Cameron’s address to UUP conference

Conservative Party leader David Cameron’s address to the UUP conference in full. Well, in two parts. Second half below the fold.
Second half of David Cameron’s address to UUP conference.

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  • dodrade

    When Cameron says that the Con/UUP will stand in every Westminster seat, does he include the Speaker’s? That would break recent precedent, Martin was given a free run by the three main parties last time, though not by the SNP.

    A unionist pact still can’t be ruled out, the UUP could stand aside in SB and/or FST and let a token Conservative NI candidate run.

  • Blinding

    Any neutral or nationalist that votes for this amalgamation can have no doubt that they have crossed the rubicon and have become unionist.

    There was absolutely nthing here for the non unionist and seemingly deliberately so.

    There target new voters must be the “garden centre” unionist that we hear so much about.

    All neutral/nationalist/republican leaning voters should listen to this speech but I am tempted to save them the trouble and declare

    Nothing to see/hear for you here.

    Alas though a new house it is still a cold one for non unionists.

  • bobwilson

    Great speech aimed at all of those that recognise reality – that NI is part of the UK but needs to have a new politics that moves it on from the tired politics of orange and green.
    Aimed at the 2/3 that are happy with the union but not derogatory of nationaism.
    The beginnning of an attempt to redefine unionism away from Protestantism to a more inclusive framework which those who may be Irish or Catholic can feel at ease with

  • LURIG

    This is the UUP & Tories lecturing Nationalists “You are British and always will be so get used to it”. The message being that Irish Nationalists have NO right to be Irish Nationalists. It is arrogant, patronising, bigoted Colonial nonsense that went out with the lowering of Victoria’s coffin in 1901. It is also desperation politics from Empey and has Trimble’s paws all over it. Outside North Down and parts of South Belfast it will NO impact on politics here and will only alienate people like Sylvia Hermon and Fred Cobain. It is downright stupid because people in BOTH communities have no love for the Tories. In Catholic eyes they are racist, right wing class ridden snobs while Protestants still hold them guilty for the Anglo-Irish Agreement. The hypocrisy from Reg Empey is also quite nauseating. It wasn’t that long ago that he was telling the SDLP that pacts with Fianna Fail would destabilise the North and now this. It is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The UUP have raised heckles and bitter memories within the Catholic community and totally alienated large parts of the Protestant community into the bargain.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    This is utterly reckless stuff from Cameron. The use of the words ‘selfish and strategic’ will be deemed by many Irish Republicans as a threat to roll back a stated British position which was central to the achievement of the ceasefire. He is actually rubbing their noses in it. Is he a complete madman? Does he not understand where such behaviour will take us?

    Also, not once did he even allude to some sort of strategy to make the Union attractive, or even acceptable to Nationalists. Is his position, 50%+1 is enough, so go to hell?

    He also seems to think that he can make Northern Ireland a viable, lon-term political, economic and social entity. He’s wired to the moon.

    On the basis of that speech, it would be reasonable to be concerned that if he becomes Prime Minister, he’ll make a mess of NI.

  • Alan

    It was light-weight, jingoistic and attention-seeking flannel.

    Cam came, raised a cheer and flounced off with fringe a-flap. He couldn’t even stay for Reg’s speech.

    Cam’s speech rambled across the constitution, the military and back again. It added no new analysis to Northern Ireland politics, concentrating instead on fashioning verbal bunting.

    I gave up counting the number of UU’s whose hands resolutely refused to move to Cam’s exhortations. It was, however, sad to see the dominating enthusiasm of the majority.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Posh Boy David Cameron (PBDC) could be expected to make a very pro-union speech given who he was adressing and I think he succeeded very well in doing that. In reality the Tories have signed up to the GFA and therfore PBDC can only pretend that Norn Iron is as British as Kent. But this is exccellent news for Nationalists setting the DUP and the Tories at each other throats and splitting the Unionist vote. Such is the architecture of the GFA that rather than this Alliance being of benefit to Union it is precisely the opposite.

    It will also damage the Tories in Britain as their party will be mired in controversies regarding sectarian marches and utterances from UU members under political pressure from the DUP and be a turn off for Irish voters in the UK (proper) who will be annoyed at PBDC pandering to Unionisism.

    Was his refernce to the border not a hint that their might be some alignment with Corpo Tax in ROI?

