UUP stand aside in N.Belfast clearing the way for further talks with the DUP

The UUP have confirmed they will stand aside in North Belfast, as well as West Belfast and Foyle. This effectively clears the way for the DUP Deputy Leader, Nigel Dodds to keep the seat, if the other parties don’t come to some sort of arrangement.

Speaking about the election the party leader, Robin Swann said;

“The General Election has been called and we have moved quickly to put Ulster Unionist Party candidates in the strongest possible position in advance of the General Election on 8th June. Today, we have ratified Tom Elliott as our Westminster candidate in Fermanagh & South Tyrone and Danny Kinahan as our candidate in South Antrim. Both Tom and Danny have shown what a difference two Ulster Unionist MPs can make in Westminster. I want to see Tom and Danny returned to Westminster alongside other colleagues.

“For the purposes of this General Election, and only this election, we have also taken the unilateral decision to withdraw from the constituencies of North Belfast, West Belfast and Foyle.

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  • Granni Trixie

    And don’t forget predictive text makes mistakes for you. Plus on a few Slugger threads lately the edit button has been missing! I know because I wanted to correct mistakes but could not.

  • Granni Trixie

    SDLP would stand a better chance in SB if they replaced the incumbent with another candidate.

  • mac tire

    “Ulster Protestants are a separate ethnicity from the Irish.”

    They’re a separate ethnicity from the British, too.

  • North Down dup

    No all the links out their, I can send you one

  • North Down dup

    You put yourself down as irish if you had a choice between Irish or northern Irish, many catholics would put northern Irish instead of Irish there is a difference

  • North Down dup

    That’s a massive IF

  • North Down dup

    No , when this happened more and more catholics were becoming northern Irish especially amongst the larger yonger population, which most have no interest in politics.
    Northern Irish not Irish or British

  • Enda

    Will it be shots across the border if they don’t behave themselves in the south?

  • North Down dup

    A lot has changed in 500 years, how man people are still truly Irish especially in NI

  • Enda

    The north belongs to the Irish people, and that includes you big Gav.

  • Enda

    They’re originally an Israeli tribe don’t ya know..

  • Madra Uisce

    They already are

  • Enda

    Improving the situation – it’s called a united Ireland.

  • Obelisk

    As much as I would love to agree, I can’t. That is more evidence of British indifference to Northern Ireland than an active plan to dump the place.

    As much as I am sure they would love to ditch us, they want to ditch us ‘with honour’.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Just incredible.I’m assuming you know what the Republican Movement has done to thousands of families not to mention the whole province and we’re still waiting for an apology … And you’re complaining at others, some of whom have been its direct victims, about your having to turn the other cheek? Come off it.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    There will always be some fringe Republican dissidents. The rest of society backs the GFA. Sorry mate but your views have been rejected for good.

  • Fear Éireannach

    The GFA provides for a mechanism to end NI, all that is required is to convince people to end sectarianism.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    This thread is further evidence of the odiousness and intolerance of the Republican worldview.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    And yet the UUP has been the only party to champion a cross-community electoral pact. Even the SDLP seemed a bit guarded about it. Strange choice of target.

    Sorry but it’s not hard to see that both the DUP and SF are crap at compromise. But instead you fall back on self-comforting unionist bashing. Bash away, you are only really preaching to the converted.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    There was one man one vote.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    And what did nationalist parties do to champion pacts with unionists? Bizarre logic.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Well nationalists have signed up for it now, so that argument’s gone.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Are you suggesting nationalism is just Catholicism then?

  • Obelisk

    You have a peculiar outlook on the north MU. You seem to see it as you want to see it, a land if given the chance would surprise us all with it’s innate moderateness and tolerance and goodwill to all who want to live in peace, within the United Kingdom. That’s your dream of the place.

    You really don’t want to accept the fact that it’s a construct designed to contain (and sadly perpetuate) a conflict nobody else wants to deal with, with two communities who continually go on about how they’d all LIKE to live in peace…just as soon as themm’uns see the light and seek compromise on their terms.

    It’s a place whose soul is poisoned and the only future on offer is more of the same.

