Ulster Unionist veteran calls for unity

David Burnside

David Burnside

In the aftermath of the disastrous Assembly elections which elevated Sinn Fein to their strongest ever position, veteran Unionist David Burnside has called for unity in the form of a revived United Ulster Unionist Council – the body of which he was a member in the 1970s.

The UUUC united the then-mainstream (now much diminished) Ulster Unionist Party with Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists and Bill Craig’s Vanguard.

Today the DUP dominates unionism but (especially after the shambolic ‘cash for ash’ scandal) seems increasingly enfeebled, by comparison to an emboldened Sinn Fein.

Writing in the Belfast Newsletter, David Burnside suggests that a revived UUUC could unite the DUP with the UUP, Traditional Unionist Voice, and even various independents and mavericks.

He implicitly criticises his former party leader Mike Nesbitt, who resigned last week, for having recommended UUP voters to give their second preferences to the SDLP.

A poster for the original UUUC in the 1970s

A poster for the original UUUC in the 1970s

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