Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Conservatives in talks over unionist unity with UUP, AND the DUP…

Wed 20 January 2010, 1:06am

The Conservatives and the leaderships of the Ulster Unionists and the Democratic Unionist Party held secret talks in England over the weekend, aimed at realeising unionist unity and copper fastening maximum unionist support for a future Conservative government, should there be a hung parliament. Speaking tonight a Conservaitve spokesperson said Mr Paterson held private talks with a number of senior unionist politicians in England. The purpose of which to help greater political stability.It is already known that the Conservatives had an electoral pact with the Ulster Unionists, but the involvement of the Democratic Unionists comes as a surprise. They were represented at the talks by no less than Peter Robinson, Nigel Dodds and Sammy Wilson.

The discussion revolved around the question of Unionist unity and possibility of a global unionist support in the eventuality of a hung parliament.

The negotiations at Stormont are reaching a critical points with SF being prescriptive in demanding the full implementation of the St Andrews Agreement and nothing less. DUP insiders are saying “It’s not a case of a deal at any price”.

Tonight the Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin is having talks with Martin McGuinness and will later meet with the Northern Irish Secretary of State, Shawn Woodward.

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Comments (85)

  1. Peter Fyfe (profile) says:

    ‘Speaking tonight a Conservaitve spokesperson said Mr Paterson held private talks with a number of senior unionist politicians in English’

    Was Ulster-scots an option?

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  2. oneill (profile) says:

    No link?

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  3. Dazzler (profile) says:

    So does this mean the Irish language act will come through as part of any deal. Devolution of P&J, the ILA, the charter of human rights. What else is there to be implemented in the StAA?

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  4. paul kielty (profile) says:

    Oh God here we go…SB and FST, sectarian carve up. Whats the matter, can they not stand on their own two feet?

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  5. tacapall (profile) says:

    #

    ‘Speaking tonight a Conservaitve spokesperson said Mr Paterson held private talks with a number of senior unionist politicians in English’

    Was Ulster-scots an option?
    Posted by Peter Fyfe on Jan 19, 2010 @ 07:36 PM

    More like shakespearean ! organising the next banquet, for the privileged, just what can the conservatives give Unionism “Voluntary coalition” conservatives will promise them the moon and the stars, but when it comes to paying up, it will be a case of perfidious albion, just like Maggie.

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  6. DisgustedinDERRY (profile) says:

    This is a worrying turn of events. The reason for this link (Con, UUP, DUP) is to stop the SNP from having leverage in the event of a hung parliament.

    If we get devolution of P&J this week it will help the cause of nationalism as it will make Westminster a little more irrelevant.

    Will unionism in the North of Ireland ever learn, English political parties only need you when their place in power is at stake, they couldn’t care less about the every day unionist on the street or what happens here day to day.

    Grow a pair of balls and embrace Irish politics properly and do us all a favour!!

    On the flip side, if the TUV gain in Westminster, this weekends meeting will have been a waste of airfare and CO2.

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  7. Peter Fyfe (profile) says:

    Does posh boy feel the need to alienate nationalists before he is even made PM? With recent moves can he stand by the british claim that they have no selfish strategic interests in Ireland. He seems quite happy to play about with the process so he can campaign about running in every seat. He is probably also realising more people are listening to him say nothing meaningful and thinking, ‘is he really better than Brown?’ Maybe he is scared he will have to deal with the likes of the DUP to get a few votes through. Its a sad indication on that person and party that they will play about with the political process here for their own ends. There are still policemen being blown up on our streets. Do the conservatives really think its time to gamble with nationalist support for the institutions?

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  8. This is an interesting subjugation of supposed British government neutrality in the administration of NI to the interests of Westminster politics. It has a long lineage from Gladstone to Major but I can’t think of any post-GFA examples of such a development.

    [i]Speaking tonight a Conservaitve spokesperson said Mr Paterson held private talks with a number of senior unionist politicians in English[/i]

    Was Mr Paterson’s Ulster Scots not up to scratch?

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  9. Garza (profile) says:

    Paul, have heard nationalists calling for a “unity candidate” in North Belfast.