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Sammy

    [i]Was his reference to the border not a hint that there might be some alignment with Corpo Tax in ROI?[/i]

    If it was, and he was to impliment such a policy if he was in power, then it might be the undoing of his beloved Union. What if a succeeding government were to repeal it? What effect would that have on any Unionist middle class who were to benefit from it? I doubt he’d bring it in though.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Damien Okado-Gough

    leaving aside his politically offensive language( which is to be expected) do you not agree that this alliance is likely to be good news for Nationalism for the reasons I have given above?

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Sammy,
    You could well be right insofar as they may split the vote to some degree (if they take votes from the DUP), but I’d be really concerned about what the Tories will do if they get back into No. 10.

    Militant Republicanism will not die off and incitement from Cameron isn’t going to help matters. It really was a ‘we won, they lost and we are going to have our way’ speech. Extraordinary short-sightedness from a leader of the Tories.

  • William

    I love to the the Republican / Nationalists posters being sick…McNally, Gough [stick to the Derry Journal mate] and other fools who don’t have a clue what they are talking about…

    The link with the Conservative Party is nothing new…the UUP had a link for many years until the mid-70s and eventually it’s undoing was the Anglo-Irish Agreement, which Mrs. Thatcher was later to acknowledge was a mistake.

    So get real – Northern Ireland is a region of the United Kingdom and will be for the forseeable future [I believe for ever], so it if you wish to continue living in Northern Ireland, then you are going to be British, whether or not you aspire to be Irish.

    So Sammy….get that British passport….it’s cheaper !!!!!

  • William

    TYPO…..’I love to see…..’

  • Greenflag

    Damien Okado-Gough,

    ‘Extraordinary short-sightedness from a leader of the Tories’

    What’s extraordinary about it ? When it comes to matters Ireland and the Irish the Tories have always been shortsighted . It’s par for the course .

    Cameron has to distinguish himself and his party from the ‘tired’ Labour Party thus the new found ‘union’ enthusiasm a harking back to old certainties . Won’t work though – not in Ireland and probably also not in England or Scotland either . And what will poor Reggie do then poor thing ?

    I’m sure SF will have been delighted with Cameron’s ‘reaching out’ to Irish nationalists . Should be worth an extra 2 percent or so come the ‘election’ i.e whenever the next sectarian headcount is held 🙁

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    William,

    “Republican / Nationalists posters being sick”

    This is a shocking strategic blunder by Unionism which needs unity not fragmentation – the alliance that would be bad for Nationalism is the one between the UUP and the DUP. The Tories cannot touch the DUP because they are so Un-British in their beliefs (I grant you the UU are not in the same anti-tolerant league).

    I agree the Tory/UU is an appealing idea but fortunately for the good guys (the Nationalists) the law of unintended cosequences will be the order of the day. Bring it on.

  • frustrated democrat

    So we find out that a leader of a UK party is a passionate supporter of the UK this seems to be surpise to nationalist and republicans who have been accustomed to UK leaders not supporting the union.

    The scene is now set, a UK leader has got off the fence and said what he really thinks about the union and sectarianism – this has damaged UI aspirations possibly beyond repair so nationalist and republicans are right to be concerned.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    God there is nothing, I mean, nothing funnier than reading Republicans on Slugger these days. Ah shure it’s all grand lads – the plan’s coming together, eh? Keep telling yourselves that, but more importantly, keep telling us that, over, and over, and over again. This stuff’s rapidly becoming the Provette equivalent of Andre Previn on Morecambe & Wise. A true comic gem: an Xmas treat for all the family. But something we can look forward to keeping on hearing for years to come.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Was that an attempted rebuttal of something I said?

    Well Slugger-me-this-one if you will when you have stopped sniggering.

    If Posh Boy Dave Cameron (PBDC) and Wee Reggie have some success, which cant be ruled out – surely this is bad news for Unionism as it is likely to be coinciding with SF gradually eroding SDLP support.

    That will almost inevitably lead to a SF as the largest party in the assembly and further fracturing of Unionism?

  • slug

    Sammy

    “surely this is bad news for Unionism as it is likely to be coinciding with SF gradually eroding SDLP support. That will almost inevitably lead to a SF as the largest party in the assembly and further fracturing of Unionism? ”

    An answer to this: No. Surely a competitive political arena is good for the parties and the promotion of ideas. A lack of competition between parties is bad – and this happens when one party gets very far behind the other.

