Monday, September 6, 2010

UUP leadership

On Wednesday 22nd of September the UUP will have a new leader. The leadership battle is to be a two horse race between a traditionalist Tom Elliot and a moderniser Basil McCrea.

A profile of each candidate is available on the UUP website.

Basil McCrea

Cllr Basil McCrea MLA was elected in 2007 to the Northern Ireland Assembly as an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member for Lagan Valley.
He is also a UUP Councillor on Lisburn City Council and a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and UUP spokesman on Education.
Basil was educated at Belfast Royal Academy before attaining a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Birmingham. He later attained a degree in Advanced Computer Technology from the University of Ulster.

Tom Elliot

Political Career:Active member of the Fermanagh Unionist Association for many years
Honorary Secretary of the Fermanagh Unionist Association from 1998
Ulster Unionist Councillor on Fermanagh District Council from 2001, serving on following committees - Development, Planning, Policy & Resources; Environmental Services; Equality Impact.
Election Agent for James Cooper in the 2001 Westminster Elections
Chairman of internal Ulster Unionist ad-hoc Review group for its duration 2000/1

Special Interests:
Agriculture and Regional Development.

Educated Ballinamallard P.S.; Duke of Westminister High School, Ballinamallard & Kesh; Enniskillen College of Agriculture - College Certificate in Agriculture.
Farmer on family run Beef and Dairy farm.
Part-time Ulster Defence Regiment and Royal Irish Regiment for 18 years

Elliot the traditionalist is an Orangeman. He favors of a formal link up with the DUP in a bid to form "unionist unity". He does not favor continuing the link with the British Tories and has spoken of his determination to change the St Andrews agreement so a nationalist cannot be elected as First Minster.

McCrea is strictly opposed to doing any deal with the in any form with the DUP and is also against a continuation of the Tory link.

The bookmakers have not yet published odds but it would appear that Elliot is seen as the favorite.

If Elliot wins and this man is given a platform to speak on behalf of moderate unionism, he will, with his 'traditional unionism' views antagonise and agitate many people. In fact he has already started with anti GAA and anti gay remarks.

Past experience tells us that as unionism attempts to strategise in order to encumber nationalism does not work. We saw this in Fermanagh and South Tyrone this year. Attempts at 'unionist unity' had the opposite effect and led to nationalist motivation. Elliot's appointment will ensure nationalism will again be motivated in upcoming elections. It may also lead to increased unionist apathy and ensure that people who occupy the centre ground or whom are indifferent to the constitutional question, will not look to unionist parties on polling day.

Best of luck Tom.



  2. Hi Jerry

    Speaking as a Unionist can I just say that I'm sorry for living on your island.

  3. I don't own an island. Who is Jerry?


  5. It is understood that some in Mr McCrea's camp fear that the party could "exile" him should Mr Elliott win convincingly, while some of Mr Elliott's backers are understood to fear that in that scenario Mr McCrea and his supporters would leave the party.

    Taken from the Newsletter

  6. I see Paula Bradshaw may be the first to leave the UUP since Tom Elliot has become the party leader.

  7. Has Tom Elliott rejected David Camerons kind offer of a complete merger of the UUP and the Tories?

  8. The hardline Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) is to contest the majority of the north's 18 constituencies in next May's Assembly elections, the party's leader has said.

    Jim Allister admitted he was very disappointed with the TUV's performance in the Westminster elections earlier this year and had considered his political future and that of his party over the summer.

    "Of course I evaluated things, but, ultimately, the situation that brought the TUV into existence – that terrorists in government and the absence of an opposition at Stormont is wrong – still prevails. A role challenging those things remains for us."

    In the Westminster election, Allister ran against the DUP's Ian Paisley jnr in North Antrim, securing only 7,114 votes to his rival's 19,672. However, a repeat performance would guarantee his election to Stormont.

    Allister said the Assembly elections, in which proportional representation is used, would benefit a new, small party like his more than the Westminster elections with its first-past-the-post system.

    "Funds are tight but we plan to stand in the majority of constituencies," he said.

    October 10, 2010

  9. And Paula Bradshaw has joined the Alliance Party.

  10. Police have rejected a claim by a Policing Board member that dissident republicans have almost all of the capabilities of the Provisional IRA.

    Ulster Unionist Basil McCrea said his analysis was based on intelligence information from the Policing Board.

    However, police sources expressed "astonishment" at the claim.

    They told the BBC the dissidents are "a long way off" having the capabilities of the PIRA.

    Mr McCrea told Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan show that he expected more violence from dissident republican groups.

    "The message coming out from me is to understand that there is a serious threat out there," he said.

    "They are about 97% at the moment in terms of capability and capacity and the only thing stopping them doing it is an extremely efficient PSNI operation in terms of disrupting serious crime and these people," he said.

    Mr McCrea said the information his analysis was based on was confidential but said the threat was "serious".

    A week ago a military hand grenade was used in an attack by dissidents on police officers in west Belfast.

    The dissident paramilitary group Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) said it was responsible for the attack.

    The group has been responsible for a number of car bomb attacks on police stations and other targets in Northern Ireland this year.