Unionist unity: “Think about it Peter!”

Nice line from Reg Empey at the weekend, in response to the Unionist Unity candidate question of who gets to run in South Belfast and Fermanagh South Tyrone:

“The honourable thing to do is to let us have the opportunity to win them back for unionism,” he said. “If this is done perhaps we can take seriously the calls for unionist unity. As the DUP do not hold either of these seats and never have held them, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Think about it Peter!”

,

  • Brian Walker

    Stikes me as a weak and late reply to Arlene Foster’s apparent offer to stand down in favour of an agreed third party unionist. The potent results is not the 2005 Westminster but the 2007 Assembly election, won decisively through defection by the DUP over the UUP by almost 6% and ons seat. Once gained, hardly to be lost now?

  • Cynic2

    The DUP isn’t really interested in a deal. What they want to do is:

    1 use this to split the UUP/ Conservative alliance because they sees that in the long term that might just start to lift some NI politics out of the sectarian swamp it currently wallows in. And the DUP is very happy in that swamp, as are their partners in government. It makes getting votes easy

    2 trying to lay off blame because behind the scenes the DUP will only deal on their terms – which means their candidates under a different label

    By the way, why are Peter and our esteemed Secretary of State so pally these days? After all Sean has exonerated Peter before the investigation is over and Peter seems to be returning the favour in rescuing Sean’s Peace Process (TM).

    Cant be much longer before the ermine is dragged out again. I assume that when Peter does stand down in East Belfast his Labour masters will do the decent thing and elevate him to the Upper House where his talents will be so useful.

  • PJM

    Presumably this is a negotiating position. Even for the Unionist parties it would be shocking incompetence to concede S. Belfast and Ferm/STyr over something as irrelevent as who held them once.I know Empey is useless but he has to see that the choice is between one seat or none.

  • granni trixie

    “win them back for unionism”: so much for claims that the UU with the Tories will be the party best placed to deliver a shared future.
    Shared by unionists alone.

    make up yer mind Reg.

  • Impartial Reporter

    I believe very strongly that DUP will not contend South Belfast or F&ST; – I am still not sure whether Mr. Robinson will contend East Belfast.

    There is so much waiting to drop on their heads, and they know how many lifelong DUP supporters are so sickened by their activities that they will never vote for them again.

    DUP have now got to accept that they will never be seen as a unionist party, they are all about the power and the money and the last year has shown everybody that.

  • Drumlins Rock

    just depends on whether these thing “drop” in the next 5 weeks!

  • ding dong

    Can someone please tell me what unionist ideology the DUP and the UUP share?

    Now I appreciated that in the NI colour stakes the DUP see the UUP as fellow prods but what political ideology as opposed to religious ideology, do they share?

    Clearly the DUP are very at home occupying the Ulster Nationalist ground – its all Westminster’s fault, if only they would give us more money. You know the type – begging bowl unionism but unless I’m mistaken this form of insular unionism/ulster nationalism doesn’t gel with the British Unionism currently being trumpeted by Empey and Cameron – so lets try again is it unionist unity Peter and his mates are after or prod unity?

    personally me thinks its the later.

  • georgieleigh

    Why are the British Labour Party not asking Dave if it is now official Conservative policy to make electoral pacts with Protestant fundamentalists to stop Catholics being elected as MPs?

  • alan56

    G
    Probably because its not true?

  • Lionel Hutz

    All of this talk and political maneavouring over Unionist Unity might play well so long as it doesn’t actually happen. does anyone believe that if it did happen, it would be anything other than an unmitigated disaster? They would replace a split vote with a disillusioned and absent vote

  • Alan N/Ards

    georgieleigh

    More like trying to keep Gildernew out. Don’t really blame them in doing that. It’s a shame that the unionist parties, in the main, draw their support from the protestant community and the nationalists mainly from the RC community. Only when the constitutional issue is put to bed will this change. I personally can’t wait until NI has a labour party which is not officially linked to the British labour or Irish labour parties.

  • joeCanuck

    Only when the constitutional issue is put to bed

    Alan, It is having a nap at the moment. I don’t think it will ever be put to bed.

  • Harry J

    Clearly the DUP are very at home occupying the Ulster Nationalist ground – its all Westminster’s fault, if only they would give us more money..

    id love to see where the DUP have said that.

  • Still waiting on you replying to my last Harry J. It’s on the Robinson post in case you lost your memory as well as your balls.

