“We want to see Northern Ireland people fully involved”

The Conservative Party’s shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Patterson, MP, was on hand at yesterday’s count for the first indications that the Conservative and Unionist candidate, Jim Nicholson, had been elected. He was keen to emphasise the future role in the Commons for any Conservative/UUP joint candidates who are elected as MPs, but was less keen to discuss the UUP’s current MP, the independently minded Lady Sylvia Hermon.. Adds Below the fold, UUP leader Reg Empey on the long-term “project here of significance”.

Reg Empey on Stormont Live today

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  • slug

    Meanwhile Gordon Brown plans a referendum to bring in the AV system for Westminster elections…which should be good news for Alliance, SDLP, UCUNF and bad for TUV, SF and DUP?

    Bold reform

  • eranu

    hopefully we could see local CU MPs as some part of the government in a few months. anyone with half a brain in NI must be totally repulsed and embarrassed by all the tribal stuff thats gone on lately, yet again! being part of the national conservative party must be even more attractive to people now after listening to the rantings of local parties over the last few weeks. but I hope they filter out anyone with undesirable baggage, id prefer new young candidates over anyone currently involved in politics any day.

    “We want to see Northern Ireland people fully involved”

    on a slightly nit picking point, as far as i know the proper grammar would be ‘Northern Irish people’. ‘ish’ being the international naming standard used everywhere else. not saying Northern Irish suggests the local weirdness over words that i think people want to distance themselves from. word weirdness belongs to the backward tribal parties!!

    hopefully peoples interest is now turning to the new era of a conservative government and things will grow and grow for the CU project. the other options in NI really are an embarrassment to be associated with in the 21st century (alliance and greens excepted).
    i think the prospect of “working full time monday to thursday” will also be very attractive to people of all religions, races, and any other sort of grouping you can think of!

  • Driftwood

    Basil McCrea (MP for Lagan Valley) as Secretary of State for Education?

  • Driftwood

    More seriously, Owen Patterson will be an excellent SoS here. Streets ahead of that playboy Woodward.

  • otto jaffe

    Well spotted slug. Difference here though which says that Alan Johnson’s pushing for adoption of the Jenkins report’s recommendations.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-richie/britain-may-adopt-instant_b_209549.html

    The Jenkins report’s suggestion had additional members appointed d’hondt style (from highest scoring losing candidates from the most unfairly rewarded parties) and according to this the proposal is to adopt Jenkins. Interestingly for us Jenkins also proposes that the same system be used in all UK legislatures, including Stormont.

    http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm40/4090/chap-7b.htm#c7-h

    Given continuing antipathy towards the tories (still just 38% after 12 years decontamination) AV without a top-up would be nuclear.

  • ??

    hopefully we could see local CU MPs as some part of the government in a few months……….

    not at 16% , even on a DUP bad day they still get beat

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    There were 2 ‘new’ parties going into this election the TUV and the UU/Tory Crypto Alliance.

    One of these parties added 60,000 votes (from zero) the other lost thousands.

    The fact that the DUP had a disatrous campaign has masked a poor one by the cryptros and led the BBC, remarkably, to claim that they had a good election.

    But UU pre-election Slugger posters admitted here that flatlining would be a poor outcome and it would be interesting to hear what they have to say now – no doubt ‘long road’ , ‘steady start’, ‘they loved us on the doorsteps’, ‘the people need time to understand our message’ and of course blah-de-fecking-blah.

    It simply does not stack up that the Tories who claim to believe in a multi-cultural Britain and can express such strong distaste for the BNP can then take a party like the UU to its bosom. It is an exercise in either self delusion or rank hypocricy.

    If they wanted to link up with the UU they should have first insisted they decomission their collaretes and end all personal links with the OO but instead we will have the spectacle of the majority/many of the Ulster elected members of a party belonging to the likely next government taking part in anti-Catholic marches throughout Norn Iron.

