Ex UUP-chair blasts lack of leadership

Former UUP officer Terry Wright.
Former UUP officer Terry Wright.

Former UUP vice-chair, Terry Wright, has warned that unless there’s a fundamental change in the mind-set of unionism we are doomed to division and aimlessness for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Wright, who left the UUP in 2013 and later joined the NI Conservatives, claimed that since 1968 unionism has failed to articulate a forward-looking vision and instead has “relied on a dream-like imagining of an heroic past celebrated in rituals and politics, which blur culture and identity”.

The Derry unionist said the DUP has shown a lack of leadership over the RHI scandal.

“Legitimate concerns with truth, transparency and the wasteful squandering of scarce resources shared across the whole community are now presented, misogyny having received short shrift, as an attempt to weaken unionism and remove a strong unionist leader,” he stated.

“In the mistaken belief that strong will makes for strong leadership, the leader has done a fairly good job of this already but whether cynical or real, that it is raised in either context, is indicative of the prevalent state and systemic failings of political unionism,” said Mr. Wright.

He predicted a bleak political outlook in the wake of the forthcoming elections.

“Exploiting fear and anxiety of unwelcome political and cultural change remains a card worth playing. To expect this kind of unionism to work within consensual arrangements is a contradiction in terms. Too many of its advocates prefer the problem to the solution. To make progress, they would have to de-construct their own prejudices and address incompatible truth.

“The option that is being tabled is to amend the structures. Review was always an option but if there is no change in the mind-set of unionism as the main political preference of the majority at this time, then politics will continue to meander and wander without direction and common purpose.”

Read Mr. Wright’s article in full at www.derryjournal.com