  • Harry J

    Still waiting on you replying to my last Harry J. It’s on the Robinson post in case you lost your memory as well as your balls. ………..

    im just bored with UUP trolls, where are you ? UUP HQ otherwise known as the cupboard beside Regs office

  • dodrade

    In his speech Empey said unionist division was the DUP’s fault as unionism was united under the UUP until Paisley came along.

    Just to make sure, is the current UUP leader the same Reg Empey who was a leading member of Vanguard and the UUUP before crawling back to the Ulster Unionists?

  • Harry J

    Simon “Standing up for the Little Ulstermen” Hamilton:

    http://tinyurl.com/yjjxvmb

    “The UUP is divided on the Party’s marriage with the English Tories even though the electorate wants MPs answerable to people in Ulster not to home county Conservatives.”

    Never mind there will be Conservative and Unionist MPs also elected in Scotland, Wales and, hopefully, Northern Ireland…if Hamiltom isn’t an Ulster nationalist at heart, then why did he then use “English” and “home county” as quite obviously pejorative terms…are they some kind of lesser breed of Brit in his and your book?

  • GavBelfast

    Where’s the clamour for this so-called “Unionist Unity” anyway?

    (Not counting the Harry J sock-puppets of this world.)

    As for Hamilton, he almost seems naked without Iris.

  • Harry J, I’ll take that as meaning you have no balls! lol. As a DUPed man you really should open your eyes!

  • Driftwood

    The Conservatives are a Unionist party. The DUP seem to think the rest of the United Kingdom exists purely for funding a semi – detached fiefdom carved up with their new ‘best mates’ in SF.
    Of course now that Robinson is in Marty’s back pocket, that can only mean further detachment. As the dwindling army garrison here (courtesy of Hillsborough)is just one manifestation.

  • Justin Case…

    The UUP is divided on the Party’s marriage with the English Tories even though the electorate wants MPs answerable to people in Ulster not to home county Conservatives. – Simon Hamilton

    That is a shocking statement for any pro union representative to come out with. So apparently Unionists don’t like the English anymore? For God’s sake and I thought Hamilton was one of the more semi intelligent DUP reps.

  • Comrade Stalin

    That is a shocking statement for any pro union representative to come out with. So apparently Unionists don’t like the English anymore?

    How long did it take you to figure this out ? Since when have Unionists ever voted consistently for any kind of line promoting closer UK integration ?

  • Justin Case…

    Since when have Unionists ever voted consistently for any kind of line promoting closer UK integration?

    Surely that is what the UUP/Tories are now doing?

    But consistency is not a strong point for any Alliance person to be arguing. How is David Ford these days? Has he been round to Peter’s and Martin’s yet for his dress fitting?

  • alan56

    If the constitutional position has for now been settled by GFA/StAA and HCA then why is unionist unity so important right now?

  • granni trixie

    Justin: In the context of so many leaders in NI being caught up in serious scandals, it is great to be in a party where the most you can level at the leader is that he wears a frock.

  • Drumlins Rock

    stop it trixie, your giving me nightmares!

    ford in a frock, ugg,

  • Comrade Stalin

    Surely that is what the UUP/Tories are now doing?

    Yes, and long may it continue. The UUP is now a party with no MPs with parliament in session since, oh, around about the first time since partition I reckon. A resounding success, unless of course you’re a UUP supporter.

    At least Reg has ended the stupid pretence about non-tribal politics and gone back to the nonsense about “winning the seat for unionism”. Why exactly he thinks that a party which has 8 seats should, out of the kindness of their hearts, gift seats to a party which has no seats.

    Say what you like about Alliance, at least the party expects to be held properly to account by the electorate rather than publicly conspiring in organized vote-rigging.

  • PaddyReilly

    Surely the net result of Unionist unity would be Nationalist unity, followed by no change?

  • joeCanuck

    Yes indeed, Paddy Reilly. Tribalism rules. Beat the drums. Bah!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Joe, more accurately, talking about being non-sectarian and wanting to appeal to everyone quickly goes out the window when there’s a seat in the offing.

  • Impartial Reporter

    Mr. Stalin

    Say what you like about Alliance, at least the party expects to be held properly to account by the electorate rather than publicly conspiring in organized vote-rigging.

    You and your Alliance drones keep ignoring my question on other threads, must I follow you here to get an answer?

