David Shiels on the joint committee

David Shiels, who has had a couple of articles on the subject published in the Belfast Telegraph recently, has an interesting piece on ConservativeHome today about the ongoing process of the UUP/Conservative joint committee.

  • Cushy Glenn

    Oh dear
    That’s the best they can produce from Cambridge!?!

    So Punt is “desperate”,,and the UUP cunningly sidestepped his trap of roping them into a sectarian headcount?
    Er, not really
    See, ol’ Punt has learned from the wiles of Jimmy Molyneaux the best way to play the unity card when you’re top of the pile. It garnered Molyneaux a few seats, frustrated the talents of the DUP second generation of Wells, Kane and Allister and marginalised the personality vote of Paisley who was vain enough to be shunted down the dead end of topping the Europoll every few years. Except the UUP are weaker now than the DUP were in 1986-1996, and reg doesn’t even have a personality, nevermnind a personality vote

  • What a load of waffle!

  • fair_deal

    In summary:
    UUP were/are in a hole. Tory offer is the only thing on the table. Electoral message etc will be determined by Tories. A number of top people have given their time to this. Stop telling us that UUP members who have problems with the Tories, some Tories have problems with the UUP. This is a takeover. Face these facts and roll over on the outstanding issues on the Joint Committee.

  • ??

    The tories talk of sectarian politics, Jeff Peel said all other political parties are sectarian, does that mean the UUP are still a sectarian party, or when did that change, given it still retains the same leadership?

  • “In summary:”

    Why even bother to read the article?

    Perhaps you didn’t.

  • fair_deal

    Chekov

    “Why even bother to read the article?”

    Reading the summation would save a reader about 5-7 minutes

    “Perhaps you didn’t.”

    Yawn, is that the best you can do as a response?

    Summary – “UUP were/are in a hole. Tory offer is the only thing on the table”

    From the article –
    “It is largely thanks to the openness with which the Conservative Party have approached the deal that attitudes within the Ulster Unionist Party have also been transformed. A year ago the party was facing destruction at the hands of its own success in signing the Good Friday Agreement, not knowing how to distinguish themselves from the DUP. Now the party views the future with some optimism, even if many of its members remain cautious.”

    Summary “Electoral message etc will be determined by Tories.”

    From the article –
    “how much has changed since Sir Reg and Mr Cameron made that announcement last July.”
    “the determination with which the Conservative Party’s leadership has approached the mission of offering a radical break from the traditional, sectarian nature of politics in the province.”
    “the ‘new force’ will be the only party capable of uniting people from all backgrounds in Northern Ireland.”

    Summary “A number of top people have given their time to this.”

    From the article
    ” The fact that David Cameron was willing to come over to the UUP’s party conference”
    “his [Cameron] critics overlook the historical tensions he has had to overcome in order to sell this deal to his own party.”
    “many Tories are enthusiastic about joining with the Ulster Unionists, due in no small part to the tireless activism, and genuine enthusiasm, of the Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Owen Paterson.”

    Summary “Stop telling us that UUP members who have problems with the Tories, some Tories have problems with the UUP.”

    From the article
    “The UUP, after all, have not exactly had a perfect history in the eyes of many Tories, alienating both the ‘right’ and ‘left’ wings of the Party. Putting it bluntly, the Thatcherites cannot forget the stinging criticisms the UUP once made of their great leader after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1986 (‘treachery’ was a frequent cry); while the more liberal element within the party has always been wary of associating with the maverick little Ulstermen who have combined (in their eyes) the excesses of the British Nationalists they so dislike with an unpredictable temperament.”

    “This is a takeover. Face these facts and roll over on the outstanding issues on the Joint Committee.”

    Beyond the general tone of the article from the article
    “As the Joint Committee set up by the two leaders prepares to report, it is said that the UUP remains concerned to protect its ‘Ulster’ identity. This is an understandable concern, because the UUP know that Northern Ireland’s electorate has not been used to grand talk and optimistic rhetoric. But the UUP must not forget that the real prize is the possibility is that they will reclaim the ‘Unionist’ identity which has long been sidelined in British politics.”
    “we must surely seize every opportunity for bringing about a new kind of politics.”

