are SF out of habit but Labor Left by instinct, so my remarks can be taken in that context.

    However much we leftist or liberals would wish it otherwise, the fact remains that the majority politics on this Island are Center and leaning to the right. The ‘properly pissed off’ factor could well give labor a victory in the South, but if so it will not be a ‘swing to the Left’ Continental style, it will be an anti-government vote and a vote of no confidence in lackluster Fine Gael under Kenny……if he is still around that is.

    The man that drove his concrete mixer to the gates of the Dail is radical and hopping mad. However lest we forget, his personal issue with the government is that he cannot get a few million to allow what had been a profitable business to continue. In as much as he believes that he should not be responsible for the squander mania of others, he is opposed to the Fianna Failures way of doing things but New Labor material he aint!

    It is my personal belief that after such a Labour government a rejuvenated Fianna Failure will make a come back. There are groups both inside Fine Gael and Fianna Failure who want a left v right divide but so far true to form, both sets of gutless wonders have not been able to organize the proverbial ‘piss up in a brewery’

    There are rumors circulating………and I have touched on this before, that

    1) that serious negotiations are underway for the purchase of Allied Irish Bank,

    2) that the same international investors are prepared to buy a significant tranch of Nama assets,

    3) that the released State monies will then be made available ‘to get the country moving’

    This is supposed to be happening with the help of the Israeli State who are facilitating the International financier discussions with certain Irish political interests. Payback for the Israelis is a few big military contracts and a changed political stance from Ireland on the Palestinian issue.

    Martin is about to become marginalized, hence the recent flexing of the latter’s political muscles and alliance with Hanifan. One of the things the Big Guys want is a left/right political divide that will give Irish politics in the Twenty-Six counties a more or less 60/ 40 and once the pissed off factor has worked through the system, a projected 70% / 30% right/ left divide.

    Looking North the progressive/ liberal unionists may be as despairing of where their party is as are more of us with our own parties in the South. However as the prolific Alias had frequently pointed out since the election, the majority of the UUP have exactly the leadership and policies that the majority of its delegates voted for. That cannot be gainsaid !

    Likewise the rump of the SDLP also represent their middle class conservative base and we know where Sinn Fein and the DUP are. Alliance will no doubt, despite proving itself politically double as usual, will still be mainly dependent on the internal quarrels in the greater unionist family rather than their own merits per se to build up numbers and break out of their political refugee sanctuary.

    That just leaves Dear Old Admiral Windbag to mount another Dunkirk with his motley crew of little ships. However next time as the last exercise , most will prefer to take their chances on the beach …..or swim home!

    Where then is the great demand for social change or new politics to come from North and South ? Other than the 40% of stay at homes being pulled out to vote I cannot see where the numbers for change are going to come from. Yes people are pissed off with politics but represented by parties that represent their values.

    Will the choice of Conservative and Labor if added to the mix in the North make any appreciable difference to the politics there ? I doubt it ! The next cat among the pigeons in Northern politics will be the entry of Fianna Failure in Mid Ulster. That may throw the UUP a lifeline but this is exactly what Fianna Failure want, they are as determined to break Sinn Fein as Sinn Fein are to break Unionism.

    Politics do indeed make strange bedfellows and Fianna Failure will not care about handing a seat to the UUP in the short term. It would have the double whammy of shafting Sinn Fein and getting brownie points with the unionists. As Blaney, Boland and co found out, FF do not have friends, it has interests and Sinn Fein are one of the biggest obstacles and threats to these interests on this Island at present.

    The history of southern politics and politicians can show where any individuals or group in that position ended up !

  • lamhdearg

    This is supposed to be happening with the help of the Israeli State who are facilitating the International financier discussions with certain Irish political interests. Payback for the Israelis is a few big military contracts and a changed political stance from Ireland on the Palestinian issue.

    Munster where are you getting this from. please provide links, i am seriously interested.

  • Drumlins Rock

    FJH, the question how many of these voters are there? yes many of them tick some of the “liberal” boxes, ie. maybe they are athiests, maybe they speak Irish! but scrape the surface and they are little Paisley underneath!

  • Alias

    “This is supposed to be happening with the help of the Israeli State who are facilitating the International financier discussions with certain Irish political interests. Payback for the Israelis is a few big military contracts and a changed political stance from Ireland on the Palestinian issue.” – MV

    Yup, Israeli businesses are going to agree to lose tens of billions of their money in NAMA in return for other Israeli businesses gaining a few million from Ireland’s tiny arms budget and, of course, in return for an obviously important global player like Ireland changing its foreign policy in regard to Israel (which, incidentally, is now harmonised with the rest of the EU).

    NAMA, kid with fertile imagination, intends to increase the value of its assets by demolishing them. It isn’t in any way a business venture: it is a toxic dump designed by the EU to contain eurosystem debts within the borrowing state.

    Israel, incidentally, makes more money from its arms industry from the EU for simply exporting nothing, and that is under the control of Ireland’s current EU commissioner. How does it manage this stroke of genius when it isn’t a member of the EU? Well, it participates in the EU’s framework programme for scientific research, drawing down 580 million of the 54 billion allocated to the programme for 07/13. I bet you, as a rabid europhile, didn’t know that your money was being used by the EU to fund Israel’s arms industry?

