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How can voters trust Nesbitt, master of the U-turn who keeps changing tack to catch populist wind?

Published 20/04/2016

I WAS interested to read last week of the UUP's wish to return to the Executive after the upcoming election, seemingly dropping previous preconditions.

This repositioning stands as a monument to the utter lack of principle held by that master of the political U-turn, the flip-flop aficionado Mike Nesbitt.

It begs some obvious questions: what was all the bluster for? After walking out of the Executive, then sulking in the corner like a child refusing to return, what is so different now? The answer is: very little other than an election.

It was all a stunt. Political opportunism that has become the trademark of a man who leads the UUP in whatever direction he feels the populist winds are blowing - even if that means running in one direction this week and the exact opposite next week. He manages to pull off this trickery without any outward hint of embarrassment.

One minute he's talking about Opposition, the next he's going back into the Executive. He beats the hardline unionist drum when it suits, then apologises to Martin McGuinness for the singing of the British national anthem.

At the last election he extolled the success of unionist pacts, but now his UUP would "rather stick needles in their eyes". It even took David Cameron to make up his mind for him on the European referendum. After weeks struggling with uncertainty, Mike emerged from No 10 transformed and singing the praises of the EU. These are the tactics of Donald Trump, minus the harsh rhetoric: say what people want to hear and hope they don't notice it's the opposite of what you said before.

How can anyone vote for a leader when they don't know where he will lead them from one week to the next?


Comber, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph

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