Unionist Unity is, nevertheless, stupid and dangerous

Notwithstanding yesterday’s blog, looked at remotely rationally I find it hard to disagree with a single word of Tommy McKearney’s piece here. Mr McKearney is a former hunger striker and a socialist; I am the son of an Army Officer and a liberal; really, Unionism is going some to get Mr McKearney and me on to the same side!

I have to say I am concerned that the media have not focused on the real issue around the Unionist Unity project in Mid-Ulster. Mr Nesbitt, Mr McCallister and Mr McCrea are but minor bit players in this show. The real issue is the attempt to equate Unionism with clean hands and Republicanism with terror – an attempt which is sure to fail, with potentially grave results for the increasingly fragile institutions here.

Some friends of mine within Unionism have made the case for Mr Lutton’s candidacy based on the moral prerogative to show Sinn Fein up. I agree with the moral prerogative, but this is the worst possible tactic – partly because it is so obviously crudely sectarian; and partly because Mr Lutton is no politician and will need protection as it is. As Mr McKearney points out, the past will be dug up in both directions – and, what is worse, the so-called “Republicans” will win comfortably, thus appearing to justify the very reading of history Unionists, even some moderate Unionists, are trying to show up.

In an area already as embittered as Mid-Ulster with the whole political process as unstable as it is, this is not just stupid, it is dangerous. The Ulster Unionist Party should never have allowed it to happen, and will take responsibility for the consequences to its grave.


6 thoughts on “Unionist Unity is, nevertheless, stupid and dangerous

  1. harryaswell says:

    Well, it so happens that I, too, am the son of a regular British Army officer. However, I am far from being Liberal, a party of wets and pseudo intellectuals. How you can agree with Tommy McKearney’s piece I simply cannot understand, since it is truly mischievous and comprised of spitefull inuendo and Republican bias and wishfull thinking. Tommy McKearney is an unrepentant unreconstructed murderous terrorist of the worst possible kind. He is condemning thousands of Protestant Unionists with his vile cant. I am amazed that you support what he says. Or, perhaps I should not be, having seen what is said in this blogg. Obviously, peace at any price will not get the desired result. One does have to stand up for ones rights and principles after all, which is exactly what Tommy McKearney’s piece is doing for him. The UUP will, I am sure, come out of this well in the end, after a thorough re-organisation into a sane and proper party.

  2. I think there are things people can respect in isolation, I can recite a list from Eammon McCann to David Vance who think that this action is both a threat to the Ulster Unionists identity and question if the DUP are not the overall winners here. The SDLP may’ve lost the seat of Tommy Gallagher to not playing ball on pacts however it did show it was not afraid to defend its principles, at a time of a functional power sharing arrangement.

    What we see in the UUP is a lack of decisiveness that saw McNarry leave before the u-turn and McCrea and McCallister after it. Is the problem Brolly’s alledged past which may or may not be true and his abstentionism or is the real problem that nearly four in every seven people in Mid Ulster might call themselves Nationalist, Republican or Irish?

  3. Oh right, now I’m the one stuck in the past. I seem to be ideé fixed on that.

  4. harryaswell says:

    I am sure you think you are correct in what you say!! – BUT, McNarry, Basil and John, simply refused to NOT wash their dirty linen in public, supported wholeheartedly by the the mischevious News Letter and Belfast Telegraph. It simply could not be allowed to go on! Nesbitt is correct in what he is doing. Get rid of selfsatisfied, self important and pompous persons who seem unable to work within a team. It is my bet that now these “stabbers in the back” are gone, the UUP will indeed become the party of popular choice again. I fail to see the logic of your statement about lack of decisiveness, quite the reverse actually.

    • I actually have some sympathy with the view that Basil, John and David were remarkably disloyal.

      That is not to say I don’t broadly agree with the former two in principle, in terms at least of why they left.

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