Tory UUP reflections

The sole UUP MP Sylvia Hermon is taking time to reflect on the new pact (in the present circumstances this is a topic that can afford to wait). Meanwhile UU columnists are divided with Alex Kane a fan and Roy Garland displeased (although Chekov argues his displeasure is incoherent). Ignited wants a calmer approach all round with more focus, a better message and preferably with a bit more caution from the NI Conservatives.

  • Blue Rinse Brigade

    Kane slags off the Tory party for all the horrifically awfully unbelievably shocking things they did to Northern Ireland, then has a go at Cameron…and yet he’s still in favour??

    Ah yes, who needs enemies…

    The Great Sage of the UUP and his own brand of written tripe. Tell me, did he have anything to do with the ‘decent people’ slogan??

  • Silver Line

    Hermon has to stand by her convictions and go solo?

  • snoopy

    Well as Kane is now reportedly director of communications for the UUP, he isn’t exactly likely to condemn the tory pact idea..

    Roy Garland gives a more interesting take on it

  • Roy Garland gives a more interesting take on it

    What makes it interesting for you, snoopy?

    I have to agree with Chekov, regardless of his actual views on the subject, it was a badly written piece. He starts:

    A few months ago I gave a guarded welcome to a vague UUP/Tory link-up but the TUV pact conflicts with the pluralist motives supposedly underlying the Tory link-up.

    There is no pact, so that’s not a very good start and it goes steadily downhill from there…

    There are arguments (from a Unionist point of view) to be made against the link-up; Garland, unfortunately, hasn’t made them and has instead rolled out a whole pile of lazy cliches.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    I stopped being a UUP member when Reg gave the whip at Stormont to the squalid, murdering, sectarian gangsters who comprise the UVF/UDA/PUP/whatever alphabet soup of druggies, chavs and psychos who surrounded the late “Brigadier B8llshit”. I held my nose and went on voting UUP though. Indeed, after the excellent news of the last week, I was about to give them some wonga. But if that $£*&wit;Kane really is Dir Comms, DUP here I come. And I’ll be bringing my £££friends with me.

  • My counter to Garland’s piece was a bit of a rant. There’s a more considered view on the deal here.

  • observer

    Rumour has it some in North Down are looking around for sylvias replacement for the next gen election

  • Yam

    Peter Weir MP IS ON THE HORIZON. He’d be much better because he um… used to be anti-agreement.

  • Disinterested observer

    Is Alex Kane the UUP Dir of Comms – I thought he was a columnist with the News Letter?

  • Dec

    I stopped being a UUP member when Reg gave the whip at Stormont to the squalid, murdering, sectarian gangsters who comprise the UVF/UDA/PUP/whatever alphabet soup of druggies, chavs and psychos who surrounded the late “Brigadier B8llshit”…DUP here I come.

    Aah, the irony…

  • Granni Trixie

    When mulling over question of the ‘UUP and tories’, I always return to the question: whats in it for the UUp or the Conservatives?. The latter have nothing to lose but the UUP project a loss of identity and will lose support. Their swan song? (especially should Lady S jump ship to another party).

  • i have to pay my rates

    At a meeting in the Holyland tonight where representatives of the UUP, DUP, Alliance and SF were present a member of the public pointed out that approximtely £3 000 000 (£3 million) worth of rate free income is handed out to landlords every year and that approximately 13% of the Council’s budget in Belfast has to be spent in the Holyland (cleaning up the waste created by the rate free houses). This is not exactly each to their need is it? The same person pointed out that there was no reduction in rents to take account of no rates so the landlords kept all the money from everybody.Go figure.

  • William

    Hey ‘I have to pay my rates’

    What has your gripe about rates got to do with the UUP/Tory link up????

    Please enlighten me !!

  • PeaceandJustice

    Silver Line – “Hermon has to stand by her convictions and go solo?”

    Herman should stand as the first Labour Party candidate in Northern Ireland. That’s the party she feels comfortable with and it would also help to normalise NI politics with both Labour and the Conservatives putting up candidates.

