TUV launch campaign and manifesto seeking to be a catalyst for change in the Assembly

On Monday morning, the TUV held their campaign launch for May’s Assembly and local government elections. They’re running 12 candidates across 11 (of the 18) constituencies, and 41 council candidates across 19 (out of the 26) councils.

TUV launch
In the press conference, Jim Allister apologised to voters in constituencies in which they were not able to offer a TUV candidate. He explained that as a party with no public funding (ie, no Assembly, Westminster or European elected representatives), they had to manage within a budget.

To be honest, while some of the branding in the TUV’s East Belfast office and printed manifesto is clichéd – particular the posters spelling out F A I L U R E and R O A D M A P – the launch and press conference had a pretty professional backdrop for a self-funding party.

On the face of it, the TUV come across as anti-agreement, anti-DUP, very traditional in their definition and practice of unionism. Jim Allister still nearly always prefixes or suffixes the words “Sinn Fein” with “IRA”. So what does the party stand for? And why are they now willing to participate in the Stormont institution they’ve fought against for so long?

The sound bite from the launch seemed to be:

TUV is the catalyst for change. In the upcoming assembly we will be that catalyst for change.

The big pitch is that while voters will be able to change the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales in May’s elections, Northern Ireland voters will still end up with a cross-community coalition.

With no party commanding a majority, TUV believes that the foundation stone of any good government is voluntary power-sharing with a vigorous Opposition to hold the Executive to account. This is the gold standard for a properly accountable government which effectively works on your behalf rather than simply pursuing the narrow and selfish interests of those within it.

Speaking after the launch, Jim Allister explained:

My ultimate vision is that every party goes to an election, they all get their mandate whatever it is, no party is big enough to be able to form a government on their own, so they all sit down and they seek to negotiate what to do about health, about education, about the economy. Those who can agree – whoever they might be – form the government if they can command the requisite majority in the Assembly. Those who can’t agree – whoever they might be – form the opposition.

That’s basic fundamental democracy in action. The absurd situation at Stormont is that you don’t have to agree anything to be in government, so little wonder that when they are in government they can’t agree about anything and they’ll go on with more of the same.

The TUV’s full manifest is available to read and download online. While some subjects are covered in depth – eg, model of government, economy, education, water – there is a definite lack of obvious mention of anything about the environment or shared future.

It’s notable that there’s been a bit of churn in terms of their candidates since May 2010. David Vance is no longer fighting for East Belfast but is back on home turf in Upper Bann. Lagan Valley’s Keith Harbinson has been replaced with Lyle Rea. Council by-election candidate Ann Cooper – “Ann who?” as Jim Allister said – is running for the BNP at this election. Jim Allister counted:

We have quite a choice within our party … We have a number of faces who are back, and we have some new faces. That’s good, that’s positive.

Asked about his targets for the election, he refused to put exact figures on it.

I’ve never forecast an election yet but I believe we will be in Stormont. I believe we’ll be in all the councils that we’re standing in and Im looking forward to a good result on the 5th of May.

So you can translate that to a minimum of 1 MLA and at least 1 councillor in each of 11 councils!

Asked during the press conference whether he would ever see Sinn Fein as fit for government, Jim Allister answered:

I don’t see a situation arising in which TUV would go into government with Sinn Fein.

But he did go on to say that it wasn’t just a matter of their baggage, but that issues like their Marxist economic policies would need to change before the TUV could re-evaluate its position.

Other than his repeated ability to interrupt a question half way through, answer it very briefly, and then launch into an explanation about some other area of policy, possibly the most bizarre moments of the launch were when Jim Allister labelled Eamonn Mallie a “tweeting freak” and suggested that UTV were “sycophantic”. Modern media management extends to deliberately offending those in the room covering your event. Who knows what insult will be stored up for bloggers next time!

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  • lamhdearg

    some of what jim, and therefore the tuv say’s sounds quite reasonable and even right, buts as with the bnp who also can sound reasonable, i am left with a feeling there is something underneath quite unpleasant, so they will not be getting my vote, first pref or any.

