An expanded TUV seeking to shift up a gear at the weekend’s conference…

Richard Cairns is the vice chairman of TUV and an advisor to Jim Allister MLA. He is here to give us the low down on Saturday’s annual party conference:

 As Saturday approaches colleagues and I have been putting the finishing touches on our annual Party Conference. It is safe to say that every party wishes to learn from and build on their previous year’s conference, and TUV is no different. A conference needs to have identifiable themes, a core message and realise that it is truly one of the only times in a year where the focus will solely be on your party.

No pressure then!

While our conference is a chance for members and supporters to get together to celebrate achievements of the past 12 months and for the party to map out its vision for the next 12 months, it is also an opportunity for outside organisations to network with our party and promote any campaigns they are running.

With increased representation in Local Government, and with Jim Allister in the NI Assembly – TUV are making a mark.

So what will be happening at the TUV conference?

Having outgrown the Royal Hotel in Cookstown, we are moving to the Rosspark Hotel in Kells in the heartland of North Antrim where we had significant success in May. A conference venue is important, and I hope our choice of the Rosspark will be the start of a fruitful relationship.

TUV has had a growth in membership, growth in electoral representation and a feeling that our message is resonating more widely than ever before. In our morning session we will be hearing from some of our recently elected councillors.

Our poll topper from Bannside, Cllr Timothy Gaston, will be joined by councillors Donna Anderson and Stephen Cooper expressing their thoughts on a range of issues – from the cobbled together budget deal to the exiting of Childrens Heart Surgery from Northern Ireland; to the Haass related proposals to the Spotlight expenses scandal.

TUV has capable people throughout the party, and each of the three speakers will bring their own dynamic to the conference, and this will give them a platform to outline how TUV can make a difference.

Then, of course, is our Party Leader’s address. This will be what is picked up on broadcast media, and it is vitally important. Style is important in politics, but substance is still king. When Jim Allister talks, it is worth your while listening.

In our afternoon session we are marking the achievements of two of our most distinguished councillors, who both served their community from 1973 and will continue to serve them until April 2015. That is some achievement, and Alderman Jack McKee and Cllr Roy Gillespie of Larne Borough Council and Ballymena Borough Council respectively, deserve the recognition.

I am sure many people who have worked with and been helped by each of these two gentlemen over the years will want to thank them, and this will be the opportunity for TUV officers, members and supporters to express our gratitude.

‘Tackling Poor Government’ is our afternoon theme. TUV track record on this is second to none, but we are not alone in seeking to take it on. David Hoey from TaxPayers Alliance NI will be joining us to discuss waste in government and the role of TPA; journalist and commentator Alex Kane joins us to give a journalist’s perspective on Stormont; followed by our own Press Officer Sammy Morrison setting out the way forward for TUV.

Going into 2015 TUV is a growing presence. From our community representatives right up to through the party, we will be working hard in preparation for the next stages in the electoral cycle.

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  • Ernekid

    How exactly does the TUV expect to appeal to new people? For the vast Majority of young people in Northern Ireland, the TUV’s rhetoric is appalling, sectarian and rooted firmly in the past. In 2015, first time voters will have been born in 1997, How exactly is the TUV’s message going to appeal to them?

    The TUV’s message is 50 years past it’s sell by date. It harks back to a mythical time when Them’uns knew their place, and Northern Ireland was a place for good wee Protestant lads and lassies. The TUV only appeals to a hardcore locus of sectarian attitudes that still exist. attitudes which I can only hope will be extinguished soon.

  • Nevin

    Ernekid, perhaps you’re the one struggling to get with the times. Jim probably got the biggest cheer of the night on Moyle Council premises in Ballycastle on November 3 when he shared a platform with MLAs and Councillors from other parties [slideshow]. Northern Health and Social Care Trust officials certainly felt the heat.

  • ted hagan

    This just reads like a press release and tells me very little

  • Richard Cairns

    The piece is scene setter as opposed to a report on what was said (the conference is tomorrow).

