Three new Tory candidates stand down over rumours of Westminster pact…

Hmmm, call it snatching defeat from the jaws of victory… but three new Tory candidates (for South and East Belfast and Lagan Valley) were reported on the BBC as ‘standing down’, appears to be true… With the exception of Ballymena councillor Deirdre Nelson, all were relative newcomers to politics… two were women and two were Catholic… I am not sure what each were told by the party, but they clearly are not getting the same answers they were before the Hatfield House talks… They won’t be the only unhappy people if Cameron’s promise that he would run candidates in all 18 constituencies (unless of course the DUP is planning a merger before May…) proves not to have been worth the paper it wasn’t written on… We await to hear the *real news* if/when it follows…

  • Garza

    Sigh, once again I have no party and no-one to vote for.

    Congrats U&C’s, you f***ked up big time. I give up on this province, I really do.

  • DisgustedinDERRY

    No room for partisan politics.

    No room for liars (Cameron, Patterson)

    No room for a supposed referee to interfere.

    It is now the Nationalist people in Ireland against the whole of English politics.

    Maybe nationalism needs to take the battle to England to make awareness of our plight for equality in this apparent democracy????

  • Paddy Matthews

    Sorry, Mick, I realise that you might have had a lot invested in this, but you and the rest of the Kumbaya brigade have been had.

    Can we take it that the 21st century Achill Mission is being abandoned and the next British government will instead be adopting a policy of pan-Protestant/Unionist governance?

    It may turn out to be an interesting few years ahead.

  • Framer

    Their choice. Unionism is never easy but South Belfast was a winnable seat and they seem to have walked away.

    Perhaps with the DUP fractured there is the opportunity for realignment thanks to Kirk McCambley.

  • granni trixie

    DisgustedinDerry: grow up.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Dear O dear

    So the people of NI are the first to find out that Blairlite PoshBoy David Cameron is not to be trusted and will say or do anything to get elected and to gain power.

    Well its nice to be the first to get shafted. The NI people will be the first of many.

    After the treasonous Blair would’nt you think that people would get smart.

  • Driftwood

    Pragmatism, garza, pragmatism. trumps idealism everytime.
    The most important thing is to get a Unionist Government at Westminster. Everything else, including the mickey mouse assembly, is a sideshow.
    Owen Patterson is growing in stature by the minute. His talk tonight about NI being at the heart of the UK government is what counts.
    That might mean a slight compromise of principles along the way, but..eyes on the prize.

  • Here’s what Deirdre Nelson had to say on her Facebook page:

    Joanne, don’t think the Tories do want it. Certainly those I’ve spoken to have been bouncing! Think there was an error of judgement and if they do decide to go down this road, I’ll be first out of the door and out of politics

  • New Blue

    Garza (post #1)

    Don’t tear up your vote just yet…………

  • Garza

    alkmaar Deirde Nelson, also said this on facebook.

    “DUP have no intention of a unionist pact. They don’t play nice with the other children (tend to just beat them up) and they’re trying to take over the UUP by pretending they’re not the playground bully.”

  • I hope that’s what happens Garza. Fingers crossed.

  • Not surprised. But those three need to pick up their Teddys and realise that if they are truly committed to the Conservative Party that there must be balances, compromises and sacrifices on the path to Government. That is exactly what they wanted, real big politics. The Conservative Party is a national Party with local aspirations, not a local Party with national aspirations. The interests of the country comes first surely, which means whatever is necessary to assure a Conservative Government come the election.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I find this absolutely hilarious……that so many people who pride themselves on knowing about politics in Norn Iron got it so hopelessly wrong.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Was this an actual promise from Cameron or just another one of those cast iron guarantees?

  • Garza

    “Pragmatism, garza, pragmatism. trumps idealism everytime.”

    Maybe driftwood, but I’m not the sorta unionist who votes for a monkey draped in a union jack. I vote for policies. The DUP are almost the complete opposite of my values, the only thing we agree on is the union, that’s it.