    Now that UUP have said that they will support the SDLP Justice candidate (giving them cross designation support) will Alliance remove their candidate and allow the mandate of the people be recognised in selection of the justice minister?

    Or is the thought of a puppet minster in a dysfunctional assembly (and being best friends with your new comrades in the DUP)too exciting too turn down?

  • Comrade Stalin

    IR, believe me, I’m so excited to have my very own stalker. You may disagree but please do not accuse me of running away from your questions. I made a point of digging up an older thread a few days ago and replying to one of your points here. I hope you’re going to be man enough to apologize.

    I don’t sit here 24 hours a day and listen for people’s questions. Usually I just look through the list of threads on the right with the latest replies, unless there is a particular thread that really grabbed my attention. Boring partisan rants from Young Unionist/UUP stooges really aren’t what get me up out of bed in the morning.

    Now that UUP have said that they will support the SDLP Justice candidate (giving them cross designation support)

    I appreciate the opportunity to point out once again that the UUP have a very poor record for actively supporting non-unionists into positions of authority. What’s the logic in the UUP telling voters in South Belfast and FST that they should club together to maximise unionist representation and face down nationalists, while simultaneously voting for Alban in one of the most important ministerial roles in the executive ?

    If it isn’t already clear to you, it should be now : it’s a stunt. For example, the UUP had the opportunity to vote for the first Catholic Lord Mayor of Newtownabbey a couple of years ago when Alliance nominated Billy Webb. The UUP obviously don’t have a problem with Alliance because they did support Lynn Frazer a few years beforehand. There is also an SDLP councillor there. There is no evidence, of course, of a sectarian motive but I have my suspicions. Why don’t the UUP adopt a proper cross-community consensus approach, and join with the SDLP and others to create a broad moderate base ? The answer is because they aren’t moderate and they won’t have fenians in power unless it’s forced on them.

    will Alliance remove their candidate and allow the mandate of the people be recognised in selection of the justice minister?

    Why would Alliance remove it’s candidate ? If it is the will of the people (through their elected MLAs) that there should be an Alliance justice minister, then it will happen. I don’t think Alban would be as good a minister as Ford is (I don’t think his ties to the legal business make him the best person to shake up our expensive clique-ish legal profession and judiciary here) but I’m sure he’d do a fine job. And of course, if Alban gets the ministerial role he will have my full support and the constructive contribution of the Alliance MLAs at Stormont.

    If it is not the will of the people that there should be an Alliance justice minister, then of course the DUP and SF will be punished for choosing this course of action.

    Or is the thought of a puppet minster in a dysfunctional assembly (and being best friends with your new comrades in the DUP)too exciting too turn down?

    People go into politics seeking a role in government in order to implement their policies. That’s why the SDLP and UUP are still in the executive, despite their complaints, and why Alliance will participate in the executive. I’m confident that Alliance’s role will lead to more constructive politics in the executive, just as it’s role holding the balance of power has led to more constructive politics in Belfast City Hall.

  • granni trixie

    CS; Magnificent!

  • someone

    What’s the logic in the UUP telling voters in South Belfast and FST that they should club together to maximise unionist representation and face down nationalists, while simultaneously voting for Alban in one of the most important ministerial roles in the executive?
    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Mar 30, 2010 @ 02:05 PM

    Except, as you know, they are not supporting so-called “unionist unity”. UCUNF are pledged (by David Cameron, repeatedly) to stand in all 18 seats, and both SB & FST have declared UCUNF candidates. Campaigning has begun in South Belfast certainly, I am not familiar with FST.

    Why Reg is bothering to even respond to the DUP nonsense I don’t know, because it does him no good and in my view it would be better to ignore it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Except, as you know, they are not supporting so-called “unionist unity”.

    Yes they are. The important detail is that they’re asking the DUP to do it. Go on, give us a couple o’ seats. You know it makes sense.

    UCUNF are pledged (by David Cameron, repeatedly) to stand in all 18 seats, and both SB & FST have declared UCUNF candidates.

    Referring to “UCUNF” is a bit of a joke really considering that two out of 18 candidates are Tories, and one of those is aligning himself with the UUP line and against what is, according to Paul Goodman, Conservative policy “[..] The Conservative Front Bench does [support the devolution of policing and justice powers] .. “.

