Ulster Unionists should merge with Tories

Speaking in Blackpool today, David Burnside has suggested that his party consider merging with the British conservatives:

“It is all very well the DUP talking about restoring confidence within the unionist leadership. It was not very apparent in Brighton last week where only the Ulster Unionist Party had any sizeable presence at the Labour conference.

“Looking further down the track, unionist influence will never become real power unless there is a possibility of an Ulster MP becoming Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and taking over the reins of executive power and that would only be possible with a tie up with the Conservatives.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this idea might fly with some of the ‘red’ delegates at the party’s annual conference in a few week’s time.

  • Betty Boo

    “Speaking Bloackpool today”
    A tough day in deed, Mick.

  • smcgiff

    Off hand, I’d suggest this would be a VERY good idea from the UUP’s point of view.

    But, would the tories have them?

  • bob wilson

    I support theidea of the UUP merging with the Tories – but I find it hard to take from Burnside who has spent years arguing against the Ulster Tories. Could this Damascus Road conversion be driven by his realisation that if they dont the UUP and Burnside’s political career are over?

  • beano

    I think most unionists have considered this at one time or another. I don’t see it happening (much as I think it might benefit them). There are quite a few more liberal voices in the UUP who might not be happy; for instance I’m not sure if Lady Hermon would welcome the idea and being their sole MP she surely can’t be completely ignored?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    When Trimble raised the idea previously one of the most powerful and vociferous voices against it was Reg who hates the idea, so don’t hold your breath.

    It’s a non starter at this point, once again Burnside shows how close he is to political realities. Besides for an Ulster Tory MP to have the chance to be Secretary of State the Tories would need to actually win an election and that’s not happening any time soon.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    It’s quite telling though that Burnside considers the only chance of any Unionist having any power is to become SoS in a Tory administration. And the chances of that are remote to say the least – first you need a Tory victory, then you need the new Tory PM to be completely deranged enough to appoint a local Unionist as SoS….

    Has any return to Stormont been written off already by the UUP? Or does he not consider it “real” power because it has to be shared (the horror) with the Fenians?

  • mick

    you got it ciaran sad isn’t it they think they have a god given right to lord over the fenians in their fiefdom and now they can’t do that as effectively as they would like they grasp at the chance to put their very own pro-consul in charge

  • D’Oracle

    Isnt it already the Conservative &Unionist Party?
    Is that unreal or what ?

  • Peter Gray

    Actually, the Unionist in ‘Conservative & Unionist’ Party refers to the link with members of the Liberal Party who opposed home rule, it does not refer to the UUP. Unfortunately there are to many people in Northern Ireland who think that by voting UUP they are voting Conservative rather than for a six county party.

  • Peter Gray

    Actually, the Unionist in ‘Conservative & Unionist’ Party refers to the link with members of the Liberal Party who opposed home rule, it does not refer to the UUP. Unfortunately there are too many people in Northern Ireland who think that by voting UUP they are voting Conservative rather than for a six county party.

  • G2

    Duncan Shipley Dalton said:

    “When Trimble raised the idea previously one of the most powerful and vociferous voices against it was Reg who hates the idea, so don’t hold your breath.”

    I’m not, because the reason he hates the idea is Sir Reg and his buddies McNarry and co, couldn’t go around saying we are Orangeman first and members of the Conserative party second, like they get away with in the UUP.

  • smcgiff

    G2,

    Now that the OO have brokend direct links with the UUP then this should no longer be a problem.

  • D’Oracle

    Ok but would that encourage other Btitish and Irish parties to merge with, co-opt other NI parties or even do greenfield start-ups of their own in NI ?.

    Would’nt be the first time some of them have thought about it

  • Elvis Parker

    Is Burnside suggesting that the Tories would consider some sort of affiliation or friendship and appoint a UUP MP as SoS in future? They wont. Can anyone name anyone senior in the Conservative Party who would give this idea a moments consideration?

    Reg and McNarry are well known for their parochialism – looks like the UUP is doomed. Any UUP members with Tory sympathies should just resign from UUP and join Tories