No TUV Pact – Empey

Sir Reg Empey has denied that the UUP has made an electoral pact with the TUV:

“With the European election, as the next scheduled election, coming up in June, we agreed on the priority of retaining two unionist representatives in Europe. This should be the overriding priority of all unionists in respect of this election. Such is only attainable by full utilisation of transfers between the unionist candidates.”

He said the UUP intended to meet with the DUP about how to maximise the Unionist vote. Alliance’s Stephen Farry attacked the UUP for the inconsistency in its approach to politics:

“Some days they seem to want to reinvent the party as a moderate, constructive movement. On other days they seem intent in reinforcing the most reactionary and backwoods voices in this society,”

Sir Reg has also commenced a series of briefings on the UUP/Tory merger/alliance talks for UUP party members.
UPDATE Ignited gives his perspective on the meeting and Chekov on the confusion it prompted.

  • autocue

    What a shambolic excuse for a leader Reg Empey is. He just couldn’t help himself trying to get one over the DUP by embracing Allister publicly in this way, but faced with the fact that most of the people who have stuck with the UUP through thick and thin find Allister-politics to be repulsive he backs away like a scalded cat!

    The only people Reg Empey has helped with this are the DUP and the Alliance Party – liberal unionists will be appalled by his embrace of Allister and mainstream Unionists will be disgusted by the naked self-serving nature of the connivance between the two of them.

  • Y

    The meeting was never intended to be about a pact. However the TUV statement on the meeting was worded in such a way that the media would take this opinion. The TUV were happy to have the media report it as a formal pact as it gives them some sort of credibility. If it was reported that way it was positive in their view. The meeting was only organised at the end of last week and kept quite hush hush with the media statement only being issued yesterday. Thus the media just pounced on it and announced it as the possible beginning of a pact. Quite surprising the UUP could fall into a trap like this.

  • Inspector Cleauso

    Not one bit surprising Y, this is typical UUP way of soing things. Utterly Useless!

  • autocue

    Y

    It was not a TUV statement – it was a joint statement by Reg Empey and Jim Allister which means they both had to approve it’s contents. Reg clearly mustn’t have understood the text in front of him.

  • It was a balls up.

  • Balls up it may have been, but still revealing that the UUP’s first instinct is to seek transfer deals with Allister rather than the SDLP and Alliance.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Mon General Jim has to be careful here.

    It’s clever enough to be postioning yourself as kingmaker in the Euro elections, and he has enough potential votes to damage the DUP egofest of seeking to top the poll. Potentially he can benefit from UUP transfers more than they will from him though I suspect it’s always more likely that he’ll be tail end charlie in the Unionist contest.

    But he must watch that he’s not too closely linked to the bankrupt old boy pro-Agreement UUP, and inevitably he will leave himself open to the charge of trying to save his seat at the cost of diluting his anti-Agreement stance. I certainly won’t be transferring to any pro-GFA candidate.

  • However the TUV statement on the meeting was worded in such a way that the media would take this opinion.

    Surely it was a joint statement by Allister and Empey? Doesn’t that make Reg look even more stupid?

  • Driftwood

    The UUP should merge with Icesave and the IFA.

  • Half Pint

    “It was not a TUV statement – it was a joint statement by Reg Empey and Jim Allister which means they both had to approve it’s contents. Reg clearly mustn’t have understood the text in front of him.”

    Nonsense. The statement is clear. Both sides agree that Unionists need to transfer to other Unionists. It says no more and no less. It doesn’t even say which Unionist party they should transfer to. If there is any confusion it is in the minds of the media and some people on this blog.

  • Continental Drifter

    The fact is Reg reckons it is better to vote for Allister than Alliance.

    This from a guy who wants “bread and butter politics”.

    Quite.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Um, it *is*, from an Ulster Unionist standpoint, better to transfer down to the TUV rather than the Alliance. What with them being Unionists and the Smugs being ever so anxious to assure us that they’re not. It would, in reverse, be like bewailing the Alliance for not transferring to people who are also Smug.

  • THEBIGMAN

    anybody know the name of the dup candiate?

  • Um, it *is*, from an Ulster Unionist standpoint, better to transfer down to the TUV rather than the Alliance.