    The selection process has been the farce we all predicted that it would be, (with local selection boards being overruled centrally in several cases) and UCUNF is plainly nothing other than the Conservative brand slapped on front of a tired old establishment party.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The contributions to this thread just remind me of how bankrupt unionism is. Bereft of ideas or original, the best way unionist parties can come up with managing election battles is to appeal to their nearest competitors not to stand, as if they already know that they can’t win through sheer force of argument.

  • someone

    Comrade,

    Which of the UCUNF candidates in any of the seats which they could hope to have a chance of winning are tired old establishment party as you put it? Ringland, Hamilton, Bradshaw, Parsley? None of them fit that description in my book…

    Irrespective of which party background they have they will sit as FULL conservative members of parliament if elected and will contribute to what I hope is Cameron’s majority. Is that just the Conservative brand slapped on? Doesn’t look like it to me – looks like my vote will count in this general election – for the first time in my life! Now that sounds pretty damn good to me! What does your party offer me again? Oh yes, I remember now – nothing…

    So who is bankrupt for ideas? The party offering to remove most of Labour’s tax rise on employment, or Alliance who sold out to get their hands on the puppet ministry? You really do make me laugh sometimes!

    Cameron impresses – UCUNF lets me vote for him.
    Brown is awful – DUP/SDLP/Hermon is a vote for him, no thanks!
    Clegg does not impress – Alliance (who impress even less) is a vote for him, no thanks.

    The one thing we can agree on however that the selection process was horribly drawn out and pretty unpleasant for everyone – but that is (a) politics for you and (b) history now (okay almost – one to go) and they have put up a good slate of candidates where it matters (again one remaining). So process bad, but result good and it is results that count!

  • granni trixie

    ‘Someone’ would you be a paula yerself?

  • someone

    granni

    catagorically not 🙂

  • Justin Case…

    Comrade Stalin

    I have a simple question for you. Did the Alliance Party win enough seats in 2007 to entitle them to the Justice post?

    It is a fact that they did not when looking at it in terms if d’Hondt.

    Why are the APNI more entitled to it than the SDLP? They after all far more electorally popular than the APNI, they have support across the province instead of Greater Belfast which Alliance rely upon and finally they have wouldn’t be willing to whore themselves out to Robbo and Marty.

    Final question- will the APNI be bringing anymore motions criticising the NI Executive in the near future?

    These simply require yes/no answers.

  • granni trixie

    Justin: “many are called but few are chosen”

    (from the depths of my past religious knowledge – is this quote in the bible – whatever, it fits the bill).

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have a simple question for you. Did the Alliance Party win enough seats in 2007 to entitle them to the Justice post? .. it is a fact that they did not when looking at it in terms if d’Hondt.

    But we’re not looking at it in terms of d’Hondt.

    Talking about d’Hondt is academic since the Agreement only provided for a maximum of ten executive ministers. It would have been different had Hillsborough abolished an existing ministry ..

    If d’Hondt had been used the executive would collapse due to SF or the DUP taking the justice ministry, since logically d’Hondt would have been run from the top. Technically, if the rules had been extended, the SDLP would have been entitled to another ministry, but there’s nothing that says they would be entitled to the justice ministry. d’Hondt is being re-run from the top for the re-selection of committee chairs so it seems that the accepted wisdom and precedent are that you can’t run it from where it last left off when you add a new ministry.

    In any case, Alliance doesn’t agree with d’Hondt, and never has. It’s a bad way to appoint a government. A slow transition away from it is, as such, compatible with Alliance objectives. You may or may not be aware that the SDLP and UUP agreed to seriously discuss the future of d’Hondt in exchange for Alliance redesignating in the early 2000s. This is somewhat distinct from the SDLP’s current notion that d’Hondt is non-negotiable, and of course is one reason out of several why Alliance are in no particular hurry to give the SDLP/UUP a hand up.

    So I fundamentally don’t accept the premise behind that question and I can’t give it a yes/no answer.

    Why are the APNI more entitled to it than the SDLP?

    Because they have cross community consensus, and the SDLP don’t.

    Final question- will the APNI be bringing anymore motions criticising the NI Executive in the near future?

    Yes, I’d expect so, if the logjams of the present are not broken.

    I would not expect an Alliance minister to remain in office in the event of it becoming apparent that there was no prospect of the promise of smoother executive operation being met. I hope that is clear enough for you.

  • someone

    Why are the APNI more entitled to it than the SDLP?

    Because they have cross community consensus, and the SDLP don’t.

