Unionism’s glass house and the throwing of stones

The DUP has been looking like something of caged tiger over the Tory UUP link up. This morning they released a press release in David Simpson’s name that took aim and fired at the party’s director of Communications Alex Kane, using his work as a columnist to list past criticisms of the current Tory party leader. The staff at Bob Balls wonders if such attacks are wise on the part of the DUP… They go on to remind the DUP of the time they ran a sitting Tory MP against Jeffrey Donaldson

We can’t find any links on Paisley Junior’s view on the Tory/UUP link, but we’d be very keen to hear his views! Junior was ecstatic to gain delivery of one (independent) ex-MP. Fair enough. The Unionist family gained admission into the next Tory government. He must be beside himself with glee, right?

The DUP Press Release is not publicly available, but here’s a copy of the links to the various of Alex’s past columns:

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/opinion?articleid=3048007
http://www.newsletter.co.uk/opinion/Cameron39s-Conservatism-hasn39t-got-any.3319524.jp
http://www.newsletter.co.uk/alex-kane/Where-has-the-passion-for.4050291.jp
http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/no_difference_between_new_labour_and_new_conservatives/
http://atangledweb.typepad.com/weblog/2006/06/tories_desert_c.html

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  • GordonB

    Cameron- isn’t a Conservative, doesn’t have any answers, isn’t any better than Brown- fantastic stuff

  • HOOPLAH

    This presumably comes from Danny Kennedy claiming that the DUP had offended a future PM?

  • HOOPLAH

    “the electorate aren’t quite as stupid or as biddable as Cameron likes to believe.”

    Brilliant!!!!

  • Outraged Tory

    Simpson statement on DUP website:

    Responding to comments from Danny Kennedy, DUP MP for Upper Bann, David Simpson said:

    “The Democratic Unionist Party believes in maintaining good relations with all the parties represented in the House of Commons. We believe that Unionism and the interests of our community are best advanced by influencing people in the Labour Party, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.

    We recognise the important role of David Cameron as leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition. Questioning the logic of the UUP’s approach does not amount to insulting the Tory Leader. This issue is not about personalities, but rather what is best for Northern Ireland.

    It’s just a shame that Danny Kennedy’s own party Director of Communications cannot say the same. The individual whose job it is to sell the merits of the Tory take-over has been very clear about what he thinks of Mr. Cameron. No DUP person has ever made comments of the nature as this senior UUP strategist has.

    “Whatever else Cameron may be, he isn’t a Conservative. In pretending to be one, while, at the same time ditching almost every attribute and vestige of Conservatism, he is coming perilously close to killing off the most important and influential party in British history”(i)

    – Alex Kane, UUP Director of Communications (20th July 2007)

    “Cameron’s Conservatism doesn’t have any real answers to genuine problems. Instead he gives us spineless waffle: smarmy, sleek, cynical and cheap….My problem with Cameron is that he, personally isn’t any better than Brown”[ii]

    – Alex Kane, UUP Director of Communications (8th October 2007)

    “David Cameron blows his own one-note trumpet, blissfully oblivious to the fact that his “victory” of 44% of the vote from a 35% turnout means that about 80% of the entire electorate couldn’t summon up the energy or enthusiasm to endorse him”[iii]

    – Alex Kane, UUP Director of Communications (5th May 2008)

    “David Cameron, on the other hand, is an ideologically vacuous hoover, spending his time sweeping up anything and everything which can allow him to present himself, and what was once the Conservative Party as the I-can-be-anything-you-want-me-to-be alternative to Labour”[iv]

    – Alex Kane, UUP Director of Communications (17th May 2006)

    “The result (of the Bromley and Chislehurst by-election) confirms both our suspicions, namely that the electorate aren’t quite as stupid or biddable as Cameron likes to believe”[v]

    – Alex Kane, UUP Director of Communications (30th July 2006)

    The next time Danny Kennedy starts pointing fingers at other people and accusing them of offending Mr. Cameron, I suggest he take a look much closer to home. In the meantime, we in the DUP will continue to focus on working for our community and advancing the cause of Unionism at Westminster through winning friends in all parties.”

  • Essentialist

    Just a matter of waiting for the DUP in-fighting to become public. With Jim Allister on their back and Dave/Reg nipping at their heels it is little wonder that they have cozied up to Sinn Fein for protection. The days of Paisley fear politics are over. The DUP do not resemble a caged tiger rather a domesticated cat.