    Quite how they will explain this to middle England who have absolutely no idea what the leadership of the Tory party has signed up to is a mystery. Perhaps they will explain it away using the quite brilliant arguement advanced on Slugger by Seymour Major that you couldnt blame Unionists for being sectarain becuase they were only following the (Orange) orders of the sectarain organisation they belonged to.

    Non Tribal? Non Tribal me arse.

  • Greenflag

    IWSMWDI ,

    ‘Quite how they will explain this to middle England who have absolutely no idea what the leadership of the Tory party has signed up to is a mystery.’

    Not at all sammy -no mystery at all at all. They simply won’t explain it because they don’t have to . Middle England is not interested and truth to tell never has been interested in Ireland -North or South . If you did’nt pick up that message 1920 to 1969 I guess you won’t pick it up 2009 to 2059 ?

    Keep the lid on -try and stop the guns going off and just keep throwing a few billions at the problem every year and hopefully it will have the decency to go away by it’s own accord – just about sums up HMG’s policy (Tory or Labour or Liberal ) to NI .

  • Greenflag

    ps to above –

    As Reginald Maudling (Tory Minister ) put it so succinctly when he boarded a plane back to London from Belfast in more troublesome times .

    ‘get me a scotch please and get me out of this god awful f***ing country ‘

    He had a point 😉

    I doubt if there has’nt been an SOS since Maudling’s time who would not concur with the man’s sentiments . Of course they’d never say that in public -not politic you see !

  • Reader

    eranu: on a slightly nit picking point, as far as i know the proper grammar would be ‘Northern Irish people’. ‘ish’ being the international naming standard used everywhere else.
    Like Iceland, Greenland, New Zealand, Holland, Swaziland and Switzerland (Switzish?)

  • Dec

    As Reginald Maudling (Tory Minister ) put it so succinctly when he boarded a plane back to London from Belfast in more troublesome times .

    ‘get me a scotch please and get me out of this god awful f***ing country ‘

    My favourite Maudling anecdote was the one that ended up with Bernadette Devlin smacking him in the mouth.

  • otto jaffe

    ‘Swish’ reader?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Greenflag,

    it is a different sceanrio now – we are talking about the Tory party seeking to make a political point in Britian by linking with a party in Ulster. We have already had the Tesco GAA shirts, the non-attendance at the McDaid funeral and we have the upcoming marching season which will arrive in the middle of a three-way Unionist civil war. We now have 24 hour news and an almost dead and desperat Labour party looking for ANY weapon to attack the Tories with – I simply dont think the Tories have thought through the logic of their position.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    An absolute Stuck-record Sammy classic tonight! ‘It is an exercise in either self delusion or rank hypocricy [sic]’. Yeah, it’s up there with your fantastic slabber – cf. this laugh-a-minute demolition thereof: http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/its-an-ex-stadium-plan-for-maze/P50/ – about how P&J would be devolved last year, otherwise murderin’ Mart would ‘pull the plug’ and take Sinn Five out of government. But I admit, it’s nowhere near the level of self-delusion and hypocrisy you’ve managed to scale this year with your frit abandonment of your hysterially silly monopost – ‘da Brits can’t do nuffink!’ – which, somehow, has hilariously dwindled merely to, ‘oh pluze soir don’t do dem terrible tings’. Keep us laughing Stuck-record, but most importantly, keep on running.

  • Pete whitcroft

    Great clip, John Hardy(with the dark hair) and Steven Agnew’s reactions to realizing they are on camera are amusing towards the end of the clip at the count.

    Sylvia should be talked to by as many journos asap in order to establish what will be happening in North Down for the imminent Westminster.

    Will Dr Farry persuade another tactical withdrawal, how will the Greens react. It could be as exciting as the post Kilfedder by election.
    One big long ballot paper, as North Down independents can’t resist a chance to get noticed.

    North Antrim will be great to watch also.

