24/04/2016 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


24/04/2016

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Hello, and welcome to Sunday Politics.

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With just under two weeks to go to polling day,

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the battle for Stormont is well and truly under way.

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And just a year after returning two MPs to Westminster,

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the Ulster Unionist leader, Mike Nesbitt,

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will be discussing his party's plan for continued electoral success

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and, of course, whether or not he plans to rejoin the Executive,

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if that's an option for him when the votes are counted.

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And bringing the party conference season to a close -

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Sinn Fein is in Dublin for its Ard Fheis.

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A united Ireland means the unity of the people of this island,

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including those identify themselves as British.

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A united Ireland means economic and political benefits

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for all our people.

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And with their thoughts on all of that and more,

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my guests of the day are PR consultant Sheila Davidson

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and newspaper columnist Brian Feeney.

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Once the major force in Unionism,

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the Ulster Unionist Party has struggled in recent years,

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as it saw its vote slip away while the DUP rose to prominence.

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However, after winning two seats at last year's Westminster election,

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the party now says it's on its way back

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and is hoping to make gains at the Assembly.

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The party leader, Mike Nesbitt, joins me now.

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-Welcome to you.

-Thank you.

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The Ulster Unionist Party left the Assembly with 13 MLAs,

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three fewer that went in when it started five years ago.

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How many seats do you realistically expect to have this day fortnight?

5:15:185:15:21

We're talking in growth, and to be clear,

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that's growth on the 16 who were elected in May 2011,

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not the 13 who came off the hill at the end of the mandate.

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So you're standing 33 candidates.

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How many of those do you think have a realistic chance of winning?

5:15:345:15:37

-Around about 33.

-Seriously?

-Yeah.

-As many as 33?

5:15:375:15:40

You've spoken to some of my colleagues and you've said,

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"Don't be so arrogant," I think you said to one of them,

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to presume that you won't be in with the chance of being First Minister.

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So you'd need to be getting something like that.

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What I was saying was, I felt there was something perhaps arrogant

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about Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster

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saying that the First Minister has to be from those two politicians.

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Who knows what the electorate want?

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And certainly on the doorstep, there is an appetite for change.

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So you've said that you believe

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-all 33 candidates have a realistic chance of winning.

-Yes.

5:16:105:16:13

When we're having a conversation

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on the Friday or the Saturday after the election,

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how will I know if you're genuinely pleased with the result

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or if you're disappointed?

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Is it 33, anything less than 33,

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you're going to be disappointed and that'll be failure?

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No. And, actually, the number is written down and it's in my study.

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And I've posted it to myself.

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It's in a sealed envelope, it's gone through the Royal Mail.

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I didn't know you were a member of the Magic Circle.

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-And I will open it up on 7th May.

-Right.

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-And you'll reveal all, will you?

-I will let you see it, yeah.

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Right, OK. You can do that on our election coverage.

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Would you like to give me a hint

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as to whether or not it's in the high teens or in the twenties?

5:16:465:16:48

I don't want to give you a hint.

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What we're targeting is growth, and we've got 33 great candidates,

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or 32 great candidates if you want to exclude me,

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and they all have a chance, and I want them to get elected.

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In terms of share, where do you think you need to be?

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Because you'd want to see growth on where you were last time round.

5:17:035:17:06

I'm just looking at the figures.

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I mean, your figures are somewhere between 13 and 16%,

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but the last Assembly election,

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with 16 seats, you won 13.2% share of the vote.

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So you'd want to be 15% plus, really.

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16% plus to be doing really well.

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Yeah, and we are targeting significant growth.

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And the real measure will be the numbers,

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the numbers who are going to go up into room 277 on Monday 9th

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for the next meeting of our MLA group.

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Right, so here's the question, then, for Unionist voters,

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or questions that Unionist voters

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might be wanting to get some clarity from you on.

