Monday, 6 September 2010

McCrea unveils pledges

I'm about to head down to the Merchant Hotel to hear what Basil McCrea has to say as he launches his leadership bid.  The News Letter reports that the Lagan Valley MLA will embrace a number of pledges, which he would hold to as leader.

The most eye-catching is a refusal to take a ministry until the UUP is Northern Ireland's biggest party.  Not effectively a pledge to enter opposition, as I initially read it (see below).

That is followed by a pledge to make the education ministry the UUP's first choice.  This would enable the party to run on a platform to get 'rid of Ruane'.

Each position has its merits, taken separately.  I'll be interested to hear Basil explain how they fit together.  Realistically, it's highly unlikely that the UUP will be Northern Ireland's largest party next year.  Can it credibly go to voters promising to oust Ruane as a matter of priority?

Mea culpa.  Don't rush a blogpost out first thing on a Monday morning, when you're in a hurry.  Closer inspection of Basil's pledges reveals that his promise  not to take up a ministry only holds good for himself.  The party leader would not take a ministry, but would, instead, concentrate on improving the UUP's electoral fortunes.  

4 comments:

thedissenter said...

He could always adopt the old DUP line of being in a Ministry, but not in the Executive, which is entirely possible in the sort of screwed up government we have.

slug said...

Tom Elliott's comments about the GAA and gays certainly has cast him in the narrow-minded category. Shouldn't unionists with vision be trying to avoid such comments?

McCrea's opposition idea is certainly one that would expose the DUP.

DR said...

Chekov, I had to go check out that you got the 5 pledges right, then have read them 5 or 6 times to try to make sense of the contradictions, then another couple of times to see if they might be concealing a "cunning plan cleverly disguised".
I'm completely at a loss here!
1. There are some merits to opposition but ruling out any other option for probably 2 assembly terms, in a system our party designed appears restrictive to say the least.
2. Explain this one even without the first pledge, and then imagine Caitriona in charge of the Health Service!!! the chances of SF putting her back in the same post is miniscule even if they did get the choice.
3. Chasing non-voters is laudible, but in the real world it wont win you many seats.
4. MLAs may be selected by the local party but they are elected by the people, otherwise it sounds like an annual UUP mudslinging and dirty laundry day.
5. Is there the hint of a grudge here? will the executive include all Cllrs too? will Jim Nics have to fly home from Brussels for each one? what if an MLA had to attend a funeral?
and as for the summary... pot, kettle, black.

slug said...

Tom Elliott's "doth protest too much" comments about personal comments make him seem rather touchy. He made personal comments in the first place as his anti-gay comments were a direct reference to McCrea's attendance at a Gay Pride discussion event in Belfast a couple of weeks ago.