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Mar 30, 2010 @ 04:50 PM

    But if both SDLP and UUP support their candidate, that is cross community just like DUP-SF supporting APNI is?

  • someone

    MICK – the site’s timestamps are still on GMT…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Which of the UCUNF candidates in any of the seats which they could hope to have a chance of winning are tired old establishment party as you put it? Ringland, Hamilton, Bradshaw, Parsley? None of them fit that description in my book…

    Whenever I make this charge about the UCUNF being the same old party of ailing bigotry (which they are) these four candidates names are called out (what about the other 75% of the UUP candidate list ? Aren’t their names sufficiently persuasive of the case that the UUP has changed ?) as if somehow this cancels out the fact that the UUP leadership are a party pursuing a nakedly sectarian, anti-agreement agenda, and that this is something those candidates will have had to take into account prior to agreeing to stand.

    It’s to my lasting sadness that I’ve not spoken to Parsley in person since he resigned from Alliance, and that since then he seems to be sinking into a quagmire of Ulster Unionism rather than the kind of non-sectarianism the Conservatives used to endorse back when we campaigned for a joint non-sectarian European candidate in 2004 (very actively so, in Parsley’s case, to his credit). When he was in Alliance, his non-sectarian credentials were unimpeachable, and I certainly do not think that he has changed. The problem is more to do with the people that he is now associating; people who, speaking to the motion as it were, are going into this election with the nakedly sectarian objective of attempting to crowd out nationalists, not through persuasion – as UCUNF had promised – but by encouraging a legal form of rigging of the ballot. Such rigging is par for the course in FPTP of course, it’s not inherently a crime (Alliance’s adoption of this helped throw out Bob McCartney and elect Hermon), but it all depends on the end goal.

    Irrespective of which party background they have they will sit as FULL conservative members of parliament if elected and will contribute to what I hope is Cameron’s majority. Is that just the Conservative brand slapped on? Doesn’t look like it to me

    Unionists are never going to toe a line they are ordered to toe by London, never have, and never will. If you think otherwise you are extremely naive. Even Parsley himself, technically a Tory, has made what appears to be a strategic decision to reject the Conservative Front Bench line. This makes a mockery of this whole idea of being part of the government. Unionists are a la carte politicians. Talk all you like about integration – unionists don’t think that way (unless, like Lord Trimble, they spend a lot of time away from N Ireland) and shoehorning them through a door they don’t want to go is nothing to work.

    Doesn’t look like it to me – looks like my vote will count in this general election – for the first time in my life! Now that sounds pretty damn good to me! What does your party offer me again? Oh yes, I remember now – nothing…

    Alliance is offering honesty and non sectarian politics. FWIW, Alliance would probably vote consistently with the Lib Dems but may not necessarily take the whip (all depends on what’s in it ..). The Conservatives are pretending that their candidates here are true-blue Tories, as with Branson’s dodgy cola, “just like the real thing”. It’s already becoming clear that they’re not.

    If you think that being allowed in the tent with the big boys is more important than a serious consideration of the actual policies that the Tories have planned for this country, that is your prerogative. I think voting for a candidate for that reason alone is blind stupidity.

    The one thing we can agree on however that the selection process was horribly drawn out and pretty unpleasant for everyone – but that is (a) politics for you and (b) history now (okay almost – one to go) and they have put up a good slate of candidates where it matters (again one remaining). So process bad, but result good and it is results that count!

    The selection process was horrible because it was dictatorship; a leadership collective forcing their will (particularly on the case of South Belfast) on a local association who didn’t want it. The stupid part – breathtakingly stupid given that the Tories know how to run elections, and should have had an idea of how much blood on the carpet occurred during similar exercises between the Liberals and the SDP when they used a similar committee selection system in the 80s – was doing the selection in the teeth of an election, rather than doing it well beforehand to allow all the bad blood to clear up.

    As a result certain UCUNF candidates in high profile seats now have the unenviable task of persuading people who rejected them at the selection meeting to come out and help them win the election. Stupid, stupid, stupid – and symptomatic, as I said, of rushing into a process of trying to shrinkwrap a tired old product with a tired old message with a new brand.

  • granni trixie

    Whilst admiring your patience CS even I have grown tired of same old, same old. If ‘some’ people dont get it or want to pretend they are stupid please let them troll away.

  • Impartial Reporter

    I will try agian.

