This afternoon on the BBC’s website news came through of John McCallister having been sacked as deputy leader for his speech on Saturday criticising unionist unity.
According to sources, Mike Nesbitt is thought to have viewed sections of the speech as an attack on his leadership. Perhaps some of it is, I could not honestly say, however, having read the speech I would chance that it is more the desire of a man who wants to strike out a separate identity for his party and feels that with increased cooperation with their main electoral challengers they are in danger of being subsumed by them to the detriment of not only their party but also to the detriment of trying to create ‘normal politics’ here in the North.
‘Ulster Unionism’s ambitions and aspirations for Northern Ireland are much greater and more enduring than the false promise of ‘unionist unity’.
We want a pluralist politics for a pluralist Northern Ireland;
Political institutions that offer real choice to citizens;
An administration held to account by an opposition;
A future not defined by past divisions;
A region at ease with its place in the contemporary United Kingdom.
‘Unionist unity’ is a case of backward not forward …
Of condemning our future to the past.’
I am not for the union in any way, shape or form, however, I do have quite a bit of time for John McCallister and believe that he is somewhat genuine and not just giving up a few sound bites above which is why I find this all somewhat perplexing.
With David McNarry and Ken Magennis their disciplinary action took weeks to come to a conclusion yet John McCallister is scythed down almost over night. Granted, for the first two they had to go through internal party procedures to determine whether or not they had breached rules etc., however, I find this all rather perverse that whilst I am sure Mike Nesbitt would have loved to have gotten rid of both in a flash the matter was drawn out for a considerable time, while for someone who is clearly saying something in the best interests of his party he doesn’t give it much of a second thought and goes ahead and demotes him.
This all points towards a narrative of incompetent leadership from Mike and the continued decline of his party IMHO.
Let me know your thoughts sure.