  • Jo

    “there is something underneath quite unpleasant,”

    Quite. One of those pictured above has thankfully been providing us with his views online for years, all out there to read and understand what these people are all about…

  • Big Maggie

    “the launch and press conference had a pretty professional backdrop”

    Absolutely! I love the compact make-up motif—the Union Jack as powder-puff. Sublime (or do I mean subliminal?)

    Someone’s being working on winning the distaff vote—as well as the pink vote, who’s to say 🙂

    Won’t work of course for reasons hinted at by Jo and lamhdearg. The TUV is the BNP in a collarette: innocuous-sounding words masking a deep vein of intolerance.

  • quality

    Following what’s been said above… Behind this cover of reform and change is a man who refused to contemplating attend the funeral of a young Catholic policeman for his own “doctrinal reasons”.

    For all his talk about change, he’s scared to move with the times. It scares me he is/was (?) a QC.

  • quality

    Should have read:

    Following what’s been said above… Behind this cover of reform and change is a man who refused to contemplate to attend the funeral of a young Catholic policeman for his own “doctrinal reasons”.

    For all his talk about change, he’s scared to move with the times. It scares me he is/was (?) a QC.

  • Jo

    “innocuous-sounding words masking a deep vein of intolerance”

    Actually, far removed from innocuous, when an election isn’t imminent. Check out the online waves of bitterness and unconcealed venom – which, strangely muted between March and early May last year, burst forth post-May 6th 2010.

  • Backbencher

    We may not like what Jim Allister says or his policies but he has every right to express his view in a peaceable manner. It always amuses me how some (with those commenting above being the perfect example) criticise others for being intolerant fail to recognise that very trait in themselves.
    lamhdearg – what was ‘quite unpleasant’
    Big Maggie – What represented ‘a deep vein of intolerance’?
    quality – What is wrong with not attending a funeral for “doctrinal reasons”, would you rather he was a hypocrite?

  • Big Maggie

    Backbencher,

    If you truly want to know about the deep vein of intolerance that underlies the TUV you need only visit their website.

    It scarcely matters which of them is putting out a statement, it all comes down to their not wishing to have “a taig about the place”.

    Jim Allister bemoans the lack of an opposition at Stormont and the “mandatory coalition”. He was at it again on Nolan this morning. Good on Stephen for reminding him that the Shinners had all been elected.

    Then we have another of their number getting choleric about an Easter Lily campaign. Very tolerant of the “other” culture, that.

    Moving on, we have a whinge about the funding of gay, lesbian and bisexual groups. (So many TUV men seem obsessed with gay matters, it makes you wonder.)

    And what to make of Barrie (not Billie) Halliday whining that
    the “notorious” Tí Chulainn Centre was used for the last meeting of the Southern Local Commissioning Group, a committee of the regional Health and Social Care Board?

    That’s just one page. It hardly speaks of tolerance, sweetness and light, does it? More like a yen for the bad old days when a taig knew his or her place and unionism ruled supreme.

    But hey, isn’t that why they call themselves the “traditional” unionist voice?

  • Jo

    BB

    At least 1 of those pictured above portrays themselves as implacably opposed to all type of terrorism but espouses support for extreme violence be it in their attitude to the assassination of Julian Assange or attacks by the IDF on Palestinian women, children or Nobel Prize winners.

    In short, hypocrisy stinks and can be easily Googled, thanks to egotistical advocacy of extreme causes in pursuit of which violence is completely acceptable – viz, comments on this site: “Go Israel”! (as children were being killed in Gaza.

    It is a dilemma for liberals and advocates of free speech to draw a line on freedom of speech- but when the clear intent is to incite hatred, rather than make an argument, the line is to be drawn and has been as far as I’m concerned. They can exercise a right to silence.

  • Alf

    The TUV represent the dumbest most naturally ignorant section of unionist society. Their utter intolerance is indeed frightening, but not as frightening as their lemming like wish to split the unionist vote. We first saw this phenomena when Dixon stood in Fermanagh stating that he would rather see a Sinner winning the seat than an Ulster Unionist. He got his wish.

    That was a DUPer operation, but thankfully they have moved on from those moronic days. They didn’t however bring their morons with them hence the existence of the TUV.