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The issue of your party's relationship with the DUP

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could be hard for them to understand,

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because after entering into an electoral pact last year,

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you need to demonstrate

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how the Ulster Unionist Party is different from the DUP.

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-How do you do that?

-Last year, what we had was an electoral pact.

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We were looking at a Westminster election,

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at a position where, of the 18 MPs who represent Northern Ireland,

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only half in 2010 were pro-union,

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and we wanted to get back to a position

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of a majority being pro-union,

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and we managed that through an electoral pact

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which did not involve any kind of liaison in terms of policy.

5:18:105:18:13

That's very different this time.

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This is about policies on the economy, on education,

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on health, housing and all the rest.

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And if you look at what we've done,

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not only a very detailed manifesto, but before that,

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no fewer than eight policy documents,

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including a vision for Northern Ireland.

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Yeah, but the difficulty is that the Ulster Unionist Party

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stands opens to the charge of being Janus-faced.

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You're looking in two directions at once.

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Because Danny Kinahan and Tom Elliott

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won those seats at Westminster for completely different reasons.

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Danny Kinahan was a liberal progressive

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who won against the DUP candidate.

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Tom Elliott won because he received DUP support.

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Not just DUP support.

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-He got support from across Unionism.

-Including the DUP.

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And my view was, yes, Danny won it for the Ulster Unionist Party,

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but I wanted more than that.

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I was more ambitious for Unionism in last year's election.

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I wanted something that all Unionists could celebrate,

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particularly those who think that the direction of travel politically

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is not really going in the way of Unionism.

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And what I identified was the ability to win back a seat,

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the most westerly seat in the United Kingdom, off Sinn Fein,

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who have an abstentionist MP, and put in somebody

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who will represent all the people, in Tom Elliott.

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-Right.

-And to do that, we also had the deal for North Belfast,

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to make sure that we didn't see

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an abstentionist MP elected for the first time.

5:19:255:19:28

OK, I've heard you describe yourself in the last 24, 48 hours

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as someone who regards himself as a progressive Unionist.

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You don't like the word "liberal",

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but you're comfortable with "progressive", isn't that right?

5:19:375:19:40

-Well, I would choose progressive.

-Right, OK.

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So if you're progressive, you've got a problem with the DUP

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under the leadership of Arlene Foster,

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who poses a very different and very much more difficult challenge,

5:19:485:19:51

I would suggest to you, than the DUP under Peter Robinson.

5:19:515:19:54

And the most important words that you've just uttered

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-are "as you suggest".

-As a lot of people would suggest.

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We shall see. I'm not getting that on the doorstep,

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and I'm knocking on a lot of doors.

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Right. But she's young, she's a woman,

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she's seemingly approachable, she's pragmatic,

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she's portrayed as more progressive.

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She's not cut from the same DUP cloth as her predecessors

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because, of course, she's actually cut from Ulster Unionist cloth,

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so she's stepping out onto your lawn.

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And if that's the case, she'll sweep the boards.

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-Well, that's a real possibility.

-I don't think so.

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And we've had the cult of Ian Paisley's DUP,

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and now it looks like we're having an individual cult within the DUP again,

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and I'm not sure that that is something...

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With no disrespect to the individual that is Arlene Foster,

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I'm not sure that that is something that is chiming with the electorate.

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You don't think that she will manage

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to attract Ulster Unionist Party voters to the DUP?

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What I'm saying is, we have got a vision for Northern Ireland,

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we have the policies to back it up,

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and we have the people in terms of our slate of candidates

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who are coming with life experiences and skills

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which are badly needed in the chamber at Stormont,

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in the committees and, indeed, around the Executive table,

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if that's where we end up.

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So what's your advice, then, to Ulster Unionist voters

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continuing down the ballot paper?

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Do they back the DUP, do they back the TUV and UKIP?

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Or do they think about supporting the SDLP and the Alliance Party?

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My advise would be to support those individual candidates

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-you think will make a real difference in your lives, positively.