    Thanks for making that clear to us all. It’s appreciated.

  • autocue

    Half Pint

    “Nonsense. The statement is clear. Both sides agree that Unionists need to transfer to other Unionists. It says no more and no less. It doesn’t even say which Unionist party they should transfer to. If there is any confusion it is in the minds of the media and some people on this blog.”

    Oh dear, no need to get nasty now! Just because Reg has dropped Jim like a hot brick. The fact is that this was a fine example of Reg’s ineptitude as a leader – one day he’s advocating pluralism, the next day he’s embracing the red-neck fringe.

    As for the TUV it demonstrates just how fundamentally motivated by hatred of other people they.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Okay Sammy, since you’re such a paradigm of open-mindedness (unlike us Unionist hoors), do tell – when you’re transferring down one of your beloved PR/STV/whatever ballot papers, which candidates who *don’t* support your fundamental political philosophy do you habitually support (and why)? Or was all that slabber up above really nothing more than a wee bit of late morning, getting into practice for the afternoon, reflexive Smuggery?

  • Tory

    The biggest problem with this whole story is the undue prominence it has given to the TUV. I tend, on this, to agree with the DUP view that they lack much support, but events like this and the associated coverage give Allister etc a platform.

    If we see a Conservative & UUP candidate under a joint brand in next year’s elections, than I think our (Conservative) view would be that any expressed policy on transfers should only be stated in fairly general terms and should neither specify one party nor involve pacts or detailed negotiations with the same.

  • cynic

    Ahhh yes

    2 X 0 = ??

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    “The biggest problem with this whole story is the undue prominence it has given to the TUV”. Um, in terms of actual-factual votes cast, the TUV are demonstrably and markedly more prominent than the NI Tories.

  • darth rumsfeld

    ahem
    “I tend, on this, to agree with the DUP view that they lack much support”

    pot. kettle. black.
    It’s a cert that the Conservative input into this election will be strictly limited in practice (regardless of the dressing up) to wedge. That may mean JimmyNick’s posters and literature being produced centrally in pasterl blues and greens instead of Orange and purple; it may mean he adorns the back row of a PEB group shot of Tory non-entities.

    But he’ll don the ould sash, and beat the ould drum on the stump as he did before, and he’ll drone on about the need to beat the Shinner with nary a glance at Brown or Clegg. That’s the whole point of the meeting with TUV mate. And wait for the next meeting with Purves for their few thousand votes too. Geddit???

    Though we hear Dungannon wasn’t exactly sweetness and light last night, and storm clouds are gathering over the other two meetings of UUP hi heid yins. They’re worried about being linked too closely to Dave. It must be confusing for the poor lambs- a leader who chucks his core values and ignores the concerns of his base who’s ..er..popular. Shome mishtake shurely?

  • Tory

    ‘Why am I …’ –

    I would be careful about extrapolating from one council by-election.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    I can quite see why you would want to be excessively careful about extrapolating anything from *any* NI elections, as far as the TI Tories are concerned.

  • Tory

    LOL Darth.

    Literally, the words of the dark side.

  • common sense

    Sammy Morrison has gotten one over on the UUP? My god Sir Reg and his cronies must be thick as two planks!

  • Eire

    I espy all the hallmarks of a sting against the (noble) union, and indeed the uup and tuv by, as ever, perfidious eire. sure twasn’t the irish times that started this story?

  • Tory

    “I can quite see why you would want to be excessively careful about extrapolating anything from *any* NI elections, as far as the TI Tories are concerned.”

    Why –

    What is clear is that proper ideological politics needs to and is going to Northern Ireland if this place is to have a better future and, indeed, if the TUV dream of non-mandatory coalition is ever to have a cat-in-hell’s chance of being realised.

    And we will be an important part of that change.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Are you seriously asking ‘why?’, or will the answer supply an element of your GCSE coursework currently obscure to you?

    The reason why NI Tories close their eyes, cover their ears and start whistling whenever *real* NI votes are being cast is because they get so pitifully few of them. Or perhaps in that famed council by-election you should have put a stop to all this silliness, you know, by standing? Shure, you’d have been weighing them, not counting them . . .

  • Tory

    Why, I say ‘Why’ as I am paraphrasing your name. Suggest you select a pithier pseudonym!

