“It is an unacceptably pessimistic prescription.”

Conservative Party leader David Cameron answered some of Slugger readers’ questions previously and now Alan in Belfast has received answers to some other questions – including this interesting one.

[Q]2. Will the Conservative’s partnership with one local party not be more likely to destabilise the fragile political relationships within the NI Executive and Stormont Assembly than promote “normal politics”? If you win the next General Election, how will you prevent accusations that the other parties will make that the Ulster Unionists are using and abusing their inside knowledge of the government for their own political gain?

[A]2. The Conservative Party in government will never side with one part of the community over another. We will govern in the best interests of all the people. The constitutional position of Northern Ireland has been settled by a clear majority of voters in referenda on both sides of the border. Frankly, it is a cop-out to suggest that Northern Ireland is permanently divided and the Government’s role in perpetuity is to simply hold the ring as an “honest broker”. It is an unacceptably pessimistic prescription. We have a more positive vision and are determined to play our part in developing a more normal society and real politics in Northern Ireland.

, , , ,

  • JD

    I’m no Tory, but I think it is a perfectly legitimate argument for Cameron to advance. Whether the good citizens of Norn Iron (be they Catholic or Protestant) want to vote on such a non tribal basis is another matter….

  • ??

    . The Conservative Party in government will never side with one part of the community over another. We will govern in the best interests of all the people. The constitutional position of Northern Ireland has been settled by a clear majority of voters in referenda on both sides of the border
    …………..

    and that different from the current position of Bliar/Brown how?

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    Bliar/Brown – that’s easy in the end they always sided with the extremes on both sides regardless of where they were.

  • ??

    Bliar/Brown – that’s easy in the end they always sided with the extremes on both sides regardless of where they were.
    Posted by frustrated democrat on Dec 18, 2008 @ 08:11 PM

    They also sided with the largest parties, are going to tell me Cameroon would ignore the DUP in order to deal with the UUP even though they have no MPs and a handful of MLAs. (yes, i know i said no MPs, lets just wait for that)

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    He by his actions made the DUP and SF the biggest parties – so you have proved my case.

  • ??

    He by his actions made the DUP and SF the biggest parties – so you have proved my case.
    Posted by frustrated democrat on Dec 18, 2008 @ 08:51 PM

    ……………

    I think you`ll find that was the electorate. What would Cameroon do differently…nothing

  • bob wilson

    ‘What would Cameroon do differently…nothing’
    Eh how about saying he wants to treat us like normal citizens of the UK and seek our votes – when did Blair say that?

  • ??

    #

    ‘What would Cameroon do differently…nothing’
    Eh how about saying he wants to treat us like normal citizens of the UK and seek our votes – when did Blair say that?
    Posted by bob wilson on Dec 18, 2008 @ 10:17 PM

    treat us like normal citizens of the UK….Bob where in the UK will you find convicted terrorists in government, even at council level. Are you telling us Cameron will make NI like the rest of the UK in that respect?

  • ??

    treat us like normal citizens of the UK….

    So will he scrap North/South bodies that do not operate anywhere else in the UK so we can be like our fellow citizens?

  • ??

    treat us like normal citizens of the UK….

    Bob do you support Cameron in his desire to scrap the Barnett formula?

  • ??

    oh and by the way bob, just how many MPs do your tory/uup alliance have , and how many will it have ooh in say a month or two?

    If you dont know, i suggest you spend some more time with your UUP cousins

  • Belfast Gonzo

    “Bob where in the UK will you find convicted terrorists in government, even at council level”?

    Croydon?

  • bob wilson

    Cameron I believe wants to scrap the Barnett formula and replace it a ‘needs based formula’ and wants to help rebuild the private sector

    As regards MPs we have just short of 200 I believe. I cannot foretell the future – other than to say that DUP will never have a tenth of that number.

    Arent your fellow councillors, etc doing the power sharing with former terrorists, co-operating with N/S bodies

  • John K Lund

    All these detractors must have far too much time on their hands to be so paranoid about The Conservatives and Unionists exercising their free democratic rights in putting up joint candidates to represent them in Europe and at Westminster; they then go on to intrude into Lady Hermon’s private mourning in their efforts to stop the democratic process; because the bully boys from both extremes know that beating their sectarian drums is now totally irrelevant in this new political landscape. Neither extremes pay any serious attention to Westminster utilising boycott and triple mandates. They have abused and badly let down their electorates and hopefully will now pay the price.The game is up for these self serving single issue bigots. Thank you David Cameron for treating us as equal and full citizens of the United Kingdom.