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  10. (I hadn’t refreshed the page in 20 minutes, hence the repetition)

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  11. ranger1640 (profile) says:

    Great news if true,and if this comes of the prospect of one United Unionist party aligned with the Conservatives, great news.

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  12. How come Jim Allister was not invited?

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  13. DisgustedinDERRY (profile) says:

    ranger1640

    Is your last post in Ulsterscots?????????

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  14. Panic, these ones like it up em. (profile) says:

    Were the NI conservatives on about putting an end to sectarian politics in NI.

    English conservatives in particular are a diaster historically in NI. Looks like they hav’nt learned a lot.

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  15. paul kielty (profile) says:

    Garza

    Haven’t heard that myself. Would be totally opposed. All parties should stand on their manifestos, nothing more.

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  16. tacapall (profile) says:

    As we head deeper into the 21th century Euporean Law and sovereignty WILL be ingrained into British and Irish law, The New World Government is a mere generation or two away, Unionist defence of P+J and parading can be likined to the story of “The Little Boy Who Put His Finger in the Dike”

    With the new sun, the boy found that the dam had sprung another leak. Without hesitation, he put his finger into this new hole. But there was to be no leeway or pause for thought as another and another hole sprung up, leaving the boy with no other recourse should another leak emerge. As he stood there, the boy became dismal and more alone. The more he held onto the holes, the more he knew another hole was not long away.

    Unionist cannot hold the tide of Nationalism back, better to throw caution to the wind and embrace the unknown than be stagnant and left in a pool of whataboutery for another generation. AS higher education gets easier to the many, and an ever growing pluralist society emerges, Unionism and its 16th century mindset will find itself relying on an ever dwindling elderly voter pool.

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  17. Peter Fyfe (profile) says:

    nineteeensixtyseven

    no problem, great minds think alike ;)

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  18. Garza (profile) says:

    “Great news if true,and if this comes of the prospect of one United Unionist party aligned with the Conservatives, great news.”

    ranger1640

    Not a chance in hell of that happening. The DUP will never leave their religious beliefs at church or at home, they seem content in bringing it to government with them.

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  19. danielmoran (profile) says:

    Garza, msg 9 The thing about these unionists going to great lengths to get Unionist unity to prevent ‘themmuns from taking seats, is that they’re doing this in public and in the process alerting nats so they can do the same. priceless.
    Cameron is still politically wet behind the ears and is now getting in over his head. He should know, though that the SAA and GFA are internationally binding in law, so if unionists listen to him promising to hollow them out out, their even more delusional than previously thought.

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  20. Garza (profile) says:

    “Haven’t heard that myself. Would be totally opposed. All parties should stand on their manifestos, nothing more.”

    Paul, I agree.

    If they launch joint candidates at SB and FST, U&C will lose my vote. Period.

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  21. Davros (profile) says:

    “Were the NI conservatives on about putting an end to sectarian politics in NI.”

    My thoughts exactly. I swing between UUP and SDLP depending on where I’m living. I would rather abstain than vote DUP or those aligned with them.

    That said, if we get a hung parliament maybe we can blackmail them into not cutting our public sector so much.

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  22. Marcionite (profile) says:

    Where to for Lady Hermon and other socialist(ic) unionists? PUP? I fear the PUP are just content to be just a Davy Irvine fan club ( no disrespect to him at all u hasten to add) but they need to ask themselves, are we intent on making inroads into DUP territory?

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  23. tacapall (profile) says:

    Well, wheres all the lords and ladies and the tally ho brigade, got nothing to say, maybe you could get the maids to ask the butlers if they could ask the valets if their masters could put quill to paper and explain their view of modern society. Remember to explain what rights they believe they have for mobs with bands in tow and beer swilled stragglers to invade residential areas where the residents dont want them, on their way to so called religious ceromonies.

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  24. DisgustedinDERRY (profile) says:

    tacapall

    I like your style, Devenport Diaries on the BBC website could do with more people of your opinion!!

    Sign up today, it’s free!!!

