Elliott’s “discipline” comments defy belief

The Ulster Unionist leadership contest continues to degenerate into further farce.

Firstly, Ulster Unionist MLAs seem to suggest that they will ignore their party members should they elect the “wrong” leader. Then one of the candidates demands the party whip be withdrawn from the other one for the appalling offence of disagreeing with him during the contest! If you cannot deal with a bit of disagreement, particularly on the fundamental issue of comments which can only be read as homophobic and racist, then you are in no position to lead.

Basil McCrea attacked Tom Elliott for gratuitous comments about attendance at GAA matches and gay pride marches. Contrary to what Elliott has suggested subsequently, he had in fact singled out those two events as objectionable, no others. This was not “simply a personal view”, it was a deliberate selection of two events as a means of playing, he thought, to the audience. Most would agree that the specifics of McCrea’s response, invoking Peader Heffron, were misjudged. He was, nevertheless, entitled to point to Elliott’s remarks and to state an objection to them.

On the other hand, Fred Cobain a week previously had suggested, contrary to the party’s stated position and both candidates’ pledges, that if the Conservatives did not meet Ulster Unionist demands, they would seek a deal with the DUP to avoid a Sinn Fein First Minister. The only deal possible as a means to achieve this would be either a merger with the DUP, or UUP candidates withdrawing in favour of DUP candidates in some constituencies. Thus, Cobain played straight into the hands of the UUP’s main rivals by raising “Unionist Unity”, while at the same time ending any prospect of cooperation with the Conservative Party leadership (which at that time was still conceivable). He also tossed out the window any prospect of the Secretary of State amending the First Minister election system – the Conservatives, particularly in a coalition government, are not about to yield to daft ultimatums. Given all of this, why was Elliott not calling for Cobain to be disciplined?

There is an old line in the Christmas special of the BBC comedy Yes Minister: “If Eric gets it, the party splits in three months; if Duncan gets it, the party splits in three weeks”. In this case, however, there is no Jim Hacker as third candidate to save the day. Currently, both candidates are keeping their actual policy positions internal, but making their mutual loathing apparent externally. They have 10 days to get that the other way around, or Yes, Minister, not for the first time, will prove prescient.

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34 thoughts on “Elliott’s “discipline” comments defy belief

  1. clarion says:

    As a fan of Yes Minister I can appreciate the analogy Ian but the UUP are making a laughing stock of themselves.
    If this were anywhere else in Europe the electorate would have written them off years ago for their perpetual infighting and divisions which go back as long as I am alive and that wasn’t yesterday!
    So the question I ask is, why does a party so divided still enjoy the level of support it does and have as many mla’s and councillors as it does?
    I think the answer is uniquely ‘Ulster’ partly. Part of it is ‘conservative’ with a small ‘c’,my father and his father voted ‘Unionist’, the other I think is an indictment of other moderate parties including the Conservatives for not presenting a realistic alternative. I emphasise the word ‘presenting’ because maybe the marketing of the brand could have been better.
    All of this infighting however is bound to damage the UUP. It will be interesting to see just how much the Alliance vote in places like East Belfast really was just anti-Robinson, or is it a sign of something else significant happening in unionism. Next year will tell.

  2. paul says:

    i fully support the uup whip to be withdrawn from basil mccrea his conduct over the last eight weeks has being disgracful.I suggest ian you spend more time concentrating on your own little party if you can call it that instead of the usual ni tory anti uup bashing seems youve lost it

  3. paul says:

    one can only conclude that over the last wek ian parsley clearly favours basil mccrea this is important because it shows me how out of touch ian parsley really is i thought you were better than that ian clearly my high opinion of you was wrong.

  4. clarion says:

    Basil McCrea really has a nerve telling Henry McDonald of the Gaurdian that the link with the Conservative party was disastrous and the UUP should stand alone given his private comments prior to the creation of UCUNF.
    It was well known at the time that he threatened to leave the UUP if the link didn’t happen. I notice also, the Gaurdian reports that grassroots opinion of the UUP is decidedly against the link. Talk about hypocrisy and opportunism from Basil!

    • paul says:

      i totally agree and it shows the man in his true colours basil is not a man of principle or conviction.Hes destrctive and counter productive who cant get on with people.That on its own rules him out of being leader i also question wether he is what you can call a colleague given his antics.

