Conservatives and Ulster Unionists – past, present and future

Yesterday David Shiels provided an interesting historical analysis of the UUP’s relationship with the Conservative Party in the Belfast Telegraph. Tonight, no link as yet, David Cameron ahead of his speech at party conference on Saturday, outlines in the paper his commitment to Northern Ireland as an integral region of the UK.

If, as a party, we form the next Government of the United Kingdom, local Conservative and Unionist MPs will take their rightful places on the Government benches and, potentially, in Government itself.

  • frustrated democrat

    see NI Conservatives web site for copy

  • Not that interesting an analysis I thought Michael. For example, the last line about the powerful pro-union strand in the Tory party. I assume he means pro-Ulster Unionist Party strand. The two are not at all the same.

  • … local Conservative and Unionist MPs …

    Had he any hints on who these might be, and in which constituencies?

    It sounds just a bit fanciful.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I think that is for the electorate to decide Horseman.

  • WindsorRocker

    “potentially” in ministerial jobs…….

    aye right.

    I’m potentially a professional golfer……

  • Michael Shilliday

    Best get off to Malone Golf Club then, not going to make that dream happen sitting there are you?

  • ??

    so the grand uup plan is revealed its all about jobs for the boys in the next tory government.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Yeah, the scandal, imagine, a political party wanting to govern. Something must be done.

  • ??

    except the UUP wont govern, but told what to do and when to do it, they`ll be lucky to get a job making tea.

  • Driftwood

    Well, they will get my vote next time. Not a fan of all Tory policies, but I like the idea of voting for a party than can excercise REAL power in a REAL parliament.

  • Cahal

    Driftwood, why didn’t you vote conservative last time around? They’ve been running candidates up north for ages.

  • Observer

    ??

    The concept of “Jobs for the Boys” (and girls!) was invented in Norn Ireland. The UUP practiced it for years on the Unionist side and then the DUP took over the task of refining the project. They even changed Ministers on a mid stream rotational basis to make sure more of the boys felt that they had got a job.In politics, “jobs for the boys” means more money in the bulging pay packets. The DUP ran out of boys for the jobs so they invented dual mandate and when that started to overflow they refined triple mandate. “Jobs for the boys” is rampant in local government and various positions are a nice little earner for doing little extra work.

    The Alliance Party, who come across all motherhood and apple pie, have their collective noses buried deep in the trough of jobs for the boys but hide it better than the rest. They are good at it and can still retain a pious face when it is mentioned

    The Womans Coalition were the champions of “jobs for the boys” oops “girls”. They made themselves available for every quango job going since they couldn’t get a sufficent mandate to claim their own political positions.

    Don’t know enough about the Nationalist side of the camp to comment but I’m sure they are no different.

  • Dec

    I think that is for the electorate to decide Horseman.

    This truism didn’t stop you linking to Cameron’s wildly optimistic (considering the UUP has a single, Labour-inclined MP) speech.

  • frustrated democrat

    Garibaldy

    There is a strong pro union strand in the Conservative party and always has been.. and they are now in the ascendant. No more wishy washy ‘no selfish interest’.. it is now ‘we are 100% pro union’.

    So we now have a major party in GB saying we are unionist, a major step forward for all unionists in NI.

  • FD,

    My point is that the Tory party has always been unionist, in practice as well as name. That has never changed. I don’t think there has ever been an anti-union strand for example, so I find it a weird statement. What has fluctuated is the attitude to a particular party, not the union. As for the no selfish strategic or economic interest comment, the two are not incompatible as far as I can see. Cameron will not be saying the opposite, or acting like it.

  • Richard James

    Garibaldy,

    There has been an anti-union strand. For example Jeffrey Archer is on record as desiring a united Ireland. Fortunately the better angels have won through :o)

  • Ulsters my homeland

    It’s a sad day for the UUP (N.I. Party), their forefathers Carson and Craig would be turning in their grave at them surrendering their Ulster identity to the, every so eager, Irish grabbing Tories.

