If this had been the first assembly there wouldn't have been the cross community agreement to devolve police powers. But that was was when the UUP were a bigger Unionist voice than the other Unionist parties now that role is reversed.
There is of course one dissenting UUP voice, Lady Sylvia Hermon MP is the widow of former RUC Chief Constable Sir Jack Hermon. She herself trained in law and was a professor at Queens alongside David Trimble for a time. In February while the talks about devolution of policing and justice were ongoing she asked Shaun Woodward in the Commons:
"For those of us who definitely do not want to go back to direct rule and who want devolution and the talks at Hillsborough to succeed, with the principles of tolerance and respect at their core, what more can we in this House do to encourage those in the negotiations to take them forward and make them successful, in the interests of everyone in Northern Ireland?"
Interesting that the sole UUP representative with inside knowledge both of the upper echelons of Northern Irish policing and law should take such a different stance from Economist and leader Reg Empey.
I think her independence from a bizarrely shaping up UUP and Tory marriage, is probably all that is going to be needed to return my home seat to becoming held by some form of independent Unionist once again after 9 years or experiencing the mainstream. Or is having the only UUP member for the last 5 years really the mainstream?