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  25. unsettled (profile) says:

    I cannot believe that Owen Patterson has been so entirely stupid! Doe she not remember that the DUP shafted the Conservatives over 42-day detention. Why would you trust them after that?
    either he’s got the attention span of a goldfish (possible) or he’s going to make the worst Secretary of State we’ve ever had (and God alone knows most of them have been pretty useless).
    Given all the big talk about non-sectarianism from OP this rings pretty hoolow- the first demand re South Belfast will be that Peter McCann isn’t the candidate because he’s “one of themmuns”

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  26. unsettled (profile) says:

    oops! Typo- Does HE. sorry

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  27. Paul (profile) says:

    I am delighted by this news a real chance for the first time to maximize the pro UK vote.And defeat the TUV

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  28. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Can one of the UCUNF supporters who believes that the Conservatives want to bring in new, non-sectarian politics please explain what business they might have talking to the DUP about unity ?

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  29. Erasmus (profile) says:

    Mind you there is nothing in this about an electoral pact.

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  30. oneill (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin,

    The purpose of which to help greater political stability.

    Doesn’t automatically translate as “pact”.

    I asked for a link right at the beginning of the thread but all we’ve got so far is Mr Mallie’s paraphrasing and assumptions. Probably best waiting to hear it from the horses’ mouths.

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  31. tacapall (profile) says:

    #

    Can one of the UCUNF supporters who believes that the Conservatives want to bring in new, non-sectarian politics please explain what business they might have talking to the DUP about unity ?
    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 19, 2010 @ 08:43 PM

    Its got nothing to do with politics and all to do with you scratch my back and let me pretend to the world Im a bulldog, and I’ll make sure we shaft you, when the real power brokers and policy makers (Who are not ever in Government) tell us to.

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  32. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    oneill, it would be silly to suggest that Mr Mallie has imagined the entire thing. Strategically, it makes perfect sense for the Tories to have this chat. Politically, it makes them seem very hypocritical and I’m sure there are some in the UUP who feel quite sore about it.

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  33. Paul (profile) says:

    Yep just speculation wait for it to come officially out I am delighted if true.

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  34. oneill (profile) says:

    CS

    He’s paraphrased a Conservative spokesman, that’s all we’ve got in terms of comment from any of the three parties.

    Strategically, it also makes sense for the Conservatives to be having chats with the SNP- I’d be surprised if they weren’t, doesn’t mean they’ll be they’ll be running joint candidates with them in Scotland. I’d wait and see first before making too many assumptions.

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  35. al (profile) says:

    Mallie are you winding?

    UUP & DUP uniting. More chance of the DUP cooperating with SF! Ohhhhh…

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  36. tacapall (profile) says:

    Sign up today, it’s free!!!
    Posted by DisgustedinDERRY on Jan 19, 2010 @ 08:34 PM
    They never reply to you DERRY, its hard to defend the indefensible, all they’ve got left is “Traditional” but sure it was traditional for some countries to practice female circumcision but the rest of the world knows its wrong.

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  37. Driftwood (profile) black spot says:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/why-there-is-precedent-in-cameron-s-wooing-of-clegg-s-reluctant-libdems-1.994909

    It’s purely a sounding out of possible scenarios.

    Politics is hardly a highly principled art and it certainly will not mean any pacts in certain constituencies. Any pacts would be doomed to failure in FST and make SB a pyrrhic victory.

    Owen needs to explain a bit though.

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  38. Paul (profile) says:

    it may be talks on the UUP to agree P and J

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  39. It is all about numbers:

    http://www.thedissenter.co.uk/2010/01/there-will-be-an-election-in-2010/

    and a hung Parliament. As the smaller numbers may count the UUP link may not be enough, so ignore arrangements and deal wider.

    http://www.thedissenter.co.uk/2009/10/conservative-practicality/

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  40. The Raven (profile) says:

    “English political parties only need you when their place in power is at stake”

    I wondering where it is different anywhere else…?

    Probably only bringing the DUPs in as an afterthought…don’t expect there’ll be many left after the next election… (he trolled)

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  41. slug (profile) says:

    I guess the way it could work is that the Conservatives field unity candidates that are neither UUP nor DUP in both constituencies. That would allow them to

    (i) add seats
    (ii) stick to their claim of standing UK wide

    while

    (iii) allowing the two local unionist parties a way to cooperate.