    The TUV are the biggest danger which unionism faces. We can only hope that this election sees them wiped out for once and for all. They are the best friends that the Sinners have.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    yup, I’d agree with that Alf. What do they think they can achieve? What is their alternative master plan? The assembly isn’t great – and indeed they are right that some departments have been a shambles but it’s the only show in town.

  • lamhdearg

    backbencher
    “lamhdearg – what was ‘quite unpleasant’”
    As i said, “the feeling i get”. Other partys also give me the feeling that something rather unpleasant lies beneath the surface, and so i wont be voting for them either (or should that be neither). If that makes me intolerant then i am not alone.

  • TheWormsWillWin

    I remember Gerry Adams always wishing for a DeKlerk figure to emerge from Unionism. It can be argued whether one ever emerged but Jim Allister is becoming the cariacture of a Terreblanche figure who has emerged from within Unionism.

    I know the rules about playing the man but its hard to talk about an individual without referring to his policies and beliefs which have a political/societal impact on NI.

    Jim Allister refused to attend the funeral mass of Const. Kerr citing ‘doctrinal reason’ as mentioned above. The media let that one go too easily if you ask me. In any other country, a politician would be hung out to dry over such medievalist sectarian nonsense.

    Look how easily TUV members can migrate without much change to conscience to questionable parties such as UKIP and BNP.

    And yes, all those parties are good at appearing reasonable when they try but I have a rule about organisations and its this:

    Never mind the rules, policies etc ; what are its members like?

    If an organisation espouses the stroking of kittens and the cuddling of puppies, well and good but if its members mutter racism, are glassy eyed grinning morons who wear strangely coloured trousers while shopping in Carryduff on a Tuesday morning, then I wont join them.

    The TUV are peopled with the bitter, the sectarian, the dreamers of the Ancien Regime pre 1969, the racist.

    I know immigration needs to be debated but everyone I have ever met who talks about ‘kicking the foreigners out’ ‘we’re full up’ ‘they’re taking our jobs’, also happened to be very unhappy, unattractive, unpleasant narrowminded people in most other matters of life.

    Beward those who are against immigration. They are rarely sanguine or inspirational people.

  • Alf

    “yup, I’d agree with that Alf. What do they think they can achieve? What is their alternative master plan? The assembly isn’t great – and indeed they are right that some departments have been a shambles but it’s the only show in town.”

    orange,

    Indeed it is. They have no alternative and anyone who votes for them is merely assisting the Sinners to get Coco into the First Minister’s job. That I suspect is Allister’s masterplan. He must reckon that a Sinner FM would deal a crippling ‘Trimble’ like blow to the DUP which would give his backwoods illiterates a crack at the leadership of unionism.

    An utterly selfish pipedream of course, but one which none the less has the potential to cause damage to the unionist cause. They are not even worthy of a transfer.

  • Backbencher

    My point, which I think you have missed, is that the very accusation you throw at Allister i.e. intolerance, is displayed in abundance by your comments about him.

    Big Maggie,
    you address a number of issues to me which you have identified from the TUV site as evidence of intolerance. I don’t have time to view all the material you mention so I don’t know what is in their press releases but let me ask you a couple of questions based on what you have picked out

    How does opposition to mandatory coalition show intolerance? He is more likely to exclude himself than SF.

    ‘Whinge about the funding of gay, lesbian and bisexual groups’ is that in itself evidence of intolerance? He complained about funding of GAA and football this morning on Nolan. Suggesting money can be better spent is hardly intolerance.

    Is complaining about a committee meeting in the Tí Chulainn Centre intolerant? Do you see it as a neutral venue?

    How do you draw the conclusion’ it all comes down to their not wishing to have a taig about the place’? Is this you believing what you want to believe?

    Jo,
    Not sure what all you are referring to in your comment at 8.18pm but if I have picked you up correctly you are saying that there is a limit to free speech. Are you saying Allister has crossed this line?

  • Backbencher

    TheWormsWillWin
    How does refusing to attend the funeral mass of Const. Kerr citing ‘doctrinal reason’ demonstrate intolerance? If a Muslim, Jew or Hindu refused to attend a Christian Church would you call this ‘medievalist sectarian nonsense’? As I have said above would you rather people were hypocrites?