-Right.

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And it doesn't matter what the party label is?

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I think it is the individual and their track record

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or their promises that is the most important issue.

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So that could mean backing the Alliance Party

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in certain circumstances, or the SDLP, ahead of those other parties.

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It will inevitably mean backing DUP candidates,

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and people will do that.

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Although it is also beyond question that there will be DUP supporters

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who will never ever, ever vote Ulster Unionist, and vice versa,

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and we all know that.

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What will you be doing in East Belfast?

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I mean, after your Ulster Unionist Party candidates, who comes next?

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Is it the DUP candidates, who you're battling against,

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effectively, for control in the Assembly,

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or is it somebody like Naomi Long, for example?

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I'm not sure that's an appropriate question to ask.

5:22:025:22:04

You don't have to answer it, but it's perfectly reasonable for me to ask it.

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-You ask away.

-Well, I have asked. Are you going to answer it?

-No.

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You're not going to give us any suggestion at all?

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The reason I ask is, apart from the pure nosiness of the situation...

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-And it is nosy.

-But it's also about you giving a lead,

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and it's about you telling Ulster Unionists how you think,

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and they might want to emulate how you vote and know how you think.

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But that's the cult of the personality.

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-I'm leading the party, but people will vote as they see fit.

-OK.

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The party walked out of the Executive last year.

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How will voters know whether they are voting for

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an Ulster Unionist Party in government in two weeks,

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or an Ulster Unionist Party in opposition?

5:22:425:22:44

We've said very clearly what we're looking for is a mandate

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to go into the negotiations that follow the election

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and precede the setting up of the next government.

5:22:495:22:52

That was our game-changer

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that we proposed in our manifesto five years ago.

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So we go into those negotiations with a mandate.

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We will be arguing that the programme for government

5:23:005:23:02

should contain everything that we have in our nine policy documents.

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There will be compromise there, there will be a negotiation.

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At the end of that time, there are two questions we have to ask.

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Do we think it's a progressive programme for government?

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And secondly, and equally importantly,

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have we sensed around the table, for once,

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a collective will to actually deliver that programme?

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And are you just hoping that I don't talk about the fact

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you left the Executive over the issue of trust?

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-That's that awful hook that you got yourself on.

-I didn't put myself on a hook.

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You got yourself on it because you walked out,

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you said you didn't trust Sinn Fein, you left the Executive.

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-Do you now trust Sinn Fein enough to go back into the Executive with them?

-No...

5:23:365:23:39

Gerry Adams hasn't clarified the issue as to whether or not the IRA still exists.

5:23:395:23:43

No, and you're picking on one element of a sequence,

5:23:435:23:46

and what was the sequence?

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Murders in the street of Belfast,

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a police officer saying that members of the IRA were involved,

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followed by the chief constable saying the IRA still exists in a structured manner

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and, finally, Sinn Fein's improbable, unbelievable denial of the same.

5:23:565:24:00

Four elements there, Mark. What has happened since then?

5:24:005:24:03

-I'll make three quick points.

-Quickly.

-If I may.

-Yeah.

5:24:035:24:05

First of all, there's a panel

5:24:055:24:07

looking at recommendations to end paramilitarism forever.

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I wish they were reporting before the election,

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but they should report in about a month's time.

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After you've made the decision whether or not you go back into government.

5:24:145:24:17

-I didn't say...

-But you have to make the decision without that information.

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I've spoken to them and I'm very encouraged by what they're saying.

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Second point.

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The chief constable will give the Ulster Unionist Party

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a security briefing after election.

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He did that last summer, you still left the Executive.

5:24:305:24:32

Yes, we want an updated one. That was months ago.

5:24:325:24:35

-You didn't listen to him then, why would you listen to him now?

-We did.

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He said the IRA exists with a structure.

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He said it didn't exist in the way that it existed,

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it didn't pose the threat it did before, you still left the Executive.

