The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Unionism Can't Run On Empey

Anthony McIntyre • Fourthwrite, Summer 2005

The UUP is not serious about regaining its hegemonic status within unionism. Its new leader, Reg Empey, will play a role more like Michael Foot or William Hague - ants who keep the leaf afloat on its journey across river but who are destined never to set foot on the other side.

Had the UUP hinted that its vital signs were still functioning, the charismatic Tim Collins flushed with success from his military forays, would have thrown his helmet into the ring. Empey, well, the expectation of him is that he put a smile on the face of the corpse, not resuscitate it. He is no Jack Lynch, even less a Konrad Adenauer. The leader after him will provide a better window through which to observe what forward momentum, if any, the UUP possesses.

Empey is hamstrung by an inability to disguise an essentially careerist approach to politics. As part of the 'lost generation' of unionism which failed to fulfil its ambitions for office with the 1972 collapse of Stormont, his complaint to Arlene Foster in the run up to the Good Friday Agreement that 'another chance like this won't come along for me' suggested a risqué eagerness for the trappings of office. His later marked reluctance to endorse even a one day suspension of the Stormont executive confirmed he was the man to lead unionism - from Sinn Fein's point of view. The Adams led party like men who are putty in their hands.

Such a dubious attribute won him the praise of Mairtin O'Muilleoir. For that reason it will not win him the confidence of the unionist community who swept the DUP into poll position because it had long tired of the vacillation which, in its mind, gripped the UUP leadership.

Only if the DUP go into government with a militia linked Sinn Fein will space open up for the UUP into which it can strategically insert itself on the condition that it does so under a leader more purposeful than Reg Empey.



































Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

10 August 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

Failed Entity
Anthony McIntyre

Towards Justice: Damien Walsh Lecture
Fr Sean Mc Manus

Where Terror Reigns
Fred A Wilcox

Lack of Trust — Or Courage?
Mick Hall

Process of Consulting Loses Sway
David Adams

Unionism Can't Run on Empey
Anthony McIntyre

Another Side to the Surrender
Brian Mór

Provisional Surrender A Sell-Out
Joe Dillon

The Greatest Betrayal of All
Proinsias O'Loinsaigh

Censorship at the Irish Echo
John McDonagh & Brian Mór

Take Ireland Out of the War: Irish Anti War Movement News
Michael Youlton

Venezuela: Factories Without Bosses
Tomas Gorman

1 August 2005

An Open Letter to Gerry Adams
Dolours Price

The Inevitable
Anthony McIntyre

PIRA Statement 'Neither Surprising nor Historic'
32 County Sovereignty Movement

'Provisional IRA Should Disband Completely'
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

A Momentous, Historic, Courageous and Confident Statement
Jimmy Sands

When History Was Made
Brian Mór

Roundup on the IRA Statement
Liam O Ruairc

The Way of the Apache and Lakota
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Strange Bedfellows?
Eamonn McCann

Rewriting the Past to Suit the Present
Mick Hall

Shoot to Kill: Getting Away with State Murder
Eamonn McCann

Parents of the World Unite
Fred A Wilcox



The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices