OK – let me put my cards on the table: I like Jim Allister. He’s a smart guy and he doesn’t mind swimming, as he sees it, against the tide. And while he does talk much of the time in complete sentences – not necessarily a good thing, despite what your teacher told you – he also tends to use logic much of the time, which is more than can be said for many of his opponents.
But he’s running in the face of reason with this latest crusade of his, which is to retain the name of the RUC Athletic Association. The assistant chief constable, Will Kerr, says they’d better change it or they’ll fail to get grants and they’d have to beef up membership fees. TUV leader Jim says it’s “totally unacceptable”, any change would cause “huge hurt” to ex-RUC people. I guess Jim knows ex-RUC people better than me but I would have thought they’d have their major hurt over and done with some years ago when the RUC name for the force bowed out and the PSNI name for the service bowed in. Add to which the arrival of the PSNI began a major change in attitudes to policing among nationalists and largely solved a problem that had bedeviled northern society for decades. If I were a unionist, I think I might consider some hurt feelings a price worth paying for a prize like that.
Oh well. I guess Jim has branded himself as the one-man Traditional Unionist Voice and even when he knows it’s a bit daft, he has to keep yelling betrayal and doing a King Canute thing. It’s an indication of the regard I have for him that I’m convinced, somewhere inside that beefy exterior, he’s feeling embarrassed.