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Saturday, May 20, 2006


Regs' Mission To Explain

I'm sorry to go on about this but the UUP/ PUP/ UVF story will not go away. Sir Reg has confirmed to the BBC that other MLAs apart from Ervine were approached to join the UUP. Quite correctly he does not name them but a couple of Alliance MLAs and Paul Berry seem to have been the likely targets.

What is interesting is the sequence of the approaches. If extending UUP Assembly Group membership to Ervine was inspired by a noble (if misguided) attempt to bring the active UVF into the democratic fold then this blogger would have expected Ervine to be the first and only MLA to be approached. After all offering membership to, say, Seamus Close could have no possible bearing on "loyalist" criminality. On the other hand if the UUP were grubbing around for someone, anyone, to get them an extra Executive seat then it makes sense, given his baggage, that Ervine was their last port of call.

So what is it? Getting into bed with the UVF for short term party political gain or something less sordid?

Words fail me.
Slack-jawed with incredulity doesn't seem to go far enough, does it?
is it a ham fisted attempt at real politik ? is Sir Reg simply trying to get some of the logistical advantages emjoyed by Sinn Fein with their unique platforms of community interaction ? You have to say some one needs to attempt to get some leverage for wholesome influence in some of the 'mad max' estates, however there are better and braver at it then reggie, and then the total disregard for the feelings of the mass of society, the total befuddlement of any uup interaction with the south (actually it wil be interesting to see how such a thing will pan out) and the cruel disregard for the victims of terrorism render any advantage gained , in my eyes, pointless.

I fully accept that there is a need to deal with the problems in loyalism and power to the party that shows leadership in this regard. However, for the UUP to claim this as their prime motivation for embracing Ervine is disengenuous if they made approaches to others (who would have to be unconnected to loyalism)before him.

Reg has been caught out wholesale. Some MLA's were told it was about bringing the UV's in from the cold, so to speak, others were spun the tactical moves line. There was no meeting of the Assembly group to discuss this, there was no meeting of the party executive either. Just Reg and that Ogre Copeland scheming behind everyones back to hitch the UUP to the UVF. It revolts me.

My late father was a die-hard UUP man, he canvassed at election time for the late Dixie Gilmour in S. Belfast - he would be appaled at this move. Reg needs to be taken out by the neck right now, if the party is to be saved.
UUP Supporter

"Reg needs to be taken out by the neck"

Maybe, but then what (or rather who)? Reg was the obvious Trimble replacement, but who is Regs' natural successor? Hermon? McFarland? Gimp? And then what?
who would have thought we would be thinking - "Bring Back Trimble" !

The UUP should wake up and invite either JD or AF to come back and sort them out.

Trimble hasn't let his profile slip - I wonder if he fancies a come back?

IMHO no party is a big enough tent to be a happy home for both JD and Ken Maginnis. That bridge has been well and truely burnt.
He may have thought that there was an argument from bringing the Alliance in out of the cold ;o)

welcome back. I trust all is well.

Reg is an East Belfast politician who needs a broad anti-DUP coalition if he is ever to get to Westminster in that constituency. A cosy relationship with some Alliance types would be attractive to him in that context. Pity then he had to make do with the UVF.
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