    Their support for the first ESA Bill is testament of their duplicitous nature.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Outraged Tory! Classic.

    Keep up the good work boys!

  • frustrated democrat

    The DUP have obviously intructed their lackeys to concentrate on shooting down the new force.

    If it is so good for them I wonder why?

  • autocue

    fd

    This is very embarassing stuf and you know it. Perhaps Danny Kennedy will think twice before jumping on his high horse. That’s twice this week he’s made a muppet of himself.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Why Nationalsits should support this new funny alliance.

    1) It will be hours of fun.
    1) It splits the Unionist vote
    2) It damages the Tory Party – because of the sectarian UU output.
    3) It sets the DUP as competitors at the Government in waitings political throat.
    4) Tories remind Nationalists one of the reasons they are Nationalists.

    So take your seats the funny show has just kicked off.

  • Essentialist

    As Alex Kane pointed out:

    “Across the United Kingdom as a whole 40 per cent of pupils – after a decade at least of compulsory education and 10,000 hours in the classroom – are failing to attain the absolute minimum qualifications they will need to have any reasonable chances in life.”

    The DUP answer? Support establishment of the ESA; a Trojan horse device thought up by their political opponents, headed up by Gavin Boyd the former head of CCEA and use a template from his countless expensive failed initiatives.

    On the pretext of establishing equality of religious school choice the DUP/Sinn Fein alliance will grow ESA exponentially and supply limitless amounts of taxpayer’s money to feed the monster.

  • Gonzo

    The DUP are clearly obsessed with this.

  • Essentialist

    As Alex Kane pointed out:

    “Across the United Kingdom as a whole 40 per cent of pupils – after a decade at least of compulsory education and 10,000 hours in the classroom – are failing to attain the absolute minimum qualifications they will need to have any reasonable chances in life.”

    The DUP answer? Support establishment of the ESA; a Trojan horse device thought up by their political opponents, headed up by Gavin Boyd the former head of CCEA and use a template from his countless expensive failed initiatives.

    On the pretext of establishing equality of religious school choice the DUP/Sinn Fein alliance will grow ESA exponentially and supply limitless amounts of taxpayer’s money to feed the monster.

  • Trevor

    Mick, I have no idea what the ESA is or who his friend Boyd is, but why does the contributer above keep referring to him in what seems like every thread, regardless of what the topic is?

  • DC

    If anything Cameron’s move might act as glass stick to prop up the UUP but there are indeed many many stones out there.

  • autocue

    Trevor

    Well said, Sir!

  • William

    The DUPes are sick and scared of the UUP / Conservative Party, which will become an undoubted success once we have the opportunity of testing it at the European Election next year.

    Roll on the June Euro Election….

    1. Jim Nicholson [Unionist]
    2. Barbera de Brauen [Sinn Fein / IRA]
    3. Jim Allister [TUV]

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    William,

    I will giver you even money on both the DUP and SF finishing ahead of the funny alliance.

    £10 on each bet – loser give money to Slugger.

  • William

    Well McNally….firstly I don’t bet, but if you are correct, it will be a sad day for Northern Ireland…..The DUPes don’t have an MEP and the one they used to have [Jim Allister] is an excellent, hard-working representative in Europe, whilst Ms Brown is a total waster…rarely there, not interested in the job she is elected to do and paid a fortune for….whilst Jim Nicholson is a great worker within the Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg and is one of the Quaestors, as well as being a member of a number of Committees and of various delegations.

    If the European Election is used by the DUPes and Sinn Fein / IRA to regurgitate local political issues, then that will be a travesty….the Euro election should be fought on our relationship with Europe and the work of the incumbent MEPs or lack of it in Brown’s case !!

  • The DUP has been looking like something of caged tiger over the Tory UUP link up.

    Why?
    Their bigger risk is, by far, on the fundamentalist right; how many of the Duped are going to be buying into the pluralist, Uk-wide version of Unionism on offer from the Tory/UUP?

    The last few days has seen the DUP Press Office in such a Stalinist OTT Over-Load mode that it makes you worry for their collective sanity.

  • William

    The only funny alliance I see in Northern Ireland politics, is that between Sinn Fein and their other wing, the IRA. Conor Murphy, a member of the NI Executive, which makes him a British Government Minister, can have chats with his mates in the IRA to discuss the murder of Paul Quinn and the recent ambush of Willie Frazer. That is a real FUNNY ALLIANCE….

