The defeat of the PUP and Dawn Purvis

Throughout most of the election campaign there was a large billboard on the lower Newtownards Road with a picture of a young woman and the following quote “One year on still no one has delivered for working class unionism; that’s why I’m voting PUP.” As it turned out of course relatively few working class unionists seem to have decided to vote PUP and few unionists of whatever class voted for the PUP’s prodigal former leader Dawn Purvis. The fundamental conceit …

Read more…

PUP leader Segways onto the wrong side of the law?

PUPs Brian Ervine on a Segway on an East Belfast pavement

Posters and Segway scooters. With less than a week to go until the election, candidates will have sore feet, lost weight and be counting the hours until polling closes on Thursday night at 10pm. The PUP is certainly pulling its weight when it comes to election gimmicks. Last week they unveiled a poster featuring Kristin Mackenzie – the American model/stock photo that both the DUP and UUP both used last year in rival posters – “to highlight the ongoing neglect …

Read more…

Progressive Unionist Party launch manifesto with titanic pledges

Front cover of PUP Manifesto 2011

The Progressive Unionist Party launched its manifesto this morning. The party is now led by Brian Ervine who is standing for the Assembly in East Belfast while another eight candidates are running for seats on councils in Antrim, Belfast, Castlereagh, Derry, Larne and Newtownabbey. (I posted an interview with Brian Ervine back in March.) Speaking at the launch, Brian Ervine had an upbeat message. The PUP has emerged stronger and more resilient as a consequence of the crisis of 2010. …

Read more…

Basil McCrea and Brian Ervine on the HET

The News Letter is reporting Basil McCrea expressing concern about potential bias in the work of the Historical Enquires Team. An FoI request has apparently revealed that all but one of the 71 arrests they have made has been of loyalists. McCrea appears to support the attempts to arrest loyalist criminals but points out that since the majority of the murders here were committed by the IRA, significant resources should also be devoted to the arrest of those criminals. He …

Read more…

Catching up with Brian Ervine

headshot of Brian Ervine

Brian Ervine emerged as the Progressive Unionist Party’s leader last year after Dawn Purvis quit in the aftermath of UVF members’ involvement in the murder of Bobby Moffett. I caught up with Brian in the PUP’s Newtownards Road office on Thursday afternoon. Serving in the shadow of his brother – and physically, sitting under a photo of David Ervine – he talked about his political beliefs, party policy, election hopes, and was happy to discuss the PUP’s relationship with the …

Read more…