"Only 20 days remain to give unionists what they clearly want- agreed candidates in constituencies where a unionist can re-take a seat from Sinn Fein or the SDLP"So, given the previous form...we can expect something close to 25 more rabid attacks on the Conservatives and Unionists before we even manage get to the ballot box - you'd almost think it was the DUP's putative "Unity" partners who were the real enemy, rather than the SF and SDLP interlopers in "Unionist" Fermanagh/S Tyrone and S Belfast!
The petition to prove the overwhelming public support for the pact is also stuttering somewhat. In the three weeks since it was launched it has accumulated a grand total of 148 signatures- of that 148, I counted 5 double signatures, 18 DUP elected representatives and members (those are only the ones I recognised), 15 Anonymouses. I'm not convinced that Lord Carson, Gerry Adams, Dawn Purvis and Capt. Picard, who have also signed, are really 100% behind the Unionist Fightback. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for the Anonymouses, that leaves a grand total of 121 non-affiliated members of the public who have joined the band-wagon.To put that in perspective, my "Yes/No to Unionist Unity" poll which I ran on here for 7 days (result opposite) pulled in nearly 80 votes. I'm an amateur two-bob blogger with a daily readership of 200 if I'm lucky; they are, in terms of elected representatives, presently Northern Ireland's biggest political party with a hyper-active press office and more salaried "assistants" than you can shake a stick at...in other words, 121, not very impressive.
Finally, the "Unity" slogan is obviously this campaign's "Smash Sinn Fein", ie an appeal to the baser instincts of communal solidarity in the hope that everything else inconvenient is quietly swept under the carpet and forgotten about. It didn't work for the Europeans, you would have thought the lesson would have been learnt this time round.
It's a sign of weakness, one which, I suspect, the electorate can smell a mile away..."Yeah, sure we've had one or two problems with expenses, alleged dodgy property deals, double-jobbing, selling P'n'J; yeah, sure there are apparently several other financial and personal scandals pending...but...hey...isn't that exactly the time for a bit of old-time Prod Solidarity? And we, in the DUP, are the party you can trust (sic) to deliver it."
Trust that message?
What was I saying about the DUP's real enemy?
"The Democratic Unionist Party has decided to stand aside in the North Down constituency at the forthcoming General Election in the interests of unionist unity.1. "Unionist Unity" is not required in North Down as a Unionist candidate is guaranteed victory.
As a party that is leading the campaign to bring about greater unionist co-operation we are not prepared to oppose a sitting Unionist Member of Parliament. It would not be consistent to be advocating greater co-operation within unionism while at the same time oppose a sitting Member of Parliament in North Down who is a unionist"
2. Lady Hermon was the sitting Unionist MP in 2005, the DUP opposed her in that year's General Election. What's changed (apart from her party affiliation)in the interim?