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John McCallister has finally had enough of the UUP.


theloner

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Former Ulster Unionist Party leader John McCallister has quit over the appointment of a joint unionist candidate to fight the Mid-Ulster by-election. Mr McCallister said: "It's nothing personal to Nigel, I know Nigel. It is about principle. I am opposed to unionist unity and I do not want to be part of that." Nesbitt and McCallister haven't seen eye to eye at all over the recent past, indeed McCallister was sacked by Mike Nesbitt as UUP deputy leader for making a speech criticising unionist unity

It comes the same week the UUP sanctioned Basil McCrea and has left many onlookers confused regards who is calling the shots in this pact between the UUP and the DUP. It seems painfully obvious Nesbitt is dancing to Robbo's tune, something that McCallister also touched upon.

With the recent victory (?) of sorts for unionism in the recent Spotlight poll, it would have made sense to take a softer line in NI and embrace the % of nationalists that are content within the UK, instead Nesbitt, who makes Big Tom look like a shrewd politician, has jumped into a DUP bed and thrown his support behind Nigel Lutton. Ironically it may have been the rhetoric and stances of John McCallister that secured some nationalists' willingness to remain within the UK in the recent poll. Lutton's father an Orangeman and RUC man was killed by the IRA, Nigel credits the Orange Order for stopping him joining loyalist death squads in the immediate aftermath of his father's death.

McCallister went further by attacking new UUP Mike Nesbitt in a letter:

He said: "Your failure to articulate and communicate a distinctive UUP stance - based on Ulster Unionism's core values - on last year's parades controversies, on the Covenant centenary, on the Union flag debate, on the misguided Unionist Forum and on the potential of electoral pacts with the DUP has unfortunately inflicted grave damage on the Party.

SF can also breathe a sigh of relief in the fact that Victims campaigner Willie Frazer and Ulster Protestant Forum leader Jamie Bryson said they will not be running in the by-election against Lutton. McCallister was someone nationalists felt they could business with, indeed Honest John said he had first voted for the UUP in 1992, because of the party's values and had "no interest in supporting other narrow expressions of unionism, committed as they were to confrontation and triumphalism".

The Mid-Ulster by-election will take place on March 7.

Coming to a cinema near you soon:

The Sequel: Bye-Bye Basil...

UUP's John McCallister quits over unity choice - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
 

ArtyisBack

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Will they team up with McClarty and form a new party? I think it is certainly on the cards given the language of McClarty a while back. Interesting development, may signal the end of the UUP.

Basil has just said he will team up with McCallister and hopefully others to form an opposition in Stormont.
 
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Castle Ray

Basil has just said he will team up with McCallister and hopefully others to form an opposition in Stormont.
This is McCrea and McClarty's preferred option. I think McCallister is torn between this and the NI Conservatives whilst the Alliance party are still hopeful of getting him into their party. Parsely has been courting him and McCrea heavily. The problem for McCallister is that he is not agnostic on the Union and he is right of centre economically. Hence Alliance is not a good fit.

Should a new Liberal Unionist Party be established then those three and possibly Kinahan and Hermon could join it. That would give it enough clout to get it off the ground.
 

Faith In Science

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This is McCrea and McClarty's preferred option. I think McCallister is torn between this and the NI Conservatives whilst the Alliance party are still hopeful of getting him into their party. Parsely has been courting him and McCrea heavily. The problem for McCallister is that he is not agnostic on the Union and he is right of centre economically. Hence Alliance is not a good fit.

Should a new Liberal Unionist Party be established then those three and possibly Kinahan and Hermon could join it. That would give it enough clout to get it off the ground.
Could Bradshaw, Hamiliton, Parsley not jump again to this new Liberal Unionist party? Don't forget about Ringland, McFarland and even Alex Kane.
 

Global Justice

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Mattarigna

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This is McCrea and McClarty's prfeferred option. I think McCallister is torn between this and the NI Conservatives whilst the Alliance party are still hopeful of getting him into their party. Parsely has been courting him and McCrea heavily. The problem for McCallister is that he is not agnostic on the Union and he is right of centre economically. Hence Alliance is not a good fit.

Should a new Liberal Unionist Party be established then those three and possibly Kinahan and Hermon could join it. That would give it enough clout to get it off the ground.
That would be good - although tbh, I would have liked if the SDLP tried to go back to it's roots and not follow SF's lead on everything. They would make a good "liberal" Nationalist party if they tried.
 
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between the bridges

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What are paddy powers odds on the new party having a U in the title?

F.U.K.U.P... Free United Kingdom Unionist Party...
 

Northtipp

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That would be good - although tbh, I would have liked if the SDLP tried to go back to it's roots and not follow SF's lead on everything. They would make a good "liberal" Nationalist party if they tried.
Regrettably liberalism is a trait highly unlikely t o gain many votes in the six. If the fleg issue showed anything it was that its the way for parties " to keep the minnions" unaware of the real issues and , as of old, to divert their minds back toward the core of sectarianism. Its green and blue I'm afraid.
 