    I don’t want to indulge your make believe North. i want out of this endless cycle, and the best way I can see for that is to bring Northern Ireland to an end, because Northern Ireland is NEVER GOING TO WORK.

    As for the UUP…sod them. I didn’t believe their weasel words of wanting to work with the SDLP because as soon as he could, Nesbitt did a pact with the DUP in 2015 to maximise Unionist representation. Swann’s done the same in 2017. When faced with a choice between pluralism or circling the wagons, always circle the wagons.

  • Ryan

    It is strange that nationalism has subscribed to NI by way of the GFA, yet when it comes to Unionism delivering on the agreements that they made in the same document, they conveniently argue, “oh well you see the thing is, we did not actually agree to that or sign it”
    Says it all about the mindset and lack of imagination in unionism to be fair.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    We have a choice between (1) the GFA arrangements within the UK, in which both communities have a veto effectively on all local matters and no side gets to lord it over the other; or (2) giving ‘victory’ to one side over the other in NI, scrapping power-sharing and taking away any future right for N Ireland to decide their own future.

    It’s a choice between the hard work of trying to make a divided society work and some dream of everything being OK if I only I win and the other guy loses.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Will the PUL community apologise for invading Ireland and colonising it? Such a thing would be very helpful.

  • Obelisk

    If you accept Northern Ireland’s existence perpetuates the conflict, then option 1 is not some benign compromise but a betrayal of present and future generations by condemning them to live in this broken state.

    If you want to put option 2 bluntly then yes, I believe if Nationalism ‘wins’ then we can make a start at moving forward, as the cause and perpetuator of the modern conflict will have been removed.

    Your first option, which I note you again ground in the GFA as if it was some end all agreement rather than an evolutionary stepping stone ( as Nationalism treats it as. You have a different interpretation of it, but as we don’t see it as a final settlement your objection is moot. because your objection is no constraint on how we operate in regards to it), is a surrender to a terrible mediocrity.

  • Fear Éireannach

    If there has been fault, then why not apologise?

  • 1729torus

    I carefully restricted my comment to “Big U” Unionist seats. A mass defection of people from traditionally Unionist backgrounds to Nationalist parties would accelerate the loss of seats.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Nationalism is simple normality whether you are Protestant, Catholic or Dissenter. However, in NI it is pointless to ignore that many from the Protestant tradition associate themselves with colonial rule.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Inspiring vision for all there 😉

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Of course 😉

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It’s compromise, not mediocrity

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I don’t think any of us did though …

  • MainlandUlsterman

    What in the GFA have unionists not held to?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Doesn’t really answer it

  • Obelisk

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but a compromise forced at the point of a gun was no compromise at all. The Irish electorate was compelled by threat of force to acquiesce to the dismemberment of the country. I will not term that a compromise.

  • Obelisk

    I think I did. The Northern Ireland you describe or talk about bears little resemblance to the one I know…you see a place with a positive future as soon as a few bad apples are dealt with. I see the endless repetition of all that has come before amidst economic ruin.

    Case in point, lauding the UUP for their cross-community pact attempt in the recent assembly election.

    No mention of the fact it was essentially a solo run by Mike Nesbitt.
    No mention of the fact that Mike Nesbitt’s colleagues essentially threw him under the bus over it and weren’t happy at all over it.
    No mention of the fact the UUP has had dalliances with three separate parties in the past decade in an attempt to shore up their vote share and that saving their seats might be their prime motive rather than anything more noble.
    No mention of the fact that one of those dalliances was a pan-Unionist pact targeted at non-Unionists that the UUP were very happy to follow. And are about to replicate again, and they are very happy about it (in stark contrast to the aborted SDLP pact you lauded).

    No mention of anything, except a misleading simplification that the UUP attempted to do something cross-community (which even the SDLP baulked at, the shame!) and deserve a pat on the back for trying to make Northern Ireland ‘better’.

    How anyone can see the UUP as anything other than a spent force terrified that their few remaining voters are going to desert them and looking desperately to safeguard what little they have by selling out to everyone who passes by mystifies me.

