Slugger O'Toole

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Doubting Tories?

Thu 16 October 2008, 2:38pm

Frank Millar reports the UUP TUV talks / non-pact have left previously supportive Tories doubting the likelihood of merger with the Ulster Unionists. A Conservative source said:

“The whole point was to move away from sectarian and tribal politics…He [David Cameron] certainly won’t want to be seen working with anti-agreement unionists…ineptitude along the lines of the earlier attempt to include the PUP within the Ulster Unionist Assembly Party.”

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Comments (19)

  1. autocue says:

    Sure the local Tories don’t matter in this discussion – the talks are directly between Empey and Cameron – remeber that gem from the UUP cheerleaders on here?

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  2. Ignited says:

    ‘A well placed source’ ie the NI Tories sounding off again. The thing about being a unionist party is trying to maximise the total unionist vote – that includes the DUP and the TUV. Whether they are pro or anti agreement is irrelevant.

    The plot thickens….

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  3. fair_deal says:

    Auto /Ignited

    “Sure the local Tories don’t matter in this discussion ”
    “the NI Tories sounding off again”

    Maybe my morning coffee hasn’t kicked in but I can’t see any specific reference to the sources being NI based. Surely as Frank Millar is London based his sources are more likely to be mainland rather than local conservatives?

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  4. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    fair deal

    “Surely as Frank Millar is London based his sources are more likely to be mainland rather than local conservatives?”

    Indeed.

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  5. autocue says:

    f_d

    Even better. Reg Empey can’t do anything right!

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  6. Tory says:

    Speaking entirely personally, here for Ignited etc is the reason why this moves make Tory toes curl –

    The focus on transferring to pro-union candidates suggests a continuing unwelcome obsession with politics based solely around the constitutional issue (and hence bordering on sectarian in nature).

    For sure, it is true that I personally (and virtually all NI Conservatives) won’t be transferring to the SDLP or SF, but because of the general beliefs and outlooks of these parties.

    In general, we are very wary of any transfer deals with other parties (turning down a deal with the Lib Dems in London last year that would have assisted Boris Johnson).

    But, in the case, the disturbing element is, as I say, the old obession on the constitutional issue. The European Elections are not a referendum on the Union. Therefore, we find this excessive focus on ensuring pro-union are elected both divisive and unnecessary.

    That is my personal view. My party colleagues may have differing views, though I suspect that many would feel the same way.

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  7. Tory says:

    Apologies for the multiple typos in the above post – should have checked it before pressing the button. I think you can still get the picture!

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  8. frustrated democrat says:

    I don’t object to pro union parties transferring preferences, it doesn’t infer that they support any other policies apart from being pro union.

    I wouldn’t be in favour of an actual pact a general statement to ‘transfer to other pro union parties of your choice’ would be fine. It is a function of the STV system that voters who vote 1234 get candidates elected who have the best spread of support.

    It is probably one of the few areas where the pro union parties have something on common.

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  9. bob Wilson says:

    ‘the talks are directly between Empey and Cameron’
    Eh no they’re not actually

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  10. autocue says:

    Really? That’s not what the UUP bloggers on here were saying when they were trying to dismiss Jeff Peel’s faux-pas.

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  11. frustrated democrat says:

    There weren’t with him either!

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  12. Carson's Cat says:

    On a slightly tangential note….. I see “The Insider” column in the Belfast Telegraph quoted me on the TUV/UUP stuff and the “ugly bird that is the TUV” comments.

    Bugger me I’m proud of myself now!

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  13. Ignited says:

    FD,

    Point taken. But surely the NI Tories are an integral part of the Conservatives so it would not matter?!

    Tory,

    The constitutional question is an issue and will continue to be an issue under GFA/SAA. As for Europe it is important (at least in the minds of unionists) to send representatives of the unionist parties to Brussels and for example to only send 1 MEP would strike a blow.

    Sneering at the constitutional issue does not make it go away.

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  14. Tory says:

    Ignited,

    Take it from me – I am not sneering at the constitutional issue. I am just disappointed by the narrowness of thinking that focuses on it to the exclusion of everything else.

    I can assure you that I am a very passionate unionist indeed and it is for that reason that I wish to see the end of our exclusion from the British political mainstream.

    When we look to transfers in next year’s elections, we should look at the parties’ overall platforms and not just at whether they are pro- or anti- union. I would absolutely not wish to see an SF and an SDLP MEP elected, but were it to happen, would the Union be in jeopardy? No, clearly not.

    I think that you and I would ultimately have rather similar preferences between the parties, but I would be looking at the full set of policies rather than whether they are narrowly for or against the Union.

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  15. frustrated democrat says:

    Tory

    I am assuming that you are an active member of the Conservatives in NI and vote here.

    What all unionists, from whatever branch, seek is that the maximum number of people support the union, we do not have to agree with all the policies of all parties to give them transfers. The purpose of transfers is to have a slate elected that is closest to your views in descending order.

    In a STV election, e.g. Europe, would you only vote for a Conservative supported candidate?

    Have you voted UUP in the past or are even they too far from the London pale?

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  16. Tory says:

    Frustrated,

    You questions are pretty personal, so I am only going to answer in general terms as we all have a right to ballot box privacy. I have in the past expressed a preference for other pro-union parties. However, yes, it is possible that I would only vote for a Conservative candidate in an STV election, though it would heavily depend on the circumstances.

    I think I have explained my position on transfers clearly enough.

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  17. frustrated democrat says:

    Tory

    Since I have no idea who you are, how are they personal unless others know who you are?

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  18. Why am I still a UUP voter? says:

    Oh c’mon ‘Tory’, the list of of elections you’ve voted in ain’t exactly lengthy, is it? And remember, prefectorial and House Captain elections don’t actually count. Not do forms you fill out on the internet.

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  19. Dingle Berry says:

    Bugger me I’m proud of myself now!

    Posted by Carson’s Cat on Oct 16, 2008 @ 05:36 PM

    You’ll not last much longer in the DUP with comments like that

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