    The difficulty in all for both the UUP and Cons are that it is a partial deal. It only applies for Westminster and Europe – the rationale being to enter carefully but maintain a distance from some of the bear-pit stuff of the assembly and councils. However, it remains a fundamental source of conflict in approaches to arrangements. The Tories don’t have to think of possible consequences on Council and Assembly elections while the UUP do.

    The same UUP that may tell the DUP to get stuffed at Westminster will be coming along smiling nicely to ensure transfer arrangements still stand for Assembly and Council.

  • Michael Shilliday

    The same UUP that may tell the DUP to get stuffed at Westminster will be coming along smiling nicely to ensure transfer arrangements still stand for Assembly and Council.

    Is that an intimation that the DUP will abandon it’s principle of tranfering to other pro-union parties? That will be interesting.

  • fair_deal

    “Is that an intimation that the DUP will abandon it’s principle of tranfering to other pro-union parties? That will be interesting.”

    Nope, for the nth time, I don’t speak for the DUP. You’ll also be aware that Diane Dodds has also already made a public call re turnout and transfers to ensure two Unionist seats.

    Simply pointing out the contradiction that ideological ‘purity’/protection of the ‘new politics’ from taint demands complete separation at one level ie no to a limited pact but somehow fine and dandy at another level ie transfers to maximise Unionist representation on Councils, in the Assembly and at Europe.

    If UUPCon wants to be free of ‘taint’ then it should follow it to its logical conclusion and tell me you shall not want my ‘old politics/sectarian’ transfer on 4th June. Somehow I do not see Jimmy Nic telling me that. Why? The argument will be to maximise Unionist representation in Europe. Yet at Westminster such a concept is rejected.

  • ??

    i wonder if someone can explain a few things to me.
    Remember when the UUP tried to tie up wtih the UVF in Stormont and that was ruled out of order because they are not one political party, how are they going to get round that

    Also, for elections does the name that goes on the ballot paper not have to be the name of a registered party or else the person must run themselves as independent? If the tories are going to be together yet seperate , hows that going to work?

  • dub

    This is a hard right British nationalist takeover of the UUP/UVF, very much fur coat brigade. The DUP are progressives in relation to these ideologues.

  • fair_deal

    ??

    At Stormont it doesn’t apply as the UUPCon arrangments presently don’t extend to Stormont.

    The Joint Committee has sought legal advice from the Electoral Commission on the other issues.

  • ??

    thanks fair deal, does that mean the UUP and the Cons will be running against each other in assembly elections (the torys splitting the unionist vote even further.)

    Following up on what you said about transfers and the fact that Jeff Peel says all other parties are sectarian should the UUPCons not be telling other Unionists not to transfer to them so they arent contaminated? – surely they wont be hypocritical and ask for DUP transfers??

  • fair_deal

    ??

    “does that mean the UUP and the Cons will be running against each other in assembly elections (the torys splitting the unionist vote even further.)”

    I don’t know.

    “Jeff Peel says all other parties are sectarian”

    Some of the rhetoric is definitely heading towards a rehash of ‘decent people’.

  • frustrated democrat

    Fair Deal

    A lot of guesswork most of it far from the truth;

    1. It is not a take over, it is maximising the stengths of both parties by co-operating, now something the DUP practices with SF and excludes other pro union parties.

    2. Policy will be set, in NI, by the joint committee made up of mostly people from NI and will be tailored to NI when relevant, e.g. education.

    3. No decision has even been considered on the assembly and council elctions, nor will it be until after the European and General elections. Once the results of those are analysed consideration to what type of co-operation will maximise the vote will then be possible.

    4. You are correct there has been some soul searching on both sides, just as the DUP had with their partnership with SF. Most will agree but some may decide to lend their support elsewhere, that is a democracy.

    The only thing that is certain is that it is excercising DUP minds, such as yours, to a great extent as the DUP are squeezed between the new grouping and the TUV, nuts and crackers come to mind.

    By the way, I see that the bookies are forecasting 30-40,000 votes for the DUP and some pundits are forecasting over 120,000 for Nicholson (assuming no major 5th candidate) which might leave the DUP as little as 15,000 ahead of the new Conservatives and Unionists – too close for comfort I think, with a few months still to go especially with more SF ‘love ins’ to come.

