Friday, March 25, 2005

Is Trimble the new Paisley?

One of the myths about Ian Paisley is that he somehow rules the DUP with a rod of iron - what he says is unquestionable law and he is somehow free to take decisions about anything and anyone in the DUP without either asking them or them being able to argue.

Conversely, the myth about the UUP is that it an open and democratic structure. They are very proud to perpetuate that myth. It seems the wheels have fallen off that particular myth this week however, and it seems that the dictatorship boot is firmly on the other foot of unionism today.

The ongoing 'discussions' between the two unionist parties have been of particular interest to me and I see an interesting snippet from Derek Hussey, UUP MLA for West Tyrone in this week's Tyrone Constitution, the local paper in the Omagh area.

Regarding the talks and the proposal by David Trimble that both unionist parties should pull out of West Tyrone Mr Hussey has something to say. (No story on internet version unfortunatlely)

"Reports of a suggestion from my own party hierarchy that unionism should stand aside in West Tyrone are equally galling. Party headquarters have never discussed such a suggestion with my own West Tyrone Constituency Association."

It would seem that the Trimble dictatorship within the UUP has become a little exposed on this issue. Not only did they not even bother to tell Derek Hussey that they were elbowing him to the side in favour of the Carrickmore doctor, but it looks like Tom Elliott has been equally embarassed by his party leadership after his claims that the UUP were actually asking people in West Tyrone to support a different independent candidate! Nicely on queue, the DUP reply that not only was an independent candidate raised before the Schomberg House talks but that Bobby Saulters the independent chairman of the talks will be able to confirm that Deeney was indeed Trimble's man in West Tyrone.

So, what do we have left in this whole sorry scandal. One: Tom Elliott claims he knew the UUP wanted an independent candidate, but not Kieran Deeney. Two: Derek Hussey claims he was never consulted about any kind of independent candidate at all. Three - you cant believe a word David Trimble, James Cooper or any of the UUP hierarchy say. Well, they do say that there is nothing new under the sun don't they.

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