    You state ‘The TUV are peopled with the bitter, the sectarian, the dreamers of the Ancien Regime pre 1969, the racist.’ Can you justify this comment?

  • Zig70

    Backbencher
    I think you’ll find Muslim, Jew or Hindu’s do attend Catholic funerals, not join in the hokey cokey, but attend out of respect for a loved one, but in each case you’ll get extremists who refuse for ‘religious reasons’. I would say these people are hypocrites, don’t follow the religious teaching but cherry pick to suit. Just my opinion, they can do as they choose and I wouldn’t want them there anyway.

  • tinman

    Nice moment on p33 of the manifesto, ‘Christians have rights too’. A defence of pro-life and pro-family values is accompanied by a silhouette of a man, three children and (apparently) two wives. Makes you wonder what sort of Christian rights they’re advocating.

  • tinman

    And isn’t this proposal on p43: “By aligning Castlereagh with Belfast, rather than Lisburn, the Sinn Fein agenda can be thwarted” just explicit and unambiguous gerrymandering?

  • Driftwood

    The media let that one go too easily if you ask me. In any other country, a politician would be hung out to dry over such medievalist sectarian nonsense.

    Good point from a commentator. Now, Robinson (and Elliot and McGuinness and Ritchie) need to be confronted on the age of the Earth and the fact of Darwinian evolution. Where do they stand? With the childish sky pixie nonsense? Or with the Scientific Facts? believe me, young people want to know if their politicians are rational sane people , or nutters.
    6000 year old or 3.5 billion? Religious bullshit or Science? I think we should be told.

  • TheWormsWillWin

    backbencher my grandfather was involved in community groups in Coventry whose work brought him into contact with Jews, Sikhs, Suffis, Muslims, Hindus and Athiests and Christians. He died in 2001. He was Roman Catholic. He was born in Tyrone. His funeral was attended by all the above.

    A the above were and are devout people who are loyal and merits ofvtjrir faith

    They were there because theyvrespected my grandfather

    It’s called decency

  • TheWormsWillWin

    Excuse my ‘smart’ phone spelling

    You got my gyst

  • TheWormsWillWin

    My barber says that NI could fight right into the Mississipi delta

    We are not talking about physical size

    We are talking about outlook

    Conservatives are fearful narrow people

    All social and political progress has been instigated by liberal progressives

    This is what separates us from the medieval people

  • Big Maggie

    Backbencher,

    Your use of the language leads me to believe that you’re reasonably intelligent. I can therefore conclude that you’re wilfully turning a blind eye to the obvious. The obvious being that Jim Allister and his little band of dissidents are intolerant through and through.

    Not of everything of course. No, they sit firmly on one side of a fence that divides the following groups/cultures.

    1. Unionist and Nationalist

    2. British and Irish

    3. Protestant and Catholic

    4. Theist and atheist

    5. Straight and gay

    6. Christian and Muslim

    7. Israeli and Palestinian

    8. Native and foreigner

    9. Capitalist and socialist

    10. Sexist and feminist

    11. Eco-hostile and eco-friendly

    12. White and non-white

    13. Republican and Democrat

    14. Loyalist terrorist and Republican terrorist

    The list is longer but you get the picture. In each of those divisions the TUV will always embrace the former, never the latter. They represent all that is small, narrow-minded and unpleasant in Ulster society. Allister’s reluctance to attend the funeral of a papist is a symptom of a rot that lies at the core of this society. It’s dehumanizing and debasing, and it’s given us decades (if not centuries) of grief.

    We can but be grateful that the electorate will resoundingly reject this sad little outfit. Yet again.

  • quality

    Backbencher

    What is wrong with not attending a funeral for “doctrinal reasons”, would you rather he was a hypocrite?

    I would expect someone who keeps talking about being a catalyst for change to attend the funeral of a young policeman (I’m not entirely sure he would have been welcome, but that’s another story), regardless of his religion.