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  42. alan56 (profile) says:

    Fair to assume that meeting happened. Hearing that P&J was the only item on agenda. Still it leaves UUP and Cons with questions to answer.

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  43. alan56 (profile) says:

    Fair to assume that meeting happened. Hearing that P&J was the only item on agenda. Still it leaves UUP and Cons with questions to answer.

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  44. alan56 (profile) says:

    If UUP to back DUP P&J deal then what will be the price?

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  45. DisgustedinDERRY (profile) says:

    alan56

    Maybe a DUP/UUP pact to team up and make Jim Allister even more irrelevant?

    Can’t see the UUP helping the DUP out with anything, lets face it, the DUP put the UUP to bed, something the UUP are still hurting over.

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  46. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    My what bile and nonsense.

    Its very simple. Unionists are looking out and up. SF talked about creating a new all-Ireland politics away from the sectarian swamp. They failed miserably because they simply tied top replicate sectarian NI politics in the Republic.

    A new alliance of the Conservatives, UUP and the core of the DUPs could learn from that train wreck and help create a new Unionist paradigm here. One that could attract broad Unionst support. One that, for the first time in perhaps 80 years, would firmly embed Unionist politics in National UK politics.

    I am sure this will not suit everyone. The flat-earthers and right wing nutters of the DUP may spin off to the TUV but for the vast majority of unionists it is time to put the past behind us and move on together and in partnership with nationalists. We have signed up to a deal and we should both deliver it.

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  47. If Allister wins one or more seats, he may have more MPs that the UUP and its safe to say that if these seat(s) are required, Owen and David will be knocking on his door too.

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  48. Paul (profile) says:

    I think the talks and this is my opinion was to try to get the UUP on board for P and J

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  49. crazy fenian 32 (profile) says:

    As an after thought maybe the torys don,t do as well as they think in the general election.And sinn fein come in as the largest party in norn ireland. with the t u v stealing a few seats. Who will the right wing unionist torys blame for the wee mess. Rem a few months is a long time in politcs.

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  50. Paul (profile) says:

    am sure this will not suit everyone. The flat-earthers and right wing nutters of the DUP may spin off to the TUV but for the vast majority of unionists it is time to put the past behind us and move on together and in partnership with nationalists. We have signed up to a deal and we should both deliver it.
    Posted by Cynic2 on Jan 19, 2010 @ 10:20 PM

    An excellent post we saw the effect of the vote in last weeks by election when the voters united to defeat the TUV.

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  51. aquifer (profile) says:

    Unionist unity = DUP dominance = NI in the UK departures lounge.

    Have the UUP failed to notice this?

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  52. John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard (profile) black spot says:

    Is this the same journalist who compromised Patrick Mayhew? In ten weeks time Owen Patterson will be trusted by David Cameron, backed hopefully by a very substantial majority, to be Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; and will be responsible for all its inhabitants,regardless of age,gender,class,political affiliation etc.etc.
    Mr Patterson, who has spent more time in this province than any other previous Shadow Secretary of State, has done this in a very controlled and quiet manner without using the spin and leaking techniques of his many predecessors since 1997.
    Someone has leaked these talks; that appear to have been held somewhere in England away from the totally feverish hothouse of Northern Ireland; if he had not in view of the fact that he will be the next Secretary of State. It would have been totally irresponsible not to have held this meeting in attempt to bring stability to this troubled Province; which if we are not all sensible,less intemperate and tolerant could well return to the bad old days.
    Mr Mailley in this case appears to be exercising total speculation whilst possibly being used by unprincipled politicians to stir the pot against the Conservatives and Unionists, who are on the up and trying to bring sense and proper governance to this province. Recent weeks have shown a complete necessity for this initiative following on from Owen Patterson’s meetings with all the Northern Ireland Party leaders on the 4th. of this month.The likely culprit might well be a potentially split DUP and this potentially irresponsible act of political point scoring could well compromise any trust between the DUP and any incoming Conservatives and Unionists administration.