    Your quote

    Say what you like about Alliance, at least the party expects to be held properly to account by the electorate rather than publicly conspiring in organized vote-rigging.

    Not a fair description of what Alliance have done with the DUP to get their justice minister?

    Hypocratic politics is alive and well and living in the Alliance party

  • Justin Case…

    But we’re not looking at it in terms of d’Hondt.

    I know, because if we were the Alliance Party wouldn’t be entitled to it. Simple as. Maybe the PUP should take up the health ministry? Or the Green Party the environment slot on the Executive? Well why not, if the Alliance can be parachuted onto it so can anyone else.

    Because they have cross community consensus, and the SDLP don’t.

    Bollix. They have the UUPs support. Most protestants don’t like to see M McG as DFM but they get on with it, the same should apply for Justice Minister.

    It shows the weakness of the APNI arguement that when explaining why they are entitled to something their only answer is – because the prods and taigs don’t hate us as much as those other parties…

    Yes, I’d expect so, if the logjams of the present are not broken.

    Remind us again they when the Alliance Party tabled a motion a couple of months ago, only to then go on and vote against it? The picture of Ford being bent of Martys desk while robbo comes in from behind comes to mind.

  • Greenflag

    Comrade Stalin,

    ‘The contributions to this thread just remind me of how bankrupt unionism is. Bereft of ideas or originality, the best way unionist parties can come up with managing election battles is to appeal to their nearest competitors not to stand, as if they already know that they can’t win through sheer force of argument.’

    Of course. Excellent comment . And remember this is the party at least the UCUNF shower who are supposed to reach out to ‘catholic ‘voters with one hand while smacking same voters over the knuckles with the other .

    Unionism both as an ideology and a political creed will eventually disintegrate under the weight of it’s inherent contradictions . Some have seen the writing on the wall for some time now but there remains those who still see that the ‘naked emperor’ is still wearing one sock ;(?

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Mar 30, 2010 @ 02:42 PM

  • someone

    as if somehow this cancels out the fact that the UUP leadership are a party pursuing a nakedly sectarian, anti-agreement agenda, and that this is something those candidates will have had to take into account prior to agreeing to stand.

    Sorry what nakedly sectarian agenda? There are no pacts, so-called “unionist unity” has been rejected by UCUNF repeatedly yet you, as a political opponent of UCUNF, keep making that allegation against them. Your repetition will not make it any truer.

    What anti-agreement agenda? Just because the UUP decided that a non-functional executive was not a great place to bring P&J to? They remain supportive of devolution of P&J in principle they merely disagreed with timing. Again you repeating the lie that the UUP are anti-agreement will not make it true, it just shows you up.

    The one thing the candidates had to sign up to was to take the Conservative whip at Westminster, nothing else.

    by encouraging a legal form of rigging of the ballot

    Lies again Stalin – 18 UCUNF candidates for 18 NI seats has ALWAYS been the only game in town, and it remains the case now, however much you, the DUP or McNarry want it to be otherwise.

    Alliance is offering honesty and non sectarian politics. FWIW, Alliance would probably vote consistently with the Lib Dems but may not necessarily take the whip (all depends on what’s in it ..). The Conservatives are pretending that their candidates here are true-blue Tories, as with Branson’s dodgy cola, “just like the real thing”. It’s already becoming clear that they’re not.

    Well its a vote for Westminster so what I want is a Conservative MP and UCUNF gives me that. Please substantiate your allegation that UCUNF candidates in winnable seats are not “true-blue” as you put it? I don’t dispute about past UUP MPs but tell me about the ones in winnables in this election, the ones who HAD to agree to take the Conservative whip to be allowed to put themselves forward for selection?

    Talk all you like about integration – unionists don’t think that way

    Again fine re the past but in THIS election these candidates in winnables are explicitly standing as Conservatives, promising to take the whip, and having been vetted accordingly.

    If you think that being allowed in the tent with the big boys is more important than a serious consideration of the actual policies that the Tories have planned for this country, that is your prerogative. I think voting for a candidate for that reason alone is blind stupidity.

    I will be voting for one of these candidates precisely because I want Conservative policies and a Conservative government, not as you put it just because they are in a big party.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid

    I agree it was a stupid selection process but c’est la vie! ‘Tis (almost) done so now on to the bit which matters – the election! I hoping for a Conservative government, and hoping a few of its MPs are from NI seats.

