FORMER UK Unionist Party leader Bob McCartney re-emerged to public life at Saturday's conference in a rare appearance since his defeat in the 2007 Assembly election.
The veteran anti-agreement unionist, who stressed that he is not a TUV member, addressed the conference about the chaos in education.
Introduced by TUV leader Jim Allister as a "fearless" politician, Mr McCartney arrived on stage to a standing ovation.
Beginning his speech on education, Mr McCartney referred to an article he wrote for the News Letter two days before the St Andrews talks began.
"In that article I spelt out in total detail a prophecy of everything, line by line, that the DUP were going to do after that conference," he said.
"The result was that when we got to St Andrews not a single member of the DUP would speak to me - with one exception - your party leader."
Speaking of his decision to stand in six constituencies against the DUP, he added: "I felt a bit like John the Baptist and like John it cost me my political head but I don't regret it."
Speaking as chairman of the National Grammar Schools' Association, he said that as the youngest of eight children from a "two up, two down on the Shankill" he enjoyed a university, professional and political career because the 11-plus had allowed him to get into grammar school.
Mr McCartney accused Sinn Fein Education Minister Caitriona Ruane of implementing a failed Marxist ideology which would result in a dramatic fall in educational standards across the Province.
"The purely educational debate divested of its political content has proved beyond argument that a selective system produces far better results both at GCSE and A Levels than comprehensive education.
"Moreover, the grammar and secondary modern schools in Northern Ireland are providing greater upward social mobility than their comprehensive mainland counterparts."
Mr McCartney also claimed that the DUP has "already begun the process of abandoning its position" on education.
"Having declared opposition to the Education and Skills Authority headed by Gavin Boyd, the anti-selection architect of the 'New Curriculum' - the DUP are now in the process of accepting it."