In his latest column Alex Kane reflects on the "diem horribilem" of the UUP. As regards the McGimpsey's decision on the Altnagelvin Cancer Unit he describes it as:
"...as a bizarrely ill-judged and ill-timed decision..."
While on the internal splits he highlights how that this was not a low level spat but caused by senior party members who simply should have known better:
"One is a former chief whip; one a former leadership contender; and the other is presently the deputy leader. All are senior figures, all are candidates and all are breaking the rules and causing yet more existing and potential voters to delete the UUP from their list of options."
Neither is a good backdrop for a party trying to claim that it is dedicated to deliver and to making Stormont work for you.
However Kane's proposed solution is problematic. He believes that the party rules should now be enforced against all three to ensure they toe the line and that this would prove popular with the party membership. This would simply guarantee that the story continued during the campaign - three senior members in key constituencies being subject to disciplinary charges would do little to assist an already faltering campaign.
The time for enforcement was in the past few years since the rules were introduced. It is not like any of these three do not have form for example McCallister broke with the party position on water charges, McNarry is a repeat offender across numerous issues with McCrea a close second.
Kane also argues that this type of situation wouldn't arise in the DUP because the party's action would be:
"... immediate and brutal."
This is a common perception which I have previously argued is a misconception. The DUP's culture is as much a product of common sense rather than enforcement.