Making the UUP relevant again…

please wait here until you are useful thank you signage on multicolored wall

On the 13th.  of October 2021, the European Commission issued proposals to resolve the impasse around the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol following discussions with political leaders, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland. The proposals seek to differentiate between goods intended to stay in Northern Ireland and those going on to the Republic of Ireland or the EU by providing an “express lane” with an 80% reduction in official checks and vastly simplified procedures for phytosanitary certification. …

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Doug Beattie – The only path for unionism is for it to come in from the cold…

Ulster Unionist Party leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA The stark reality about politics here in Northern Ireland was exposed by Michelle O’Neill`s comments last week that attempted to justify the IRA`s indefensible terrorist campaign. This is a slap in the face for victims, survivors and those who lived through those dark years. Selective condemnation and glorification of past atrocities really does stop Northern Ireland, and its people, from moving forward. In fact it fortifies the division that has blighted this …

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Slugger TV looks at the political year ahead

Slugger TV 01/07/22 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. This months guest as Alan Meban and Allison Morris David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Slugger TV looks at the main parties after #AE22

Slugger TV is five years old! This month Anna Mercer from Stratagem and Chris Donnelly look at the state of the parties following the Assembly Election. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Choyaa: Unionism continues to decline and decay…

Close-up of dahlias using focus stacking. Ont their final days.

On February 28th, 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was dominating the news and any segments left on the schedules were being devoted to the cost-of-living crisis that was gripping the world. At this time in Northern Ireland, the main item on Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show was a 60 minutes interview with UUP leader Doug Beattie about a failed attempt to get Jeffery Donaldson to re-join the party in May of 2021. The initial story broke on February 23rd when …

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UTV Leaders Debate-Low key campaigns don’t drop their guards

The leaders of the five main parties gathered in South Belfast today for the UTV Leaders Debate, which is the first of two of these debates in the 2022 Assembly Election campaign. Marc Mallett as usual was the moderator and there were two new faces with Doug Beattie and Jeffrey Donaldson taking part for the first time. The experienced debaters returning from 2017 were Colum Eastwood, Naomi Long and Michelle O’Neill. The debate was divided into three main themes, Executive …

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And the winner is … ranking the PEBs: Slugger’s verdict on the party broadcasts of #AE22

It’s back! The Slugger review of the Party Election Broadcasts. Starting all the way back in 2014, we are returning to award the best party election broadcast of the 2022 Assembly campaign. This year we are assembling the same judges as in 2019 to help us decide who won the battle on TV. We have our own Alan Meban, the Belfast Telegraph Crime Correspondent, Allison Morris and Director of Brown O’Connor Communications, Chris Brown. How does it work? Each of …

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Unionism and a Leap of Faith…

achieve, woman, girl

For this article to work we all need to suspend disbelief and all work on the assumption that in real terms Stormont is ineffective, worthless and has no real positive day to day impact on our lives. That whoever is First Minister has no significance other than symbolism and bragging rights, and that we can all get through the intense period of gloating and recrimination if Sinn Fein emerge the biggest party in May. Do you think we can do …

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In Response to Jamie Bryson: What a Union of People Means…

uk, united kingdom, 3d

I read Jamie Bryson’s article entitled: ‘The UUP’s Union of the People argument is loose ground upon which nothing permanent can be built’, published on Slugger O’Toole on 21 March 2022. Jamie and I hold different views on various political issues, though I cannot help but notice we do share some similarities, being that we are both unionists from Ards and North Down around the same age with probably a similar experience of growing up within our predominantly unionist borough. …

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Jeffrey Donaldson was approached with an offer to rejoin the UUP…

The Nolan Show has discovered that after losing the DUP leadership election to Edwin Poots Jeffrey Donaldson was approached by Doug Beattie to rejoin the UUP. On @BBCNolan today – More on the story #NolanLIVE broke last night when we revealed Sir Jeffrey Donaldson engaged in talks with the UUP, when he was asked by Doug Beattie to join the party 📻 @bbcradioulster 🎧 @BBCSounds 📞 03030805555 | 📲 81771 pic.twitter.com/izVJcCG42w — Stephen Nolan (@StephenNolan) February 24, 2022 Jeffrey does …