    Pragmatism is all well and good, but if they expect me to vote for Sammy Wilson just because he is a unionist, they have misjudged the moderate unionist electorate completely.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I never thought the UCUNF project would amount to much and I always thought that the Conservative Party would sacrifice it in an instant in exchange for anything that would help secure their hold on power. I didn’t think the Tories would be so utterly shameless about it, though. I feel sorry for the people who signed up in the hope that they were getting something new. I didn’t agree with their choice but at least they were heading in the right direction.

    Drifty:

    The most important thing is to get a Unionist Government at Westminster.

    It is fair enough to oppose devolution, as you do, but wanting an outwardly partisan government in London would be a serious mistake. There hasn’t been a capital-U Unionist government at Westminster for a very, very long time. If there ever is one, we will have a constitutional crisis.

    Westminster roles are pretty much restricted to facilitation and administration.

    Dierdre Nelson says she wants non-sectarian, non tribal politics, so why was her first choice of parties the DUP ? I think she’s little more than an opportunist.

  • Framer

    Garza – You don’t have to vote for Sammy Wilson. He is in a safe unionist seat.

    However unionism can never be about being moderate. It has to be intransigent to survive.

  • Harry J

    Reg has to go, this is an embarresment.

  • Never fear, UKIP are going to launch here soon. That’ll make everything better!!

  • Driftwood

    Yes Garza, fully understand. But the only way this will work is if its under a Tory manifesto. There’s no way ‘Dr'(ha!)Willie McCrea & Co. will get near any nominations.
    If this gets off the ground (a big if)no candidate will have any ‘baggage’. Patterson would make sure of that. Wait and see. People are jumping the gun. New names may emerge—Collins?

  • Harry J

    New names may emerge—-Collins?

    the B team, although the A team wasnt up to much

    Bye Bye Reg,

  • Comrade Stalin

    Collins ? Put the glue pot down for christ’s sake.

  • Driftwood

    Comrade
    I don’t know if you heard Owen Patterson on Radio Ulster tonight, but he was, as you put it, openly partisan-Unionist, with a capital U. Cameron has used similar language. It may only be rhetoric, but perception is important.
    I think the Tories have little empathy with all the devolved administrations in the UK, seeing them as regional opposition, much like the old GLC.
    Good.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Driftwood:

    But the only way this will work is if its under a Tory manifesto. There’s no way ‘Dr’(ha!)Willie McCrea & Co. will get near any nominations.

    The conceit of the Northern Ireland Conservatives – the microparty who got a grand total of 108 first preferences at the 2007 Assembly elections in South Belfast – never ceases to amaze.

  • Jaggers

    So much for Owen Partisan’s clumsy assertions that last weekend was about how “to explore how we might overcome some of the political instabilities at Stormont, and to avoid a situation in which we might potentially, should we win the election, inherit a collapsed Assembly and direct rule”

  • Driftwood

    Glass of Cabernet Sauvignon Comrade, but why not Collins?
    And McFarland for North Down…

    Anyway, by next week we could be back to the same old same old.
    Enjoy your conference tomorrow.

  • Garza

    “Yes Garza, fully understand. But the only way this will work is if its under a Tory manifesto.”

    That doesn’t matter, the pact was not just about NI politicans being in government, it was to promote the idea of normal politics, it might have took a while, but that was the main goal, thats the main reason I joined up. But now its going to be the same prod vs catholic shite.

    And for what? To save the DUP’s ass from being hammered in the polls? The same DUP that jeered, booed, smurked at us in General elections 2005?
    And I can assure you that the leader and the people he surrounds him/herself with of this “new unionist party” will not be UUP members.
    Wee Reg will be pushed over like a domino.

