Miss 1800 Dave?

Beano asks, do the Conservatives care about Northern Ireland? Does being “pro-union” involve forgetting about the Union then?

  • joeCanuck

    To be honest, I don’t think they care two figs about us. Same for the average labour supporter.
    They wouled all dearly love to be rid of us.

  • jaffa

    Throw the English out of The Union! Whinging ingrates.

  • Percival

    Michael Shilliday, in keeping with loads of YU’s for some reason seem utterly obsessed with the NI Tories. Look Michael, take a chill-pill, they are going nowhere.

  • Percival

    Oh an another thing, the Act of Union was signed in 1801. Tsk, Tsk.

  • Percival

    Whoops, my bad! It came into effect in 1801, but was signed in 1800.

  • Bob Wilson

    Yawn UUP blogger grasps straw to attack Cameron

    To me this was a simple reaction to being quoted the stats about Scotland – big deal.

    To give Cameron’s attitude to NI some context:

    December 2005
    “As far as I am concerned all members of the Conservative Party are equal wherever they are in the United Kingdom. We have members in Northern Ireland and I hope we will have many, many more. I think it is in the interest of the Conservative Party [for local candidates] to stand for election and they will clearly have my backing.”

    November 2006
    “I want politics in Northern Ireland to be about the real things – schools, hospitals, tax…not about timetables, deadlines and institutional arrangements. And I want the Conservative Party to be a part of that new politics. We’re moving in a new direction. Leading the debate. Pulling ahead of a tired Government. Developing policies for the future. In doing so, one thing is certain. My Party’s commitment to Northern Ireland, and to all its people, will be whole hearted and unshakeable.”

    Michael’s preferred policy to enhance life in NI and defend the Union? Attack the man who could well by PM after the next GE and perpetuate ‘groundhog’ politics based around the desires of Irish Nationalism.

  • jaffa

    Perhaps worth remembering the circumstances behind each Act. Act No 1 (1707) was a deal to keep Scotland out of a war with England in exchange for free access to English overseas territories. Both reasons redundant now by way of Nato, EU and the WTO amongst other things.

    Act No 2 (1800) cooked up by by Peel et al to allow emancipation of the Papist Irish under general British citizenship without letting the troublesome rascal loose with the Irish parliament. Somewhat redundant now also.

    No need for multilayered conglomerated states in the modern world. Time for effective local (small) governments and friendly neighbourhood relations Nordics style.

    Iceland and Luxembourg are prosperous with the population of Belfast. Once you’re big enough to support a University and a General Hospital that’s enough. Only gangster states who want expeditionary armies need be bigger.

    Freedom for the Kingdoms of Down!!

    Slightly stretched perhaps – Bangor Tech would be our highest seat of learning.

  • Interested Party

    Bangor was once a seat of great learning -it could be again?

  • jaffa

    You’re right! See how the metropolitans of Dublin and London have laid us low.

  • Greenflag

    The Conservatives care about the Conservatives and how they can most easily get back into power in Westminster . If there is a slim hope that they can squeeze into power using ‘traditional ‘ Unionist dupes they will do so . The effect of the NI Tory party will be to dilute the UUP further thus enhancing DUP prospects of the UUP returning to Westminster with 0 seats ,

    Would Cameron do a deal with Paisley and the DUP in order to get into number 10 if it was the only way ? Is the Pope a Catholic .

    But first Gordon has to have his moment of glory etc etc and get his long awaited chance to sit in Number 10 and watch aghast as his native land goes for ‘independence ‘ within the Union -the European Union.

  • elvis

    The Conservatives care about the Conservatives and how they can most easily get back into power
    The Labour Party…..
    The DUP ….
    The UUP….
    Sinn Fein …..
    The SDLP….

    Isnt that what political parties are about?

    Would Cameron do a deal with Paisley maybe – personally I doubt it. I suspect he’d do a deal with Ming first!

    As a nationalist you may also be trying to suggest that Cameron does not care about NI but actually you have no evidence of that – you may wish it to be true but it doesn’t necessarily make it so.

    Ironically Michael Shilliday also seems to hope it is true and I thought he was a unionist!
    Even if Cameron makes explictly pro Union remarks about NI Michael still cant trust him because Cameron isnt an Ulster Prod you see. Ah the lovely certainty of the narrow sect!

  • Michael Shilliday

    We’ve been over this ground before, and I think that it is clear that the Tories are dangerous to the Union, all over the Kingdom. From Scots being a second class part of the National Parliament to the “pro-union” nonsense in Northern Ireland, the Conservatives are not a party that Unionists can vote for anywhere in the Kingdom. Increasingly they are not a party that Conservatives can vote for either for that matter! Labour looks more and more like a party that I can support (Hain notwithstanding). I hope that John Reid gets the leadership myself.

    My pointing out that Cameron is not a Unionist is not bigotry, and it is grossly offensive for you to suggest that it is. Cameron making “pro-union” noises does not make him a Unionist. I don’t trust him because I don’t believe he is genuine, not because I am a bigot.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Am I to assume that the word b.i.g.o.t is replaced by unpleasant now?

  • Georgie

    Maybe the English should just cut the ties that the Act of Union put in place and see how you all get on. It’s not on that Scots can get involved in matters concerning England, but the English have been precluded in getting involved in Scottish matters. I think we should leave Gordon, John and Gorbals Mick to look after their own. As for Ireland…oops, the island of Ireland…

  • As the author of the original linked post I can confirm that, having given up completely on the local parties and their endless bickering, I would dearly love to be able to support the local tories. While I have no love for Cameron, I still have no reason to exaggerate or “hope” that Cameron doesn’t care about NI. It’s more a fear than anything.

    Yes, he can make the necessary pro-Union noises when asked directly about Northern Ireland, but I think this statement could, sadly, belie how he really thinks.

  • Jeremy

    I have often thought one of the failings of the dissident republican movement was its failure to move the republican agenda beyond the comfortable parameters so well established. Its ofter argued by them that the union is not weakened by the GFA or now the SAA. Maybe they are right (i dont believe so but thats not my point). However the NI peace process is surely only a minor sideshow in the tale of the union. The most important dynamic is the Scottish/English relationship and while that relationship may not be about to rupture its very much up for a renegotiation. This is going to radically change the union. In whats going to be the key constitutional issue for the uk over the next few years NI will only figure as a side note. It would seem unusual for Cameron, who would seem to want to win big in England (cause no way he can win in any of the celtic countries), to expend any other time on the north beyond being ” the loyal opposition”. If unionist seats can help him form a govt. then the union will be weakened on the scottish-english front anyway, irregardless of the goings on in the north. If they dont form part of a govt. its also irrelevant as the union will again weaken. If Scotland left the union tomorrow then why in god’s name would the english want either Wales or the North. The unionists should work out what they are going to do in that situation because the old realities are changing as fast for them as for republicans. Labour seems to a more stout defender of the union than the concservatives with their focus on England, West Lothian and Barnett’s formula. However thats probably too radical a departure for unionism

  • jaffa

    Recently the UUP had the leader of Fine Gael up for Haggis in east Belfast. Increasingly these two parties seem to have much in common.

    My own fantasy political league preference would be a voluntary coalition between the pro-treaty centre-right Irish parties of Fine Gael and the Ulster Unionists on a platform of economic reform, social integration and constructive open debate on constitutional evolution.

    The high handed “we’re above petty constitutional squabbles” position of the NI Tories is bogus. Refusing to deal with the constitutional situation while talking of “this Kingdom” on the web-site and total integration into the UK isn’t much more than an arrogant refusal to even deal with the concerns of nationalists. It’s a return to the UUUC position of the 1975 convention.

    It’s a bit like Methody claiming to be a cross-community school while cheerfully leaving Irish and Gaelic Games off the curriculum. Just saying something doesn’t make it so.

  • jaffa

    That should have been Fine Gael’s leader in the Senate.

  • I guess so since under CMD being a Conservative means forgetting about Conservative principles!!

  • IJP

    I think that it is clear that the Tories are dangerous to the Union, all over the Kingdom.

    Obviously, being the only party that bothers to put up candidates in every part of it…

    It’s been obvious for years that the people most dangerous to the Union are Unionists, who by splitting themselves off completely from real British politics deny themselves, and thus the people, a real say in what goes on on key issues like the tax system.

    But then, since Unionists merge opposition to an “all-island economy” (even if it means opposing fair trade) with support for “all-island taxes”, perhaps that’s a good thing…

  • Julian Robertson

    For goodness sake.

    Is this ultra-analysis of every word and finding hidden meanings, plots and subterfuge a solely Ulster trait?

    If Cameron mentions NI in a sentence, will we see a “Cameron mentions Northern Ireland, union safe” thread?

    Michael S

    “Cameron making “pro-union” noises does not make him a Unionist” but then leaving the words Northern Ireland out of a sentence make him dangerous? Is this the best you got? But of course, supporting John Reid as next PM….says a lot really.


    You e mailed me and asked for my thoughts – lets see you publicise that response since you’re the one started this current excitement.

  • Julian Robertson

    Michael S

    “From Scots being a second class part of the National Parliament ”

    ……Michael dear soul, it’s the very fact that the Labour government relies on Scots MPs to impose laws on England that Labour will not/ do not / dare not apply in Scotland that has so hacked off the English that they couldn’t give a tinkers cuss about the celtic fringe. Doh!

  • Percival

    So here we have Julian, Chairman of the NI Tories defending what amounts to xenophobic english attitudes towards the constituent members of the UK. In my hear I suspect a majority of Tory members probably couldn’t give a “tinkers cuss” about anywhere north of Watford, but they just can’t say it. The foray into petty English nationalism is dangerous to the Union and at its heart xenophobic.

    Jeepers Julian just because North Down might be the most “english” part of NI, doesn’t make it any less a part of the “celtic fringe”.

    Some Unionist you are.

  • BooBoo


    “Labour looks more and more like a party that I can support…”

    At the very time when the party is kneedeep in a “cash-for-honours” scandal; when its’ overall political legacy looks increasingly dire; when Blair admits that the Iraq war has been a bit of a “disaster”;

    And—after ten years in which Blair personally and regularly shafted (helped by John Reid on more than one occasion!)the UUP and now the DUP; and bailed out Sinn Fein time after time;

    To your warped way of thinking the Labour Party is a party that you can support!!!

    Unbelievable Michael, even by your own standards.