  • Driftwood

    Comrade Stalin
    I asked you before why you thought Trevor Ringland, Mike Nesbitt, Lesley MaCauley etc were sectarian but you went off at a tangent and didn’t answer.

    Talk all you like about integration – unionists don’t think that way.????

    Yes they bloody well do, at least some of us do.

  • Comrade Stalin

    But if both SDLP and UUP support their candidate, that is cross community just like DUP-SF supporting APNI is?

    It is, but the DUP/SF have more consent than SDLP/UUP, owing to their being somewhat larger in each case.

    Impartial:

    Not a fair description of what Alliance have done with the DUP to get their justice minister?

    Alliance won’t be justice minister unless both the DUP and SF agree to it. If the public judge that Alliance shouldn’t be in government, they will exact their vengeance on the DUP and SF at the polls. If that reduces the DUP/SF position in the assembly such that they no longer have control, things will obviously change.

    I don’t understand why you’re having so much difficulty understanding this concept. Governments all over Europe, including the one immediately to the south, consist of a couple of large parties glued together by a few very small ones. The Greens in the RoI are tiny yet they’ve got a couple of cabinet ministries.

    Justin:

    I know, because if we were the Alliance Party wouldn’t be entitled to it. Simple as. Maybe the PUP should take up the health ministry? Or the Green Party the environment slot on the Executive? Well why not, if the Alliance can be parachuted onto it so can anyone else.

    Yes, Justin, sounds like a fine idea to me. I have no problem with coalitions. I also have no problem with rotating the power around, which is what Alliance do do in Belfast City Hall. Far, far better than this silly carveup.

    Bollix. They have the UUPs support. Most protestants don’t like to see M McG as DFM but they get on with it, the same should apply for Justice Minister.

    Agreed, so what’s your problem with Ford ?

    Alban Maginness does not have cross community consensus. If he did, the vote would pass in the assembly and he’d be the minister. And like I said, the UUP are only supporting Alban because they know he has no chance. If they don’t have the courage to go back to their electorate and urge them to support, like I said, a Catholic Lord Mayor of Newtownabbey, are they really going to to back and justify the successful election of a Catholic justice minister ? No, they’re not.

    It shows the weakness of the APNI arguement that when explaining why they are entitled to something their only answer is – because the prods and taigs don’t hate us as much as those other parties…

    Alliance is entitled to the role if it wins sufficient votes in the assembly. Coalition governments with small parties holding them together exist the world over.

    Remind us again they when the Alliance Party tabled a motion a couple of months ago, only to then go on and vote against it? The picture of Ford being bent of Martys desk while robbo comes in from behind comes to mind.

    No. Please feel free to refresh my memory. But on the other matter, please keep your bizarre fantasies to yourself, if you don’t mind.

    someone:

    Sorry what nakedly sectarian agenda?

    The “DUP should stand down to allow us to keep the fenians out of South Belfast and FST” one. Please read the article at the top of the thread.

    Why do the UUP – supposedly – think that it’s right to have a nationalist justice minister, but that the parties should co-operate to prevent a nationalist MP, especially after Reg said that the justice minister must be pro-union ? Where’s the consistency ?

    What anti-agreement agenda? Just because the UUP decided that a non-functional executive was not a great place to bring P&J to?

    I don’t like the Hillsborough deal especially, or any of the other deals. The GFA wasn’t perfect either, unionists had loads of problems with it (SF in govt, Patten disbandment, all that stuff). But Trimble showed a bit of steel and said, look, there are problems with this but we need to go forward to build on it. That’s why he was pro-agreement, and the current UUP entity is anti-agreement.

    Again you repeating the lie that the UUP are anti-agreement will not make it true, it just shows you up.

    People will make their own judgement. You roll the dice and take your chance. When it’s all over you may get the immense pleasure of digging up my contributions here and having a good old laugh at my expense. I’m quietly confident, though, that you won’t have that chance.

    Please substantiate your allegation that UCUNF candidates in winnable seats are not “true-blue” as you put it?

    Because they are in the UUP and not the Conservatives. Isn’t that obvious ?

    Again fine re the past but in THIS election these candidates in winnables are explicitly standing as Conservatives, promising to take the whip, and having been vetted accordingly.

    They’re standing as Conservatives ? I thought they were standing as UCUNF.

    I agree it was a stupid selection process but c’est la vie!

    Is jumping in front of a speeding bus “c’est la vie” ? No. It’s stupid.