    We have stated that, come what may, we will be standing in all 18 constituencies for the Westminster Poll. Will the TUV be doing likewise?

  • darth rumsfeld

    oh dear
    Tory needs to lie down in a dark corner with a loop tape of the collected speeches of Barak Obama. It won’t make his perspective any more realistic, but it’ll create the illusion that the sun’ll come out tomorrow! tomorrow!

    The specky nerds who make Michael Gove look like Ricky Hatton comprising the NI Tories may think it’s a clever idea to nest cuckoo-like in the UUP, but the host bird is all clapped out, the nest’s falling apart from years of neglect, and there’s a ravenous fox called Punt waiting to gobble em up anf crunch on the bones as soon as the plucky little fledgling flops out of the nest.

  • darth rumsfeld

    … oh and may I be the first to open the book on the West Belfast by election- Norman St John Polevaulter (Con) versus Rainbow George- for that coveted last place?

  • darth rumsfeld

    damn- meant general election natch

  • autocue

    “The specky nerds who make Michael Gove look like Ricky Hatton comprising the NI Tories may think it’s a clever idea to nest cuckoo-like in the UUP, but the host bird is all clapped out, the nest’s falling apart from years of neglect, and there’s a ravenous fox called Punt waiting to gobble em up anf crunch on the bones as soon as the plucky little fledgling flops out of the nest.”

    Quote of the month, nay best quote yet on this subject!

    The thing that I simply cannot comprehend is that the UUP seems so craven towards those self-same specky-nerds at the cost of alienating other potential UUP supporters i.e. no condemnation of Jeffrey Peel’s comments re. the Loyal Orders from Reg, who the UUP never tire pointing out is actually an Orangeman.

  • Reader

    darth rumsfeld: damn- meant general election natch
    If anything happens to poor Gerry Adams in the next month or so you had better hope the PSNI win the race to your doorstep…

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Won’t MI5 be the first there? After all, they’re going to be the ones most p*ssed off. All that time, money and effort . . .

  • Reader

    Why am I still a… Um, it *is*, from an Ulster Unionist standpoint, better to transfer down to the TUV rather than the Alliance. What with them being Unionists and the Smugs being ever so anxious to assure us that they’re not.
    It depends on who you think your (remaining) voters are. About 50% of the time I vote UUP. Alliance or one of the saner Independents tend to get the rest of my votes or transfers. That’s normally based on what I think of the candidates.
    The only time unionism can count on my vote is on referendum day. And as for the EU elections, even if I do vote UUP as first preference, I won’t transfer to the DUP or TUV.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Go the whole hog Reader: you’re smug enough to vote Alliance, but do you know your abgang from your vitis labrusca? Do you sneer at people who don’t send their kids to integrated schools? Have you actually summoned up the courage in public to bemoan your own [sic] side’s ‘primitivism’, or ‘backwardness’, or ‘short-sightedness’. When you manage to do all three one day, up behind you will pop an automated Monica McWilliams shouting out ‘Bingo!’ and there and then you’ll get your first Quango placement. It’s a grand old world, this slightly superior, faux-self-hate affecting schtick.

    All of which is a long way of saying – I’m pretty sure that Unionist voters are Unionist voters.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    That was bad tempered, and worse, unfair inasmuch as I suspect we essentially agree that non-sectarian Unionism is the beau ideal. My gripe is that, too often people who think like that can too freely adopt the rhetoric of people positively opposed to Unionism, with the result that not merely does it become their version of ‘Unionism’ become non-sectarian, it also becomes non-unionist.

  • Continental Drifter

    Alliance may be smug, but their not pretentious backwoodsmen like Allister and his cronies.

    My question was how can a party that wants to get on with “bread and butter” politics justify telling the electorate to ignore them come vote time?

    The UUP’s as sectarian as the rest of them.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    “Pretentious backwoodsmen” has to be up there with “simplistic quantum physicists”, “warm snow” & “blackish white”. Indeed, it’s gems like “Pretentious backwoodsmen” that – jerking on the invisible thread – keep me coming back to Slugger. Anyway, just because you’re not paying attention to the non-constitutional policy platforms put forward by any of the UUP, DUP or TUV doesn’t mean that they don’t have them. It just markedly increases the likelihood that you’re a sectarian cove yourself who sees in themmuns habits he’d never see in usums.