  • Ryan

    A number of things specifically but they can all be filed under disrespect, inequality and downright rudeness. So take your pick, or maybe they did not sign them or did not realise as they were holding their noses………

  • Skibo

    What about the way the North South bodies were only given lip service? The Irish Government should have spoken up and demanded them to be ran fully as the existence of strands one and two were to be symbiotic with one not able to survive without the other.
    I believe there was a bill of Rights mentioned in the GFA.

  • Skibo

    ND how can you produce any facts pertaining who wants an Irish language act and what groups they represent?
    have you got any facts or are these merely the ramblings of a Unionist wanting to prevent the Irish language from prospering.
    Previous history has proved that without legislation Unionism is slow to offer assistance to anything Irish.

  • Skibo

    All born on the island of Ireland are entitled to be known as Irish. With Brexit coming over the hill, the percentage will increase massively.

  • Hugh Davison

    You have made that equivalence yourself, in other threads.

  • Hugh Davison

    Move on. Make the future. Everyone will love you for it.

  • Skibo

    The GFA was a short term compromise with a long term solution as optional. As Obelisk has told you Nationalism see the GFA as a stepping stone to reunification.
    The veto was inserted to ensure that Unionism did not return to the abuse of power that previous decades of Unionist rule resulted in. In effect it has been used by Unionism to prevent the NI society joining the rest of Europe in the 21st century, something that has shown nationalism that Unionism is not actually prepared for a sharing of power.

  • Hugh Davison

    Nobody hates you, Ted. It’s all in your head. Believe me.

  • Skibo

    I think you failed to complete your final sentence. They will not loose sleep if they don’t get a UI “at the moment as they realise eventually it is a certainty”

  • Skibo

    Not since Brexit. Nationalism will attract those more articulate with economic matters.

  • Hugh Davison

    I’m sure Ted, James and MU will be along to claim this statement is not bigotry and shows respect to the ‘other community’.

  • Skibo

    Who has been destroying it since 1938? That is when Britain started subsidising here.
    There was actually a large industry built up around the Troubles, not only through construction but also the security industry.

  • Skibo

    Votes were tied to ownership of property and business. I believe Deeman is referring to that.

  • Skibo

    I for one will not require any apology so if that is what is holding you back, get on with it!

  • Skibo

    Actually the opposite was the truth and Nationalists saw the futility of waiting for Unionism to act with any sense of equality. The Nationalist vote slipped back. It was only what Nationalism said enough was enough did the vote pick up.

  • Hugh Davison

    Why are you voting as a Catholic? Is there a new Catholic party I haven’t heard about?

  • Skibo

    This is starting to sound like Irish Robinson, we love the sinner but hate the sin!

  • Skibo

    How long is it since you have left the North? I am interested in seeing if your analysis is built on your views of the last century or this one.

  • Skibo

    James nobody is saying that there are not bigoted Republicans, of course there are. I have challenged them myself even though at times MU may have labelled me as one also.
    Every political outlook will have a range of views from the extreme to the laxidasical .Fortunately i believe Republicanism is doing it’s best to moderate the very extreme.
    Unionism seems to be circling round them.

  • Skibo

    Only while the majority of voters deem it to be so.

  • Hugh Davison

    I’m still waiting for an apology for 50 years of Unionist misrule and the harm done to thousands of families not to mention the whole province, but I don’t have much hope.
    I see you’re once again into ‘History began in 1972’ mode.

  • Hugh Davison

    Yes, keep, United Ireland because the benefits are better in the South. Geddit?

  • Skibo

    James if you do take the majority of Alliance’s votes as coming from a soft Nationalist side comfortable in NI, I would be very concerned if I was you. They hold the balance of power in Stormont as they hold it in Belfast at the moment.
    A soft Nationalist is much easier to convince of the positives of reunification than a soft Unionist.

  • Hugh Davison

    Ha ha, but whited sepulchres aside, there is a tribal problem in the North. Us’uns did this to them’uns, so them’uns are going to get payback in a UI. Us’uns basically don’t believe them’uns are Christians, never mind decent human beings. If them’uns are like us’uns then they’ll want revenge, an eye for an eye.
    Big slobbery kiss is the answer, reapplied time and time again until a result is achieved.