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Because somebody had to get - and this is my third point -

5:24:455:24:48

paramilitarism to the top of the agenda.

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And I remember journalists, and you were one of them,

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who were very sceptical and cynical about whether we would achieve that.

5:24:525:24:55

Well, we did achieve it, and you don't have to take my word for it.

5:24:555:24:58

Look at the so-called Fresh Start document, and what's chapter one?

5:24:585:25:01

It's not the finances any more, it's paramilitarism,

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and the enabling legislation that Theresa Villiers brought to the House of Commons

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leads not with finance, which is where she was,

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but with terrorism.

5:25:115:25:12

I want to talk about a couple of manifesto issues quickly.

5:25:125:25:15

You've said if you're entitled to a seat in the Executive

5:25:155:25:18

and you choose to take up that seat, you'd want the education portfolio.

5:25:185:25:22

Do you want to be Education Minister?

5:25:225:25:24

I haven't gone that far,

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but I think if we're back in the Executive,

5:25:255:25:28

it is normal procedure for a party leader to be at the table.

5:25:285:25:31

So that's a possibility.

5:25:315:25:33

That's the role you want and you think you could do the job?

5:25:335:25:35

I would be confident that I could do a much better job

5:25:355:25:38

than Sinn Fein have done over the last 18 years, yes.

5:25:385:25:41

And on the issue of academic selection,

5:25:415:25:43

are you clear about how you would deal with that,

5:25:435:25:45

if you are, indeed, the Education Minister?

5:25:455:25:47

What I'm saying is, we would have a deadline of two years from today

5:25:475:25:50

to come up with a new way of transferring pupils

5:25:505:25:53

from primary to post-primary education.

5:25:535:25:55

One of our ideas is more about assessment

5:25:555:25:58

than sitting down to examinations,

5:25:585:25:59

but if people have better ideas than that, we are in listening mode.

5:25:595:26:03

I've asked all of the party leaders, I'll ask you finally and briefly.

5:26:035:26:06

Should a woman be criminalised

5:26:065:26:08

-for purchasing tablets to procure an abortion?

-No.

5:26:085:26:10

-It's clear...

-Something's wrong in this case?

5:26:105:26:12

I believe that was wrong because I believe, had she had the money,

5:26:125:26:15

she would have gone to England, she would have had an abortion there,

5:26:155:26:18

she would not have been prosecuted and criminalised for it.

5:26:185:26:21

-This is wrong.

-And that doesn't mean turning a blind eye on abortion on demand,

5:26:215:26:25

because that's what critics of your position say, effectively, that means.

5:26:255:26:29

No, I am not in favour of abortion on demand,

5:26:295:26:31

but I am in favour of changing the law

5:26:315:26:33

to take on board fatal foetal abnormalities and sex crimes.

5:26:335:26:37

OK. We need to leave it there. Thank you, Mike Nesbitt.

5:26:375:26:39

-Thank you.

-Thank very much indeed.

5:26:395:26:41

Let's get their assessment of all of that.

5:26:415:26:43

With me are Brian Feeney and Sheila Davidson.

5:26:435:26:46

Nice to have you on the programme.

5:26:465:26:47

Brain, first of all, Mike Nesbitt's leading the party into his first

5:26:475:26:52

Assembly election - do you think he can continue that trend,

5:26:525:26:55

as he sees it, of bettering his party's electoral fortunes?

5:26:555:26:58

Yes, I do. The 2011 result was 13.2%,

5:26:585:27:05

and it was 16 seats.

5:27:055:27:08

He has to get a minimum of 16 seats.

5:27:085:27:10

He has already said he wants to improve on that.

5:27:105:27:13

The Ulster Unionist Party were down two seats in 2011 on the previous

5:27:135:27:17

election, so really it's a minimum 18 seats that are required.

5:27:175:27:23

I think that the way they are going in the last couple of years,

5:27:235:27:27

it's quite likely they will need to get 18 seats.

5:27:275:27:31

Sheila, what about the strategy of leaving the Executive

5:27:315:27:35

and coming back into the Executive on the issue of trust

5:27:355:27:38

and all of the issues we've been discussing there now?

5:27:385:27:41

Do you think that will be easy for Mike Nesbitt to be able to do,

5:27:415:27:45

or could there be difficulties ahead with clarification

5:27:455:27:49

on precisely what the IRA is up to at the moment?

5:27:495:27:52

To be honest with you, the issue of being in or out

5:27:525:27:55

of the Assembly Executive is going

5:27:555:27:57

to be a bigger deal than just

5:27:575:27:59

that particular thing going forward.

5:27:595:28:01

Looking at the debates that have been happening up until now,

5:28:015:28:04

and the idea of the commitment to consensual and collaborative deals

5:28:045:28:10

within the assembly, and nobody able to say

5:28:105:28:12

what their red line is or isn't,

5:28:125:28:14

will actually, I think, begin to highlight the idea whether they will

5:28:145:28:18

continue to be as a whole, every part needs to look at, whether it's

5:28:185:28:21

going to be in the executive or not going forward.

5:28:215:28:23

That's what this new mandate is going to start to bring out,

5:28:235:28:27

the idea that whether we need to be out of this idea of all parties

5:28:275:28:32

in there together, trying to get some consensus on where they are

5:28:325:28:36

in any particular issue, be it education, the economy,

5:28:365:28:38

anything like that. I think there's going to be

5:28:385:28:41

a much bigger deal than just the past visiting back in the future.

5:28:415:28:47

Do you think it will be plain sailing or choppy waters

5:28:475:28:50

for Mike Nesbitt to lead the party back into the Executive again?

5:28:505:28:53

As we were discussing, the timeline is not entirely clear

5:28:535:28:57

about who reports when and what the Chief Constable says and so forth.

5:28:575:29:00

True, but that's all passed now. It's water under the bridge.

5:29:005:29:04

The DUP and Sinn Fein have made up,

5:29:045:29:06

there's the Fresh Start agreement and so on.

5:29:065:29:08

With the new mandate, it's a new ball game

5:29:085:29:12

If they get the votes, I'm pretty sure they will be in the Executive.

5:29:125:29:17

Nobody stands for election and says, "Vote for us, we're going into opposition."

5:29:175:29:21

People who stand for election want to maximise the mandate they get,

5:29:215:29:25

and that will bring them into the Executive.

5:29:255:29:28

Sheila, a quick word on the challenge posed by the DUP under Arlene Foster?

5:29:285:29:33

I think it's enormous for everybody.

5:29:335:29:35

I think there's a game changer going on.

5:29:355:29:37

Arlene has been out on the ground,

5:29:375:29:39

anybody following her on Twitter or any of the other social media,

5:29:395:29:43

there isn't a day she isn't out and about.

5:29:435:29:45

Having said that, I think Mike Nesbitt leading the UUP is doing exactly the same thing,

5:29:455:29:49

and I actually think there is a completely different approach

5:29:495:29:53

to that kind of Unionist politics,

5:29:535:29:54

and I'm very interested to see what transpires.

5:29:545:29:57

OK, thanks, both, very much indeed. Speak to you again very shortly.

5:29:575:29:59

The conference season finally came to a close this weekend with

5:29:595:30:02

the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in Dublin,

5:30:025:30:04

timed to coincide with the actual centenary of the Easter Rising.

5:30:045:30:07

Our Dublin correspondent, Shane Harrison, went along.

5:30:075:30:10

The spirit of the Easter 1916 Rising

5:30:145:30:17

on this, the weekend calendar centenary of the event,

5:30:175:30:20

was much mentioned at the Sinn Fein annual conference

5:30:205:30:24

in the National Convention Centre in Dublin.

5:30:245:30:27

This Ard Fheis is taking place against the background

5:30:305:30:33

of Assembly elections next month in Northern Ireland,

5:30:335:30:36

and the ongoing attempts to form a government south of the border

5:30:365:30:39

almost 60 days after an inconclusive general election.

5:30:395:30:44

The proclamation is amongst the finest freedom charters the world has ever seen.

5:30:445:30:50

Inside the hall, there were repeated calls for Fine Gael and Fianna Fail

5:30:505:30:53

in the Republic to conclude their negotiations as quickly as possible.

5:30:535:30:59

Along with appeals to Unionists to come to some form of arrangement

5:30:595:31:04

about an agreed Ireland.

5:31:045:31:06

The party made it clear, it is against the UK leaving the EU,

5:31:065:31:10

but for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

5:31:105:31:14

With Sinn Fein saying it will be in the next Executive,

5:31:145:31:17

different delegates had different priorities for the new administration.

5:31:175:31:22

I would like to see the next assembly deliver on poverty

5:31:225:31:26

and social exclusion policies. I would like that matched

5:31:265:31:29

with economic regeneration

5:31:295:31:31

and making sure there's inclusive economic growth.

5:31:315:31:33

I'd like to see more co-operation between the north and the South.

5:31:335:31:37

We have parties down here who think Ireland stops at the border.

5:31:375:31:40

There has been challenges.

5:31:405:31:42

I would like to see the next Assembly deliver equal marriage.

5:31:425:31:45

In his presidential address, the Sinn Fein leader said

5:31:465:31:49

a new peaceful and democratic route to Irish unity now exists,

5:31:495:31:55

but that partitionist thinking on the part of policymakers must end.

5:31:555:32:00

A united Ireland means the unity of the people of this island,

5:32:005:32:03

including those who identify themselves as British.

5:32:035:32:06

A united Ireland means economic and political benefits

5:32:065:32:10

for all our people, and end to duplication and waste.

5:32:105:32:13

It must be inclusive, it must be agreed

5:32:135:32:16

and it must be welcoming to all sections of our people.

5:32:165:32:20

That includes our Unionist neighbours.

5:32:205:32:23

This is their homeland also.

5:32:235:32:26

But Unionists are Unionists because they don't want a united Ireland.

5:32:285:32:33

However, in the weekend of the centenary of the Rising,

5:32:335:32:36

and in the run-up to the Assembly elections,

5:32:365:32:39

that traditional Republican message

5:32:395:32:41

was always going to be well received.

5:32:415:32:43

Shane Harrison. Sheila and Brian are still with me.

5:32:455:32:48

Brian, you watched Gerry Adams's speech, we didn't see it there,

5:32:485:32:51

but there was a lot of criticism directed, perhaps not surprisingly,

5:32:515:32:54

at Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

5:32:545:32:55

That's right. What Gerry Adams essentially was saying is

5:32:555:32:59

that Fianna Fail are trying to put Fine Gael

5:32:595:33:01

back into government again, having promised in the election

5:33:015:33:05

that they wouldn't do that, and there's a danger of

5:33:055:33:08

the same government that people voted out will be pushed in again

5:33:085:33:12

by Fianna Fail, but he was also criticising them because

5:33:125:33:15

they said that Sinn Fein were not fit for government,

5:33:155:33:19

and the line he made was,

5:33:195:33:21

look, Sinn Fein's in government in the north, the DUP don't say that.

5:33:215:33:26

So Fianna Fail, as he said, are actually worse than the DUP,

5:33:265:33:30

so he was very critical of Fianna Fail.

5:33:305:33:32

Sheila.

5:33:325:33:34

What's interesting is that the whole election has put Sinn Fein

5:33:345:33:37

right front and centre,

5:33:375:33:39

in a position which they might not normally have had.

5:33:395:33:42

The idea that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael...

5:33:425:33:46

Fianna Fail does not want Sinn Fein anywhere near government at all

5:33:465:33:50

means that they have by de facto had to support Fine Gael.

5:33:505:33:54

There's just going to be another election some time soon.

5:33:545:33:58

They'll have to fight it all out again,

5:33:585:34:01

but I think they will be doing it on the basis that Sinn Fein may feel

5:34:015:34:04

it has a much stronger platform going forward.

5:34:045:34:06

That's a very interesting point. Brian, before we came on air,

5:34:065:34:09

I was looking at some of the Dublin Sundays,

5:34:095:34:11

and there is this sense down there that perhaps the two parties

5:34:115:34:14

are squaring up for another election sooner rather than later.

5:34:145:34:18

-Are you convinced by that?

-I don't think there will be.

5:34:185:34:20

I know John Burton has told the Labour people to be ready for another election,

5:34:205:34:25

but the big parties don't want that to happen,

5:34:255:34:28

they are absolutely broke.

5:34:285:34:29

The stumbling block at the moment is Irish Water.

5:34:295:34:32

What's going to be done and will people still be paying if they get a deal?

5:34:325:34:38

We'll know by the middle of next week.

5:34:385:34:40

OK, we look forward to finding out. A bit of clarity would be good.

5:34:405:34:43

Thanks, both. Let's pause for a moment and have a quick look back

5:34:435:34:47

at the political week here in 60 Seconds with Stephen Walker.

5:34:475:34:50

The victims commissioner says 200,000 people have mental health problems because of the Troubles.

5:34:545:34:59

We know that young people growing up in those communities most impacted and those families most impacted

5:34:595:35:04

are showing the highest levels of suicide,

5:35:045:35:09

self-harm and mental health problems of anywhere in the UK.

5:35:095:35:14

The man who pioneered abortion law says we have to change.

5:35:145:35:17

We've got to face up the fact that the law in Northern Ireland

5:35:175:35:22

is simply ridiculous.

5:35:225:35:24

But opponents say reform is unnecessary.

5:35:245:35:28

There is no human right to an abortion.

5:35:285:35:30

Beacons were lit to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.

5:35:325:35:36

First-time voters challenged politicians,

5:35:365:35:38

but one person found it difficult to choose a party.

5:35:385:35:41

Do they think it's acceptable that a young person like me

5:35:415:35:43

who's excited to be voting for the first time

5:35:435:35:45

can't find a party that's worth voting for,

5:35:455:35:47

that doesn't make me want to vote for them?

5:35:475:35:49

Stephen Walker reporting. Let's have a quick word about Barack Obama being in the UK

5:35:565:36:00

and getting involved in the debate over the EU Referendum. Sheila.

5:36:005:36:03

He has involved himself even more than that.

5:36:035:36:05

I think the idea that ten years to renegotiate

5:36:055:36:10

with the American authorities in terms of trade agreements

5:36:105:36:15

is something that's a major signal and a hammer blow

5:36:155:36:18

to all of those who want to leave.

5:36:185:36:21

But he involved himself in Northern Ireland politics as well,

5:36:215:36:24

which I thought was very, very interesting.

5:36:245:36:25

Brian, interestingly, he rolled his sleeves up yesterday and talked to some young people.

5:36:255:36:30

Whatever you think about his politics, about what he said,

5:36:305:36:32

-he's a class act on the stump.

-He is a class act.

5:36:325:36:35

It's striking.

5:36:355:36:37

He's a different calibre from the politicians we're used to seeing.

5:36:375:36:40

It's his command of world affairs,

5:36:405:36:42

-whatever question he was asked...

-He had the answer.

5:36:425:36:45

It was fascinating to watch him. Thanks both very much indeed.

5:36:455:36:48

That is it from Sunday Politics this week, I'll be back on Thursday

5:36:485:36:52

as usual with The View, and I'll be talking to the DUP leader Arlene Foster,

5:36:525:36:55

but for now, from everyone on the team, thanks for watching, bye-bye.

5:36:555:36:59

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