    Strange the word I have to submit in order to post this is: MILITARY

  • W

    O’Neill…

    Are you sure that there are any wise folk left in the DUPes? A number of their MLAs should be in Purdysburn rather than Stormont !!!!

  • Rory Carr

    I am amused at the thought of any outrage at Alex Kane’s, wearing a UUP bowler, attacks on Cameron by those who would be Tory first. Cameron’s contributions to most important debates in that, admittedly least important arena of political debate, the House of Commons, while they may not have been written by Kane, may as well have been. They do have that ring – mostly a hollow echo of triumph constantly denied and hope declared yet without an aspirational note of hope. The honesty at least of intuition over intellect. But yet, duty calls and one must…

    Cameron will not have the least bother accomodating Kane nor Kane, Cameron.

    As that astute observer of Toryism, Kipling, has told us:

    The Colonel’s lady and Rosie O’Grady
    are sisters under the skin.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    William,

    I agree with you about the alliance between the IRA and SF being funny ( peculiar) – I dont get Grizzly saying he was never in the IRA when we see him with the beret on. Still you cant really blame SF for not giving up the IRA as that has got them at least some of the way to where they are and the Englezes seem happy enough.

    The alliance between the UU and the Tories is a different type of funny ie funny ha-ha. I dont doubt it is an appealing idea and if I was a Unionist I would like to pretend also that Norn Iron was really a normal part of the UK – but the potential for mishap is all over the shop – with little hidden orange obstacles that innocent Tories will be tripping over.

    Surely in this day and age there should have been some market testing ? Any results to share? And do me a favour – dont forget to show up on Slugger after the Euro Elections and talk us throuh it. Heres a couple of line that might come in handy. “We are in it for the long haul”, “We are going to listen to the (tribal) electorate” and heres one I think will be the most appopriate “We are reviewing our links with the Conservative Party the uselss Engleze feckers have our party destroyed”

  • frustrated democrat

    Sammy

    The opinion polls were published on the conservativesni.org site in July

    ‘Polling conducted by us in May by YouGov, and based on a representative sample of the Northern Ireland voting public, shows that a massive 54% of voters want more involvement by national UK political Parties in Northern Ireland. The poll also reveals that a combined Conservative & Unionist Party would have similar electoral support to a hypothetical, cross-Northern Ireland, Conservative Party. In other words, the voting public here sees a merged Conservative/UUP offer as a highly attractive one.

    The YouGov poll shows that a combined Conservative and Unionist Party would be the most popular political Party for the local electorate achieving 22% of the popular vote versus 14% for Sinn Fein; 13% for the DUP; 12% for the SDLP; 5% for Alliance and 9% for other Parties. Polling also reveals that a merged Party would attract support from 1 in every 5 Alliance voters and roughly one in every 10 SDLP voters’

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    frustrated democrat

    good results I have to say. You have me on the back foot now until I can think of some mitigating factor – and yes I just thought of one – SF are normally on about 23%. If this poll had shown SF normal vote the UU/Tory vote would have been shown to have elevated SF to biggest party. Very suspicuous a less trusting person than myself might exclaim.

  • sam

    It is tremendously funny though…. the UU Communications Chief doing a character assassination on the Great White Hope. And how long has this merger been in the pipeline, as one of these pieces was only a few months ago?

  • PaddyReilly

    The YouGov poll shows that a combined Conservative and Unionist Party would be the most popular political Party for the local electorate achieving 22% of the popular vote versus 14% for Sinn Fein; 13% for the DUP; 12% for the SDLP; 5% for Alliance and 9% for other Parties.

    Great stats. That 75% in total: the other quarter were don’t knows I take it. So we can expect that in the forthcoming (June) election the two nationalist parties’ combined score will revert to 34.6%, approximately where it was 50 years ago? That will be one in the eye for me and my theories.

    It’s nice to be reminded occasionally what crap opinion polls are.

  • William

    For someone who is so critical of the UUP/Conservatice link [merely a return to the mid 1980s position], McNally is wasting a lot of time on the matter….like the DUPes, it suggests that by trying to smear the messenger, they will kill the message.

    However, I have no doubt that it is good for the UUP and the vast majority of those at the Conference last week thought likewise, so our ‘friend McNally’ and the other naysayers can take a jump….in reality it is none of their business, if the aren’t Unionist party members or voters.

  • frustrated democrat

    Even allowing for a wide margin of error of say 20% still interesting results as the new pact would still be the biggest party and SF would be on 21% approx their current level.

