Loyalists in Last Chance Saloon

Dr John Coulter wit his latest from the Irish Daily Star which featured there on 11th June 2013

Loyalists have entered the Last Chance Saloon with the unveiling of the new liberal McUnionist Party fronted by Basil and wee Johnny.

Ex-UUP members McCrea and McCallister can put whatever spin they like on their new media-cuddly party, but unless they push their bucket-load of new exciting policies into the loyalist working class, their party will crash and burn in the next Stormont poll in 2016.

The secret of who speaks for Unionism will be decided by the Protestant working class as former MLA Billy Hutchinson's Progressive Unionists seem to be enjoying a loyalist revival.

But the PUP cannot become a leading voice in Unionism without a strong Protestant middle class showing.

Look at how the Shinners politically gobbled up the Stoops' traditional middle class Catholic support to become the North's number one nationalist party.

Hutchinson has what the McUnionists need – a solid loyalist working class voice.

And McCrea and McCallister have what Hutchinson needs to become a major Stormont voice of opposition to the Robbo/McGuinness Executive partnership – clear middle class and media backing.

Provided the McUnionists can control their toffee-nosed Fur Coat Brigade, a sensible, realistic coalition would involve a new Gang of Three – Hutchinson, McCrea and McCallister.

The sceptics will say – such a merger will never work as earlier plans to form a partnership between the PUP and UUP floundered because of the former's links with the loyalist death squads, the UVF and Red Hand Commando.

But look at what the PUP/McUnionists have to contend with; hardly a major mountain to climb.

The DUP is locked in a tight coalition with Sinn Féin.

The UUP is in meltdown and will probably only exist as a fringe movement by 2016 with no more than half a dozen MLAs.

Jim Allister's TUV, in spite of winning the vote on Ann's Law, is still a one-man band.

The Northern Tories have shot themselves in both feet by supporting gay marriage in a country where the Christian Church vote holds major influence.

The anti-European Union UKIP is a one-trick pony, simply wanting to take the North out of the EU.
Independent Unionism is a lone voice with East Derry MLA David McClarty.

The hardline Protestant Coalition party formed by the flag protestors lacks sensible policies.

Alliance, often viewed as a 'soft u' Unionist Party has committed political suicide with its disastrous Belfast City Council Union flag vote.

Basically, Unionism is in a real mess, so the PUP and McUnionists must strike while the iron is hot and get as many potential voters registered.

Expect mainstream Unionists to step up a very negative propaganda campaign that the McUnionists are going nowhere.

But establishment Unionists need to remember the old proverb, a new broom sweeps clean. Maybe what the Unionist voters want is a new start – and Hutchinson, McCrea and McCallister?

As for republicans, they must be banging the bin lids with joy at yet another split in the Unionist family.
Nationalist tactics will be simple – transfer to the McUnionists to keep Robbo's DUP out.

But the key question is – do McCrea and McCallister have the political courage to invite Hutchinson's working class loyalists into their overtly middle class fold?


  1. A good question at the end!
    I hardly think it will matter or materialize though.
    The 'political wing's' of both UVF and UDA have been hopeless at capitalising on the socio-economic gap existing between the working class (workless class) unionist and the main political parties, I know some Shankill folk who have voted for Sinn Féin in the absence of a protestant party able to meet their political leaning.
    I cannot see, despite the 'fleg' issue, working class UDA/UVF supporters abandoning Peter, Nigel, wee Jeff and Sammy to put their vote with the people they see getting good money for sitting in Ainsworth or Old Warren doing nothing but attending conferences.
    If only the Catholic population were so perceptive.


  2. But the key question is – do McCrea and McCallister have the political courage to invite Hutchinson's working class loyalists into their overtly middle class fold?

    He should do, after all he pledges loyalty to the queen the head of the capitalist system.

    He certainly is the funniest sort of socialist I have ever came across. I think it might be best to describe him as community democratic, or something. I am sure the NI21 crowd could come up with something of a catch all slogan.

    I personally believe Basil and Johnny are without a doubt within the most limited politicians in stormount. But then again, there are a probably about 80 odd in this bracket to be honest. If you view political characteristics such as being able to articulate your point, camera image, charisma, and general professional lie- ability.

    Billy Hutchinson on the other hand nose is to big to take him seriously. lol