  • Granni Trixie,

    The Ulster Unionists and Northern Ireland on the whole have much to gain from the UUP/Tory link up. For the UUP there is a very good chance of participating in a future UK government, there is the opportunity of bringing a normalisation of politics here(which can only stabilise the union) and there is the inevitable influx of Tory resources and voters.

    People from N.I. will finally have a real chance to get involved in national politics, the UUP can gain signifigant electoral support from being the party that made this happen.

    The link up allows the UUP an opportunity to move politics here beyond the sectarian headcount of the DUP/SF axis, a feat that can not be achieved by the much ridiculed Alliance party.

  • Silver Line

    Peter Weir MP IS ON THE HORIZON. He’d be much better because he um… used to be anti-agreement.

    Not sure he can win even if Hermon goes solo it would be to close to call.

  • i have to pay my rates

    I dont understand your point in calling what I had to say a “gripe”. My point is that this social inequality and glaring anomaly is just one of the things that our elected representatives should be doing their best to remedy. As for the UUP if they are more interested in joining the Eton old boys club where they will always be regarded as culchies then so be it. I would have thought that their own people are more important – but hey, what do I know. Thank God that I am not a politician and that I can still get angry about real injustice. You should just continue “debunking” each other and being frightfully clever. The rest of us who live in the real world will continue trying to help all of our fellow men. The only thing that people here seem to get passionate about is hating each other and sniping at each other and at posters who try to make what they think is a valid apolitical and social point. Pip Pip Sweet William

  • Long John Silver

    While Garland may have written his piece very poorly, is it not true that UUP did have discussions with TUV about electoral cooperation?

    Even if not a full blown pact, the close proximity between those discussions and the Tories deal have to raise eyebrows?

    Im SDLP voting so don’t have a wonderful grasp of unionist politics, but Empey to me has been an inconsistent disaster. Maybe this latest move will steady the ship, but his inconsistencies still have to be noted, and I think, criticised.

  • Granni Trixie

    Emmanuel G.: Alliance may be subject to ridicule on occasion,but ask yourself why a small party has survived despite the odds?.

    Also, there is much to suggest that it often punches above its numerical strength(to mix metaphors).Look at the number of politically sensitive positions,especially in the realm of Justice, where Alliance or its supporters are trusted to do the necessary.

    So talk of Herman being the one to ‘cross the divide’,create new, non-sectarian politics etc is reinventing the wheel.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Whilst I am broadly with Alex Kane on this one and Roy did ramble around a bit I think at this stage a major concern has to be that the UUP conservative alliance may well turn out to be purely academic. It’s a good notion to have NI representatives at the heart of a new conservative administration but what happens if no one gets elected? With Sylvia displaying some reticence over this the one and only UUP safe seat is back into play. There is the possibility that she will not stand at all and a new UUP Conservative candidate would emerge but outside of that I would expect a 3 way fight to significantly help the DUP. Equally of course it may work out fine and she is simply not prioritising answering queries about this at a time when she is mourning her husband’s loss. It seems to me from the comments of Alex (yes he is the Dir of Communications) that the notions of a pact in FST and SB are off the table. This makes none of the other seats an obvious pickup for the UUP/Cons. So where will these new UUP/Con MP’s actually come from? I would like to think that SA (obviously close to my own heart) is a possibility but it’s an uphill struggle and it will be hard to know what the boundary changes will have done to the electoral map in SA. Glengormley effectively went into N.Belfast so who will that impact on most? That is hard to call. It’s also interesting that the pact removes the idea of dual mandates so where is this cadre of new Westminster only UUP friendly Cameroons going to emerge from? Its going to be a dilemma this one.

  • Comrade Stalin


    North Down is where the Conservative Party got their all time – ever – worst result in the by-election in 1995. North Down is the most unfathomable constituency out of the 18, it never votes the way you might expect.

