Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Arse in the seat

Tom Elliott was elected as the UUP leader on 22nd September 2010.  Yesterday evening was 18th October, a unknown collection (in terms of size and importance) of UUP members decided to gather together to plot against Elliott's leadership. The man has barely got his arse in the seat.  In the four weeks he has been leader he has not made any big strides in any particular direction if there are any grounds for complaint it is more the low profile he has adopted.  Yet this has led some to complain that:

"They are increasingly disenchanted with the direction in which the leadership of the party is moving."

The fact that they have chosen a notional name "The 2010 group" that will be out of date in a few weeks probably indicates we aren't dealing with the most inventive group of people.  Neither does their outline strategy which reads like a re-tread of UCUNF. 

"...the possibility of realising a new bridgehead in politics the goal of which would be to appeal to a wider political and business community...One source said, ” we’re open to reaching out to other parties here and in London.”

The use of language would also give a strong indication of who is involved in leaking it to Mallie. The justification for this plotting is the claim:

"...there is an impatience among many of these figures from within the business community at what they see as backward looking politics gripping the Ulster Unionist Party."

If anyone thinks the UUP is a serious topic of boardroom discussion in Northern Ireland then they have little connection to the real world.


ianjamesparsley said...

In principle I've no problem with the idea (nor actually the name - no doubt the "1922 Committee" is the origin).

However, does it have anyone currently holding elected office, or anyone who has done the work at community level likely to get him (and I suspect their all "hims") elected? If not, what's the point?

I don't agree much with Alex Easton's or Peter Weir's politics, but they would get a preference from me on the basis of the work they do, and that work is the reason they have de-toxified the DUP brand in North Down. There's an obvious lesson there.

O'Neill said...

"The fact that they have chosen a notional name "The 2010 group" that will be out of date in a few weeks probably indicates we aren't dealing with the most inventive group of people"

Charter 77 did most of their best work after 1977, the 1923 Committee are still going strong. It's not their name which is their biggest problem at this stage I think.

Anonymous said...

In terms of name let's not criticise too much - 1922 Committee?

In terms of "direction" the UUP is taking: you are absolutely right. Could someone tell me what exactly that is? Steady as she drifts seems to be the order of the day from where I am sitting.

As for Tom Elliott, I feel sorry for him. A lesser man being used by a cynical cabal who installed him to protect their positions: Campbell, the eminence brun of the Ulster Unionist Party: everything he touches turns to the brown stuff - had a key role in ensuring Tom got the top spot: that in itself is a worrying sign.

Lee said...

The 1922 committee defence doesn't work for me considering it has always been a tradionalist body whereas this grouping seeks the opposite. Charter 77 maybe has more legs. However, as this is the rather small pond of NI we are talking about such grandiose allusions may communicate more about the importance some involved attach to themselves.