  5. clarion says:

    My bookies bet is on Elliott, Paul, so hope he is all you hope for.
    Quite bizarre really that you support him given that you say you have leanings towards Alliance which is really more where McCrea is. And given Elliott’s comments re GAA and Gay Pride which you say don’t represent your anti-sectarianism.
    Interesting though what McCrea might have been. I didn’t realise that he had attended the gay pride parade in 2008, the year of the famous Iris outburst on gays. Or that he attends GAA matches. Revolutionary really in the bizarre world of ulster unionism.

    • paul says:

      its not quite bizzare at all to support tom and towards al having leaning towards alliance as well it dosnt not matter one bit if basil has atended gaa matches or gay pride or what ever.I look for more than that when looking to elect a leader and my over all decision is tom is by far the best candidate.

  6. clarion says:

    He had some conviction to attend gay pride and GAA matches Paul. It’s not the best example of him being opportunist.
    The UUP will pick Elliott. He will be seen as a safe pair of hands. In one of many humourous remarks on Jeff Peels blog he describes the UUP membership as fossilised and intransigent. Mr Elliott will provide a very able comfort zone if Jeff is correct.

    • paul says:

      look clarion you say he had coviction to attend gaa matche and gay pride so what.You quote peel well that says more about you and him to be honest and peel as normal stoops to the gutter where he belongs in his remarks concerning uup membership.hmmm peel joins the tories then leaves re joins the tories then gets booted out of his position as vice chair the word is peel resigned for a second time from the tories before cchq could expell him

  7. clarion says:

    Says everything about the backwardness and sheer insular nature of NI politics in general and the UUP in particular that the UUP leadership contest is centred on comments about GAA matches and Gay Pride.
    The place is a throw back to some other era long forgotten.
    In the ‘normal’ world, the issues centre around the economy, the health service or the defence of the realm.
    Its another example if one is needed, why national politics are so desperably needed here.

  8. paul says:

    you said it and you and others like ian parsley and a few in the media are the ones who have made a big deal on gaa and gay pride.in the uup leadership contest so your remarks are laughable focus on the candidates abilty in leading and tom is by far the best candidate.

  9. clarion says:

    You are missing the point (conveniently) of what I am saying, and its nothing to do with Ian Parsley or the media.
    It could only be in Northern Ireland that a leadership contest be centred on a gay parade or a football match.
    It seems clear that to report or comment on what the leadership contestents have created THEMSELVES is wrong in your eyes, and just like your comment about the media and bloggers should be held accountable Paul you seem to be advocating a totalitarian state without freedom for individual opinion.
    It is the fact that it happening BETWEEN the rivals that is laughable. I may not agree with Jeff Peels sledge hammer style but he certainly has a wit which I have always enjoyed and he is in his element at the minute!

  10. Dilettante says:

    Hopefully if the UUP continue to decline into oblivion the moderates can cross over to the Conservatives and Labour.

    • paul says:

      you are living in cloud cukkoo land the uup has big problems but why on earth would anyone defect to the ni tories given there antics and woeful electoral performancesa.the ni tories are as dead as a door nail.alls the ni tories have ever done is spend there time rowing with CCHQ over the years.from what i have heard from a good source the CCHQ are at breaking point with the ni tories i wouldnt be surpraised if CCHQ pulled the plug it might be they will when they dont run candidates next year its rumoured they wont.

  11. paul says:

    clarion the likes of you peel seymour major offer ni nothing you have performed electorally pathatically.you ni tories are a one issue party anti uup get a life you have nothing to say and nothing to offer.peel is an extremist and everybody knows he borders on being a bigot so if you want to stand shoulder to shoulde with such fruit cakes then member of the public would be quite right in ignoring your rants.because you offer nothing the likes of you will akaways talk and be on the outside while others on the inside will at least try.peels record well he hasnt got one even the conservative home blog dis owned him.you ni tories are pathatic get a life

  12. Clarion says:

    And am the insulting one! You do make me laugh Paul.
    You are quite clearly another little ulsterer.
    If you think the conservative party is a single issue party you should watch the news more

  13. paul says:

    no the conservatives in ni are a one issue party clarion read my comments nstead of mis quoting.I look forward to seeing the end of your rabble ni tory outfit when CCHQ pulls the plug and belive me they will and who could blame them.you know nothing about me mr know all you show yourself up just like peel

  14. Clarion says:

    Better still watch our conference in Birmingham in a few weeks. You won’t find little ulster centre stage. I will leave you happily with that multi-faceted party known as the uup and it’s range of topics to discuss!

