Tuesday, 15 February 2011

UUP: Fix the pipe and the flow of problems will ease.

Charges levelled at the UUP are, more often than not, that of a party of indiscipline and indecision. It is, unfortunately a fair accusation on the most part and one the UUP have had little success in dealing with mostly down to a reluctance to admit there is a problem. They can't understand why the media haven't responded to their insistence that party moral is fine and everyone is working together in harmony. The UUP have put plenty of effort into peddling this line so in their eyes, there must be some agenda in the media. What they fail to realise is that if they put their efforts into actually fixing the problems then the media would have nowhere to go. To use an analogy, if the UUP were a water company and a pipe had burst, they would put all their efforts into convincing everyone that the pipe hadn't burst rather than actually fixing the pipe.

If Tom Elliot is serious about taking the UUP forward then he needs to speak to ALL of his members, particularly his elected ones, and find out what they feel needs to happen. The onus is on him, not them. While things are still so fractured in the party and cabals are still so prevalent, those who feel left out and ostracised will continue to speak out. Tom Elliot cannot solve that problem by then attacking them via the same medium. Instead of getting involved with in a tit for tat spat played out in the media, Tom should speak privately to the individuals involved, found out their concerns and if possible address them and if not, arrange for the member and the party to part company amicably. By doing this he can leave the member room to make amends on their own terms in the media or prove to the rest of the public that when differences are irreconcilable that the party can be mature enough to accept that and wish their colleagues all the best.

This approach shows to all that when there is a problem the Party Executive are prepared to listen and provide solutions. Those who choose to vent in the media rather than make use of the party structure to air grievances will come across as the bad guys rather than the Party. If Tom has genuinely done all he can, he may find the media treat him a little differently. 

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