    I really do not see where the UUP are going to go with this Tory hookup. There’s no evidence that it will be even faintly successful. More marketing-degree thinking from the guys who came up with “decent people ..”.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    It is something that strikes me as being conceptually attractive in that the idea of more normalised politics is to be welcomed but at a practical level it seems fraught with difficulties. The attachment to the wider movement may be advantageous if it provides access to skills and policy making professionalism that is lacking in UUP HQ but is the UUP going to move to adapt to the kind of policy agenda that a Cameron administration would want to follow? If the polices are for England only what is the selling point to a local constituency? If the ideas are also to be applicable to a local administration will this mean a redrafting of UUP policy to adopt these ideas? Or will local Stormont policy be distinctively UUP?

    There is no data to tell us if this will play with the electorate and attract support. The question is raised about what kind of Tory local voters would be anyway, will they want to vote for Cameroons or will they want old style Rhodes Boyson (he was a great character though) kind of Conservatives? I would like to hope the former I deeply suspect the latter. There just seems to be nothing beyond hope that there is a mass of unionist voters who will be attracted to the linkup as offering a new kind of representation. I would really like to see it work but I suspect the difference between the UUP and Cons/UUP will be much like the difference between a Marathon and a Snickers and will have about as much impact.

  • After various bizarre and abortive alliances, the Ulster Unionist Party has turned, in its desperation, to David Cameron’s Tory Party. Perhaps they hope we have all forgotten the Tory record of betrayal over the last few decades.

    Edward Heath closed down Stormont’s unionist government in 1972. Margaret Thatcher told us that we were as British as Finchley (her constituency), then gave the foreign state of the Irish Republic an unprecedented say in our affairs in the 1980s. She was followed by John Major, who secretly negotiated with the Provos while pretending to find the idea sickening.

    Beginning with Willie Whitelaw, Tory spokesmen on Northern Ireland have been a succession of Monty Python-type “upper class twits”. Since the current shadow cabinet is packed with third-rate public schoolboys, we can look forward to more of the same. Behind the scenes I detect the great Lord Trimble, whose supporters reduced the UUP to its present sorry state.

    I am aware of the desperate need of the Ulster Unionists to find funding from somewhere, but it seems their bankruptcy is as much moral as financial. I am not surprised that Michael McGimpsey does not want to jeopardise his cushy ministerial status but I expected better from such as Lady Hermon and Fred Cobain. As for those who suggest that the Democratic Unionists are envious of this relationship with the Tories, I trust the DUP will continue to represent Ulster’s best interests by keeping them at arm’s length.

  • elvis parker

    I ah see the ‘Ourselves Alone’ strand of unionism alive and well with John Hudddlestone and Duncan’s attitude seems to be it might not work so lets not try.
    There is considerable polling and focus group evidence to suggest this alliance will work – if it is sold as a radical new departure from the past.

    Duncan ‘what happens if no one gets elected’ – would the UUP be worse off being on the Opposition benches with one MP or having their ally as PM Mmmmm…

  • observer

    There is considerable polling and focus group evidence to suggest this alliance will work…………

    easy way to test that , let sylvia stand down as well as local councillors and run them as tories and see what happens? No? hmmm

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton


    What polling and focus group evidence and where can I get a copy of that? You also condition the evidence as being dependant on it being sold as a radical new departure from the past. So is the necessity that it be ‘sold’ as such or that it actually be a reality? My concern is that it needs to be a reality for it to work but that the outworking of that is going to be painful for a lot of the vested interests in the UUP to cope with and they will resist it vociferously.

    I am not against it at all I am just a bit pessimistic about the likely outcome (but that is my nature). I like the idea myself and I am a Tory voter on the mainland and was an active member of the Conservatives for 7 years from age 16 to 23 when I moved to NI and joined the UUP, I drifted back to the NI Conservatives for a short time when Alex Kane was in it and ran as a Conservative in Strangford in the Forum elections in 1996 (got a grand total of 380 votes!) but went back to the UUP soon after. I have remained a UUP supporter since (well in the UK, in the USA I was a student Democrat). My tedious life story aside I really hope it works and I happen to agree with Alex that there is an untapped pool of unionist voters available. I am however concerned that superficial commitment to a new kind of unionism will be ineffective and will not be electorally successful.

  • Zoonpol

    I remain optimistic.