Open Unionism


A forum to discuss new ideas and perspectives on Unionism…

Map first, then the route?

Both Chekov and Arthur Aughey have been ruminating lately on the future role of progressive / civic / liberal / UK / new / non-cultural* Unionism post the collapse of the Conservative-UUP project and the election of Tom Elliott as the latter party’s leader.

I deliberately included all the various descriptions because I think it illustrates one of the fundamental initial problems with trying to deal with the topic: whilst there may be overlapping between the categories, beliefs and policies may not always be common or shared between the different groups and individuals, e.g. it would seem that my thoughts on the economy (and probably following on from that attitude towards the Conservatives) would vary widely from others who might describe themselves as Progressives. Civic Unionists would not necessarily adopt the same social liberal positions as I would on such subjects as women’s reproduction rights.

Continuing on from that observation, I think before we can consider how the various brands of Unionism listed can now advance their arguments (or indeed whether there is any point in them even attempting to do so) a set of basic targets needs to be agreed upon.

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Filed under: civic unionism, liberals, unionist unity?, ,

Danny Alexander’s day in the trenches…

This video has just been uploaded to the HM Treasury youtube account. It tracks Danny Alexander across the best part of 12 hours during the CSR announcements. He starts off perky enough but the realisation that a Paxo interview lies in wait starts to dawn on him at about 3mins 50secs. It’s an alternate view to CSR day which I found a little more interesting.

I’ve also uploaded the full CSR doc into the widget.


Filed under: business, Coalition Government, Conservatives, economy, finances, liberals, , ,

Clegg addresses first meeting of North-South Parliamentary Forum

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle where he “set out the Coalition Government’s approach to Northern Ireland”.

According to the press release:

“Northern Ireland is currently enjoying an exceptional period of stability. That is thanks to the political process. Thanks to strong and enlightened leadership across the whole community and thanks to the continuing implementation of the agreements, which the new government emphatically supports.”

via The Liberal Democrats: Latest News Detail.

The link will take you to the full release – I’m uploading the speech to the widget to it stay on the frontpage for a bit.

Filed under: Coalition Government, devolution, liberals, , ,

UUP and its liberal core are dependent on each other…

WB Maginess looks into the recent resignations from the Ulster Unionist Party…

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=quit&iid=5275687″ src=”″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]

By WB Maginess

It can be quite rare that a matter goads this author into penning opinion for public consumption, but the departure from the UUP of Ringland and Bradshaw in quick succession has provoked both cause and motivation.

The liberal core of the UUP has been established as a notable going concern for more than 60 years, and it’s continued inability to secure the leadership of the party since the fall of O’Neill has been noted, particularly in recent years, indeed weeks.

So Ringland and Bradshaw were full participant members of this liberal core. That is indisputable. They took their chance, and were pushed forward, in both cases at the recommendation of Sir Reg rather than their associations, to be in the front ine of what Alex Kane has noted was the most liberal line up of UUP candidates in history. This proud “liberalista” was pleased with that turn of events, and was never convinced that their failure was in the most part down to the individuals (notwithstanding that amongst the best-performing candidates vis 2005 and indeed 2007 were older school border Unionists Messrs Kennedy, Hussey and to an extent Mrs Overend. Manwaring is the exception that proves the rule).

So what has caused the sudden exodus of these two liberals? Is it a sign of worsening relations between the UUP leadership and the party’s liberal core? Probably not. Tom Elliott is politically too centred on the west, that is no doubt true, but it is also true that Basil McCrea singularly failed to attract the votes of a sufficient majority of the liberal wing to make his defeat respectable.

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Filed under: liberals, UUP, ,

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