    Of course he has every right to express his views, I wouldn’t deny him that, but I have every right to disagree with him. The section of the manifesto “Christians have rights as well” is pretty laughable, it basically turns into gay-bashing.

    I have a problem with the TUV disguising their bigotry, whether sectarian or homosexual, behind an agenda for change. I don’t see how that makes me a hypocrite or intolerant, I would just rather an honesty about their agenda, rather than attempting to dupe people into voting for them with a thin cloak of respectability.

  • quality

    *I have a problem with the TUV disguising their bigotry, whether sectarian or homophobic, behind an agenda for change. I don’t see how that makes me a hypocrite or intolerant, I would just rather an honesty about their agenda, rather than attempting to dupe people into voting for them with a thin cloak of respectability.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Jimbo, is one of the ablest performers from either side of the political fence. A one man (Orange) band playing the same tune, the old DUP favourite ditty – ‘Ulster says No’. Like the dissers on the Republican side he can make his former allies uncomfortable by reminding them of what they were saying before pragmatism(luckily) got the better of them.

    But unlike the dissers Jimbo can attract some support and from the Nationlalist side of the fence, weakening the DUP (but not enough to destabilise Stormo) is to be welcomed – though never publically admitted by the parties.

    …of course you can never have too many Unionist parties, UUP,BNP, Tories, DUP, UKIP, PUP, Alliance, TUV and of course Sylv and Dawn and we can look forward as ever to them kicking the red-white-and-blue-and-Orange out of each other.

  • JR

    Scrap manditory coalition. i.e return to 4 sheep and 5 wolves voting every day on what to have for dinner.

  • Neil

    Backbencher,

    sorry to jump on the bandwagon but the argument you put forward has a great big hole in it.

    Someone says the TUV is intolerant for reasons a, b and c (for example calling Irish language ‘the leprechaun language’ for instance – try to spin that into anything other than intolerance) and you say, hold on a minute, he’s entitled to his views, your being intolerant for criticisng them.

    So in essence if a person is intolerant, and someone criticises them as such, using your argument the intolerant person can turn around and say ‘you’re being intolerant by pointing out my intolerance’.

    Bull. If pointing out someone’s intolerant views is intolerant itself then no one can henceforth be criticised for intolerance.

    You should, (IMHO) have stuck with the fact that he’s perfectly entitled to his intolerant views, and the intolerant members of our electorate have every right to be represented by the TUV if they so wish.

    And yes, he’s clearly a gift to nationalism – another splitter who a) won’t go into government with SF, but b) wants to get elected to the assembly to change it. I would foresee a Paisley-like change of heart should he get a seat, after all he hasn’t deviated that far from that script. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it I guess.

    And bud, the ‘racist’ reference I think was something to do with a certain Miss Cooper, referring to her outspoken views on immigration (and immigrants) amusingly having visited this very site to deliver a portion of Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech on the current situation in NI – obviously a cause for concern, being 99.15% white and over 90% white and NI born. Acquaint yourself here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12992184

  • Jo

    BB,

    I didn’t mention JA – I highlighted the online views of his right hand man above which are a matter of record, regarding which I wrote to JA asking him to dissociate himself and his party from those views. No response was forthcoming – I therefore assume JA shares those views.
    A maxim of law is that silence implies consent.

  • andnowwhat

    TUV=Teaparty’s Ulster Voice

    Says it all IMHO

  • andnowwhat

    Does anyone know why Jim Allister edited out the section where he was challenged by a caller for not attending Const. Ronan Kerr’s funeral?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh8y07-dtWo

  • PaddyReilly

    A largely uncharitable reaction to the TUV. As Sammy says the TUV are merely propounding what the DUP would like to have, only that the DUP have been subjected to the sort of arm-twisting by the British government that cannot be refused.

    And the DUP is the largest part in the province, something that we have to compromise with. While others find their view of society dinosauric, it should be borne in mind that they are advocating a society which is actually known to work, while the advocates of uncontrolled immigration, sexual freedom etc etc are leading us into uncharted waters.

    4 sheep and 5 wolves voting on tomorrow’s dinner is a very apt description of this benighted province, but I’m hoping that after the elections it will be 4 sheep, 4 wolves and 1 horse.