  • Comrade Stalin

    William:

    So Sammy….get that British passport….it’s cheaper !!!!!

    Not anymore. I renewed my British passport a year ago, and it is now a good bit dearer than an RoI one.

  • snaz

    Damien, (And Others).
    If you listened closely it would have confirmed the facts of what Republicans and Nationalists signed up for in 1998.

    You accepted a partioned state on the basis of agreeing to the consent principal.

    94% of our nearest neighbour voted to implment what the UUP had negociated and that Paisely said was impossible. That the Irish state removed their claim over Northern Ireland.

    So you have no need to be alarmed.

    If your political leaders had made you think that a United Ireland or changing the Pro Union majority was simply a matter of time then the events of yesterday will have been a stark reminder.

    You live in an integral part of the United Kingdom.

    The United Kingdom is one of the most tolerant and culturally diverse nations in the world. There is plenty of room for you to join with the millions of other Irish, Indians, Pakistani and various other people who are glad to call the UK there home.

    If you are saying that as a result of a British Government actually valuing Northern Ireland as an important and under utilized part of the UK that Republican Terrorists might start Terrorising the Irish and British people again then shame on you.

    Every single potential Party of Government in Ireland is a pro United Ireland one.

    In the event of a Conservative Government being returned to Westminster with the support of Northern Ireland Unionist MPs and one of them being in the cabinet it will mark a significant milestone in UUP strategy spanning nearly 15 years.

    We will have brought peace and Constitutional Certainty.

    We will have restored devolution.

    We will be sharing power with Nationalists.

    We will be offereing a Unionism based on passion for the United Kingdom and on that basis alone.

    Northern Ireland will be playing a full and constructive (and hopefully a leadership role) in the politics of the United Kingdom.

    Dont threaten the Pro Union people that violence may return simply because Her Majestys Loyal Opposition leader says that HE WILL NEVER BE NEUTRAL on the Union.

    Neither will the vast majority of the people of this great wee region of the worlds 5th biggest economy.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    snaz,

    the GFA is proof that the British do not view Norn Iron as a normal part of the UK – it effectively forces Norn Iron to turn its focus South – Norn Iron ministers are obliged to work with their counterparts in the ROI. Republicans may over sell it and Unionist do the opposite but Kent or Wales it aint.

    slug, you are not surely suggesting that any self-respecting-god-fearing uninoist would swap SF being the largest party so they could have a bit of competition with their fellow Unionists. The real political competition for unionists is SF ( who are hollowing out the UK form the inside) and if you ask any ten good Prods on the Omagh omnibus then about 9.999 will tell you just that.

    This a crazy alliance for Unionism and excellent news for Nationalism and SF in particular. Dont forget Posh Boy David Cameron was economic advisor to the chancellor when the Engleze pound collapsed under the Tories – he will probably be specatularly wrong on this one as well.

  • Disinterested observer

    ‘it effectively forces Norn Iron to turn its focus South – Norn Iron ministers are obliged to work with their counterparts in the ROI.’

    Sammy if you believe that you believe any thing.
    Sure everyone is West Belfast and elsewhere hangs on ever word of the North South bodies – that’s when they arent busy avoiding car from the South up here buying goods.

    I hope the North South bodies start calling for all those British retailers who increasingly dominate the Republic to charge the same basic pre tax prices as the North.

    Any why dont they leave the Euro while they are at it

  • slug

    “slug, you are not surely suggesting that any self-respecting-god-fearing uninoist would swap SF being the largest party so they could have a bit of competition with their fellow Unionists. The real political competition for unionists is SF ( who are hollowing out the UK form the inside) and if you ask any ten good Prods on the Omagh omnibus then about 9.999 will tell you just that.”

    Without competition there is stagnation and complacency. That is why competition in the battle for ideas is important. The way things work SF being the largest party just isn’t that scary any more much as the DUP want us to think so; far more important for the health of the democratic system is the development of a political system based on competition between alternative sets of ideas.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    slug,

    I think you are adopting a sensible attitude to this matter (how to patroinise a Prod) – but you must agree that yours is, and is likely to remain, a minority view within Unionism.

    Disinterested observer,

    re. the Euro – the Engleze pound may come under severe pressure in the months ahead as personal debt in the UK is far higher than in the Euro zone – the British public may well have to change their rather superior attitude to the Euro if the the current run becomes a stampede.

