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UUP - NI Official Opposition

President Bartlet

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The Ulster Unionists announced they will form an opposition.
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said "let battle commence".
Mr Nesbitt, said the first and deputy first minister would not have the support of his party at the executive table, as the "Ulster Unionist MLA group have unanimously decided to form the first official opposition of this Northern Ireland Assembly".
He said: "This is a big and bold move to bring a better and a more normal democracy to the people of Northern Ireland - let battle commence!".

A smart and positive step to democracy or mad act?
 


CastleRay

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Nesbitt is clueless. This is just another stunt by him.

He took the leadership of the UUP stating that opposition was wrong and the UUP should be in the Executive. McCallister left the Party largely as a result. So he saw off one opponent.

He took the UUP out of the Executive based on nothing really about the IRA given that he was prepared to go back into the Executive without any changes.

He didn't know what to do regarding the EU referendum and spent 30 minutes in consultation in Number 10 (that's tea, biscuits and about 10 minute conversation at most) to decide that exiting the EU was a bad idea and that the UUP policy was to support the Remain campaign.

He said pre-election he'd be in fighting and negotiating the Programme for Government for 2 weeks and then he'd decide what to do. Within the first couple of days he's now in Opposition to the Programme for Government.

Nesbitt is all over the place and the only thing he seems certain to advance is his own air time and promotion.
 

Irish-Rationalist

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Nesbitt said "Let battle commence"? I've gone all weak at the knees. Mikey is so butch.
 

President Bartlet

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This will be a waste of time - it wont help the UUP next time out - we will have the same result again
+ Does he now get referred to as Leader of the Opposition?
 

Sword of Gideon

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Why should the UUP go into the executive with a programme for government they do not agree with. That would be dishonest. I hope the SDLP and APNI join them in opposition. At last someone else is willing to stand up and try to hold SF/DUP to account. With PBP TUV Greens and UUP asking serious questions of the way the we are governed, we may be heading for normal democratic politics.
 

between the bridges

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Unionists largest party in government and opposition, who said the orange state was dead? Next thing they'll be bringing back Stormont...
 

Marcella

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First time in the history of our wee statelet that the UUP have found themselves in opposition at Stormont.

A smart move for my money and if the SDLP had sense, they'd join them.
 

TiredOfBeingTired

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There may be flaws in his decision, but there are advantages.

1) If he wanted to do it, he wanted to do it first.
He knows he will be the Leader of the Opposition.
The SDLP could not make the same move as they could have been trumped (sic!) by the UUP.

2) He wants to put a distance between the UUP and the DUP.
Can the UUP survive if they are virtually the same as the DUP?
The same applies to SDLP regarding SF.

3) The 5 main parties all lost votes at the election.
What is the point of the UPP being a minor player in a DUP/SF administration?
He cannot allow the UUP to drift along behind.

4) Does he know what's coming down the line that he wants to avoid ... ?
 

CastleRay

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I see mighty Mike has struck again by forming official opposition.
This has now been endorced by Noble Peace prize winner
http://http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-36284225
Good on him, I think this is a logical move.
The UUP set up the NI Executive but now opposes it. The UUP went out of the NI Executive because of the IRA and now have gone out of it because they didn't get enough votes. I'm in favour of an opposition but the UUP are just scrambling around trying to be relevant.
 

Glaucon

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Nesbitt is all over the place and the only thing he seems certain to advance is his own air time and promotion.
I don't understand the UUP's raison d'être. The DUP, TUV and others have already staked out the hardline Unionist vote. The Alliance has moved to the middle ground, shedding the "Unionist" tag and now appeals to a relatively large number of Catholics. What is the UUP's purpose? A mild version of the DUP? A farmers' party? Moving toward an Alliance position? Merging with the Tories? What?
 

CastleRay

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I don't understand the UUP's raison d'être. The DUP, TUV and others have already staked out the hardline Unionist vote. The Alliance has moved to the middle ground, shedding the "Unionist" tag and now appeals to a relatively large number of Catholics. What is the UUP's purpose? A mild version of the DUP? A farmers' party? Moving toward an Alliance position? Merging with the Tories? What?
I don't see any point in the UUP except that they are not the DUP and some unionists will vote for them out of loyalty and simply because some unionists just won't vote for the DUP. However, that's a pointless reason to exist and as time goes on their vote will inevitably disappear.
 

Glaucon

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There is the possibility, I suppose, to become a middle of the road left-leaning Unionist party which attracts Catholic Unionists, Labour Unionist voters and others - however I cannot see the UUP going down that road.
 

Ó Ghabhainn

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I don't understand the UUP's raison d'être. The DUP, TUV and others have already staked out the hardline Unionist vote. The Alliance has moved to the middle ground, shedding the "Unionist" tag and now appeals to a relatively large number of Catholics. What is the UUP's purpose? A mild version of the DUP? A farmers' party? Moving toward an Alliance position? Merging with the Tories? What?
To exist.
 

hollandia

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There is the possibility, I suppose, to become a middle of the road left-leaning Unionist party which attracts Catholic Unionists, Labour Unionist voters and others - however I cannot see the UUP going down that road.
They won't fill that niche. They are essentially tories anyway, in all but name. Although this is a problem with NI politics, all the political parties (with the exception of the DUP/TUV), are broad church parties in the sense that their membership is both left and right leaning, regardless of party policy on social matters.

The SDLP for example are fairly conservative in outlook despite being nominally socialist, whilst the UUP do have some left leaning members despite having links to the Tory party. SF, while being officially of the left contain a lot of small c conservatives to. But, this will change as people slowly forget the troubles and as the border question loses its primacy. I think the UUP moving into opposition is a good thing, as it forces them to make a decision as to whether they need to out-DUP the DUP, or to move to a more soft unionist, more socially liberal stance.
 

Irish-Rationalist

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The UUP have always been NIs version of the British Conservative party. They even changed their name to the "Ulster Unionist and Conservative Party" for a brief while, before realising their error. They are too Unionist, right-wing and conservative to attract any substantial support from Catholics or left-leaning Protestants, and too traditionally grey, dull and boring to offer NI politics any real nuance of new, alternative and/or interesting politics.

Ever since Nesbitt came to power he's been risibly attempting to flex his political muscle and act the leader by throwing his weight around; sacking party members, walking out of the exec in disgust at PIRA murders, and now going into opposition. It's the melodramatics of a party which fell out of favour with the Unionist electorate 9 years ago, and Nesbitt, like virtually every UUP leader before him, has obviously undergone charisma bypass surgery.

The UUP are Ulster Tories, and NI people in general are not that keen on the Tories. UTV lost a competent presenter when he left, and the UUP appointed an ineffectual leader when he joined. The quiver in his voice reveals timidity and weakness, behind a transparent facade of boldness and strength.

In sum, Nesbitt is a charlatan and out of his depth.
 

CastleRay

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There is the possibility, I suppose, to become a middle of the road left-leaning Unionist party which attracts Catholic Unionists, Labour Unionist voters and others - however I cannot see the UUP going down that road.
That's the Alliance Party.
 

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