  • Jo

    Yeah, I have a largely uncharitable reaction to this guy as well:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Phelps

    So bite me…

  • andnowwhat

    it should be borne in mind that they are advocating a society which is actually known to work, while the advocates of uncontrolled immigration, sexual freedom etc etc are leading us into uncharted waters.

    PaddyReilly

    Don’t you mean that they want to not only hold us in a statis but take us back to an intolerant state that none but the small minded, parochial few want?

    In fairness, one look at the TUV website would indeed pu anyone off wanting to move here.

  • Backbencher

    Neil
    What I have been trying to say (maybe not very clearly) is that the language used by those accusing Allister of intolerance is equally as intolerant. I am not saying that you can’t point out that in your opinion someone is intolerant. Apart from the funeral issue all the rest of the issues have been more of a rant than anything meaningful.
    On the funeral issue, I find it strange that Tom Elliott and Peter Robinson are applauded for attending a funeral mass for the first time on the run in to an election while others who maintain a consistent approach are vilified. What brought about the change in Elliott and Robinson’s doctrinal views?

    Big Maggie
    Would you say that someone who came down on the side of Nationalist, Irish, Catholic, atheist, gay, Muslim, Palestinian, foreigner, socialist, feminist, eco-friendly, non-white, Democrat, and Republican terrorist was ‘intolerant through and through’ and ‘represent all that is small, narrow-minded and unpleasant in Ulster society’?

  • Greenflag

    ‘What brought about the change in Elliott and Robinson’s doctrinal views?’

    Hopefully common sense and decency and not political point scoring .

    ‘while others who maintain a consistent approach are vilified.’

    Just because an approach is consistent does not ensure it’s morality or wisdom or even truth . The RC Church’s approach for centuries to the location of the Earth in the Universe was very consistent -consistently wrong . The Creationists who believe that the world was created 6,000 years ago are equally consistent and equally wrong . The Provos were very consistent in regard to using violence in NI ? Presumably their consistency justified their actions ?

    Allister for all his consistency is out of step not just with most of his fellow unionists in NI but with 99% of the people on this island .

    Big Maggie’s excellent comparison list says it all as far as the TUV is concerned .

  • Big Maggie

    Backbencher,

    “Would you say that…”

    No, would you?

  • Backbencher

    Big Maggie
    Your ‘No’ response taken with your earlier post implies
    to be Unionist, British, Protestant, Theist, etc = intolerant,
    to be Nationalist, Irish, Catholic, atheist, etc = tolerance
    Seems a little strange to me!!

  • Backbencher

    Greenflag
    Do you really believe it was anything other than ‘political point scoring’?
    The point about consistency is, would you have greater respect for someone that changed their position for political gain or someone that retained their belief dispite costing them votes?

  • Big Maggie

    Backbencher,

    “Seems a little strange to me!!”

    I’m not responsible for the inferences you draw. Sorry.

  • Reader

    Big Maggie: The list is longer but you get the picture. In each of those divisions the TUV will always embrace the former, never the latter. They represent all that is small, narrow-minded and unpleasant in Ulster society.
    Would a party that endorsed the right hand side of your list be any better?

  • Big Maggie

    Reader,

    I don’t know. What do you think?

  • Greenflag

    Backbencher,

    ‘Do you really believe it was anything other than ‘political point scoring’?

    I’m sure both the FM and DFM did the right thing . They showed their support for the PSNI and their common determination to defend the current agreement .

    ‘The point about consistency is, would you have greater respect for someone that changed their position for political gain or someone that retained their belief dispite costing them votes?’

    If people change their political position because it’s a) untenable b) impractical in current circumstances or c) no longer makes sense given the facts economic or political or social and they change their position to what can actually work then that person or politician is imo worthy of respect . Any ensuing political gain is neither here nor there .

    As to someone who retains their belief despite it costing them votes that is very much dependent on what that belief is . If that belief is irrational to begin with then ‘respect’ is missing from the onset -not for the person but for that person’s beliefs . I may respect a Hindu or a Muslim or a Catholic or a Protestant as persons and human beings deserving of the same rights as everybody else but don’t ask me to ‘credit ‘ the aboves’s beliefs in sacred cows , 72 virgins for suicide bombers , transubtantiation or the virgin birth or salvation by grace alone .

    No can do .

    Politics is always and everywhere a ‘messy’ but necessary calling . In NI given it’s local history ‘effective’ politicians are even more necessary if the province is not to relapse into another generation of stupidity and wasted lives.

    Those who expect a consistent very high standard
    of consistency and ethical ‘judgements’ from their politicians will inevitably be disappointed . Those who expect a consistently low standard will sometimes be pleasantly surprised by a ‘successful’ politician who somehow changes the game in the political arena .

    Ian Paisley changed the game and Robinson looks set to continue . Allister wants to stop the game but has no practical alternative to what it has taken 40 years to achieve . He may be a brilliant barrister and a logical thinker in the Enoch Powell manner but that by itself does not make for political success .

  • Jo

    I think possibly the most irksome thing about the TUv is the emphasis on theirs being a “principled” stand – for example, in terms of opposing “terrorists in government”.

    This handy slogan ignores blissfully the trump moral issue – namely that all those in the government of NI were democratically elected.

    Furthermore, as I pointed out on a previous occasion, I believe there’s a direct ideological line from the TUV right back to Vanguard (not exactly known for their distancing of shady characters in dark glasses and parkas) and those who met with David Ervine et al on the Newtownards Road in 1974 and latterly, those who chatted with Andy Tyrie in 1977 and Billy Wright in the early 1990s.

    Where the principle is demonstrated here and in other places to be utterly false, the response of those who stand revealed as hypocrites is to close their websites to commentators who point this out – a fate which has befallen a number of Sluggerites, including myself, Greenflag, et al. Thus these “advocates of free speech” inevitably end up contradicting their own professed beliefs and act in direct contradiction of their so-called principles.

    That’s insanity. Tha’s hypocrisy. That’s the TUV.

  • Reader

    Big Maggie: I don’t know. What do you think?
    I would be worried about any party that had solid manifesto positions on *either* side of more than half a dozen of the items on the list. The half dozen being the ‘motherhood and apple pie’ topics and the national questions – which will be with us for a while yet.
    In the rest of the cases, the right hand side is as exclusive as the left.
    By the way, did you get 8 the wrong way round? TUV being a planter party, after all.

  • Big Maggie

    I had to laugh at the new statement by David Vance, the TUV “hopeful” for Upper Bann.

    He kicks off by siccing an Amnesty International press release:

    “Sadly, lessons from Northern Ireland do not appear to have been learnt, [sic] with UK security personnel accused of complicity in the torture and ill-treatment of detainees held overseas post-2001.”

    And concludes with this gem:

    “I would call upon both parties to disassociate themselves from Amnesty International’s campaign and instead support the many good charities which don’t pedal a Republican agenda.”

    Pedal? On yer bike, Mr Vance 🙂

  • separatesix

    Big Maggie comes across as very self-opinionated, if anyone dares to disagree with her insular little republican view of the world they’re automatically branded a hate-filled bigot, Jim Allister and his supporters are part of society too and have as as much right to pursue their agenda as anyone else I don’t support that party though. Big Maggie claims the TUV will be rejected by the electorate if that is the case then why is Big Maggie getting all worked up.

  • Jo

    “Sadly, lessons from Northern Ireland do not appear to have been learnt, [sic] with UK security personnel accused of complicity in the torture and ill-treatment of detainees held overseas post-2001.”

    Eh? Can this mean that no security personnel should ever torture or ill-treat detainees? How enlightened!!!!

    Or, alternatively, that torture/ill-treatment is fine – as long as no-one finds out about it….the finding out about it is, I suspect, what the TUV think is the lesson be be “learnt” from NI. Another example of their hopelessly contradictory views on freedom of speech.

  • Big Maggie

    Will somebody please explain the “yellow card” adjacent to my name?

  • Mick Fealty

    Big Maggie,

    See you in a fortnight (when you can argue your point without bending the truth).

    Separatesix,

    Do not feed the trolls.