Cryptozoology: Unionist outreach to Catholics

Cryptozoology according to wikipedia is “the search for animals whose existence has not been proven.” Here in Northern Ireland we have our own version of this: not monsters in Lough Erne (though the pike can get pretty big) but rather the political version. The two most sought after fantasy animals are the fabled Garden Centre Prod and the unicorn that is the Unionist Catholic. These creatures probably hide in the Craigantlet and Castlereagh Hills in the case of the Garden …

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Conservatives winding up the UUP?

If you tilt your head towards East Belfast, hold your breath and listen carefully, you’ll be able to hear the sound of chuckling from UUP HQ. Jeff Peel has blogged this morning about an audacious, bold, and unlikely-to-be-considered offer from the Conservative Party to the UUP. I was today forwarded a letter that has been sent to all members of the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland. The letter suggests that the Conservative Party chairman, Lord Feldman of Elstree, has addressed …

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Another one bites the dust … Harry Hamilton joins Alliance

As mentioned in the comments below yesterday’s post by Andrew about the number of members taking advantage of the UUP early leavers’ scheme, Harry Hamilton has joined the Alliance Party. When he quit the UUP on the eve of their party conference, it was noted that he would “be open to an approach from the Alliance Party” that has already become home to fellow UCUNF Westminster Candidate Paula Bradshaw. Having missed the UUP conference, he’s signed up in time for …

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Fred Cobain on the UUP / Tory link

Sam McBride, the political editor of the News Letter has an interesting article covering an interview with UUP Chief Whip Fred Cobain. Cobain is a trade unionist and a former member of the NI Labour Party which might sort of make him a civic unionist of a generation or more ago. In his interview, however, he suggests that the UUP should break the link with the Conservative Party unless they help change the St Andrew’s legislation to ensure that the …

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Paula Bradshaw looks through the yellow door

Paula Bradshaw

One centre right door slammed shut, but another familiar middle of the road yellow door opened and Paula Bradshaw stepped from the remnant of UCUNF across to the Alliance. If you had an overactive imagination you might wonder whether having resigned from the UUP a couple of weeks ago, Paula was tidying around the house and stopped to read some of Ian Parsley’s old Alliance literature piled up in the corner of the room. But perhaps the reality is that …

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Don’t you just love North Down

One of the biggest surprises of the European election in 2009 was just how well the Green’s Stephen Agnew and the then Alliance Ian Parsley did. Both polled so far beyond expectations they were in the running for the Slugger Awards ‘up and coming politician’ gong (is it a ‘gong’?). A lot of water has passed under Parsley’s bridge since then – a jump to the Conservatives and subsequent failed run for Westminster beneath the UCUNF banner. With The UCUNF …

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UUP leadership interviews – leadership pitches and the Tory link-up

UUP banner logo - slightly cropped

For the second post in this short series based on interviews with UUP leadership candidates Tom Elliott and Basil McCrea I take a look at their leadership pitches and their opinions on the UCUNF link-up. Asked for his 60 second leadership pitch, Basil launched into an analysis of past failure and the need for change, describing the type of party be wanted to lead. [McCrea] The party needs change, needs rapid change. We’ve had a number of pretty disappointing electoral …

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General Election 2010 – UCUNF

Where to start?
The four stage progression I suppose, thus:
1) The bright new non-sectarian dawn.
2) Look at us we have Catholic candidates.
3) Sorry no we haven’t.
4) Oh and we’ll change our mind on standing in every seat…
Totally. Absolutely. Astonishing.
I always thought that the money was important but was it the only thing?
How did they do anyway?

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Conservatives and/or Unionists?

logo for Conservatives and Unionists - UCUNF

The Ulster Unionist Party Executive meets on Saturday, but will the key issues of Sir Reg’s leadership and the relationship with the Conservatives be resolved? Will David Cameron make a flying visit to keep his promise to “be back in a week”? And what will the NI Conservatives do if the UCUNF linkup collapses?

Don’t speak too soon – Foster & McNarry

Ulick noted a link to the biggest laugh of the election. Bairbe de Brún rides out some misplaced Unionist triumphalism and hours later joined the crowd cheering Gildernew’s victory. Arlene may have punched the air, should have saved it for a wall. Link Blank

Winners and losers

A few weeks ago I tried to present some ways the parties could judge if the election was a success or not. DUP Retaining seats all their Westminster seats will be the main aim. Adding a seat in South Belfast, as a full gain or countering a single seat loss elsewhere, would also be an excellent result. The can’t expect a gain in vote in percentage or real terms from the last Westminster election as the TUV are now involved …

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UCUNF getting desperate as campaigning draws to close?

I have no idea what the UUP expected the media to do with the following innuendo laden press release issued by an Assembly Press Officer. I will note it but for obvious reasons commenting has been turned off: IMMEDIATE RELEASE Another confused outburst from Jeffrey Responding to another confused outburst from Jeffrey Donaldson concerning a mistaken story in the Financial Times an Ulster Unionist Party Spokesperson said: “Jeffrey appears to be thoroughly confused about a whole host of matters. The …

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