Message from Jim Allister MLA:
TUV had an effective year in 2013: we helped force the DUP’s huge u-turn on the odious Maze project, we piloted Ann’s Law through Stormont – giving innocent victims their first victory in years and Sinn Fein their first defeat – and, I believe, TUV’s very existence acted as a brake in the recent Haass talks.
From these successes we now look forward to 2014, with its challenges and opportunities. 22nd May will be a particular day of opportunity, when at the polls unionists and democrats will have the chance to strengthen our hand. If TUV has achieved with just one MLA and a handful of councillors, think what we could do with multiple representation across the province!
Stormont throughout 2013 demonstrated its continuing unfitness for purpose. Again making our case for radical reformation. It is not just absurd but wholly undemocratic that we remain the only place in the western democratic world where you are not even allowed an Opposition, nor the fundamental right to vote a party out of government. Haass has come and gone but these blots on our democratic landscape were not even mentioned – but, then, he only engaged with the vested interests that sustain the failing Stormont. TUV, however, will continue to keep the focus on these negations of democracy until they are addressed.
We will also in 2014 remain on the case of the failures of the terrorist-inclusive Executive and those who sustain it. My appetite to be the promised thorn in the flesh of Sinn Fein/DUP misrule has not waned!
2013 saw particular and orchestrated assault on our British flag and symbols – itself an inevitable consequence of the rolling process that is the Belfast Agreement, and, thus, the responsibility of all who sustain and operate that Agreement. In 2014 we can expect the same in the new arena of the new super councils. TUV needs to be there to lead the resistance to such further attack on our Britishness. Unfettered by coalition with IRA/Sinn Fein, TUV will not bend or budge on these issues.
It is my fervent hope that in 2014 we will see the failure of the attempt in Scotland to break up the UK and that a reaffirmed United Kingdom will then move forward to the next essential step in re-asserting its international independence and success – disengagement from the EU. A No vote in TheScottish referendum in 2014 can renew the integrity of the UK and a Vote to leave the EU in the promised referendum in 2017 can re-establish us as a independent nation and leading world economy. In the meantime bringing democracy to Stormont would be the icing on the cake.
TUV has a clear vision for the destiny of both Northern Ireland and our United KIngdom and none of it lies in local subjugation to Dublin, nor national subjugation to Brussels. Rather, we seek the prosperity and rights which the Union assures, available to all who live here.
Nationally, unchecked immigration will be an increasing issue in 2014. Again, it is only by exiting the EU that we can re-establish control over our own borders and thereby put the interests of our own citizens first. Such prioritising of the needs of its own people should be the business of government.
Hopefully in 2014 signs of economic recovery beginning to emerge elsewhere in the UK will take root in Northern Ireland and the wishing of a prosperous New Year will be more than a mere shibboleth.