  • What about an opinion poll of the number of turkeys voting for Christmas?
    Some people never learn!

  • Intelligence Insider

    Why can the DUP just agree not to stand in the Fermanagh & South Tyrone and Belfast South seats? If they are so interested in unionist unity then surely they would have no problem in not standing against the unionist party that last won those seats? Not standing would not affect their own number of seats but would increase the chance of both seats becoming unionist, surely they don’t have a problem with that?????????????? Or is it that the DUP that have a problem with other Unionists winning seats?

  • Intelligence Insider

    Obviously should state not just agree.

  • autocue

    II

    Surely it is more fair to split the seats between the 2 Unionist parties? Of course, I could remind you that in the last election the DUP actually won a majority of the Unionist vote in bout SB and FST.

    Relying on the result of the 2001 (SB) and 1997 (FST) elections is absurd.

  • mnob

    The answer is quite simple. The UUP is joining forces with the Conservatives *not* David Cameron personally. The UUP is fundamentally aligned with the Tories. Maybe some UU members disagree with the current leadership but its better to be in the tent p*ssing out.

  • elvis parker

    After the next General Election there will be two overtly unionist (in an NI context) parties at Westminister. The Conservatives with 350 Conservative and Unionist MPs, including hopefully some from NI, forming the Govt and the DUP with a bit over half a dozen in opposition – but with no link the the official Opposition.
    Who will be in the best position to argue NI’s case?
    Who should stand down in FST and SB? Discuss

  • George

    Elvis,
    the relevant section in your post is “350”.

    The UUP will be but one to three (at best) MPs out of 350 and will carry the equivalent weight.

    Once the Tories are in power, if shafting NI for a few billion to spend elsewhere in GB where the votes are more important and therefore is in their political interests you can rest assured they will.

    With those kind of numbers (350) NI doesn’t have a bargaining chip so will have to take what it is given.

  • elvis parker

    Interesting thinking George so the 350 Conservative and Unionist MPs are going to pay more notice of the handful of DUP MPs – three of whom Simpson, Dodds and Wilson who have spent the last week insulting them?

    A Conservative PM would have to reflect on the impact of his spending plans on various English regions, Wales, Scotland AND Northern Ireland because he has votes and MPs at stake in ALL areas.

    To suggest that he would single out NI for ‘special’ harsh treatment is to display the mindset of Ulster Protestant paranoia

    Cameron has said openly he wants to politically integrate NI into UK politics and so called unionists like you basically come out with the ‘ye canny trust the English’ mentality. ‘Ourselves alone’ for Protestants!

    Have you considered setting up a self help group with Sinn Fein to broaden your horizons. Come to think of it perhaps that is what the Executive is for – it does little else after all

  • elvis parker

    Oh yes George forgot to point out your mistake. There will be no ‘UUP’ MPs there will be MPs elected who are fully part of the Conservative Parliamentary Party – able to influence behind the scenes.

    Moreover they will be full time. Compare that to a handful of DUP MP – outside and OPPOSED TO the British politcal party system at Westminster who will turn up briefly each week, howl at the moon and wring their hands in a desperate attempt to prove that they are not completely irrelevant

  • autocue

    elvis

    since when did questioning the UUP amount to insulting the Tories?

    As has already been shown, senior UUP people have made far more offensive remarks about DC than any DUP person has.

    Anyway, I am bored with this issue now, it’s been done to death here and elsewhere and I shall comment no further….

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Guys, Guys, Guys,

    can I just thank you for cheering me up I was having a miserable day and then saw that the latest in the long round of Unionoist civil wars had broken out. Permit me if you will to speak on behalf of the entire Nationalist people of Ireland and and to thank you for bringing a smile to our collective faces. Nobody will actually be hurt but just hours, days months ( years?) of good clean fun.

    There is as much chance of PoshBoyDavidCameron(PBDC) strengthening the union from this funny alliance as there was of him helping to save the economy on Black Wednesday when he was advising the mad Tory chancellor Norman Lamont.

  • Jewnya

    William,

    “The DUPes are sick and scared of the UUP / Conservative Party, which will become an undoubted success once we have the opportunity of testing it at the European Election next year.”

    Was the UUP/Tory merger not well under way at the time of the Enniskillen by-election?

    What was the judgement given by the unionist electorate only a few 3 months ago?

    Perhaps if you dismounted your metaphoric high-horse your comments on any of these threads would be taken seriously.