  • ??

    By the way, I see that the bookies are forecasting 30-40,000 votes for the DUP and some pundits are forecasting over 120,000 for Nicholson…………..

    the bookies are going to make alot of money from UUPCons

  • frustrated democrat

    correction – 30-40,000 votes for the TUV

  • ABC

    fd

    Your punditry quoting is as reliable as your website polls in 2007.

    The thing that I find most amusing is that if Reg were saying the Tories where the living incarnation of evil, Michael Shilliday would be directing us all to articles agreeing with that analysis. Why should anyone take anything he says here seriously?

  • ??

    30-40,000 votes for the TUV …………
    ]

    given that McCartney and Irvine achieved this between them in 1999 it wouldnt be a surprise, although I dont believe Allister will get beyond 15,000

  • frustrated democrat

    ABC

    Paddy Power was the bookie who gave the forecast. The 120,000 is not inconceivable if you look at the last assembly election where JN got over 91,000 with a 5th candiate who transferred about 20,000+ to him, 10,000 additional votes is very possible.

    I don’t have a website. If you are referring to the Conservatives NI website, their poll is yet to be proved or disproved.

  • fair_deal

    “it is maximising the stengths of both parties by co-operating”

    I have read enough management speak/jargonese in my time to wade through it to get to something resembling the reality.

    “excludes other pro union parties.”

    Have the UUP left the Executive? Has the DUP not made a number of public offers to the UUP around co-operation?

    “2. Policy will be set, in NI, by the joint committee made up of mostly people from NI and will be tailored to NI when relevant, e.g. education.”

    Like this joint committee that couldn’t agree key matters and were one side then produce articles telling the other to forget its concerns even if couched in nice ‘bigger picture’ terms?

    “nor will it be until after the European and General elections”

    Thank you for the clarification around Assembly etc but what about transfers from other Unionist parties at the European election? Does the UUP clarification statement issued after the TUV meeting confusion earlier this year apply or not ie tranfers from other Unionists are being sought?

    “4. You are correct there has been some soul searching on both sides, just as the DUP had with their partnership with SF. Most will agree but some may decide to lend their support elsewhere, that is a democracy.”

    “The only thing that is certain is that it is excercising DUP minds, such as yours, to a great extent as the DUP are squeezed between the new grouping and the TUV, nuts and crackers come to mind.”

    LOL the “they don’t like it up them” argument. It has become the more common line when the UUPCon link is discussed. I must admit it is an improvement on the first press line which was whinging/faux outrage about the DUP daring to comment on the internal matters of other parties, oh the humanity.

    IMO opinion the Con link makes a degree of sense for the UUP. As regards internal DUP chatter it has not featured as much as UUPCon seems to imagine although the press office do seem to enjoy poking a stick into the UUPCon cage as it usually engenders a response. The most common question at the beginning was would it prevent a pact or not and increasingly the chatter of late has been the general boredom waiting for a definitive answer.

    A nut cracker doesn’t work if force is only applied on only one side.

  • Billboy

    UUP are running round like headless chickens wondering what this ‘link-up’ means and who has the power.

    On vote splitting lets let the electorate decide.

    More Unionists voted for the DUP in 2005 and 2007 in both FST and SB than the UUP – get it?

    UUPs problem is that they’re ignorant [edited by moderator – play the ball]

    Ignorance stems from years of dominance within Unionism.

    The UUP just dont get it. They need to rebuild from the grassroots up instead of pissing people off by their ignorance and snobbery.

    The UUP are basically the conservatives with their merger … perhaps this is a demonstration of their failure to reconnect with the electorate and also the attitude and dreams of individuals in the Albertbridge Road.

    Bad bad move. Dropping the word ‘Ulster’ comes as no surprise, because many of the policy makers fail to understand their electorate.

    DUP have nothing to worry about … the UUP have alienated many of their voters.

  • Billboy

    “If UUPCon wants to be free of ‘taint’ then it should follow it to its logical conclusion and tell me you shall not want my ‘old politics/sectarian’ transfer on 4th June. Somehow I do not see Jimmy Nic telling me that. Why? The argument will be to maximise Unionist representation in Europe. Yet at Westminster such a concept is rejected.
    Posted by fair_deal on Feb 23, 2009 @ 04:06 PM”

    Indeed UUP West Tyrone member Ryan Moses argued on sectarian grounds for the UUP in Saturdays Newsletter. (see letters page)

    Politics in NI is sectarian – Unionist/Nationalist … wake up UUP.

  • frustrated democrat

    Fair Deal

    As far as I am concerned all pro union parties should support each other in a PR election. I would encourage voters to transfer their votes to other pro union parties of their choice including Alliance.

    In non PR elections they should fight all seats.

    The DUP and their friends Sinn Fein are in partnership and it is an Executive stitch up. I would advise the others should leave them to it and resign.

    AS I said, Fair Deal you are very exercised with the pact and rightly so, as it is the stronger of the two handles that will squeeze your party in June.

    Would you like to forecast the DUP vote, the TUV vote, and the pact vote in the European election?

    I would suggest 135 – 40 – 120 (all +/- 5) at this stage.

    Billyboy

    🙂 😛 🙁

  • ??

    Fair Deal

    As far as I am concerned all pro union parties should support each other in a PR election….

    so you would take votes from the BNP if they were standing then? The Tories arent very principled are they

  • ??

    Fair Deal

    As far as I am concerned all pro union parties should support each other in a PR election….

    sorry i forgot youre the party that wanted to join up with the UVF, course theres no principles.

  • fair_deal

    My fellow fd

    “As far as I am concerned all pro union parties should support each other in a PR election.”

    Good. I agree with you. Why should people do this?

    “you are very exercised with the pact”

    LOL In a word and one the DUP was very fond of (as were the UUP for that matter), No.

    “it is the stronger of the two handles”

    The 8th June will tell the tale in the meantime I will rest easy as two words that will never cause me to lose sleep are Jim Nicholson.

    “Would you like to forecast the DUP vote, the TUV vote, and the pact vote in the European election?”

    Errr I already offered my analysis:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/euro-09-and-the-dup-part-11/
    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/euro-09-and-the-dup-part-21/

  • frustrated democrat

    In PR how voters transfer is for the choice of the voter, not for the parties who should only advise in general terms, such as ‘support other unionist parties’. Strangely I don’t think any pact supporters would have the BNP as a second choice, but if they did it would be their choice.

  • frustrated democrat

    Fair Deal

    So it seems that you are not so far from my figures at this stage if I managed to read you correctly, except you don’t see much if any movement from DUP to the new pact.

    Would the DUP manage to stay in the assembly if their majority fell under 10,000 or even 20,000 is the question, or would they cut and run from their new partners to protect themselves from the TUV.

    By the way have you read how many words you have written about the pact in this thread alone ? – Not exercised?

  • ??

    Strangely I don’t think any pact supporters would have the BNP as a second choice, but if they did it would be their choice.
    Posted by frustrated democrat on Feb 23, 2009 @ 09:13 PM

    but youre happy to advise people to transfer to sectarian parties?

  • fair_deal

    fd

    “if I managed to read you correctly”

    120 I think is too high plus the big unknowns are the centre candidate and whether get out the vote stuff works for the DUP. I like to work on some rational basis and dromore is all there is 9despite its flaws)

    “Would the DUP manage to stay in the assembly if their majority fell under 10,000 or even 20,000 is the question, or would they cut and run from their new partners to protect themselves from the TUV.”

    Don’t know, i don’t set policy. Equally how will the ‘new’ politics react to the TUV, keep its purity it or act opportunistically? Of course as David Cameron is a supporter of the devolution arrangements and the policing and justice deal he wouldn’t want the DUP to do that.

    BTW I asked a question you seem to have overlooked
    “Why should people do this?”

    “Not exercised”

    In case you haven’t noticed this is a political debate site. If commenting on a thread makes a person “exercised” by your curious definition I have managed to be exercised thousands of times on hundreds of issues despite the vast array and often contradictory focus of their subjects.