  • Llamedos

    When are the UUP top oligarchy going to learn to be self confident stand up for your own beliefs politicos, whose brand of secular non sectarian politics, does not involve inappopriate excursions into getting into bed with the two of the bunch of the four sectarian parties still scratting around playing their obscene method of ethnic, tribal and grossly non secular games of political in fighting. What does it matter to the Conservative and Unionist political force to whom their first choice voters give their second preference. Stay aloof and do not get involved in this macabre tribal dancing ritual. Under no circumstances in the future fall again for these little games. Beware of the DUP, TUV and PUP when they come along bearing phials of bitter political poison. Let them self destruct. The majority of fair minded voters are fed up to their very back teeth with this time wasting and destructive manoeuvering, they will not stand for it and the number of people voting will continue to reduce.Then hopefully we can break this situation and run two candidates in the future.

  • Yvette Doll

    “What a shambolic excuse for a leader Reg Empey is. He just couldn’t help himself trying to get one over the DUP by embracing Allister publicly in this way”

    He has a great office, I’d have a pact with him for the view, I really like that cinema.

    SF are going to have a pact with the NASUWT, in future all kids get punished twice, or even three times, it is a no nonsense devolved & bespoke law and order Botany Bay issue.

    If I was Sir Reg, I would ask NICCY to mediate, we’re talking about great ( Unionist) kids, who need to max their vote, the TUV, are basically just a little wild.

    So if Sir Reg has a cunning plan, I am cunningly supporting it, and him.

    Best wishes

    Yvette Doll

  • Yvette Doll

    “Alliance may be smug, but their not pretentious backwoodsmen like Allister and his cronies.”

    Get anything you need to rely on in writing with the Alliance Party. A backwoodsmen is potentially as good as his handshake.

    Yvette Doll

  • IJP

    Llamedos

    Spot on.

  • Jonathan Kennedy

    “Gordon Brown has done terrifically well in handling this crisis and my confidence in him has been restored. He looks very much on top of things. There is a real bounce to his step these days and I am glad to see it.

    “Bringing Peter Mandelson back was a stroke of genius which should unite the party. Let us see what happens the next time some lower ranking government official or whip steps out of line. Let’s see how long they last,” said Sylvia Hermon to Liam Clarke in today’s News Letter.

    Any other residents of North Down care to comment on discovering they actually have a Labour MP?

    Interesting how Liam Clarke frames the choice facing Reg Empey, potentially losing Sylvia if he goes for the Conservative option, or using their resources to help retain Jim Nicholson’s apparently rocky European seat. Is it really as stark as that? I would have thought that retaining an MP at Westminster would be more valuable than an MEP…

    What if Reg went for the Conservative option and if he lost Sylvia somehow, perhaps she could be shunted up to the Lords as a crossbencher?

  • Interested observer

    ‘I would have thought that retaining an MP at Westminster would be more valuable than an MEP…’

    MMm lets think about that. How valuable would that Labour supporting MP be when facing a Conservative majority? More like a liability methinks.

    whereas Tory voting MEP in Brussels who is willing to follow Cameron into a new group.

    Bye Sylvia

  • That was bad tempered

    And unbearably smug, from someone who spends their time attacking Alliance for being smug.

    Okay Sammy, since you’re such a paradigm of open-mindedness (unlike us Unionist hoors), do tell – when you’re transferring down one of your beloved PR/STV/whatever ballot papers, which candidates who *don’t* support your fundamental political philosophy do you habitually support (and why)?

    I transfer down the entire ballot paper. Nothing like putting the person you hate most last. My higher transfers move around some quite surprising places based at least as much on competence as ideology.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Ah, reliably graceless, eh Sammy? Corks, but we could do with more of your sort round here! You of course have refused to answer my question, instead taking refuge in that absurd, slightly more than marginally dishonest line that, transferring down the ballot indicates support. The truth is that you behave exactly the way you were sanctimoniously berating slate-voting Unionists for doing – you support people you support, then you meaninglessly palm off those you don’t support with 13th preferences &c;. But it was a fine piece of Smug slabber all the same.