  • Richard James

    “the GFA is proof that the British do not view Norn Iron as a normal part of the UK – it effectively forces Norn Iron to turn its focus South – Norn Iron ministers are obliged to work with their counterparts in the ROI. Republicans may over sell it and Unionist do the opposite but Kent or Wales it aint.”

    Do you imagine British Ministers don’t cooperate with their counterparts in France, Germany or Spain? There is nothing revolutionary here, countries cooperate all the time.

    Although I think you’re missing the big picture. You should be looking at the east/west, not north/south dynamic. The Irish read the Sun, shop in Tescos, and watch Coronation Street. You could as far as to say the RoI is Little Britain!

    “slug, you are not surely suggesting that any self-respecting-god-fearing uninoist would swap SF being the largest party so they could have a bit of competition with their fellow Unionists”

    I’m afraid there isn’t much to be gained by Sinn Fein becoming the largest party. As Martin McGuinness is eager to point, Deputy First Minister is equal in law to the First Minister. Being the largest party won’t allow them to implement a radical Republican agenda, as the present Assembly shows cross-community vetoes ensure there is no progress except on the most minor of issues.

    In contrast the UUP/Conservative link gives Unionists a real voice where it matters, at Westminster. Don’t believe me? It’s Number 10 Gerry and Martin go bawling their eyes out to when the Unionists are being horrid.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Richard James

    “Don’t believe me? It’s Number 10 Gerry and Martin go bawling their eyes out to when the Unionists are being horrid. ”

    Well SF have done a deal with the Englezes which is to deliver Unionism via the STA/GFA. They have to go and remind El Gordo what he has agreed to and he duly delivers – as we just witnessed with the DUP.

    “I’m afraid there isn’t much to be gained by Sinn Fein becoming the largest party.” Have you tried running that theory by the Unionist on the Omagh Omnibus? If you add in a Nationalist majority on Belfast council do you think the Tory/UU funny pact will be very popular amongst Unionist grassroots?

  • Richard James

    “Well SF have done a deal with the Englezes which is to deliver Unionism via the STA/GFA. They have to go and remind El Gordo what he has agreed to and he duly delivers – as we just witnessed with the DUP.”

    So Sinn Fein recognises real power is at Westminster. Note, they didn’t go running to Bertie or Brian.

    “If you add in a Nationalist majority on Belfast council do you think the Tory/UU funny pact will be very popular amongst Unionist grassroots?”

    And how is the UUP-Conservative pact going to lead to a Nationalist majority in Belfast?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ricky,

    “If you add in a Nationalist majority on Belfast council do you think the Tory/UU funny pact will be very popular amongst Unionist grassroots? ”

    That was not worded very well – what I am saying is that at the same time as the UU/Tory alliance is allowing SF to be the largest party in the Assembly – Belfast (which has probably now got more Nationalists than Unionists ) will have a Nationalist majority AS WELL. This will help to make the funny alliance sit even more uncomforatably with Unionists.

  • dub

    sammy,

    could you please explain how one small party on the unionist side changing its name is going to split the unionist vote???

    Also having a future british prime minister effectively tearing up the gfa and spouting rhetoric indistinguisable from that of hard line unionists is NOT good news for nationalism at all. In fact it is a nightmare. There was not one word in this speech addressed to nationalism. Even Thatcher did not come out with this kind of stuff. This guy is meant to be a moderate. He is in fact a hard line British nationalist and this creed has only ever brought death to innocent people in Ireland.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    dub,

    One small party – will make no differnce – but IF and it is a sizeable IF Unionists decide that this funny alliance is a good idea and IF they decide to vote for it in reasonable numbers then it will split the Unionist vote much more so than at present. It will also have the DUP at the Engleze governments poitical throat as the Tories will be depriving the DUP of votes. It will also damage the Tories by association by dragging them through the sectarian mud of Norn Iron politics.

    The GFA is an international agreement ( a fact mentioned by Posh Boy Dave Cameron – probably to remind Unionists and Nationalists that nothing will really change without the ROI consent*). This puts the lie to the – Norn iron is as Britsh as Kent line – he needed to try and give Wee Reggie a much needed leg up and Nationalists will be the main beneficaries if he succeeds. This is going to be excellent entertainment and will make the Euro elections, as mentioned elsewhere, as much fun as song contest.

    *This is other side to the ‘consent principle’ but one not mentioned by Unionists.

  • slug

    The alliance really de-splits the vote in that the UUP and Conservatives will have a joint rather than two separate candidates.

