What is the Progressive Unionist Party? The Progressive Unionist Party emerged from decades of under and mis-representation of the Unionist Working Class by traditional Unionist Parties. These parties claim to represent the Unionist/Loyalist working class, but their policies work in direct opposition to this claim.
The Progressive Unionist Party is a labour orientated party, committed to achieving a new Northern Ireland, free from the mismanaged and stale politics of the past. The PUP are committed to develop an anti sectarian and pluralist Northern Ireland.
The PUP offers a progressive, alternative approach for Northern Ireland’s future.
For years Unionism has been riven by disagreement on our future and the success or failure of the Good Friday Agreement. Division over Pro and Anti Agreement views has left our community with nothing but low morale. Today those divisions should be behind us. The Position of the PUP is as ever pro Union. We have a clear vision for the future of Northern Ireland within a new modern Union and a definitive strategy to drive that vision.
We demand real outcomes for all our people. Grandstanding has continually failed, bringing us only empty victories, division and apathy.
The Progressive Unionist Party believes in accepting realities, telling the truth and providing leadership in difficult times. In the present atmosphere a doom and gloom assessment may be popular but it will achieve nothing for our community. We will be left in the hands of legislators, far removed from the hopes and fears of the Unionist/Loyalist populace. That does not amount to effective political leadership. A politician should bring principle into practice. Everyone in society can see what is wrong; people elect their politicians to right those wrongs. The Progressive Unionist Party stands ready to do just that.
The PUP is working hard to implement our progressive policies on:-
- Maintaining Northern Ireland’s role within an evolving United Kingdom.
- The implementation of the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.
- Supporting Equality and Justice for all.
- The continual development of the ‘Peace Process’.
- The Establishment of a written Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.
- An overhaul of our education system which fails many of our young people.
- Health service provision
It is evident from press and media coverage that some people have concerns and misconceptions around the history and indeed the present of the Progressive Unionist Party. The Progressive Unionist Party evolved from those members of the Ulster Volunteer Force and Red Hand Commando who wished to explore a political and peaceful future for Northern Ireland. The Progressive Unionist Party has an historical link to the UVF/RHC constituency and continues to influence, where possible Loyalists who are prepared to progress along the path towards a normal society.
Our political opponents are quick to label us as ‘terrorists’ or ‘traitors’ depending on their current goals. However the present membership of the Progressive Unionist Party relays a different story with doctors/teachers/social workers within our branches. The PUP like all political parties in Northern Ireland does contain members with a paramilitary past. Unlike our political opponents the PUP are open about this fact and are proud that those elements of our membership have made the personal transition from conflict combatants to former combatants dedicated to ensuring that no others tread the path they trod and attempting to bring about an anti-sectarian, pluralist and equitable society.
The position of the Progressive Unionist Party on paramilitarism is clear; we strive for the day that Northern Ireland is free from paramilitarism and work every day to ensure that this goal will be achieved. To say that paramilitaries exist and condemn them is simple; we take on a far more difficult role than our political opponents, in attempting to engage with all sections of our community to bring about a better Northern Ireland, we have never hidden from that fact or our responsibility to help Northern Ireland achieve its potential.
The Progressive Unionist Party have always played a positive role in Northern Ireland’s peace process.