  • Driftwood

    Give it a few days Garza, it could easily be misinterpreted. There is no way Cameron will allow a seemingly contrite Robinson much (if any leeway). Rumours abound.
    Patterson seems a decent bloke, he’ll be a good SoS, unlike the appalling Woodward.

    It’s not always prod v catholic. i’ll be voting for Eddie McGrady as a good constituency MP.

  • What an utter mess. Jeff Peel may have been right …

  • Harry J

    And for what? To save the DUP’s ass from being hammered in the polls?…………..

    the reason for the meeting on sunday was because Tory private polling was very poor for the UUP, they are useless as far as the Tories are concerned for winning seats here…bring on the DUP

  • New Blue

    I agree with Driftwood here, after the dust settles we could all find ourselves offered something very new.

  • LabourNIman

    DisgustedinDERRY – you’re rants sometimes remind me of the local drunkard that can only talk at people in short sentences.

    Moving on – It really is sad to see as I was genuinely curious to see how the pact would do and if any tory party members would be elected.

    Unfortunately, many of the hardcore unionist MP’s fit the ‘Rupert Murdoch’ conservatives that the Tory party is turning into (lets face it most of their polices are a tame version of the US republican party). So they will actually fit in quite well should they win the election and sky news becomes the Right-wing Fox news of the UK.

  • Garza

    I hope your right new blue.

  • Harry J

    #

    I agree with Driftwood here, after the dust settles we could all find ourselves offered something very new.
    Posted by New Blue on Jan 22, 2010 @ 08:51 PM

    Welcome to the DUP uionist party blue

  • Garza,

    I personally have never voted for a DUP candidate, never mind worked to get one elected and I don’t intend to start now but this is the key sentence in Mick’s post:

    We await to hear the *real news* if/when it follows…

    Wait and see

  • Dec

    Ha Ha Ha!

    I haven’t laughed so much since the DUP claimed they don’t attend to business on ‘the Sabbath’. Good to see driftwood’s man love for Tim Collins shows no sign of abating. Just what is it with him and men in uniform?

  • DisgustedinDERRY

    Driftwood

    You’ll be glad it’s Saturday tomorrow, no primary school. At least you can have a lie on, must be terrible, them squaddies keeping you and your mammy up all night.

    Anyway, when will unionism ever learn, as far as English politicians are concerned, we’re all just Paddies, they couldn’t care less. I would love them to swipe the board in England and Wales as they might do. Unionism would be cast aside like the Paddies there seen to be by the Tories!!

  • Was one of these the woman on the news the other night does anyone know?

    And is anyone – apart from these three – shocked? We all new that the secular rhetoric from the Tories who promised us a new type of politics was a load of nonsense. But nice to see that proven.

  • Scaramoosh

    What a farce and what a blow to all of those right wing catholic members of the shoneen clan.

  • I think I will reserve judgement until the story becomes clearer but a single Unionist party of sorts makes sense.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t know if you heard Owen Patterson on Radio Ulster tonight, but he was, as you put it, openly partisan-Unionist, with a capital U.

    So was Thatcher, and Airey Neave. Made fuck all difference when it came to the crunch.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Perhaps private Tory polls on the British isle have let the Tories know that Blairlite Posh Boy David Cameron is not going down as well with the electorate as he should be considering Labours woes.

    The British people are not drawn to Blairlite Posh Boy David Cameron but as they have little choice they may have to pinch their nose.

    Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

  • Kevsterino

    Labour must be in serious trouble if the British people are putting their faith in David Cameron.

  • Cynic2

    ” So was Thatcher”

    Presumably that’s why, when she offered the deal to the Hunger Strikers the SF leadership now appear to have decided not to bother them with the details?

  • Cynic2

    Why when Unionists talk about getting together, is it automatically deemed ‘sectarian’. I listened to Alistair McDonnell’s rant tonight about the ‘orange card’. He did everything but wrap himself in a Tricolour and shout vote fr me for party leader. And what sort of party does he lead? How many SDLP members are Unionists? Protestants? Female? Under 40?

    Whoops, you don’t mean that its a sectarian party do you Alistair?

    And of course for Nationalists the DUP is the ultimate sectarian party while Sf is well, just SF.

  • Cynic2

    The BBC report said that they stood down because the UUP was taking too long to confirm who the candidates would be

  • FitzjamesHorse

    cynic2……you are unfortunately comparing apples with oranges (to coin a phrase).
    Rather obviously as McDonnell won South Belfast on a split vote is unlikey to hold it…against a single unionist candidate…..it is in the mans interest to face two candidates this time. Even then he will be relying on eating into a “soft” SF vote which he did last time…but playing the “Tricolour card” would be of little use in gaining hardline SF votes….and would jeopardise “soft” Alliance votes.

    There is not likely to be an agreed Nationalist candidate in FST or South Belfast so quite clearly the nationalists wont be playing the sectarian…….oops I mean “pro union vote” card.

    I have no idea about membership of the SDLP but Id hazard a wild guess that NONE are unionists…..for the rather obvious reason its a nationalist party.

  • Driftwood

    Comrade
    Airey Neave (read his biog sometime):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airey_Neave

    Neave’s biographer Paul Routledge met with a member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (the political wing of INLA) who was involved in the killing of Neave and who told Routledge that Neave “would have been very successful at that job [Northern Ireland Secretary]. He would have brought the armed struggle to its knees”.

    Thatcher will be no doubt commented on here in the next year or so.

    Your point is that the Tories will do what suits, regardless of local opinion. I agree. I’m sure parts of Yorkshire and Wales would concur.

    So Gerry Adams and Peter Robinson are better people than the Colditz escapee and Europes most influential politician of the last 40 years?
    Obviously Neave and Thatcher will never meet the lofty heights of David Ford,eh?

  • Why when Unionists talk about getting together, is it automatically deemed ‘sectarian’.

    It’s one of those quirks of the English language:

    A Derry protestant who votes Durkan to keep out the shinners is tactical

    A Dungannon Protestant who votes Foster to keep out the shinners is sectarian

    I wonder if the adjective follows similar patterns in Irish.

  • West Sider

    Unionism’s survival was always and will always be dependent on creating Catholic unionists.

    They’ve just hit the wrong button. One was marked self-destruction, the other self preservation – the former has been pushed.

    Good luck to them, putting all their faith in a Tory government.

    Let’s look at the Conservative and Unionist Party track record: suspends Stormont, signs the Anglo Irish Agreement, signs off on the Framework Documents, sets up the Parades Commission.

    Enjoy the future Reg and Peter – and although we can’t be certain about anything, one news story alone is definite: “Unionist fury at government treaty”

  • DisgustedinDERRY

    Driftwood

    Still putting your faith in wiki, I told you it’s no good for academia, but of course you wont find out for a few years yet.

    How many squaddies are in tonight?

    Hypocrite tories, showing their true colours like a rainbow high in the sky!!!

  • Driftwood,

    If the Tories are so pro Unionist why did they side with SF by calling for ‘early devoltuion’ and putting pressure on the DUP to make a deal with SF when the STA did not contain any deadline?
    They have had one test of their Unionism to date and failed miserably.

    Of course the Tories want a few extra seats and who can blame them for riding to the rescue of the DUP in order to help secure their own victory?

    But, the reality for Unionists is, that the GFA/STA is here to stay and Owen Patterson will behave exactly like Woodward, who is more Tory than Tories themselves and will reconvene talks and pressurise Unionists into making a deal with Nationalism in exactly the same way as the Labour party did.

    Stormont will be back, if indeed it does fall, in the same format, although it may take a couple of years.

  • West Sider

    P&J will be devolved this year, regardless of who is at the helm of the British government.

    It’s a nothing to see here scenario.

  • Driftwood

    Moderate Unionist
    Agree, mostly. The Conservative Party are checking out all future scenarios for power. Of course they will do what it takes. But their history is pro-union and much better than Labour, who tend toward ditching us.
    We don’t really matter in the General Election anymore than the Isle of Wight.
    It’s the economy, stupid. And we are too small to register, sort of. And P&J will be devolved, no matter what. So what then.
    IMO, we stick with the Tories, be generous to certain Irish nationalist concerns, and let’s ditch the religion crap. Abortion as on the mainland etc. Don’t forget, the Union Jack (2 of them) flies over Stormont. Come May, we’re sitting pretty. We can afford to throw a few breadcrumbs.

  • West Sider,

    if there is no deal before the election and it is a hung parliament with either Labour, Tory, Liberals, UKIP, BNP or combinations thereof relying on unionist votes there will be no devolution of police and justice.

    Equally if Stormont falls, which looks quite likely again, there will be no devolution of Police until it is put back together again and this may take years.

    Driftwood,

    Three letters from 1985. AIA.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    There are NO circumstances under which the Conservatives will be part of any pact that involves the DUP and any thoughts to the contrary are just plain wrong.

    The thought that Cameron would expose himself to ridicule by being linked to extreme DUP members and the baggage they carry is not remotely possible.

    If there are Orange elements in the UUP who do favour deals with other Orange elements in the DUP they would split their party. They just haven’t realised that the Orange card has gone from politics and large sections of the UUP membership hate the DUP with a passion.

    So the UUP must realise that their party cannot ride two horses at once and the rumoured months of stalling over candidate selection is over, they either deal with the DUP or the Conservatives there is NO middle ground.

    In the unlikely event that the UUP leadership were to endorse a deal with the DUP they would have started a process which would see the beginning of the end for the UUP at all levels. It is a rare leadership that would contemplate achieving failure from almost certain success.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    The Tories will be at arms length from any deal or pact.
    For example the only two seats that can be targetted in a pact are South Belfast and Fermanagh South Tyrone.
    If the UUP select a candiadte and the DUP just happen not to choose one, then the Tories will claim their hands are clean.
    Realistically DUP can oppose UUP in the other seats with no real change.

  • Paddy Matthews

    There are NO circumstances under which the Conservatives will be part of any pact that involves the DUP and any thoughts to the contrary are just plain wrong.

    The thought that Cameron would expose himself to ridicule by being linked to extreme DUP members and the baggage they carry is not remotely possible.

    Perhaps the situation has developed not necessarily to your advantage – you may need to learn to endure the unendurable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teruo_Nakamura

  • someone

    Mr Patterson does crazy secret meeting without telling anyone. Silly him – managed to enrage most UUP members, all Conservatives and, most crucially, Mr Cameron whose reputation he has besmirched.

    Shall we open a book on how long he lasts?

    The pact of C&U will survive and the DUP spin of a pact with them will be seen for the shallow dreaming it is.

    New nonsectarian politics for NI lives (just not now with Mr Patterson involved).

  • As a nationalist, I have some sympathy for Catholic Unionists in the UUP/Conservative camp. Secret talks between the UUP and DUP and the next thing you know the two Catholic nominees are history. Short term gain for sectarianism, long term gain for nationalists poaching Catholic fence sitters. Good times ahead.

  • Harry J

    There are NO circumstances under which the Conservatives will be part of any pact that involves the DUP and any thoughts to the contrary are just plain wrong……………

    you, like reg and basil, arent in the loop on this, speak to Danny Kennedy

  • Harry J

    Mr Patterson does crazy secret meeting without telling anyone. Silly him – managed to enrage most UUP members, all Conservatives and, most crucially, Mr Cameron whose reputation he has besmirched………….

    i dont think you`ll find anywhere where it states Dave C was enraged over this meeting

  • We are twelve hours into what looks like a significant UCUNF crisis.