    Its true that if you think in tribal blcok terms then a single party can win you extra seats. But the point here – made several times – is to try and move away from tribal block terms, and attract people to this new Conservative/Unionist political group that previosuly weren’t much interested in politics (either as voter or as activist), and to attract some people from other parties. How far that works is indeed unclear but I think the two parties seem to be making a good fist of it so far.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    slug,

    moving away from “tribal block terms” – the tribes are based on National identity with a topping of religisoity – the Tories contrary to their propaganda are not moving away from Orange and Green – but siding with Orange – remember PBDC is NOT neutral on the Union therfore he is giving it a bit of tribal. That is the reality and you only have to see the reaction of some Nationalists on here to confirm that.

    The Labour party are now the only main Engleze party that will not be seen in “tribal block terms”.

    This is a featue of the sheer desperation of the UU – Wee Reggie is on the rebound from rejection by the Uninoist electorate and he jumps in to bed with the first quarefellah to make him an offer. This shocking politcal promiscuity by Wee Reggie will lead to some serious unpleasentness in the nether regions of both parties.

  • Kathleen

    this has damaged UI aspirations possibly beyond repair so nationalist and republicans are right to be concerned.

    Thats not the way I heard it before the UUP conference. What I heard was that the tories were committed to working with their closest neighbour in the irish republic and would uphold the democratic wishes of the people here. I’d interpet that as support for the GFA and every thing that was agreed in it.

    There’d be no change constitutionally as long as that was the wishes of the people here, read that as some sort of triumphalist statement and you’d be way off base.

    Cameron is not here to change anything that was agreed. Yes he states support for the union, and he’s trying to build a better base for conservativism outside England. But he is a democrat, and if the wishes of the people here were to change to that of a demand for a UI then I believe he’d accomodate that.

    Triumphalism from UUP supporters could wreck what Cameron and reggie are trying to build, a non sectarian party. Get that wrong and kiss good bye to any nationalist support.

  • Kathleen

    There was not one word in this speech addressed to nationalism

    He wasn’t addressing nationalists, he was speaking to his audience. How many times have we seen that before. Every politician does it the world over. Were he to address a reception in the Irish republic for example then his spin would have different emphasis. Most likely emphasis would be on, cooperation and upholding the agreement.

  • slug

    Sammy – the sense in which tribal block is meant is in the old sectarian tribes and thus breaking them down in the same way as they were broken in Liverpool, Glasgow and in the Irish Republic.

  • Damien Okado-Gough

    Snaz,

    [i]If you are saying that as a result of a British Government actually valuing Northern Ireland as an important and under utilized part of the UK that Republican Terrorists might start Terrorising the Irish and British people again then shame on you.

    Dont threaten the Pro Union people that violence may return simply because Her Majestys Loyal Opposition leader says that HE WILL NEVER BE NEUTRAL on the Union.[/i]

    I never said anything of the sort anywhere in any of my posts and it is unfair of you to claim that I did. I merely pointed out that David Cameron is dancing on the grave of militant Republicanism and that that is a stupid and reckless thing to do, given fears that mainstream Republicanism is haemorraging support and members to dissidents. Any reasonable person could see that, Republican or Unionist. It was dangerous triumphalism.

    [i]The United Kingdom is one of the most tolerant and culturally diverse nations in the world.[/i]

    No it’s not. Great Britain is. Northern Ireland is very different from GB in that respect. It has a lot of catching up to do. Anyway, it could be said that the Republic of Ireland is as diverse and tolerant as GB. This is no argument in support of the Union.

    Don’t mistake me for a militant Republican. I’m far from it. I’m certainly a Republican, but one who believes that the consent principle is necessary for any nation to be stable and viable. And I believe that only through people coming to believe that a state represents their best interests will they come to give their allegiance to it. What I pointed out about David Cameron’s speech is that it was completely lacking in anything for me, or any other non-Unionist.

    I’m not at all convinced that membership of the UK is in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland. On the contrary, I believe that it is in our best interests to build a new nation with the other people on this island, one that gives us fiscal control (that means real power and democracy), a shared identity and an possible end to the ethnic division in the island in the long term.