  15. Clarion says:

    Look peel has left the party and hardly anyone agreed with his actions or style.
    Absolute nonsense Cchq is about to ditch the ni party. I’m in closer contact than you and their disgust is not with us

    • paul says:

      we shall see what influence you have with cchq which is nothing.they are sick of the lot of you let me tell you.they will ditch you and the elections next year will see them chuck you

  16. paul says:

    yes i will watch the conference.not that you will be part of it for much longer.you see if i am right

  17. paul says:

    i have a lot of time and like the tories on the mainland ts you the ni tories that let cchq down.not for much longer thank god

  18. paul says:

    clarion would you agree if the ni tories dont contest elections next year you are finished yes or no

  19. Paul – I do not believe not contesting elections would “finish” the local Conservatives, but it would put them in the same position as the local LibDems.

    However, it is a national party. The leadership decided not to contest the forthcoming local and regional elections on condition that the UUP leadership was committed to partnership with the Conservatives on “mainstream, non-sectarian politics”.

    The reason I keep referring to Elliott’s comments is that they are a clear indication that he is not so committed to those values; but, by the way, I have also pointed out that McCrea seems uncommitted to partnership.

    • paul says:

      The only chance of the ni tories gaining an mla is your good self.I have repeated the line that if you stand against uup candidates it would be utter madness in my opinion.To stnd against the likes of leslie cree leslie mccauley russ hussey pala bradshaw etc who are your colleagues not your enenmies.is utter madness

      • paul says:

        i would further add its my view that tom is fully committed to non sectarian mainstrem politics.he was asked a personal question.David cameron was asked a quetion in the tory leadership contest on drugs he ian refused to even answer the question stating it was a personal and private matter.Now does that give me the right to say cameron is a druggie etc labeling him of course it dosnt.Neither should people disgracfully tring to label tom let me repeat tom is an inclusive person and will lead for all the people.

  20. Clarion says:

    It’s interesting Paul that you talk of insults yet you seem to be the only one hurling insults saying ian should grow up and I should get a life.
    Seeing the pointlessness of this when you quite clearly trapped in little ulster mode I will make this my last posting to you and leave you with this thought.
    Parties exist to fight elections and ni has went too long without normal mainstream non sectarian politics. Since the uup is clearly not measuring up in that regard it is pretty pointless discussing whether the conservatives will stand next year or not, clearly they will since the uup is making that inevitable.
    It’s very sad you can’t see the greater prize of equal citizenship by voting for national parties. But that’s your chose

    • paul says:

      i stand by my comments you certaintly do need to get a life you are hung up just like peel with your anti uup bashing.i will challenge and expose such blantant anti uup bashing

  21. clarion says:

    For someone so obsessed with anti ni tory bashing paul i look forward to your continued exposures!

    • paul says:

      clarion you and some other ni tories are the obbssed ones one issue anti uup bashers labelling uup members and you expect to get away with it no chance you are worse yes worse than peel you call elected representives calling them the utterly useless party jumping on appaling comments etc.you come across as extreme fascist bigots.I am merely retaliating

      • paul says:

        i will gladly expose you clarion to the good people who view this blog and peel and other blogs some ni tories use.

  22. paul says:

    i am afraid more evidence why basil mccrea is not a man of any conviction or. principles to lead any political party see below

    Judge for yourself
    12

    09

    2010
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markdevenport/2010/09/tom_and_basils_contest_turns_n.html

    http://jeffpeel.net/2010/09/11/basil-mccreas-hypocrisy/

  23. […] to the St Andrews legislation so that Sinn Fein would not gain the office of First Minister.  As Ian Parsley […]

  24. […] the breakfast table, Alliance Conservative Ian Parsley may have risked the silent treatment when he published his recent post:There is an old line in the Christmas special of the BBC comedy Yes Minister: “If Eric gets it, […]

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