Three-way tussle for UUP leadership
It will be a brave man who takes on this job and he will need to be a man of vision. The question is: does one such man exist within the Ulster Unionist Party? That is the major problem they have. Is it just going to be more of the same, or can they introduce a new, dynamic approach?
Cassie Sylvester: Brave? More like clean daft. What is the way forward for the UUP? How exactly can any new leader make any kind of positive change except to move towards Alliance or the DUP? Each candidate promises the earth. But in recent times the UUP has been largely squeezed out and is now all but irrelevant. This is also due to inner-party squabbling.
T J McClean
Does the UUP really offer anything materially different from the DUP? I ask the question in all seriousness as I do not know the answer.
I was in Belfast city centre for the first time in 18 months recently. I was taken aback by the number of vacant shops on the main thoroughfare, Royal Avenue. In fact, the whole street at 2pm was like a ghost town. It's very sad to see. It reminded me of the early 1970s, when the city centre shut down at 5.30pm.
Victoria Square is usually packed, but it has its fair share of empty units, too. And it's horrendously expensive.
"Executive"? "Urgent action"? They'll get back to you in around 10 years.
Reducing rates just moves the burden on to the consumer, who will then have even less money to spend in the shops. Lowering rates will also see property owners jack up their rents to cover the reduction.
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