I write to highly commend Mr Sam McBide (political editor) of your widely read newspaper whose reporting skills are the envy of many.
I refer to his writing on the recent launch of the Ulster Unionist Party Election manifesto (April 15).
It is interesting to note that Mike Nesbitt, the UUP leader, now seems to wish that the electors of Northern Ireland would forget about what the UUP position was which resulted in Mr Danny Kennedy UUP walking out of the Excutive.
Now it would appear that with the absence of the UUP having power inside the ‘cabinet’ they are hungry to return to well-paid comfortable seats at the Excutive table whatever about the independent commission report which confirmed that the warlords of the Provisional IRA had not gone away and had continued influence on Sinn Fein elected assembly members. Any self respecting UUP member should surely see this policy to constitute a U turn of Herculean portions.
I am however reminded every time I see and hear of such U turns (at Stormont) of the one MLA who has been consistent throughout, and who has stood up when the popular thing to have done would have been to pursue a softly softly role.
The effectiveness of elected member Jim Allister TUV, has been most impressive. Jim Allister left a very comfortable legal career as a QC to serve as an MEP, and if desired could have kept his head down and rolled over to accept war lords as equals.
Jim Allister has clearly a conscience and could not accept this position, and has over the last mandate of the Assembly accomplished much, the greatest quality exhibited is the retention of his integrity and principle which often led him to be derided from many quarters.
I hope the people of Northern Ireland, who will soon go to the ballot box, will not buy the hollow promises emanating from those unionist parties who sing the anthem of “power at any price” and who continue to allow SF to dictate the running order of government.
The people of Northern Ireland could have had, indeed should have had, power sharing years ago with the SDLP and others but for the unrestrained, and domineering speeches and actions of the late Ian Paisley, which led to the derivative Provisional IRA. The rest is history.
I very much hope that lessons have been learned from the experiences of the past five years, from what was a largely a dysfunctional, discredited Excutive the members of which, would now wish us to believe that the ‘New Start’ will deliver all things to all men.
I so yearn to be an optimist, but daily prepare myself post election for a possible/probable “more of the same”.
George F. D. Young, Cullybackey