Ulster Unionist leadership should stop excusing the ridiculous

Former Belfast Lord Mayor Tom Ekin has said the Ulster Unionist leadership should stop embarrassing itself by coming up with more excuses for its Assembly Group’s merger with paramilitary representatives, and instead all sides should say what has to be done and do it.

The Alliance Councillor stated: “Sir Reg tells us that his party has been doing deals with Loyalist paramilitary representatives in Belfast City Hall for 13 years. It seems his track record hardly bodes well for his future dealings with them!

“He also omits to record that other parties in Belfast City Hall are not forced to accept the Ulster Unionists and whatever others they choose to ally with as a single block, because we talk to each other and work out deals by consensus if possible. The stupid formulaic d’Hondt-type coalitions do not allow that type of thing, and are therefore detrimental to everyone. Alliance has always resisted this stupid way of making decisions by sectarian head count.

“What is essential is that we stop hiding and pretending these things do not happen. Instead we need to work with people, including people trying to move on and leave paramilitarism behind, in an open and mature way.

“Why the constant excuses? Why the denials about who is talking to whom? Why not just get on with it?”


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