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Dr John Kyle joins the UUP…

A bit of good news for Doug Beattie this week. John Kyle, the nicest man in politics has joined the UUP. With the DUP being all over the show could there be a resurgence of support for the former lead party of Unionism? John also has the benefit of being a good media performer and he is transfer-friendly. Just the prescription/tonic the UUP need. Feel free to insert your own medical puns… 🚨BREAKING🚨 We are delighted to welcome Cllr John …

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Slugger TV looks at the polls and strategy for #AE22

This month Slugger TV talks to two former party strategists about what the parties will be thinking about going into the next election. We have Brendan Mulgrew (For SDLP advisor and Partner in MW Advocate) and Lee Reynolds (Former Director of Policy for the DUP and SPAD). NVTV and local broadcasting lost a very special person last week. Marilyn Hyndman very sadly passed away. She was someone who edited, checked over and supported Slugger TV. We hope you enjoy this …

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Scores on the doors: 2022 Assembly Election lay of the land

We are 104 days away from the Assembly Election. Set for Thursday 5th May, we will be able to decide who we want to take Northern Ireland forward for the next few years. Where will the parties be targeting and defending? I have put together a list of where is under threat for each of the main parties and where could they make some gains. These things are moveable feasts and dynamics can change throughout the campaign. Sinn Fein-Currently holds …

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Slugger TV looks at UUP, Sinn Fein and Brandon Lewis

Slugger TV : 29th October 2021 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. We’re back! For the first time since February 2020, we have returned to our home studio. This month Belfast Live Political Reporter, Brendan Hughes and Commentator, Chris Donnelly look at the recent UUP conference, Sinn Fein’s rise in the polls and how Brandon Lewis is getting on delivering on the New Decade, New Approach proposals. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. …

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Why mixed messaging cannot work for Doug Beattie or indeed the UUP

implement, do, implementation

‘In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.’ – Miyamoto Musashi Following the General Election of 2010, the UUP produced an internal report addressing the electoral performance of the party which had campaigned with the Conservative party in what was known, rather clumsily, as the UCU-NF initiative. Probably not enough time was given to the process. Based on an earlier European election in which UUP …

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Choyaa: The UUP – Is the Former Empire Striking Back?

The Centenary of Northern Ireland has presented political Unionism with some of its most significant challenges, from dealing with a declining base, the Northern Ireland Protocol, an unenthused electorate, and greater political isolation than ever before, adding to this are the huge internal problems within both the DUP and UUP. This has all made the centenary year memorable if for all the wrong reasons. The UUP, in recent months, have been going through a transformation and following their party conference …

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UUP conference – a party in love with their new leader #UUP21

Doug Beattie is in a good place. His party’s one minister in the NI Executive has a level of trust and reliability second only to Father Christmas. This gives the party leader some space to manoeuvrer, reaching out in different directions, exploring which messages resonate amongst UUP voters, potential switchers from Alliance and the DUP, and perhaps most valuably from non-voters. Party members praise his chairing of internal meetings. They say he uses his ears as much as his mouth. …

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Ian Marshall joins the UUP…

At the time of the last UUP leadership election, I said the best person for the job was Ian Marshall. There were just two minor issues, he was not a politician or even a member of the UUP. That situation has since been rectified, at least the UUP member part. Delighted to join Doug and the UUP. Time for a union of people, embracing inclusivity, diversity and building relationships across an island and between two islands. Thanks to @SuzyJourno & …

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An open letter to Jeffrey and Doug

Now the dust has settled on the turmoil at the top of the two main unionist parties for the foreseeable future, we’ve had a wide range of commentators telling us what challenges they face and what is likely to define their tenure of office.  Many of them were from various hues of non or anti-unionist opinion advising unionists on the way forward. But the two leaders (initially at least) would do better to focus on the thoughts and feelings of …

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SOAPBOX: As things go from bad to worse, the DUP can’t avoid the ripples of the ‘Beattie Bounce’

Dr. Clare Rice is a postdoctoral researcher at Newcastle University: a specialist in power-sharing and Northern Ireland’s politics. She tweets as @Clare_Rice_. All views expressed are the author’s own. The word ‘honeymoon’ evokes sentiments of a relaxing, happy and easy-going time. The big event is over, and in the bubble of positivity that follows, the focus shifts to the future. For Edwin Poots, this phase has been as good as non-existent since he became the new DUP Leader. The unceremonious …

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