Battle for the soul of Unionism

Ulster Unionism never recovered from the existential trauma of Partition. Over time, and under assault from simplistic-minded forces both internal and external, it shied away from accepting itself as a truly Irish thing. Of course Ulsterness and Britishness are also cornerstones of Ulster Unionism. But too often it appears that Unionism is desperately trying to make a three-legged stool balance on just two. Continue reading...


The flame of change dies within the UUP

Change can come in many ways. In politics, there are three major opportunities - external events, internal reflection, or generational shift. Within the space of a year the UUP has now fallen at all three hurdles. UCUNF was caused by an external event - a change in the approach of the Conservative Party towards politics… Continue reading The flame of change dies within the UUP

Spectator sport

It's always enjoyable watching an internal battle in a political party you aren't a member of. The intra-UUP showdown between liberal standard-bearer Basil McCrea and his traditionalist rival Tom Elliott is starting to turn nasty. Mr McCrea had accused Mr Elliott of inflicting a “painful insult” on PSNI Gaelic footballer Peadar Heffron, who was severely… Continue reading Spectator sport

Fine Gael and Northern Ireland

Over on his blog, Seymour Major brings up an interesting idea: that Fine Gael could be included in the UCUNF. I am intrigued, but think it a stretch too far. The main problem is that the UCUNF is an explicitly Unionist project. However much some Conservatives may protest, their party has thrown in its lot… Continue reading Fine Gael and Northern Ireland