  • eranu

    i really hope they get a few MPs in the next election. it could be the next development for NI after the ‘end of the troubles’ era we’ve had dragging out for the last 10 years. its predictable that republicans on slugger would try to throw mud etc but normal politics is what most people here have been saying they want for ages.
    the message of involving NI in national politics seemed to be being said by everyone featured on the politics show. by the end of the programme i felt like id heard that line enough. it would be good now to hear examples or scenarios of how Westminster NI involvement can influence something, eg the health service, at a level above what the assembly has responsibility for. id like them to move onto some detail fairly soon. too much repeating the ‘NI involvement in national politics’ line will get tired very quickly without any flesh on its bones.

    as regards the tribal voting pacts of the past, scrap them. i think the UU/Con team should put their best candidate up for every constituency. they should have the balls to stand up for their principles. a total rejection of tribal thinking has to start somewhere and it has to be total. in the short term a few more nationalist MPs might get elected, but so what? in the longer term a non tribal party with good policies will be something attractive to everyone in NI. it defeats the purpose of being a non tribal party if they immediately make tribal pacts!

    it will be interesting to see how many SDLP or SF voters decide to vote conservative. no country will continue to exist if a decent sized majority of its population dont want it to. if that ever happens then fair enough. thats all been agreed. bread and butter issues and the real politics of current events are what matters now and for the foreseeable. i wonder will people in west belfast continue to blindly vote for gerry adams even though hes done fuck all for the area and has never turned up at his place of work? or will they vote for a party that will probably be the next government. they could have an MP that could actually make things happen for west belfast.

    Its all potentially quite an exciting development in NI politics. Will the UU/Cons make an arse of it and allow some tribal thinking to remain? Will ordinary catholics be able to step away from tribal thinking and voting, and vote for policies and a party they think will improve their lives? That woman from west Belfast who was interviewed seemed to be interested and able to make the change. Who knows where we’ll be in 10 years time!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    eranu,

    ” Will ordinary catholics be able to step away from tribal thinking and voting, and vote for policies and a party they think will improve their lives? ”

    Tribalism relates to viewing yourself as being British or Irish – the Tories have simply decided to give it a bit of tribal themselves.

  • eranu

    sammy, to be honest that british OR irish thing is complete nonsense. its just one of those weird ways of thinking that has developed in NI. that recent life and times survey showed people finally understanding they are irish people from the UK and thus british, no biggy!
    NI is the tribal place in the UK. people and parties from the rest of the UK dont think that way. theres no point in trying to drag others down to the tribal level that exists in NI.

    its clear that this UUCon effort is open to all in NI. frankly the sort of people who would be concerned about a persons religon wont be wanted about the place, ie biggoted prods. its about issues, policies, ideas and involvement in national government with a national party.

    i think some nationalists and republicans on slugger would like to pour cold water on this endevour because they have nothing but sectarian “your a catholic, your supposed to vote for us” to offer people. ?? 🙂

  • Dave

    “Triumphalism from UUP supporters could wreck what Cameron and reggie are trying to build, a non sectarian party. Get that wrong and kiss good bye to any nationalist support.” – Kathleen

    “There was not one word in this speech addressed to nationalism”

    “He wasn’t addressing nationalists, he was speaking to his audience.” – Kathleen

    How do you reconcile the two contradicting statements? Surely if he was trying to appeal to Irish nationalists (as opposed to catholic unionists), he would have addressed them in his speech? Irish nationalists weren’t among his attending audience and they weren’t among his non-attending audience either.

    At what point will he start addressing them? Never, of course, because he is a British nationalist who has now formed an alliance with a party of Ulster unionists which is based on promoting British national interests.

    If he is the next Prime Minister of the UK, then he will have enough work to do balancing the demands of the Ulster unionists that he favours their tribe with his obligations under the GFA to act with impartiality between the two tribes without complicating the curious arrangement further by balancing internal divisions between British nationalists and (alleged) Irish nationalists within the rebranded unionist party. The only practical use they are to him is providing him with a few extra seats if he doesn’t manage to get elected with a large majority. If, of course, he does manage to get elected with a large majority, then Reg won’t even manage to land a job as a junior minister’s private secretary. How will the unionists feel about their newfound ‘national’ importance then, eh? 😉

  • eranu

    “How will the unionists feel about their newfound ‘national’ importance then, eh? ;)”

    i dont think anyones expecting Reg for PM just yet!! just involvement in a national party reflective of NIs size compared to the rest of the UK. maybe one MP in a reasonably important role..