    On this site I have always made the effort to debate with those who seek it and reply to comments made. If Chekov Michael ?? and then you had not engaged me in a debate I would have made 1 comment on this thread. My common courtesy in replying and debating with you and others is nothing more than that. However, the inability to comprehend that I will put down to the decreasing appreciation of good manners these days.

  • frustrated democrat

    Fair Deal

    Sorry, I missed the question – without the United Kingdom ‘unionist’ would cease to have any meaning and the Conservatives could not be in NI – seems simple to me as I support the United Kingdom as the best political structure for NI.

    I wasn’t refering to the number of your replies just the comprehensive length of them, mind you having read the lengthy pt 1 and pt 2, maybe I was mistaken in the extent of your exercise .

    ??

    I don’t think anyone should be advised to transfer to any party in particular as that would imply support for all their policies.

    As I said general advice to support unionist parties of their choice and to keep you happy; who do not support violence or racism or sectarianism or a United Ireland or any form of football or anything interesting should do (however feel free to add to the list), though I doubt pact supporters would need the conditions.

  • ??

    I don’t think anyone should be advised to transfer to any party in particular as that would imply support for all their policies.

    Didnt empey advise to transfer to the TUV, arent they, according to Jeff Peel, sectarian?

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    No matter how much you would wish it, Empey did not advise anyone to specifically transfer to the TUV, read both TUV and UUP websites and show anywhere it specifically advises the UUP voters to transfer to the TUV or vice versa, so Mr Peel’s views are of no relevance.

    However neither the Conservatives nor the pact have advised anyone to do anything at this stage, so your point is?

  • ??

    FD

    “With the European Election, as the next scheduled election, coming up in June, we agreed on the priority of retaining two unionist representatives in Europe. This should be the overriding priority of all unionists in respect of this election. Such is only attainable by full utilisation of transfers between the unionist candidates. Thus, we agreed to recommend such a voting strategy to all unionist voters.”…
    ……from the TUV

    “Such is only attainable by full utilisation of transfers between the unionist candidates.”

    So, the UUP are advising to transfer to other unionist candidates which the Tories view as sectarian

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/against-parties-which-are-fundamentally-sectarian/
    “against parties which are fundamentally sectarian..” ………. Jeff Peel Nov 23

    “As I said general advice to support unionist parties of their choice and to keep you happy; who do not support violence or racism or sectarianism”

    from yourself… so you are opposed to any transfers to the TUV then

  • frustrated democrat

    My views are exactly what I said they were – transfers should be made to other pro unionist parties of the voters choice.

    I am not a TUV supporter, others may think Allister is the best 2nd choice that is their choice.

    Is the TUV anymore sectarian than the DUP?

    Some do not think so, as their position is that opposition to ex terrorists in Government is not sectarian as it also would apply to Loyalists if they were in that position e.g. Turgon

    What is your opinion?

  • ??

    My views are exactly what I said they were – transfers should be made to other pro unionist parties of the voters choice……..

    You also said they shouldnt vote for parties that support sectarianism. Jeff Peel says all parties, except the tories, are sectarian.
    Who is right the UUP or the Tories

  • frustrated democrat

    ??

    Mr Peel has personal views that may or may not coincide with current or future Conservative policies, that is his right, as it is mine.

    I do not set Conservative policies in NI nor do I speak for them, when they or the pact’s policies are firmly stablished I will abide by them even if I disagree with some, as I am sure will Mr Peel.

    You, however, did not answer my question?

  • ??

    my opionion is that uionists should transfer amongst themselves, but i do see the TUV or DUP as sectarian unlike the Tories. Hardly a party of principle to want a voting pact with sectarian bigots..but thats the tories for you

  • frustrated democrat

    I do not think the Conservatives or the UUP should have any pact in addition to the one they have over joint candidates.

    Suggesting people vote for other unionist parties of their choice is not a pact, nor does it imply support for any other party.

  • “Reading the summation would save a reader about 5-7 minutes

    Yawn, is that the best you can do as a response?”

    FD what you produced is actually in the tradition of our republican commenters who feel free to ignore what is actually said (especially when it is said by a unionist) and proceed immediately to the perfidious subtext which is always just a statement of their interpretation of any issue.

