David Cameron talks to Mallie, with just thirty six hours to go…

Aspiring Prime Minister David Cameron has rubbished a Belfast Telegraph election poll, alleging it was carried out by a lobbying company linked to the Democratic Unionist Party. In a rousing speech to members of Ulster Unionist and Conservative parties David Cameron gallantly boasted of how he braved the elements of nature like young Lochinvar to reach La Mon Hotel for today’s political rally. La Mon Hotel was bombed by the IRA 31 years ago.

The Conservative party leader raised the temperature declaring: “the helicopter broke down. I had to fly through a volcanic ash cloud but I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. If I am Prime Minister I will be back in a week.”

In what is being interpreted as a swipe at the DUP’s first family, the Robinsons, David Cameron pledged frugality in office.

“There’ll be nothing swish about the Conservative and Unionist parties.”

In a one to one interview with me the following exchange took place.

EM: If you are shackled to one Unionist party isn’t the bi-partisan approach a dead letter ?

DC: This is a new force in Northern Ireland  politics. It says if you want to vote for a UK party you should be able to do that. The Labour Party have the SDLP who take the Labour whip and sit in the House of Commons with them. It doesn’t stop a Labour PM being impartial when it comes to difficult decisions in Northern Ireland and I’d be able to do that as well.”

EM: Isn’t this different? You are financing the Ulster Unionist Party, you are organising here, you are part of the UU. We are not comparing like with like, are we?

DC: The constitutional   issues are now settled. That is one of the strengths of the situation we are now in, is that everyone in Northern Ireland accepts the constitutional position so it should be possible to have normal politics in NI.
And normal politics means in Northern Ireland ought to mean that you can vote for a UK party if you want to.

EM: Do you think that our politicians and our politics can grow organically naturally,  unionists, nationalists  protestants, catholics as a result of your intervention? Might you not disincentivise unionists to co-operate greater with nationalists here because of your involvement ?

DC: I don’t think so. If anything the involvement of the Conservatives in this new force will actually help to make sure that we draw  politicians and candidates from every part of the community. I think it will be easier to get away from the old headcount politics and get to a new sort of  politics where people who whether they are conservative or whether they are left of centre feel they can join into a UK party.

EM: Mr. Cameron, if the national polls are correct and the local polls are correct, is there a danger you are at the wrong party today ?

DC: No, not at all because the poll I saw in the Northern Irish paper this morning, this is a poll not carried out by a proper polling organisation  and indeed it is by a lobbying company.

EM: Isn’t that rather patronising? This a poll conducted by the Belfast Telegraph. Are you just rubbishing it?

DC: It has been conducted by a lobbying company with links to the DUP so it is not particularly convincing. As they say there is only one poll that counts and that is on May the Sixth. That is on Thursday. People who want to take part in mainstream politics can vote for Conservative Unionist candidates knowing that is what they are going to do.”

EM: You are very big on cleaning up politics nationally and locally. Can you do business, Can you form a government, do a deal with a political party here mired in scandal, the Democratic Unionist party?

DC: I don’t want to have to do deals because I want us to win an outright majority.

EM: Can you do a deal with a party mired in scandal such as the DUP?

DC: I am trying to win this election outright. That is what I am shooting for. I have thirty six hours left to do it.

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  • What is a ‘proper polling organisation’ these days? We’ll know after Thursday how robust the poll has been. The constituency numbers are questionable (too small to be anything like as certain as the BT makes out) but on 3,200 taking part the overall numbers seem pretty fair as current party strengths, though again this is no indication of performance as Party stengths can be and are constituency specific.

  • bulmer

    Good to see David is reading Slugger!

    Even better that he is clinging on to Reg delivering.

    And best of all insulting the Robinsons. Trust he doesn’t expect to make them a wee call on Friday. Might find them engaged and taking to lots of Scotsmen.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Cameron told us that his interest in Ulster was to bring an end to tribal politics and yet he is happy to have an alliance with the UUP, even though the majority of their elected officers are members of the deeply sectarian OO and he is ready to get into bed with a tribal party with even more extreme views than the BNP to prop up a minority Tory government.

    This porker be a serious contender for biggest political lie told about Ulster since Mrs Thatcher claimed to be a Unionist shortly before signing the Anglo Iirish Agreement.

  • the.digger.notes

    THE editor and management at the Belfast Telegraph seems to have got the run of themselves believing that the Tories are already in power and trying to force editorial staff to work extra shifts on the night and morning of the election (11pm to 5am) with no extra payment to bring out a special edition!
    But before a grievance procedure could be set in place and lodged with an industrial tribunal with NUJ members claiming the company was not only breaking custom and practice by not offering remuneration and, more importantly, driving a horse and cart through working time regulations, the Sun newspaper stepped in and told the Belfast Telegraph management – ‘Oy – hands off our print times’.
    Management at Bel Tel were warned earlier that the Sun would be seeking to utilise their contracted print time at the Bel Tel to tell readers ‘We won it for Dave’ special edition headlines, but the editor and O’Reilly-led neo-liberal management cronies decided to ignore it.
    They decided to dust down their ‘Billy-big-balls manuals’ to give the staff a kicking.
    And they also forgot one thing – the Aussie-born but now American citizen nom-dom media magnate Murdoch calls the shots.
    The O’Reilly family and their management team have the blanket of failure wrapped round them having sold off the London Independent group for a £1 to Russian oligarch – Lebedev – with an extra £9.5m payment to the former KGB officer to seal the deal.
    Times may be hard for the multi-millionaire O’Reilly’s and their management catamites at the Bel-Tel but demanding staff to work beyond their contracts without payment, access to food or safe transport home shows you where their true Tory supporting hearts lie.
    Unfortunately for the little D(i)Cs there is a bigger shark in the sea and he’s called Rupert.

  • alan56

    BT poll a bit odd really. Be interested to see what they say on Friday

  • Henry94

    You’d have to admit, he fits right in. Insulting the Robinsons and not believing the polls. If things don’t work out for him he could be another Enoch Powell and find a home here.

    Of course what he couldn’t say is that if the numbers make it necessary he will be sitting down with Peter Robinson and doing a deal. In that event I would propose that Sinn Fein and the DUP agree that the most important thing to get is a 12.5% corporation tax rate. In return for which the DUP will support the Tory government and Sinn Fein will continue to abstain.

  • Dukeofa

    Mallie there are more sinister things a foot than Cameron going to cut the block grant. Please can you investigate why every candidate in North Belfast is a comedy lookalike? Don’t tell me that you haven’t noticed Fred Cobain is the spit of Groucho Marks, Dodds looks like Droopy the Dog and even Billy Webb looks like ex-president Reagan in his election poster. But it doesn’t stop there. Gerry Kelly is the image of the hooded claw from Penelope Pitstop and isn’t Alban just like the Allo Allo policeman who was ‘just pissing by’. Can you investigate these strange goings and see if there is any chance of any of them looking like politicians

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    Has Cameron indicated that the power to vary Corpo rates will be transferred to Stormo? If not SF and the SDLP may not be too keen though they might have some difficulty politically opposing it.

  • Henry94

    I don’t see why they would oppose it. It’s key to economic progress. A tougher job will be for Cameron to sell it to his own electorate. But everybody who wants to see jobs coming in should be thinking of how to make it happen. We have often discussed the downside of having every party in government but uniting on this would be the upside.

  • Cynic

    God Eamonn, you are going up in the world. That’s a bit classier than what you normally have to put up with here.

  • Cynic

    I have to say though that “this a poll conducted by the Belfast Telegraph.” did make me laugh.

  • slug

    CUs plan a 10% rate so London companies plannign to go to Irealnd choose the part in the UK

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    can you comfrim whether Davey with his power to the people motto (yes it is very funny) will be transferring the power to change corpo tax to Stormo or hoarding it in London?

  • snowstorm

    The poll is a joke, the Telegraph’s polls always are but this one takes the biscuit. 5% for the TUV? They’ll score much more than that.

    Inform and the Tele will owe an apology after Thursday, wonder will they be big enough to offer one?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    perhaps the TUV % reflects the fact that they are not standing in every constituency?

  • itchy not scratchy

    Outside of Allister the TUV will score zero.

  • itchy not scratchy

    Outside of Allister the TUV will score zero.

  • smellybigoxteronye

    Pity that in tonight’s debate Reg couldn’t mention any of this “non-tribalism” that Dave talks about. All I heard was Reg appealing to “the Unionist community”. Time for Trevor Ringland as the new UCU leader!

  • laughable commentary – the amount of verbal bs you feel the need to spout in response to the advent of non-sectarian politics really shows how scared you are of it.

    The truth is this is not a project parachuted in on us – it comes from within just as much as it comes from elsewhere in the UK. I welcome wholeheartedly Cameron’s language. This place has long lacked a workable vision.

  • pie in the sky. What cost savings (over and above those already coming) would our little cabal up in Stormont see through in order to lower the corporation tax rate?

  • not an unreasonable suggestion

  • Comrade Stalin

    st eteinne:

    laughable commentary – the amount of verbal bs you feel the need to spout in response to the advent of non-sectarian politics really shows how scared you are of it.

    Please explain how the UCUNF project (talks with the Orange Order; electoral pacts with the DUP; homophobia as a matter of voting record (together with Ian Parsley’s boss at the Institute for Policy Studies whose religious group claims to be able to “cure” it) is non sectarian ?

    And then there was the notable u-turn on their decision to vote for Alban Maginness as justice minister. Itself a notable u-turn on Reg Empey’s “no nationalists for justice minister” position. A UCUNF activist told me right here on Slugger that he persuades people to vote by telling them scare stories about other parties undermining the union. How is that non-tribal politics ? How is that constructive ?

    Nobody can name a single firm action that the UCUNF project has done to advance non-sectarian politics in this place. UCUNF serves no purpose other than to exist as a vehicle to shore up the flagging balance sheet of the bankrupt (financially and politically) Ulster Unionist Party.


    CUs plan a 10% rate so London companies plannign to go to Irealnd choose the part in the UK

    Please show me the policy document or statement from a senior party official that the Tories are planning this. Otherwise people will be forced to conclude that this is just another Tory lie designed to fool people into voting for them.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Ian Parsley’s boss at the Institute for Policy Studies

    That would be the Centre for Social Justice. D’oh, why can’t Slugger have an edit button ?

  • Bulmer

    Reg has painted himself into the usual orange card corner. I look forward to counting up the UU vote. Won’t take very long.

  • YelloSmurf

    Cameron’s language is one thing, but his actions don’t measure up. When you scratch UCUNF, it’s the UUP with a new colour scheme and glossier leaflets and the rhetoric is wearing thin. Shady talks with the Orange Order, tribal pacts and generally unreconstructed attitudes show that, when it comes down to it, UCUNF is just more of the same. He (sometimes) talks the right talk on a shared future, when it suits him, in front of the right audience; but when it comes to delivering shared society I’m not holding my breath