  • Dave

    Well, good luck with it. I like the Tories. I just wouldn’t vote for them if I lived in NI because of issue relating to national identity. However, in the UK, I’d give my vote to them (especially the eurosceptic ones).

  • Dave

    Err, GB (not the UK).

  • Kathleen

    How do you reconcile the two contradicting statements?

    I don’t think they were contradictory Dave, one statement was in relation to UUP supporters and the other was in relation to a politician speaking to his audience.

    As to the benefit of the UUP’s I think they have a bit more now going for them than they had a few months ago.

    As for adressing nationalists, its now up to them to get their new non sectarian message out and make this successful.

    They’ve certainly started an interesting debate going and thats a good start.

  • ggn

    Interesting that it was the Conservatives who brought in the Welsh Language Act and to the best of my knowledge the Torys supported the Gaelic Language Act in Scotland.

    Will we therefore see a change in UUP policy in the North and will the Tory policy on minoritised Languages extend to all parts of the UK?

    Or will some distingushing factor mitigate the extension of such legislation to NI.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    eranu

    re. Tribalism

    When you say “drag others down” – apart from the fact that is perfectly legitmate to believe that National Identity is important – Posh Boy David Cameron (PBDC) has DECIDED to do the tribal politics – the only DRAGGING was perhaps by a desperate Wee Reggie dragging him into bed after his rejection by Unionists.

    From a Nationalist viewpoint this is excellent news (see my posts above for details) – it will damage both Unionism and the Tories.

    So bring it on – but lets not try and pretend that if you get inovlved in tribal politics ( and what could be more tribal than National Identity) that you are somehow above it. lol

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    ggn,

    good point – a nice initial test for PBDC.

    This alliance is going to be a laugh a day as the Tories negotiate multiple orange obstacles.

  • Kathleen

    From a Nationalist viewpoint this is excellent news (see my posts above for details) – it will damage both Unionism and the Tories.

    I don’t buy the excellent news? It would only split the unionist vote not change the demographics for people to vote for a UI.

    This best news would only put SF into ascendency. I don’t think thats what we need here. That scenario that you see as excellent would only serve to set politics back not further it along and make our sectarian problem much worse.

  • eranu

    kathleen, what sort of things should they do to attract people who have previously voted for SDLP or SF? would it be things like the use of the irish language, maybe in their leaflets and web site? using the sort of irish things previously only associated with nationalist parties?
    or would just having sensible ideas and plans that can bring jobs to the falls road be enough to attract people to a party?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Katty

    “I don’t buy the excellent news? It would only split the unionist vote not change the demographics for people to vote for a UI. ”

    More political control for Nationalists ( SF/SDLP or even Alliance if they designate) is better for Nationalism as it speeds up the integration with the rest of the country – after all that is what the GFA was designed by John Hume to do.

  • PaddyReilly

    Don’t you know that we’ve been through all this before? Captain O’Neill tried to bring Ulster Unionism in line with Modern Conservatism, shedding vulgar tribal sectarianism, and look what happened.

    He didn’t get a single vote from the Papes, who continued voting for their nasty Fenian candidates, and he lost the votes of good decent right thinking Protestants such as the Rev Ian Paisley and his merry men.

    Result: exit Cap’n O.

  • Kathleen

    Gerrymandering for political control didn’t work in the past why would political control for nationalists work this time round if its not representative of the people? It would put the shoe on the other foot thats all, and achieve nothing, except to set us back.

    eranu,

    I think the economy will focus very heavily as this downturn escalates. Priorites will change imv.

  • Kathleen

    Maybe people are more ready for it now Paddy?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Eranu,

    “what sort of things should they do to attract people who have previously voted for SDLP or SF?”

    Lets start with an Irish language act as mentioned above, harmoniation of tax rates with ROI and a few words about of remorse about partiton and letting/encouraging the Unionists to run a sectarian state until the GFA. Still no votes on the Falls but at least they would be showing good intent.

  • ggn

    “Still no votes on the Falls”

    I think there are pro-union catholics (unionists) everywhere if we are honest, it remains to be seen if the numbers could be significant.

    I don’t see the people of the Falls flocking to the Union Jack but I will wait for the ballot box to tell.

    However, one would assume that unionist Catholics vote for Alliance / UUP anyway, I mean why would any unionist vote for Sinn Féin?

    Having said that assimilation (to a point, upto but not including equality) has been British policy for hundreds of years, it hasnt turned any large numbers of Irish people into loyal subjects yet, aside from people whose origins are in Britan.