    Who’s going to grab the Ulster identity?

  • elvis parker

    “potentially” Windsorrocker that’s potentially as in ‘could be’ in a UK Govt influencing Uk policy on tax, etc as opposed to Never for SDLP, SF and the DUP

    Ulster Homeland – you are obviously poorly versed in Ni history when you say:
    ‘their forefathers Carson and Craig would be turning in their grave at them surrendering their Ulster identity’
    Carson had no Ulster identity and loathed the devolved Parliament you Duper Ulster nationalists love so much.

  • Driftwood

    Cahal, I now have a choice, to vote for a party of government. I didn’t before, The NI Conservatives were not serious players. I hope the UUP keep this pact alive and serious. It’s the only hope for Unionist non fundamentalist religious freaks/headers to forge ahead. And a secular party that can attract the moderate , nominally, RC vote, that does’nt want to vote for murderers (SF)or wannabee pretendy ‘socialists'(SDLP).

  • LURIG

    Is it any real surprise the UUP is dying on it’s arse? This is weathercock policies, what way is the wind blowing? Shuffle the cards, deal and then look at the best hand. First a PUP pact and now the Tories. It is the Marie Celeste party sailing nowhere fast. The UUP have NO credibility left and Sir Reg’s leadership is looking increasingly desperate and clueless. A party must have direction and credible policy, the UUP has neither. It’s no wonder members are up in arms and Sylvia Herman is an oasis of sense in a desert of nothing!

  • darth rumsfeld

    Drifty garibaldy and co
    Historical fact. The highest achiever within the Tory party as an Ulster Unionist was actually Edward Carson, who was in Lloyd George’s was cabinet and even talked of as potential leadership material. His political swansong was vitriolic denunciation of the Tories for exploiting Ireland as part of “the game”. Read his speech in the Lords and Birkenhead’s callous rejection of an old ally and you’ll see the true depth of the Tories commitment to the Union

    The Tories went a wee bit further in 1912 than Dave boy is likely to tomorrow – Bonar Law talking of things greater than parlimentary majorities, and F E Smith bouncing around UVF rallies like some toffee nosed Tigger. There were strong links pre-WW 1 ( as opposed to the earlier arms length exploitation of Randolph Churchill’s era- lionising them to their face and calling them “foul” in private).
    Since the high point of Carson in cabinet, what?
    Robin Chichester Clark as a PPS in the 60s about sums it up- “who he?”, say all the pro-merger enthusiasts. Exactly.

    And now? The chance for David Trimble to get a seat in the cabinet is realistically the height of the UUP’s ambition ( though he’s ..er.. not actually in the UUP now, after his stunning leadership). Noone else will get even close to Robin Chi Chi’s ..ahem…giddy ascent to the middle of the bottom third of the greasy pole.

    Tories want power, and will do nearly anything to get it. Including suckering poor unloved UUP members into thinking they’ve got a friend- on the off chance there might be a couple of seats in a hung parliament they need. In return they’ll happily punt a couple of hundred grand from their warchest to the cash strapped UUP

    And that’s all folks. Read any more into Tory overtures and you’ll be even more devastated than Jim Molyneaux was in Novemebr 1985 . Remember Thatcher actually said ” I am a Unionist and a Loyalist” at the time. Aye , right

  • oneill

    Tories want power, and will do nearly anything to get it.

    Whatever happens, the Dupers are likely to have more than a couple of seats and play a pivotal role in any hung parliament; so, why then go to the unneccessary trouble of getting their dander up, polluting Ulster with all this pluralist, One Nation Unionism nonsense?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Ulster Homeland –

    “[i]you are obviously poorly versed in Ni history when you say:
    ‘their forefathers Carson and Craig would be turning in their grave at them surrendering their Ulster identity’
    Carson had no Ulster identity and loathed the devolved Parliament you Duper Ulster nationalists love so much.[/i]

    elvis parker… if what you say is true, why did he sign the Ulster Covenant?