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Castle Ray

Could Bradshaw, Hamiliton, Parsley not jump again to this new Liberal Unionist party? Don't forget about Ringland, McFarland and even Alex Kane.
I think Parsely and Bradshaw are too embedded in Alliance and jumping ship again would be a jump too many. Ringland is too embedded in the NI Conservatives. I'm not sure about Hamilton in Upper Bann though. Is he still the Alliance standard bearer there or would he see an opportunity in a new party? McFarland could join but is probably past it; he could do ok in the Assembly if Hermon runs again for Westminster. Alex Kane might be interested but he is a commentator not a Politician. Kane might be offered a job in any new party.
 
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Castle Ray

That would be good - although tbh, I would have liked if the SDLP tried to go back to it's roots and not follow SF's lead on everything. They would make a good "liberal" Nationalist party if they tried.
If they ditched the nationalism and stuck to social democracy and labour politics they'd do even better. What's the point in them trying to out-green Sinn Fein in elections where the constitutional position isn't being voted on. There needs to be a unionist and a nationalist movement, but there's no need for 2 single issue on either side of the issue.
 

devonish

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This is McCrea and McClarty's preferred option. I think McCallister is torn between this and the NI Conservatives whilst the Alliance party are still hopeful of getting him into their party. Parsely has been courting him and McCrea heavily. The problem for McCallister is that he is not agnostic on the Union and he is right of centre economically. Hence Alliance is not a good fit.

Should a new Liberal Unionist Party be established then those three and possibly Kinahan and Hermon could join it. That would give it enough clout to get it off the ground.
Regrettably liberalism is a trait highly unlikely t o gain many votes in the six. If the fleg issue showed anything it was that its the way for parties " to keep the minnions" unaware of the real issues and , as of old, to divert their minds back toward the core of sectarianism. Its green and blue I'm afraid.
I think that a new liberal unionist party will have to focus at least initially on the greater Belfast area, competing for alliance vote and disillusioned UUP vote. Northtipp, disagree with you in relation to such a party getting many votes (maybe I'm just optimisitc), Sylvia Hermon has successfully defended her North Down Westminster seat, would really like to see her joins such new non-sectarian unionist party free of the influence of the OO and not looking over it's shoulder and not trying to outdo the DUP.
A good day for NI, hopefully it will trigger some review of strategy and direction in the SDLP as well.
 

Mattarigna

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What are paddy powers odds on the new party having a U in the title?

F.U.K.U.P... Free United Kingdom Unionist Party...
IMO, if they want to be seen as a liberal unionist party, they need to avoid using either "Ulster" or "Unionist" in the name - None of the Nationalist parties use "six county" or "Nationalist" in their name, after all.
 

Mattarigna

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If they ditched the nationalism and stuck to social democracy and labour politics they'd do even better. What's the point in them trying to out-green Sinn Fein in elections where the constitutional position isn't being voted on. There needs to be a unionist and a nationalist movement, but there's no need for 2 single issue on either side of the issue.
I would agree if I were a NI nationalist, except that it would give SF a monopoly on the Nationalist issue, and I don't want them to be the face of those wanting a UI. I would agree in maybe ditching the UI campaign for a couple of decades to improve NI as it is, and to promote a bicultural province, but ultimately, a UI will always remain a long-term asperation for many.
 
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Mattarigna

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I think that a new liberal unionist party will have to focus at least initially on the greater Belfast area, competing for alliance vote and disillusioned UUP vote. Northtipp, disagree with you in relation to such a party getting many votes (maybe I'm just optimisitc), Sylvia Hermon has successfully defended her North Down Westminster seat, would really like to see her joins such new non-sectarian unionist party free of the influence of the OO and not looking over it's shoulder and not trying to outdo the DUP.
A good day for NI, hopefully it will trigger some review of strategy and direction in the SDLP as well.
Agreed. Maybe with a MLA candidate or two everywhere else.
 

Mattarigna

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Regrettably liberalism is ia trait highly unlikely t o gain many votes in the six. If the fleg issue showed anything it was that its the way for parties " to keep the minnions" unaware of the real issues and , as of old, to divert their minds back toward the core of sectarianism. Its green and blue I'm afraid.
I would disagree, but if polls are accurate at all, over 40% of Protestants supported the "fleggers". That percentage is a lot higher than I'd have expected, and it does indicate that, unfortunately, there is a large market for insular Unionism within the Unionist community.
 
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Castle Ray

IMO, if they want to be seen as a liberal unionist party, they need to avoid using either "Ulster" or "Unionist" in the name - None of the Nationalist parties use "six county" or "Nationalist" in their name, after all.
Who'd ever know what sectarian divide that the name Sinn Fein would be staunchly championing? :rolleyes:
 
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