  • Nevin

    AG, THENMUNS is a very broad category. I can think of one who was a bit peeved when he was shunned by other THENMUNS in the Dáil. In Foyle, for example, unionists might vote ABAS – Anyone But A Shinner – unless the distinction was blurred.

  • james

    “Fortunately i believe Republicanism is doing it’s best to moderate the very extreme.”

    In what ways?

  • grumpy oul man

    And how do you know this!

  • grumpy oul man

    Really, why the big panic inside unionisn then,

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I personally apologise as a unionist for what was done in the name of unionism in that era.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    One of the things about the 21st Century is that mentally you can have several lives simultaneously in different places. When I first moved over it was harder to keep in touch with events. At one stage I used to get the Belfast Telegraph delivered here in a physical copy. But the Internet and social media kind of changed all that – that’s been the big change of the 21st Century.

    I can listen to any show I want on Radio Ulster, I watch Northern Ireland matches on tv, I watch BBC NI documentaries, True North, the View, all that stuff. Then there’s all the online media, Slugger itself … there’s no shortage of material for analysis. And since I moved over here permanently, I’ve never actually been away from NI for very long – I averaged 5 trips a year to N Ireland – so I’ve had a continuing and changing relationship with the place.

    I’ve seen it change both from the outside and in person through thousands of experiences there over the past two decades. It is different from living there; but it’s not such a big mystery to me really and you don’t have your brain erased when you get on the Sealink (though it sometimes seems a lot of other passengers have). I also work as a social and market researcher, so that helps too – I kind of know ways to pick up on where public opinion is at. In fact I’d say I have a better feel for that now than when I lived there. Age and experience helps too.

    The truth is, some of the best informed people I’ve met on the topic of N Ireland live over here, including some of the people responsible for this site. I don’t include myself in that, I am an interested observer only and I don’t claim any knowledge of things I don’t have knowledge of. I adopted the Mainland Ulsterman monicker on here partly to make it abundantly clear I was commenting as someone from a Northern Irish unionist perspective living on the bigger island these days. Take it or leave it and many will leave it – fine. The general principle on this site is to play the ball not the person in any case.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It was the fact that Nesbitt tried it though – I get it was against the prevailing winds in many ways, but it was something other parties, even the SDLP, hadn’t really done. And this wasn’t some isolated unionist, it was the UUP leader. There are two ways we can look at that kind of partly failed initiative: see it as a positive thing to be built on, or dwell on the headwinds against which it was battling and dismiss it as pointless. I genuinely don’t see efforts towards building cross-community partnerships in politics as pointless, I see them as the future.

    We have two parties in charge which give each community poor leadership, in my view. The UUP and the SDLP have had the imagination to seek to be parties that make a virtue out of being able to work with the other community. They are trying to sell a vision of an alternative, more sensible, more practical ruling coalition to the dysfunction offered by the SF-DUP one. I’d see Alliance potentially as part of that too. That is, to me, a much better alterative – a no-brainer indeed. I’d be interested to hear anyone attempting to argue the SF-DUP axis offers better government, better community relations in NI or a better future.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    at a local council level only, as was the case in the rest of the UK until I think the late 1940s. The reform was just implemented in NI a couple of decades later.

  • Obelisk

    I am more disturbed that you think the SDLP and UUP have futures. It’s blatantly obvious that both parties have been reduced to their hardcore supporters, and even they are starting to wobble.

    You hail them as the beginning of better future, but they have spent over fifteen years now on their knees with no sign of fightback or recovery. As a Nationalist I can tell you that the SDLP simply doesn’t have much fight left in it and that Sinn Fein is positioning itself in the next few election cycles for a clean sweep of all Nationalist majority seats.

    Remember, it is not a better future that is weighing on Colum Eastwood’s mind right now but the certitude that without a countering pact to the emergent Unionist one, the SDLP could lose in South Belfast. Foyle and South Down appear to have reached a tipping point and could very easily fall to Sinn Fein without heavier than usual tactical voting by Unionists.