  • fair_deal

    FD

    “as I support the United Kingdom as the best political structure for NI.”

    Fair enough. A second area of agreement but why does the sentiment stop at transfers?

    Chekov

    First I didn’t read it now I’m using republican tactics. It just gets better. I read something and dare to have my own interpretation, how ghastly of me. Imagine not simply reading a political column on a political website and not accepting every single thing it says as gospel, evil incarnate.

    I trust you apply the same rules and would never offer your own interpretation of someone’s else writings oh that’s right you have a blog where you regularly do just that.

  • FD – although doubtless I rarely manage it my intention is always to engage with something beyond ‘this is what he meant to say’ and then adding my own interpretation of a given situation.

    To be honest it’s something I’d expect from less thoughtful contributors. I’m more disappointed than anything else.

  • frustrated democrat

    Chekov

    There are 2 FD’s is it possible to use a longer abbr. to avoid confusion on my part as I almost replied in haste to a post that was intended for Fair Deal

  • frustrated democrat

    Fair Deal

    Because that is where the views of the parties diverge, I have a wider view of the United Kindom and NI’s place within that union.

    I am not a Northern Ireland Nationlist which some other parties are, however I will fight for funding to get us out of the mess we are in and allow us to compete on an equal footing with the rest of the UK.

    I believe in the Conservatives core policy – ‘We believe that all our people – people of all faiths and none, regardless of income, sex or sexuality, age or the colour of their skin – can contribute and play a part in this new Northern Ireland.’ a policy which includes all and excludes none.

    If another unionist party puts this on their web site and then by their actions makes it clear that they mean it, I would be prepared to consider recommending transferring to them as a 2nd choice.

    That is why I would not go beyond the advice transfer to other unionist parties.

  • ??

    If another unionist party puts this on their web site and then by their actions makes it clear that they mean it, I would be prepared to consider recommending transferring to them as a 2nd choice.

    That is why I would not go beyond the advice transfer to other unionist parties.

    FD, REG EMPEY has already said to transfer to other unionists even if, as jeff peel has said, they are sectarian, where is the principle in that?

  • fair_deal

    Chekov

    I realise the UUPCon project is one dear to your heart and own thinking. I understand thus that you wish all of what is said in the article to be the truth and nothing but the truth. However, it is inappropriate to expect others to suspend their own critical abilities.

    The simple facts are the Joint Committee was supposed to report a month ago and this article indicates it still isn’t finalised and that areas of disagreement remain. None of this is “interpreted” or “imagined”. Arguing that the Conservatives are seeking to get these issues resolved speedily and closer to their terms by playing a bit of hard ball is hardly an intellectual leap – it’s what most people would do in their situation.

  • ??

    Im still interested in what will happen regarding ballot papers, as the Tories and UUP are still two seperate parties their candidates may have to run as independants.

    Maybe they will use this as an excuse to speed up the tory takeover

  • fair_deal

    FruDem

    “Because that is where the views of the parties diverge,”

    Surely a party’s views are as divergent in a PR election as in a FPTP election?

    Thank you for your explanation of why you prefer the Conservatives but I asked why you would make the general recommendation not your personal requirements to make such a recommendation.

  • Cushy Glenn

    I think Lord carson was as close as anyone to sussing the Tories in his speech in the House of Lords on the Government of Ireland bill
    I’m too stupid to link, so go google it and learn….

  • frustrated democrat

    Fair Deal

    I cannot think why a party would advise other than to vote for itself in a FPTP election.

    In a STV election to maximise the unionist vote, and if another party is closer to my beliefs then I would would favor it to transfer over others. That is not to say that the party should advise others to do that, just how I would see it.

  • fair_deal

    FruDem

    “why a party would advise other than to vote for itself in a FPTP election”

    As a general rule they wouldn’t but the issue arises when the nature of vote division under FPTP means a unionist won’t win.

    “In a STV election to maximise the unionist vote”

    Transfers don’t “maximise the Unionist vote”, the number of first preferences remains the same whether a voter transfers or not. Transfers maximise impact ie the number of seats.