#UUP2013 Legacy proposals for mental health hub, education and the economy along with attacks on DUP and SF

UUP members seemed on a high at Saturday’s conference. They were relaxed and not on edge. They’d put the party’s internal troubles (“shrinking to grow”) behind them. Not a single mention of Basil, John, NI21, David McNarry or even Lord Maginnis. No major slip-ups. No longer any talk about Mike Nesbitt taking over as Minister for Regional Development. Though under the calm water, there was evidence of some thrashing over council candidate selection and some older councillors changing their minds …

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The fear of ‘them’: “They start a process of neutralisation” and then “they start imposing their Irish language [and] their Sinn Fein republican agenda onto everyone”

The UUP suffer from the same problem as their larger rival: there’s a tension between the leader’s more moderate language and the more traditional and hard line rhetoric of other elected representatives. Here’s a portion from Mike Nesbitt’s speech as party leader: [Mike Nesbitt] I say this to the pro-Union community: It is time to get on the front foot. Be confident. But be generous too. I am not the sort of Unionist who feels threatened by an Irish Tricolour. …

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Lord Empey attacks Alliance Party for flags, participation in Irish Constitutional Convention and issues warning to Dublin government

Listening back to Lord Empey’s opening statement at today’s UUP conference, his comments seemed worthy of a post on their own. In his nine minute address he predictably attacked the Alliance Party’s role in the Belfast City Council Union flag vote, explained why they shouldn’t be viewed as Unionist, and questioned their role in the Irish Constitutional Convention. He also laid down a white line over allowing Northerners to vote in Irish elections that the Irish Government shouldn’t cross if …

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