Daphne Trimble, UUP nominee for selection in Lagan Valley, has quite deliberately posted the following on facebook:
Daphne Trimble David has just posted on his website http://www.davidtrimble.org/latestnews_kane.htm
an email correspondence that he had with Alex Kane in November discussing devolution, UCUNF etc. In light of recent happenings he considers that people might find it an interesting exchange.
She is of course referring to Alex Kane’s resignation as Director of Comms for the UUP.
Alex presented his resignation letter to the Party leadership on Sunday then this article appeared in Monday’s News Letter. Perhaps the proximity of the resignation and the article makes it easy to consider that Alex simply resigned in response to unity talks with the DUP. Well, maybe, but I don’t think that’s the entire story.
Stephen King said on Evening Xtra tonight that there were a number of others things which impacted on the decision to leave. A commenter over on Jeff Peel’s blog has posted up what he claims is Alex’s resignation letter. It contains alot of complaints which anyone with any experience of dealing with the UUP will readily recognise (so it looks genuine enough to me). And this would tie in with what King was saying earlier.
But what of the intervention of the Trimbles? Check out DT’s webpage. To my eye, it’s pretty unhelpful stuff.
David has posted up an email discussion between himself and Alex in relation to the GFA. It seems that the Alex’s position is that the GFA is flawed, its structures are weak and the whole thing needs to be reworked. Trimble takes the view that the GFA is the best thing to happen to unionism in 40 years and to mess with it is to undermine the position of Unionism generally.
Fair enough. So far so revisionist. But while these chaps sort out whose history works better in the present, it should be noted that Kane is arguing a position which is now UUP policy. Anyone heard a UUP guy talk about dysfunction and structural problems? Heck even, Reg’s line on children’s transfer has a certain tone to it.
But Trimble says: ‘Making a major unilateral change would be.. a godsend to republicans’.
He adds: ‘The view you seem to espouse can only return us political instability.’
When Kane asks what the UCUNF project is about, Trimble says:
‘The project was never about lining up the Conservative party alongside ethnic Unionism, but about replacing political structures based on constitutional and national issues, with politics based on social and economic issues using the same party structures that operate elsewhere in the UK.’
This heaps more confusion on top of the UUP’s increasingly chaotic relationships. Have I read this right? Isn’t this a pro-Union project? And hasn’t Kane largely produced the UUP party policy only for Trimble to warn that this could lead to instability?
Why would the Trimbles unilaterally put this into the public domain? Is Trimble protecting his legacy or enunciating a Tory position? Is there another policy divergence between the Tories and the UUP?
What benefit to anyone is served by publicising this? For example, what does the UUP nominee for Lagan Valley think about the UUP’s policy towards structural change to the institutions? And what does the nominee think of Lord Trimble’s tough assessment of the consequences of structural changes to the Executive? Is Daphne not in an awkward position for having linked this stuff?
Why would anyone seek to invite such questions right now?
Seriously, someone help me out. If I’ve read this wrong, let me know. It’s late, and the Trimbles have left me very, very confused indeed.
PS. Commenter Alias over on the Slugger thread has this interpretation as to what the Trimbles’ motivation might have been in releasing this email exchange:
I think Trimble’s missus published Alex and David’s private correspondence to show that Kane’s problems with the UUP predate recent events, specifically that it was Trimble’s and the Tory party’s plan to keep a system in place that Kane believed to be fatally flawed. A bit of a cheap shot and one that seems self-defeating.
Trimble, of course, is right when he says that the GFA is the best deal offered to unionists in 40 years. How could it be otherwise when the competing nation accepted the Unionist Veto, elevating it to the status of a principle, and formally renounced their nation rights to self-determination? Essentially, the game-plan is to get the muppets to focus on everyday matters and forget all about national rights, such that the Irish nation lives happily within a British state.
But as Kane probably understands, what is the point of British control of the state if unionists cannot fully exercise their validated right to self-determination within it?
Think that seems like a pretty darn good assessment. Though as stated above, I do still believe Kane was articulating a position on the institutions which is now mainstream Party policy, right? So it becomes less about slapping AK as he heads out the door as to pointedly dress down UUP policy vis a vis the institutions. Not very helpful, no matter the motives or the intended outcome…