    Now as for Israeli businesses being dumb enough to bail out Irish businesses: well, Israel is about the same size as Ireland but Israel has 127 companies on NASDAQ compared to Ireland which has just 3 companies on NASDAQ. The difference being that Israeli business people own their businesses while Irish-owned businesses own nothing.

    Israel, of course, invests 3 times the amount of money as a percentage of its GDP in R&D that Ireland invests. Given that Ireland will now be ‘investing’ several times the amount that Israel invests in R&D into bailing out the eurosystem via NAMA and such, it’s a safe bet that it won’t be increasing its spend on R&D. There is no reason for Israel to bail Ireland out of the mess it created for itself by joining the eurosystem. Unfortunately, Ireland is now just a backward and bankrupt irrelevant region of the EU, and no one would waste as much as a fiver seeking to influence its (EU-directed) foreign policy.

  • Munsterview


    “……….There are rumors circulating………and I have touched on this before……”

    I did say rumor which may be defined as………. a bit of information circulating among a number of people that is not confirmed and may be false !

    I went public with this story two months ago because like O’Malley and his 2010 group story, I know my source and this person I heard it from had been told by a Government Minister.

    Since this we have had Lenihan the Fianna Failure Finance Minister give the annual Fine Gael Collins Oration at Beal Na Blath. ( Think Gerry invited to speak at Eniskillen on poppy day and you have got how unlikely that was)

    We have had Fine Gael sources from the failed coup making noised for a new centrist political party and Simon Coveny ( Beal Na Blath influence) left out of Kenny shadow cabinet.

    We have had various ‘ inspired’ news stories advocating a new center right party etc

    Murphy the man who gave us the humble tayto crisp ( and figured out a way to make a shilling from a piece of a spud ) said that five out of a hundred make things happen, fifteen out of a hundred know what is happening and the remaining eighty out of a hundred know nothing is happening.

    Some of these ‘five’ insiders have been trying to steady the specific Fianna Failure financial troops and lay the ground work for around ten weeks now, my first piece on this in slugger is about eight weeks back.

    Contrary to the picture of doom and gloom the Twenty-Six counties are far from as screwed as it appears, we are back to the early to mid 1990 levels, a steep fall from where we were but far from where we had been. Fianna Failure and Fine Gael are delighted to see ‘natural forces’ and ‘external factors’ cutting back a bloated and overpaid public services etc.

    Ironic as it may seem Ireland’s financial services center is still vibrant , electronic, information technology, medical products etc, exports are climbing. For anyone who has the finances to buy these massive part finished commercial projects at a knock down price, in ten years or so their investments will have boomed out of sight.

    Just as the Irish bought up significant tranches of London, any one coming into Dublin and buying half Nama, can buy half Dublin in the process. The Billions that Russian Billionaire have offshore in Anglo Irish Bank is an indication of the type of money involved.

    In the dreadful air crash last weekend we also got a glimpse of the financial connections and the links between Northern Capital and ‘The City’. No crash there or in Old Southern money, they see the crash coming and had well cashed in long before the crash!

    I have heard enough on the grapevine to know that some very serious moves are planned and under consideration but Lamh, it is not the sort of thing one can google up…….. rather you wake up some morning to the done deed……. that is the way these things work !

  • Munsterview


    Nice attempted piece of decoy work but I will pass on most of it…… as indeed I will be on most of your contributions from now on……… I did draw your attention to the fact that ‘Alan Maskey’ was copying much of your style and your postings structures unfortunately share too much of Alan Maskeys attributes and I am trying to get a break from whatever clever clogs is using this persona !

    I am quite content to key off the occasional piece in between watching tv and answering emails from academic contacts. I could not of course in such circumstances dealing with things in such a offhand way, hope to match your in-depth penetrative analysis or your insider extensive knowledge of the inner workings and of the EU etc.

    And of course I do not have your first hand knowledge of that gallant little bastion of tolerance and democracy, Israel, so I will have to bow to your expertise in that area also.

    However to take you up on one small point here….I specifically said……

    “……“This is supposed to be happening with the help of the Israeli State who are facilitating the International financier discussions with certain Irish political interests….”

    I did not say Israeli business per se were involved, in fact I specifically said International Financier discussions. However as I have already exposed Alan Maskeys attempted decoys, it is getting a little boring to repeat the exercise here.

    You should really have a word with that deluded chap you know, he really do read like you on a bad day !

    “………Yup, Israeli businesses are going to agree to lose tens of billions of their money in NAMA in return for other Israeli businesses gaining a few million from Ireland’s tiny arms budget and, of course, in return for an obviously important global player like Ireland changing its foreign policy in regard to Israel (which, incidentally, is now harmonized with the rest of the EU)……..”

  • lamhdearg

    Its a pity there is nothing solid (in print) on this as to be honest i find it hard to believe that the Irish would disolve what little credability they have on the world stage by flip floping on the issue of palestine having lasted 90 years without nailing their colours to a mast, even given that desparate times and all that, ps i did not need the gerry/enniskillin analogy i may be out of my depth but not totally ignorant of Irish history. Sorry for the delay in a reply.

  • lamhdearg

    ahh Russians.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    While getting a new exhaust fitted to the car in our local Kwik Fit Fitter place yesterday, I noticed it is just a few doors from Basil McCreas advice centre.
    It dispalyed a slogan “new start” or something like that.
    Has he already left the UUP? Or just preparing for leaving? Or do all UUP advice centrs have the same logo?