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  53. Harry J (profile) says:

    who was there from the UUP and how can they claim not to have been informed of the current negotiations going on? who is lying?

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  54. TAFKABO (profile) says:

    This unionist will be voting for the SDLP before he’ll ever vote for the fucking tories.

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  55. Paul (profile) says:

    I think there will come a time when the flat earthers that are left in the DUP in fact do go off and join the TUV.That might well come after P and J is devolved.

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  56. Paul (profile) says:

    Its just being on radio ulster that the talks were to get both unionist parties to talk on the issue of P and J and to bring some stability around the issue.

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  57. iluvni (profile) says:

    This unionist wont be voting UCUNF if they do a deal with the DUP.
    Talk about snatching defeat from potential victory.

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  58. abc123 (profile) says:

    Is Eamonn Mallie on the cooking sherry again:

    ‘realeising’
    ‘Mr Paterson held private talks with a number of senior unionist politicians in English’ (now corrected)

    This is a complete non-story. It is sensible for all Unionists to discuss such issues. SF/PIRA & the SDLP often hold talks with politicians in the RoI. We all know that Mallie is a Nationalist with an agenda. This story is no big deal.

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  59. Cletus The Slack Jawed Yokel (profile) says:

    Dear, oh dear everyone is in such a flap.

    1. The Tories wont need the DUP

    2. Doesnt anyone get the contexts of this?

    Sean Woodward does, he’s been keeping Owen Paterson massively in the loop as he knows rightly the Tories are likely to be the next government. The Tories are also enablers at this stage to help sell P&J. Bearing in mind they will get to deal with any hash put together for the expediency of a photo op for Mr Brown they need to be involved.

    Remember lads Tony left an awful ot of loose ends to get his big prize before he walked off to a lucrative speaking career. The bringing together of Paisley & McGuinness registered with the British public for once.

    Gordo wants a real nice photo op just in time for an election and he’ll leave a hash as well if he gets that moment in the sun.

    Its realpolitik. For the Tories to be looking at covering their arses for a hung parliament is politics lads, nothing more, nothing less but as I have described, there is more to it.

    Sadly in our little myopic state here we dont notice that, we dont notice wider issues of the union, the Scottish Nationalists etc. Course we dont, instead we get hilarious ideas that the DUP will come along and say ‘Here Davy Cameron, get that fenian off the ticket in South Belfast..cos he’s a fenian…’

    We complain about our politcians as the epitome of a sectarianism. From what I can see, they are only reflecting & representing their voters wishes lads.

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  60. student (profile) says:

    As a UUP supporter, very mixed feelings on this.

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  61. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    ‘complete non-story’

    ….oh abc123 you sound like a SF PR man.

    If the DUP Conservatives and UUP could pull this off it would have huge consequences. It would consolidate a centre block of the vast majority of conservative and unionist opinion that wants the deal to be implemented and the politicians to get on with it. It would build that confidence that Gregory talks so much about. Against that background the deal could be done and we could all look to create a new political mood in NI of partnership between Unionism and nationalism on implementing the deal we all voted for.

    It would also stabilise the institutions and provide the platform on which NI politics can not just look inwards but look up and out to national UK politics. What can be more Unionist than that? What can be more Unionist than being part of a party of National Government? What too could be better for all of Northern Ireland than being seen to play at part at that level and not be consigned as some political swamp?

    This is a huge opportunity and our politicians should grab it with both hands. So perhaps now is the time for bravery and vision. To borrow a phrase “Tiocfaidh ár lá!” – let’s grab it and get on with it.

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  62. Banjaxed (profile) says:

    I’ve just finished watching the remake of the Planet of the Apes on TV and I think I’ve just joined Mark Wahlberg in his parallel universe.
    Irene Foster saying ‘He hasn’t gone away, you know’ and Cynic2 saying ‘Tiocfaidh ár lá!’ But my suspension of disbelief has been altogether shattered by the thought of the possibility of up to a million unionists, including a very large section of its working and (increasingly) non-working class, going out to vote for a shower of millionaire Old Etonians!

    To mix metaphors (and films!) I can merely quote Hal, the rogue computer, from 2001: A Space Odyssey, ‘I’m afraid. I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m a… fraid’.

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  63. Banjaxed (profile) says:

    Sorry, my mind really is going!
    It’s ARLENE Foster, of course.

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  64. tacapall (profile) says:

    It would also stabilise the institutions and provide the platform on which NI politics can not just look inwards but look up and out to national UK politics. What can be more Unionist than that? What can be more Unionist than being part of a party of National Government? What too could be better for all of Northern Ireland than being seen to play at part at that level and not be consigned as some political swamp?
    Posted by Cynic2 on Jan 20, 2010 @ 12:32

    Finally we have someone with a bit of vision ! Unionist ideology in a short term sense might sound reasonable, but long term it has absolutely NO future, young people dont give a fiddlers who runs the country. How can Unionists parties present themselves to an electorate who dont care about marching up some other persons road, who dont care about religion, because dont kid yourselves, a lot, (Majority) couldn’t care less about it, try to ingrain, a born with a silver spoon, attitude into young people who now work together, go to college together, work together and socialise together. Do yourself a favour and wake up to the twentieth century. Do you actually believe that they look at the royal family and say, Ah I really feel patriotic about their privileges, they deserve it, I wish I was born into that. Yeah dream on, you will be like the INCAs’ history will deliberately forget about you.
    Unless Unionism crosses the Rubicon and trys to be more, Modern, secular, pluralist and generally people friendly, it good night Irene. Why dont you just embrace your Irish family who really care about you, who actually give a fk about your needs and your future we will face it together, fighting for “ALL” of us in our quest, just to survive.

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  65. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    Tacapall

    This is one of those ocasions where you can choose your family but, despite that, where did I ever suggest that the lkink with London should bhe the only game in town?

    We are British and we are Irish – or at least that’s how I see it although I know that others disagree. You seemed to have missed a key phrase in my post where I talked about creating a ” new political mood in NI of partnership between Unionism and nationalism”. Your suggestion is fine but ignores the perceptions and desires of well over half the population including those prods who see themselves as more Irish and those Catholics who feel their future if better in the UK.

    I know, I know. Isn’t it terrible when you enter this ‘alternate reality’ where people might co-operate in their common interest rather than play the old zero sum politics that led to the last 40 years.

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  66. DisgustedinDERRY (profile) says:

    Cynic

    You talk about unity within unionism in one breath, then you talk about a new political mood…between unionism and nationalism, is that not an oxymoron. The only national government Irish nationalism want any Irish party to be involved in is an Irish government that spreads from the cliff of Antrim to the cliffs Cork. The Tories don’t have much of a good record here and with recent dual attitudes, it looks as though nothing has changed.

    What dual attitude I hear you ask. Owen Patterson talks of ending sectarian politics to try attract Catholic voters, while at the same time Cameron talks of a majority led Stormont. Well let me tell you something for nothing, there will never, ever, ever be a majority led Unionist government in this part of Ireland again as they have not got the maturity to be trusted to treat nationalists in the same way as our unionists brothers and sisters.

    History is on the side of Irish nationalism!!!

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  67. danielmoran (profile) says:

    cynic. I’m not sure the recent by election is much of a guide to how the TUV will fare in an assembly election, because the duppers didn’t take part. allister claims they got the 25% they decided they needed to keep their position. Admirable sentiments from a unionist, all credit to you. I fear the dup are overreaching on these talks, so i don’t think an assembly election is far away. I hope it happens before the westminster one, so the dup will take the maximum hit in stormont. I think the UUP will make better partners for SF in any new set up, regardless of who takes top spot.

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  68. Harry J (profile) says:

    #

    Its just being on radio ulster that the talks were to get both unionist parties to talk on the issue of P and J and to bring some stability around the issue.
    Posted by Paul on Jan 19, 2010 @ 11:02 PM

    why has reg and others in the UUP been saying they have been informed on the current discussions when clealry they have. WHo was at this meeting and was are the UUP lying that they know nothing about the P+J negotiations?

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  69. Garza (profile) says:

    Nah cynic2, if the UUP/Tories do a deal with that homophobic, hypocritical, bigoted, creationist party known as the DUP I am taking my vote elsewhere.

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  70. Harry J (profile) says:

    as they have not got the maturity to be trusted to treat nationalists in the same way as our unionists brothers and sisters….

    so tell me what rights or laws apply to unionists that dont apply to nationalists?

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  71. granni trixie (profile) says:

    So for all the rhetoric about ‘a shared future’ in the end self interest wins ie unionists unite. Leaves Peter McCann’s ‘breath of fresh air’ line a bit redundant?

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  72. Driftwood (profile) black spot says:

    Garza, there will not be any ‘deal’. I’m sure Cheryl Gillan talks to other Welsh Assembly parties apart from Nick Bourne’s.

    The BBC are laughably describing this informal sounding as ‘secret talks’. ie ‘Smoke filled rooms’ as they were previously referred to in an unhealthier age.

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  73. Harry J (profile) says:

    driftwood,
    why are the UUP still saying they havent been informed about the negotiations on P+J when clearly they have??

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  74. oneill (profile) says:

    grannie trixie

    So for all the rhetoric about ‘a shared future’ in the end self interest wins ie unionists unite. Leaves Peter McCann’s ‘breath of fresh air’ line a bit redundant?

    The only concrete information about the meeting (as opposed to Eamon mallie’s speculation)we’ve got is:

    Conservative spokesman said: “Mr Paterson held private talks with a number of senior unionist politicians in England over the weekend the purpose of which was to help promote greater political stability.”

    “Mr Paterson holds many private meetings and we will be making no further comment on the details,”

    That’s it.

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  75. tacapall (profile) says:

    so tell me what rights or laws apply to unionists that dont apply to nationalists?
    Posted by Harry J on Jan 20, 2010 @ 11:00 AM

    Harry J with no malice intended,and not knowing your age group, Where have you been this last 40 years, “Equality” has many definations but to Nationalists it seems your definations of it are different than theirs, in many areas like Culture, Identity, Language and obviously “Choice”. The days of privilege is gone for Unionism, try as they might to frustrate and hold back “Change” what type of society can sustain a “One party” choice for the electorate. We are not like fish in a pond, there is a bigger world out there and wheither we like it or not we are part of it. As the European Union gets ever larger and more power and control is “devolved” to them, the issue of sovereignty will be defunct, issues of Legality will be taken by them. We will mearly be a ghetto on the outskirts of Europe. Unionists must embrace change now, so that they together with Nationalists can build a future for our country that is based on Equality and together we can build, plan, for future prosperity and peace.

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  76. Harry J (profile) says:

    Harry J with no malice intended,and not knowing your age group, Where have you been this last 40 years, “Equality” has many definations but to Nationalists it seems your definations of it are different than theirs, in many areas like Culture, Identity, Language and obviously “Choice”. ..

    again please answer the question, what rights or laws apply to unionists that do not apply to nationlaists ? and who is stopping anyone speaking a foreing language such as irish?

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  77. Panic, these ones like it up em. (profile) says:

    In the interests of fairness when are the Conservatives meeting with Aliance/ Sinn Féin/SDLP.

    It would be good for a party that wants to cross the sectarian devide to have constructive meetings with all sections in NI.

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  78. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    Dear Disgusting in Derry

    “The only national government Irish nationalism want any Irish party to be involved in is an Irish government”

    Well, that’s not what they voted for in a referrendum and elections. But I am sure that you know better than all of them.

    And I think you will also find that your fellow countrymen in the Reopublic will shout and roar for a United Ireland after 3 or 4 pints but quietly vote to keep it as far away as possible when sobriety returns. In part I have always though that was because the couldn’t stick the incessent wingeing like your posts on here.

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  79. tacapall (profile) says:

    again please answer the question, what rights or laws apply to unionists that do not apply to nationlaists ? and who is stopping anyone speaking a foreing language such as irish?
    Posted by Harry J on Jan 20, 2010 @ 01:17 PM

    Catholic residents dont have the right to refuse anti catholic parades marching through areas where they are not wanted. They do not have the right to speak in their native tounge in courts of law, and as for being a foreign language, remember what you call this country “Ireland” and Irish is its native tounge, English is the foreign language.

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  80. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    “when are the Conservatives meeting with Aliance/ Sinn Féin/SDLP”

    I understand that the Conservatives have met them all on a regular basis? Why would they not? It’s how you do business in politics.

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  81. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Catholic residents dont have the right to refuse anti catholic parades marching through areas where they are not wanted.”

    You mean that they don’t have the right to be totally intolerant of other cultures and beliefs? Why should they have that right? No-one else in Europe does?

    ” Irish is its native tongue ” – presumably that;’s why so many people are native speakers? But actually the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland and even Ireland speak English as their first language so your point is purely political

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  82. Harry J (profile) says:

    They do not have the right to speak in their native tounge in courts of law,.

    their native language would be English, this is an english speaking country. I think youre getting us mixed up with Ireland

    Catholic residents dont have the right to refuse anti catholic parades marching through areas where they are not wanted………

    Protestants have the same rights as catholics to refuse parades in their area.

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  83. someone (profile) says:

    Mr Patterson meets with all parties regularly and privately – he is after all likely to be the next SoS, so it would rather be a problem if he didn’t!

    But whoever leaked this private meeting to Mr Mallie from the DUP has clearly been trying to cause trouble for the CU pact by sullying it with associations of DUPlicity – clearly some intentional disinformation spreading.

    As the BBC report:
    A senior Conservative spokesman said the discussions were focused on the current difficulties at Stormont.

    The spokesman said: “So far as the Westminster election is concerned, the only deal is the current deal between the Conservatives and the Ulster Unionists.

    “We will be putting up 18 Conservative and Unionist candidates at the next election,” he said.

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  84. tacapall (profile) says:

    You mean that they don’t have the right to be totally intolerant of other cultures and beliefs? Why should they have that right? No-one else in Europe does?
    Posted by Cynic2 on Jan 20, 2010 @ 03:28 PM

    If the people of the newtownards road did not want a republican parade marching down it, they would not be marching down it, same as the pro union people of the UK when they banned the “Islam4UK”

    Unionist politicians are vocal in their opposition when an ‘insensitive & offensive’ parade is planned for Wootton Bassett yet find it acceptable for the Apprentice boys to be led by a UVF band named after sectarian murderer Brian Robinson, to pass the spot where he murdered his victim.

    Harry J

    their native language would be English, this is an english speaking country. I think youre getting us mixed up with Ireland
    Posted by Harry J on Jan 20, 2010 @ 03:28 PM

    http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/find-out-more/northern-ireland/

    The Plantation of Ulster that began in 1609 was a planned process of settlement aimed at preventing further rebellion among the population in the north of Ireland. This part of the island was at that time virtually exclusively Gaelic-speaking and had shown the greatest resistance to English colonisation. From the early seventeenth century onwards, Irish lands were confiscated and given to British settlers — or ‘planters’ — who arrived in increasing numbers, bringing the English Language with them. Large numbers of settlers came from southwest Scotland and thus spoke a Scots dialect, while the remaining settlers came predominantly from the north and Midlands of England. By 1830, for instance, Londonderry had a population that was 25% Scots, 25% English and 50% Irish.

    Now do you see the difference in the defination of “Equality” between Nationalism and Unionism.

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  85. tacapall (profile) says:

    Well can Unionism embrace “Facts” or would you rather stay swimming around in your little pond, wake up to the twentieth century, the horse and cart has been replaced by the automobile, mankind is exploring the stars,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire

    Political boundaries drawn by the British did not always reflect homogeneous ethnicities or religions, contributing to conflicts in Kashmir, Palestine, Sudan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. The British Empire was also responsible for large migrations of peoples. Millions left the British Isles, with the founding settler populations of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand coming mainly from Britain and Ireland. Tensions remain between the white settler populations of these countries and their indigenous minorities, and between settler minorities and indigenous majorities in South Africa and Zimbabwe. British settlement of Ireland has left its mark in the form of divided Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland.

    Its not like Irelands problems are unique its all happened before as the facts above show, the common denominator in the conflicts, is Britain. Wake up fellow countrymen and realise where your future lies.

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