  • pete whitcroft

    Here’s a thought.
    Could the Ni Lib Dems persuade the Norwich Lib Dems to back off the Norwich by election in return for an East Belfast back off come the general election?

  • eranu, you may have a point on the grammar but there is a general trend in linguistics whereby a separate version of a word for the adjective is displaced by using the proper noun as the adjective. “The Vietnam War” (not “Vietnamese”) and “The Iraq War” (not “Iraqi”) are amongst the more prominent cases. At what point does this trend stop being “wrong” and become “an accepted variant”?

  • New Blue

    Sammy

    #7

    I am very happy that my prediction of a european vote of 17% of first prefs was spot on (Comerade Stalin, I am looking forward to your donation to Simon Community for that one, Sammy Morse has already confirmed his intention to pay out). In an election that focussed on Unionist dissent, the fact that the only pro-union / all-union party did not see a reduction in its vote is a vote of approval for the partnership.

    As I had said in the run up to the European election, Westminster and Stormont will give us the chance to step up to the mark and show that our intention is to focus on non-sectarian, pro-union issue driven politics in Northern Ireland.

    The TUV have now taken the extreme Unionist vote, CU’s sit strongly in the middle/middle right pro-union slot, that puts the DUP in a position where they do not have anywhere to go (if they try to out TUV the TUV they will fall apart even quicker, and the Conservatives picked the UUP over the DUP for a very good reason).

    It was very interesting as an observer at the verification / count that so many people (media, other parties and even the ‘voting public’ who were verifying / counting) were genuinely interested in the partnership and were openly showing support to a move away from tribal politics.

    We have landed safely over the first hurdle (and not, as predicted by ‘Mystic ??’, lost the seat and fallen apart) and are in a strong and comfortable position to stand 18 candidates in the Westminster elections.

    Times are changing Sammy, the public are starting to understand that the UI issue is resolved and they do not have to vote out of fear anymore, they will start demanding issues and not sectarianism from their elected representatives, and if there’s one thing that this partnership will be able to offer it’s real political issues that will make peoples lives better.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    New Blue,

    The crypto UU/Tory alliance was/is a ‘new’ party and we were led to believe that the loyal people of Norn Iron, and paricularly those with a weakness for garden-centering, were keen to take advantage of this new electoral opportunity.

    There were more Tory grandees/drawbridgers in Norn Iron than you could shake a Westminster expenses form at in the run up to the election and with so much and fulsome postive coverage (unlike what the TUV had) we can safely assume that the message was safely delivered.

    So with everything in place there could be no excuses, all that was needed as for the new customers to eagerly rush in and snap up the new product. But there was no rush and the new customers didnt show – worse – 8271 of the existing customers didnt show either.

    Verdict: Re-packaged product given expensive make-over and professional marketing fails to match promotional amterial and just breaks even.

  • Greenflag

    IWSMWDI,

    ‘it is a different scenario now – we are talking about the Tory party seeking to make a political point in Britian by linking with a party in Ulster’

    Eh? What’s different about that ? It’s deja vu time. The last time the Tories made a similar politcal point in Ireland they left us with several thousand dead , partition , a quasi fascist government in NI and a civil war as well as laying the foundation for almost two generations of sectarian conflict within NI .

    ‘I simply dont think the Tories have thought through the logic of their position.’

    Eh ? When the Tories get a whiff of a possibility of a return to power they are like a pack of hungry hyenas who have just found an open gate to a field of sheep. Logic simply does not count . As for NOrthern Ireland and it’s divided people ?

    Means to an end dear boy -means to an end . And in the larger scheme of things not that important and ultimately expendable .

    Of course if the gunfire goes off again they will sit up and take notice for all of 20 minutes and then send over another Maudling to see what’s all the fuss about again- suspend Stormont and that will be that . They’ll not have either the patience or interest or cash to fart about in NI between the parties for another 40 years of talks about talks and agreements which don’t agree .

