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There's some Opposition to Elliott's grand plan

Tom Elliott should take note of the following advice: 'Politicians tend to do their best thinking when in Opposition, because when in Government they have too much else to think about.'

So while Tom Elliott continues to struggle to find a place, or a vision, for the Ulster Unionist Party, maybe he and his party are trying too hard to do both - thinking and being in government. Undoubtedly, the DUP spent their time in the wilderness thinking about how they could capture Ulster Unionist policies without making it too obvious.

But regardless of what they spent their time doing then, the DUP should be left, as the electorate decided, to get on and run the country, albeit badly.

The UUP should take the next four years to regroup, rethink and come back ready to challenge - not solely as a poor reflection of the DUP. At the recent Ulster Unionist conference, Tom Elliott gave what may yet prove to be his most lucid and reasoned speech for going into Opposition.

Unfortunately, while the logic of his speech screamed for the UUP to go into Opposition, the willingness doesn't appear to be there.

The UUP has always led unionism, either by creating Northern Ireland, or by taking hard decisions, making necessary compromises or bridging political gaps. Now they need to lead again.

So, will Tom Elliott yet again put Northern Ireland first, creating a new and better form of government? Or will he continue binding his party to the failure that is the Executive, just to see Danny Kennedy being driven around in a ministerial Skoda?

CLIVE KIRKWOOD

Belfast

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