    Jim Allister does go in to more depth in this interview about the future of TUV.

  • barnshee

    “The TUV’s message is 50 years past it’s sell by date”

    Not so sure -Its mission statement ?

    “TUV stands firm. Strong on the Union, forthright in resisting the Sinn
    Fein agenda, but equally determined to give you the effective
    representation you deserve. We are conviction politicians who care
    about principle and stand up for the core values of Unionism, decency
    and family life. We will not let you down”

    The old mom and apple pie pitch

  • KeepSluggerUnionistFree

    Richard Cairns, I have not read your article here out of principle, as I think you would be better disengaging from this site entirely, as most sensible Unionists already have done. Set up your own blog or, even better YouTube channel where you discuss and make rebuttals to issues in your own way that you have complete control over (and this will be even better with future peer-to-peer video technologies such as WebRTC where you won’t have to depend on the censorship of large corporations such as Google either). Do not bother with Facebook or Twitter either as those are a waste of time as severely restrict your audience to people who don’t care about privacy.

    No Unionist should be giving enough respect to this site to give it a credence for any form of serious intellectual discussion, and should encourage all other Unionists to also disengage.

    The moderation policy and ethos of this site is such that it promotes an air of respect to extremist terrorist supporters and extreme traitorous hate-mongers (something that actually would be illegal to have do a few years ago, and I would argue actually is still illegal, merely that the treacherous government is turning a blind eye to its own laws). Discussion on this site is moderated so that respect need to be given to the unrespectable, yet to air an genuine opinion on the degree of ostracism needed will result in censorship — it is not freedom of speech at all. 95% of discussion here also is people restricted to debate within destructive amoral moral/cultural relativist leftist PC rules of discussion, meaning that you cannot speak in terms of absolute truth. It gives the air of freedom of speech, but this isn’t the case at all.

    Please boycott this site. It has become too powerful, with media circles, academics and politicians (even including Peter Robinson and the Bogside Butcher) seemingly treating as representative the views of the dominant Irish Nationalist Extremist hate mongers, together with oddball, effete, spineless, non-masculine sorry excuses for men calling themselves “liberal” non-Unionists who are an affront to the people of this small land. The respect that this site always guarantees to the former means this will always remain so.

    Even a TUV man should be able to admit that David Trimble said one thing correctly when asked what Unionists wanted when he replied “to be left alone”. None of us are interested in engaging with the views of people who spend their lives obsessing over wanting us dead. Do not do so either.

  • Richard Cairns

    I blogged a number of years ago (stopped approximately 2010), and my general view on unionist engagement with the media in whatever format is this: either make your case or let someone speak on your behalf. I’d prefer to make my case that have someone put words in my mouth.

    Inevitably you will get abuse, and I was reading the other thread on ‘calling for unionist contributors’ with a wry smile.

    I first came across Slugger in 2005 during the GE, and the unionist contributions were intelligent and, in my opinion, were reflective of joe public. I think Slugger has lost that since then, and I hope in some small way my engagement can help counteract the move away.

    And I must say, although not someone who regularly posted on Slugger, I read it on a daily basis due to the quality of the journalism. I know many unionists who ‘lurk’ but don’t post. My message is this: start posting.

    So I’ll give it a shot, but thanks for warning.

  • tmitch57

    Richard,
    The full name of your party is Traditional Unionist Voice. Unionism has actually included quite a number of different voices over the decades ranging from Carson, Craig, Brooke, O’Neill, Paisley, West, Peter Robinson, Trimble, Maginnis, Donaldson, and even Basil McCrea and John MacAllister. So which of these voices does TUV represent? And what have you got against the others?

  • Tochais Siorai

    ‘….Irish Nationalist Extremist hate mongers, together with oddball, effete, spineless, non-masculine sorry excuses for men calling themselves “liberal” non-Unionists who are an affront to the people of this small land’.
    Brilliant. You just couldn’t make this stuff up.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    UKIP is more English and views NI with suspicion.

  • Croiteir

    Once I read the first line I did not read the rest out of principle