Michael Shilliday argues in today’s News Letter that competiting visions for Unionism is natural and required to push unionism onwards:
If united unionism was the natural way of things, the DUP would never have existed in the first place. If it was good for unionism, it would have happened by now, and if it was wanted the people would have voted for it. The idea that a “cosy relationship” between the UUP and DUP benefits anyone is fanciful.
Taking the competition out of unionism in terms of support and ideas will simply leave it complacent and devoid of new ideas.
This is said to be the reason why long-serving governments get voted out of office. What happens when an entire ideology gets into that position?
The fact is that there are 100,000 voters in Northern Ireland who disagree with the ‘all Prods together’ vision of unionism. If the UUP leaves them, they will vote for someone else. And so will I.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty