‘No reason why UUP couldn’t be in Tory cabinet’…

HOPEFULLY, there will be some debate on the subject of an Ulster Unionist serving in a future Tory cabinet during the Conservative conference. Shadow NI spokesman Owen Paterson says there’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen. Others would disagree, although oddly the DUP seems more concerned with trying to prevent a UUP-Tory link-up than allowing it to happen and reaping the rewards they claim would be there for the taking when it falls apart. Of course, the UUP would need to ensure they manage to get at least one MP elected – the only current one being the pro-Labour Lady Sylvia.

  • DC

    Hold the horses re the Cabinet. From what I’ve seen of David Cameron recently I’m not convinced that he’s convinced about the direction of his party.

    Did you see him on Sky News leader debate, bloody terrible 3rd rate Blair, using his lingo and seeming to probe in a way that sounded like Blair but lacked the consistency of ‘third way’ thinking.

    For all Matthew Paris’ lectures about the phoney-Blair nature of New Labour it would be fair to throw that back at Cameron in as much as he is a 3rd rate Blair.

    There is only one heir to Blair and that’s the other Dave, David Miliband.

    Maybe some substance might bubble up at the upcoming Tory conference. It would need to.

  • Andrew

    Since partition, Governments in Westminster have sought to distance themselves from Northern Ireland. They have sought to act the ‘neutral’ party with regards to politics, North and South, in fear of negative international opinion.

    I would find it hard to see a Tory government fully embracing the UUP. If they do, the UUP will only seek to damage itself further as the party in GB does not fully accept the traditional roots of what makes a Unionist, a Unionist, in Ulster. The new ‘UUP/Tory Party’ will have limited appeal.

    There is a lot of hype surrounding this ‘merger’ and I sense that it will not turn out to be what it seems.

    The Conservatives have their sights set on winning a General Election. That election is won in England, not Northern Ireland.

  • snaz

    What is the difference between a Northern Ireland MP and a Northern England one. They still could contribute towards getting rid of a Labour Government that has been openly hostile to Northern Ireland Unionists and the working people of N.I. through some of their disasterous economic and social policies.

    If a cooperation is found between the Ulster Unionists and Conservatives then if the majority of Pro Union voters wish to elect an MP to a Government that is no longer just an honest broker and is genuinely 100 percent for the Union then for the first time in 2 generations they will have that opportunity.

    Of course for that to be a possibility Conservative support for Northern Irelands part and place in the Union has to go well beyond acceptance of the consent principal and into the realms of saying that the best place for all of the people of Northern Ireland to live work and prosper is within the UK and to make that clear.

    The Irish Government through FF make it quite clear that they are certainly not neutral on their wish and belief in 32 county reunification so I think that if Unionists in Northern Ireland had a similar message from a perspective UK government I believe that many would take the opportunity to vote for such an arrangement.

    Of course in effect changing the “no strategic or economic interest” would bring Mr Cameron directly into Pan Nationalism wrath but as I said earlier it is inconcievable that without such a clear commitment to the Union that such an arrangement would be acceptable to the UUP or the very supporters they would be relying on for support.

  • Mack

    when a hung parliament is in place after the next parliament elections, the DUP MP’s will the only Northern Ireland party that can provide the numbers that are needed to swing it to the conservatives and be part of the government. If the UUP join the conservatives to fight the election then they will have brought about the total demise of its party.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The DUP seem to be gambling heavily on there being a hung parliament. It’s entirely possible, but they seem to be investing more in it than it’s likely to actually happen. IMHO.

  • truth and justice

    It seems that the only UUP MP is against the idea and people have long memory’s with the Belfast Agreement and Anglo Irish Agreement started by the Conservative Party will a mearger be good I dont believe so it would appear to be a pet project of Trimble it would be best for the UUP if he had not been involved it may have looked better for them. Also people voting Consevative in NI only amounts to a couple of thousand votes, I suppose it does away with another party though

  • shock and awe

    [edited by moderator – play the ball]

  • slug

    “changing the “no strategic or economic interest” ”

    Misquote. It was “no SELFISH strategic or economic interest”. (With no comma between selfish and strategic, showing that selfish was a qualifier of the other adjectives). There was no denial of a strategic or economic interest, it was saying that the interest in NI was not a selfish one.

  • Richard James

    Mack,

    The way things are going it looks like the Conservatives are going to win by a landslide. I would put good money on them not needing 9 DUP votes to give them a majority.

    Truth and Justice,

    Things like the AIA simply highlight the damage done to Unionism by it’s detachment from mainstream parties. During the 1912 Ulster Crisis the Tories were prepared to back Unionisms armed resistence to Home Rule and the Liberal party was destroyed by it’s support for it. When Northern Ireland became semi-independent after 1922 these links were eroded allowing this part of the UK to be treated differently.