  • PaddyReilly

    Even allowing for a wide margin of error of say 20% still interesting results

    Allowing a margin of error of 20% in a four or five way election (i.e. one where you would expect each of the parties to win upwards or downwards of 20%) is the equivalent of saying God knows. My margin of error is 2%.

    I predict that in the forthcoming Euro election, the combined UUP DUP and TUV (or total Unionist) 1st preference vote will be 46.1% (+ or – 2% as stated).

    Please note this boast in your e-diaries and bear witness against me in 6 months time.

    Of course Frustrated’s prediction will be correct whether the UUP win 2% or up to 42% of the vote, so he’s not really predicting anything.

  • Disinterested observer

    Paddy Reilly – I’m afraid you’ve fallen at the first hurdle mate the UUP wont be contesting the election. Keep up man.
    Actually the pro Union electorate will have a wide choice. Last time they essentially had to candidates seeking a broadly similiar vote.
    Next time we will have the ‘Conservative and Unionists’ seeking what might be termed an inclusive, broad pan UK unionist ticket, the DUP after the general ‘Ulster Prod’ vote and TUV after the hardliner brigade.
    I predict the pro Union vote will be up and the nationalist one down.
    The nationalist one will be down as former SF voters stay at home

  • frustrated democrat

    PR

    I didn’t predict anything I only gave the results of a poll and suggested that even if it was 20% in error it would still give the new pact the largest share of the vote.

    The only poll that matters is the one where the voters will place their X or 123, but however I think you may be low in the combined vote for parties in favour of the union.

  • William are up ex dup and pro TUV?

    just a question…

  • that would be “are you” instead of “are up” of course! how did ‘up’ get in there??? long day!

  • PaddyReilly

    I predict the pro Union vote will be up and the nationalist one down.

    A truly disinterested opinion, I’m sure.

    You may think that the UUP Conservative link up produces something which is not the UUP, but I do not.

    The total Unionist vote will be down, as it always is, haemorrhaging an average of 1% of the total vote every 2 years.

    There will not be two Unionist quotas among the first prefs, or even after transfers. The best they can hope is to achieve a second seat without getting a quota, which is the last stage before oblivion.

    This has nothing to do with politics, it’s a pure sectarian headcount.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    PaddyReilly,

    Presumably, although unlikely, there is a scenario where 2 good guys(Nationlaists) could get elected. I think wthe DUP will wipe out the TUV and UU will finish third. But what % do you think the TUV would need to get to let in the SDLP or will transfers ensure a UU/Tory seat even if they finish 4th?

  • Erasmus

    [i]The nationalist one will be down as former SF voters stay at home[/i]
    ”The wish is the father of the thought”
    -Demosthenes.

  • PaddyReilly

    There is a scenario where 2 good guys (Nationlaists) could get elected

    Yes, the possibility is discussed by Horseman’s website:-

    http://ulstersdoomed.blogspot.com/search/label/Demography

    Theoretically, if the TUV take sufficient votes from the DUP to prevent them getting through on the first count, or a surge of David Cameron inspired hype puts the Conservative and Unionists ahead of the DUP (this I think we can discount), then Sinn Féin will be elected on the first count and the UUP (or whatever they are calling themselves) or more likely the DUP on the second or subsequent counts, by which time the SDLP will be so far ahead of whichever Unionist party remains that they would capture the third seat.

    This would be especially likely if the UUP do surge ahead of the DUP, as the SDLP would get transfers from Alliance voters and the DUP would not.

    But I think we can reliably assume that the the UUP will not make any gains, though the DUP may incur losses to the TUV. Not having Unionist sensibilities I have no means of gauging how large these losses would be.

    In 2004 the DUP had 38, 441 votes over the quota. Thus they would need to lose approx 40,000 votes to TUV/UUP (renamed) in order to miss the first count. In 1999 the PUP and UKUP won 42,777 votes (they did not stand in 2004), so it seems reasonable to assume that the TUV may win around this number and thus the DUP will be deprived of a quota on the first count.

    However, forewarned is forearmed. Unionists now know that they have to transfer to all Unionist parties running to keep their alleged but rapidly disappearing majority before the public eye for another five years.

    But then possibily my calculations as to the expected size of the Unionist majority (I think around 4,500) have been too conservative (I allow myself a 10,000 error margin, or 2% of the vote), in which case the Unionists are doomed whichever way the cookie crumbles.