    Tell me, if deep down everyone wants this ‘lets get along’ future you say will herald a bright new dawn for a working Northern Ireland, why do we keep voting for parties that aren’t so keen to kick the constitutional issue into the long grass? You blame Sinn Fein and the DUP for everything…yet they are only empowered because we vote for them. And we don’t vote for them out of ignorance either. I know exactly what Sinn Fein is, how it operates and it’s plans and I’ll still march into the polling booth on June 8th and cast my vote for Pat Doherty (or his successor).

    How do you explain the contradiction between reality and what you hope will happen?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I hope people will see reason and make better choices, yourself included. Shoot me.

  • Obelisk

    Why would I waste my vote on a moribund, end of the road party like the SDLP? Like it or not, that’s how they are mostly seen these days.

    If the SDLP didn’t exist, would there be a pressing need to invent them?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    There is a pressing need for a party that can represent the C/N/R community while rejecting what the IRA did unequivocally. At the moment it’s the SDLP.

    If you think that’s not necessary any more because the violence has stopped, you are badly mistaken. The legacy of the IRA campaign is with us in every political breath NI takes, not to mention in the 3,500 or so people who should be with us but aren’t and the tens of thousands of others leading damaged lives still. That is now and today and will be part of our future for generations. You can’t base a political strategy on those people being forgotten or swept under the carpet. But that’s what SF has sought to do – “move on”, as Martin McGuinness said to Austin Stack. The Republican Movement doesn’t get to tell the rest of us to move on. Until they truly grasp that, there will be a big section of nationalists that will continue to reject them. And obviously pretty much all unionists.

  • Obelisk

    If the SDLP is your great hope to replace Sinn Fein as the voice of nationalism then you are going to be disappointed.

    Let me tell what most Nationalists see when they look at the SDLP. They see a well meaning bunch of out of touch and uninspiring, somewhat elderly politicians who are seemingly embarrassed by their own nationalism and who lack the dynamism and all-ireland dimension of their bigger rivals.

    If they are your great hope for an ‘untainted’ nationalist party, you should just accept you have no hope for the foreseeable future.

  • Skibo

    NI accepted the one man one vote fir the 1969 general election, interestingly 2 years after NICRA was set up. As usual with Unionism, equality had to be demanded.

  • SleepyD

    I see wee Robin is already tasting the “arrogance” of Arlene. Does no one have a good word to say about her?

  • NotNowJohnny

    This doesn’t constitute a response to the question. You have ignored the key point. You’ll find it is much easier to make up statements than it is to support them. Anybody can make stuff up. Is it worth having another go?

  • North Down dup

    I haven’t ignored the key point, you yust don’t like the fact lots catholics are happy living in Ni

  • NotNowJohnny

    This is pure nonsense.

  • aquifer

    Robin may be better than that “I’m willing to have a conversation with the DUP leader today to see if there’s anything that can be done to maximise the number of Northern Ireland MPs taking their seats in Westminster.” This may imply support for the SDLP and maybe even Alliance.

    Read more at: http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/uup-leader-hits-out-at-foster-s-arrogance-ahead-of-pact-talks-1-7929578

    Though if he is thinking of helping out his Orange brother in the West, remember what Harry West and the rest did for previous UU leaders. The Orange can steer the UUP into the sectarian shuch and then vote DUP anyway.

  • Deeman

    I heard rumours that Arlene has lunch alone and doesnt like to mix with her own negotiating team. I am not sure if she has the right skills to lead in a power sharing government were personality is very important.

  • Deeman

    I dont think many on here carried out any acts of violence during the troubles, do you?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    No but quite a few don’t resile from the atrocities committed in their name and they continue to defend the perpetrators. Rather more morally bereft than being descended from people who moved 100 miles from one Crown land to the next 400 years ago.

  • Deeman

    Of course I could say the same regarding the hero worshipping and eulogising of the British armed services every November.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Yes that’s a disgusting spectacle, Remembrance Sunday, awful business, should be banned