    Now, here’s a really interesting point. The (English) Tory websites (“Bigger scoops than Ben and Jerry’s” etc.) have had time to acknowledge and congratulate the prospective candidate for Spelthorne (think Heathrow South). But still maintain silence on this one.

    What was that thing about:

    a quarrel in a far away country by people of which we know little?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Harry J

    I wasn’t aware DK is in the Conservative party and speaks for them on policy issues.

    DC is hardly likely to speak in public at this stage is he.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Moderate Unionist,

    I already mentioned the AIA to Driftwood. Anything he doesn’t like goes straight in one ear and out the other.

    Just because the Tories wave lots of union jacks all over the place doesn’t make them any more inclined to work with unionists. It didn’t help in the past, of course, that unionists were so utterly obstinate and unwilling to help.

  • Framer

    By collapsing the UCUNF electoral arrangement between the Tories and the UUP, the three NI Conservative candidates have opened the way for Sylvia Hermon to offer herself again as the UUP MP in North Down.

    Meanwhile expect all candidate arrangements in unionism for the general election to be reviewed.

  • someone

    Framer,

    UCUNF deal has not collapsed. Yesterday was not a good day for it but it certainly wasn’t the end.

  • Sammy Morse

    There’s panic on the streets of Whitchurch. Panic on the streets of Oxfordshire.

  • Cynic2

    Now calm down girls. Seldom have so many knickers been twisted.

  • Cynic2

    Indeed, I am not usually so prescient but look what has happened today.

    SF have blinked. Yes, blinked and in public and in the daylight.

    Now just ask yourself, why might that have happened? What change came into the political equation at this late stage to make them think that collapsing the Assembly might not actually be a good thing? It could be that they just don’t want to or that they are simply trying to pass the blame to the DUPs for what may follow. But that wont be so easy if Robinson plays cute and strings them along.

    Could it even be that the Conservative initiative, far from destablising the talks, has actually helped create a new dynamic that may allow them to stagger on?

  • GavBelfast

    Useless ‘leader’.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8476569.stm

    If this First Minister thing really matters, Empey should also be tearing-into the DUP about how it put its own short-sighted and selfish party political advantage and vanity before country by changing the way the First / Deputy First Ministers were elected (biggest and second biggest parties rather than first and second biggest designations as had been the case with Trimble and Mallon/ Durkan). Had it been left alone (by the DUP), this worry about McGuinness being FM wouldn’t be happening now. On top of this, there’s the complete ineffectiveness of the SF/DUPO axis in general and their ministers. It’s been practically an open-goal to attack by anyone with any gumption at all. But, no, not Reg.

    Empey (and others, but let’s concentrate on him) has been gifted a perhaps unique opportunity, by the Conservatives and by current circumstances, to really make a positive change to the stale old headcount, achieve nothing, stalemate politics here, and he’s blowing it.

    Bye-bye, Reg, and Co, and possibly UUP with it. If this is the way it’s gonna be, they won’t be missed.

  • GavBelfast

    Useless ‘leader’.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8476569.stm

    If this First Minister thing really matters, Empey should also be tearing-into the DUP about how it put its own short-sighted and selfish party political advantage and vanity before country by changing the way the First / Deputy First Ministers were elected (biggest and second biggest parties rather than first and second biggest designations as had been the case with Trimble and Mallon/ Durkan). Had it been left alone (by the DUP), this worry about McGuinness being FM wouldn’t be happening now. On top of this, there’s the complete ineffectiveness of the SF/DUPO axis in general and their ministers. It’s been practically an open-goal to attack by anyone with any gumption at all. But, no, not Reg.

    Empey (and others, but let’s concentrate on him) has been gifted a perhaps unique opportunity, by the Conservatives and by current circumstances, to really make a positive change to the stale old headcount, achieve nothing, stalemate politics here, and he’s blowing it.

    Bye-bye, Reg, and Co, and possibly UUP with it. If this is the way it’s gonna be, they won’t be missed.