  • runciter

    The Conservative Party in government will never side with one part of the community over another.

    So that whole thing about him being a Unionist was just a dream then?

    It is becoming clear that when it comes to Irish politics, Cameron just hasn’t a clue.

  • Reader

    runciter: So that whole thing about him being a Unionist was just a dream then?
    I believe the concept is called ‘civic unionism’. Supporting the union without descending into tribal politics is a tricky concept for the locals on both sides, but it will eventually sink in.
    Even the following may be a step too far for you, but try this: Suppose someone said about a United Ireland “Fianna Fail in government will never side with one part of the community over another”. Would it be inconceivable to you that the speaker might also be a nationalist?

  • frustrated democrat

    RUNCITER

    You have missed the whole point – he will not side with one part of the community over the other – that is a simple statement that he will not get involved in the sectarian carve up which has happened in the past – if you don’t vote for us(the DUP) the other side will be number 1.

    Religious division has no place in Conservative policies, however politics does and in that regard he is a unionist and wants to work for the union.

    You will eventually get the message, the world has changed in so many ways in 2008, even in the narrow confines NI politics.

  • ??

    Arent your fellow councillors, etc doing the power sharing with former terrorists, co-operating with N/S bodies
    Posted by bob wilson on Dec 18, 2008 @ 11:40 PM

    AND?? i thought you said Cameron was going to treat us as any other part of the UK? Im sure many including some in the UUP would welcome moves to ban those with terror convictions from holding office.

    Will cameron do that for us??

  • ??

    RUNCITER

    You have missed the whole point – he will not side with one part of the community over the other – that is a simple statement that he will not get involved in the sectarian carve up which has happened in the past – if you don’t vote for us(the DUP) the other side will be number 1.

    so what youre saying is that he wont do anything that is remotely connected with unionism.

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    Unionism, as the Conservatives see it, is not about separate communities or religion it is about politics.

    i.e. Catholics can be unionsts and Protestants can be nationalists, is this a difficult concept for you to grasp?

  • ??

    i.e. Catholics can be unionsts and Protestants can be nationalists, is this a difficult concept for you to grasp?

    Posted by frustrated democrat on Dec 20, 2008 @ 10:23 AM

    You`re the only ones who seem obsessed with religion.

    Again,
    if cameron is to treat us like normal citizens of the UK….

    So will he scrap North/South bodies that do not operate anywhere else in the UK so we can be like our fellow citizens?

    Posted by ?? on Dec 18, 2008 @ 10:37 PM

  • frustrated democrat

    No – the conservatives are not obsessed
    with religion, it is others here who seem to be.

    No – The GFA is an internationally agreed document that will evolve with the agreement of those who are party to it, not by unilateral decisions made by any party.

  • ??

    No – The GFA is an internationally agreed document that will evolve with the agreement of those who are party to it, not by unilateral decisions made by any party.

    Posted by frustrated democrat on Dec 20, 2008 @ 12:16 PM

    So, Cameron WONT treat NI as the rest of the UK then, thanks for clearing that up

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    The Conservatives have been very specific on where they stand, you should read the speeches and Press Releases.

    They will not impose anything against the wishes of the people of NI regarding the GFA.

    My personal views would be that certain areas and do need to be modified to remove problem areas and I hope these would be discussed and modified but only with cross party agreement.

  • ??

    My personal views would be that certain areas and do need to be modified to remove problem areas and I hope these would be discussed and modified but only with cross party agreement.

    Posted by frustrated democrat on Dec 20, 2008 @ 02:52 PM

    so Cameron is treating us differently from the rest of the UK. Where in the UK is he going to hold cross party talks before implementing conservative policies. Pro-Tory , anti-unionist

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    As I said before the policy is quite specific.

    Government is devolved to Scotland and Wales just as it is here and as with all parties national policy is set in Westminster and local policy, in the areas agreed, in devolved governments where coalitions are already active.So NI is the same as the rest of the UK in that regard.

    The Conservatives are the only fully unionist party in the UK not like some other semi detached parties who are British when it suits the and little Northern Irelanders or Scotlanders when it doesn’t.

    There is now only one truly unionist party contesting the next two elections in NI, the people can freely decide what type of unionism deserves their support.