  • Driftwood

    Greenflag
    I quite liked Reggie Maudling.
    We could do a lot worse.
    The integrationist option is the least worst in my opinion. Northern Ireland is too small and tribal for self government.
    Let Owen Patterson run the show with our MP’s and get on with our lives. leave the past behind.

  • Greenflag

    Driftwood’

    ‘I quite liked Reggie Maudling’

    Margaret Thatcher did’nt . IIRC he was fired as Shadow Chancellor for being a bit too ‘wet’ and I don’t mean drunk . Did’nt like her monetarist policies. Given that he was fired by Thatcher the man must have had a humane side to his nature ? Dying at 61 of cirrhosis of the liver is no mean feat even for a Tory grandee .

    ‘We could do a lot worse’

    True.

    ‘The integrationist option is the least worst in my opinion. Northern Ireland is too small and tribal for self government.’

    A reasonable analysis . Problem being that since 1922 no British Government has adopted that approach and I doubt if Cameron will either. Since 1920 the approach of British Governments has been of the long spoon variety. It’s only since Blair’s premiership that enough effort was applied to the NI impasse . I suppose a decent case could be made that NI is ‘different ‘ enough from Scotland or Wales in it’s internal politics to merit a different approach .

    ‘leave the past behind’

    Tell that one to the TUV 🙁 While I generally agree that it’s best to forgive I believe it’s also important not to forget. Given the continuing ‘remembrance ‘ rituals that are prevalent within Northern Ireland society -people don’t get much opportunity to forget . Unfortunately this makes it less likely that they ‘forgive ‘ also .

  • Driftwood

    and I doubt if Cameron will either

    Don’t see why not. All real power is at Westminster, the Trumpton assembly is ,at best, a useless distraction. Cameron doesn’t like waste though, and boy does Stormont qualify for that term.
    The NIO can easily cope and an advisory role for Enda Kenny and co. should keep Nationialists happy.
    problem solved.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Don’t see why not’

    The Foreign Office won’t have it -longer term security issues and mainland interest . Keep the lid on till it goes away.

    ‘The NIO can easily cope and an advisory role for Enda Kenny and co. should keep Nationialists happy problem solved.

    Sheer genius if you catch my drift;) Remind me again who wanted devolution for NI and a return of Stormont and who felt that DR was unduly favouring the interests of the NI minority ?

    ‘Cameron doesn’t like waste though’

    Pre election spin for the boys . When in power it’ll be business as usual .

    ‘ and boy does Stormont qualify for that term’

    It always has -did’nt stop it for operating for 50 years through both Conservative and Labour governments .

  • eranu

    reader /tim , interesting points. but ‘ish’ has already been defined for people from Ireland. so the correct term after specifying the ‘Northern’ area of Ireland would also be ‘ish’. thats what i think anyway. That’s what people anywhere in the world would use.

    i think that the reason some unionist people say “Northern Ireland people” is because they have difficulty referring to themselves as Irish. that is pure weirdness.

    the much more amusing opposite to that is the way, it seems like, most nationalists do their best to avoid having to say Northern Ireland at all, especially when on TV panel discussion programs. They must have to concentrate hard to avoid letting a Northern Ireland slip out when everyone else is saying it. to me its looney behavior. If they do let a Northern Ireland slip out they will throw in a few ‘not saying Northern Irelands’ later on to balance things out.
    imagine having a discussion about the Belfast bus service with someone who refused to say the word bus. you would probably call in the men in white coats! 🙂
    a perfectly timed example – consider what is going through Mark McGregors mind in his post about the armed forces with his use of “the north of Ireland” when he is referring to Northern Ireland. Fair enough he doesn’t like the state, but to actually refuse to use the correct phrase or word for something seems pretty mad to me!
    If anyone doesn’t think this is mad then try refusing to use the word for a few things in work tomorrow and make up your own version instead!!