Just read Jim Nicholson’s speech from UUP AGM yesterday. (No link – so google doc-ed it. Haven’t been able to check against delivery yet… but Jim’s not know for his soaring improvisation).
Nicholson’s theme is change – and my god that’s a refreshing change to Empey’s speech. Altogether the better one by far. It makes a case for the New Force and highlights the relevance of the Euro elections by tying up a narrative that embraces Stormont and Westminster. It suggests continuity and vision across the whole project.
Too Euro-sceptic for my tastes, but it maintained a positive, constructive tone throughout. And get this – the speech didn’t overdorse in the usual, senseless, counterproductive, irrelevant DUP-bashing. A very clever speech indeed.
(Erm… despite this I heard it was delivered flatter than piss on a plate. Shame. The content is right for a big unionist audience.)
UPDATE: O’Neill offers his thoughts on the Jim, Reg and Cameron speeches over at Pint of Unionist Lite.