    I have to say that I doubt David Cameron will succeed where so many others have failed, but it should be interesting.

  • Ian

    You guys need to see the bigger picture. NI is just a pawn in the bigger game.

    The Tories standing in every seat in the UK is all about them posturing as the ‘party of the Union’ in an attempt to improve their electoral performance in Scotland, where their vote has collapsed in recent years. Also, if they do get in at the next general election, trying to undermine the SDP’s allegations that the English Tories are lording it over the oppressed Scots, which will be a key plank of their Scottish independence referendum campaign (the proposed referendum timetable of 2010, rather than shortly after the 2007 Stottish Assembly elections, is a dead giveaway).

    Similarly, FF’s dalliance with an SDLP merger was about upstaging SF’s claims to be the only ‘all-Ireland’ party, since (at least until last year’s Dail elections) FF perceived SF to pose an electoral threat to some of their seats in the south. Once that threat waned – when SF didn’t do as well as predicted in 2007 – FF backed off from the whole idea. (There may also have been an element of concern that if FF/SDLP did stand on a joint ticket in the north, the latter’s non-abstensionist policy at Westminster could be used by SF to attack the former – Mark Durkan the Fianna Fail MP swearing an oath to Lizzie Windsor wouldn’t play well in the south.)

    So all this talk about ‘NI representation in national politics’ (either east-west or north-south) is a red herring.

  • Ian

    “undermine the SDP’s allegations”

    should have been SNP, not SDP!

  • Ian

    “Stottish Assembly elections”

    and that should have read ‘Scottish Assembly elections’, obviously!

    (I’ve now got visions of Vic & Bob in kilts shouting in a high-pitched voice, “DON’T VOTE FOR HIM, HE STOLE MY MARZIPAN!”)

  • Erasmus

    If I were a unionist and I heard a Tory leader making ringing endorsements of the union, based on the historical perspective I would pop a valium tablet or two. It is nearly always a harbinger of some whopping concession to nationalism: Ted Heath and the suspension of Stormont, Margaret Thatcher and the AIA.

  • Richard James

    “That was not worded very well – what I am saying is that at the same time as the UU/Tory alliance is allowing SF to be the largest party in the Assembly – Belfast (which has probably now got more Nationalists than Unionists ) will have a Nationalist majority AS WELL.”

    How will a UUP-Conservative pact allow Sinn Fein to become the largest party in the Assembly? Presumably this is a realistic scenario whether or not there is a pact.

  • Richard James

    “The GFA is an international agreement ( a fact mentioned by Posh Boy Dave Cameron – probably to remind Unionists and Nationalists that nothing will really change without the ROI consent*).”

    The Belfast Agreement is a n international agreement by virtue of the links it established between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. That does not affect strand one, the internal governance of NI, which the RoI has never had a say in.

    Now leaving aside that the UUP doesn’t want to tear up the Belfast Agreement, what exactly could the RoI do if it choose to? Send in the tanks? I’m afraid the southern statelet is pretty much powerless against the UK, it only enjoys influence due to British goodwill.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ricky,

    From NIO website.

    “The Agreement proposed an inter-connected group of institutions from three ‘strands’ of relationships.”

    The only integration that is allowed for is between the the 2 parts of Ireland.

    It will not be ROI tanks that the Englezes will worry about but a re-run of the last 30 years. It’s a pity to have to say that a campaign of violence was needed before the Englezes saw sense and that some think, memory of the same is needed, to make sure they continue to behave properly.

  • USA

    For what its worth I found Camerons speech to be ill conceived. His language betrayed that he is out of touch with the intricacies of politics in the North. Some of his language was disingenuous.
    I agree that he is engaging in tribal politics, playing the orange card so to speak, and he made no mention of nationalists. To say, as someone did above, that this it to be “expected” is not enough. Such crap from someone who hopes to be British PM is not acceptable.
    Having said that, I also agree this (along with the TUV) will probably hurt the DUP but benefit nationalism in the short term. I don’t think there is a long term scenarion for this marriage of convenience.
    Speculation about SF and SDLP voters swithching to UU/Tories can be summed up quite succinctly – no chance. If folks want a non tribal party then why isn’t the Alliance vote higher?
    Most likely outcome – separation.

  • Continental Drifter

    IAN,

    Well said.

    It’s funny to see the DUP flailing though.