The Belfast Telegraph might express its shock at Alan McFarland’s resignation from the Ulster Unionist party, but let’s be honest, it would have been more surprising had he remained a member. The former tank major has long been a patsy for General Sylvia in North Down.
Indeed, in 2005, he stood for the party leadership as Hermon’s cipher. The writing was on the wall as soon as McFarland’s commander in chief deserted the UUP to ally herself with the DUP.
The North Down MLA, who, like his boss, now styles himself an ‘Independent Unionist’, was elected on an Ulster Unionist ticket. The honourable course of action would be for McFarland to resign in order to allow the UUP to co-opt a representative for its seat.
Instead he has decided to retain a seat which he won under the false pretences that he would remain an Ulster Unionist throughout the lifetime of the Assembly. It is an unprincipled action, but a lack of principle is not surprising from an acolyte of Sylvia Herman.
Here we have self-styled ’liberals’ in hock to an authoritarian Labour party, which removed 10p tax for the poorest in society and conducted a loathsome attack on British civil liberties. We have ’non-sectarian’ politicians who find alliance with the Conservative party unpalatable, but are unashamed of their arrangement with the DUP.