Pennies dropping

“Fair Deal” makes a contribution to the Conservatives in NI debate which is, as ever, well argued. However, the final paragraph misses the specific point. If only it were as simple as a lack of desire!

The now Prime Minister and now Secretary of State were always entirely genuine in their desire to move Northern Ireland to mainstream politics, and remain so. It is worth noting that had even one ‘UCUNF’ candidate been successfully elected, the situation would look utterly different, with a local voice in place defending and promoting government policy and making representations from Northern Ireland within the leading governing party.

The question I posed in my previous blog was not whether they were genuine (they undoubtedly were or they wouldn’t have taken the political risks they took), but whether they had recognised fundamentally what it takes to achieve this. Thus, their actions post-election are not indicative of a lack of genuine desire, but rather an inability to grasp what is necessary.

This is not a simple question of whether CCHQ is suddenly going to wake up to the error of its ways re cooperation with the UUP (cooperation was actually quite a good idea, and in principle still could be had the Conservatives been active post-election), nor is it whether the Conservative Party is genuine (it is clearly genuine about Scotland, which I deliberately cross-referenced for comparison). In short, it is not about the intentions of the Conservative Party, but rather the abilities.

The fundamental question people in NI (and probably Scotland) should be asking the Conservative Party hierarchy is whether it is prepared to grasp that Scotland and Northern Ireland are not just peripheral parts of England, but actually distinct jurisdictions with distinct needs and cultures which have opted for Union with it. That is, after all, the whole point of devolution. The apparent failure of the Conservative Party to recognise that devolution is a game changer which is not just about legal technicalities, but also about the on-the-ground practicalities, may come back to haunt it.

Such a failure, if confirmed, cannot be good news for Unionists of any description.


27 thoughts on “Pennies dropping

  1. paul says:

    excellent thread ian the intentions of the conservative/uup project was well intentione but poorly managed.both parties were to blame on that tonight the new uup leader will be elected if its basil then i firmly beleive the parties days are numbered if its tom i firmly beleive well at least theres a chance of the party surviving.its an uphill struggle.the question is not just for unionists the question is where does this all leave ian parsley.???i have yet to see you answer that question

  2. Seymour Major says:

    Fair deal does not know the Conservative leaders particularly well. That is obvious.

    The silence and lack of explanation over the Assembly Election decision by Conservative Leaders is a complete mystery.

    There is a conference coming up. I undertand you are going to it. I hope you can makes sense of what is actually going on and persuade senior Conservatives that failure to have candidates fighting in the Assembly next year would be a strategic mistake. Indeed, if Tom Elliot succeeded as leader, would that not considerably boost your own prospects in North Down?

    • paul says:

      mr major when are you going to allow posters a right of reply on your blog rather than blocking and cesuring like peel have damaged the ni tories beyond repair no good moaning now and spouting oh whats going on coming over all sweet and innocent cchq have had enough thats quite clear and you and peel and a few other local ni tories are to blame.

      • Seymour Major says:


        As per a comment put on my own blog, you have to comply with my commenting policy. You have breached it so many times, that I have lost count.

        It is stricter than Ian’s. For example, I ban people guilty continuously repeating the same point on the same thread without when there is nothing new to go with it. Unlike Ian, I ban people who persistently play the man and not the ball.

        My commenting policy can be read on a static page on my blog. If you write to me again, assuring me that you will comply with it, I will re-allow you to comment but with the proviso that I will not tolerate any further breaches of the policy by you.

  3. bob wilson says:

    The demise of the UUP as a serious force will be signalled tonight with the election of Tom Elliott as Leader of a once great and powerful party.
    The Conservatives having given the UUP time to step up to the plate will now seek to establish itself as a centre right moderate, non sectarian alternative.
    I predict it will have the whole hearted support of CCHQ and will run in the Assembly elections.
    The question is how many current UUP members will join it?

    • paul says:

      bob the chances of any uup members joining the ni tories is say and indeed predict the ni tories will run next year i predict they wont.cchq have a lot more on there minds ie the cuts.and wont give the ni tories a second thought you say the uup will demise you could be right it will demise a lot quicker if basil wins i assure you that.

  4. clarion says:

    Yes very good Ian.
    All of this has got me thinking about what can be done with the Scots. I hope you can make their fringe meeting and maybe even express some of these thoughts.
    I intend to be a busy bee establishing some new contacts.
    Some good points from contributors here.
    Paul’s point about the Conservative/UUP management of the project is absolutely right and if Elliot is elected I’d like to see new proposals if he is genuinely serious about working with the Conservatives.
    By new proposals I don’t mean some loose arrangement whereby they take the whip and we pack our bags next year. UCUNF was a total cock up and even the name was was a PR disaster. There needs to be fresh thinking.
    I’m not sure how Elliot’s election may boost Ian in North Down Seymour I’d be interested in you elaborating there!
    I see the UTV’s political editor hasn’t written Mr McCrea off yet saying his team have been working very hard and it may be closer than expected

    • paul says:

      excellent post clarion i am at one with you and i too would like to see any fresh proposals uncnf was a disaster the name the the whole thing was a mess.lets see if tom wins i predict he will win a healthy majority.if he wins lets at least try

  5. paul says:

    to coin a phrase the penny certaintly dropped with two former approved ni tory candidates and a few supporters who saw what i many saw and it seems only now some ni tories. are only just catching themselves on.politics is for slow learners well for some ni tories it is

  6. clarion says:

    Ok the pennys dropped with me now Seymour! You think the moderate vote will go towards Ian in North Down?
    It’s impossible to predict if it will go to Alliance or whoever.
    I know that there are a lot of moderate members of the UUP who will have a lot of thinking to do after tonight if Elliot wins.

  7. paul says:

    alliance have a quota depends what ian stands as .just to add you mention the moderate uup members will have a lot of thinking to do yes but tom will address those concerns and take them with him.tom is a moderate as well you will see that

  8. I don’t mind putting on record my problem re the forthcoming Assembly Election.

    Firstly, people seem to treat politicians as a separate subset of humanity! Actually, believe it or not, the Assembly Election is nowhere to be seen on my personal priority list. I have a small business to try to grow during a recession, elderly parents to keep an eye on and, like everyone else, a social life to lead (other interests, such as sport and languages, do appear on this blog). I also have constituents at Council level who are my political priority above all else.

    The mistake CCHQ made was to intervene in July to indicate that Conservatives would not be standing. That, frankly, killed the Assembly Election because it demonstrated the Conservatives were not serious about it. Having already gone through the nonsense of waiting six months from selection to campaign start for the General Election, the least I expected from CCHQ was swift action once it became apparent neither UUP leadership candidate wanted to meet them halfway!

    Bluntly, October is too late to start an Assembly campaign, with the nights getting darker and so on. So we already know that Conservatives will not get as many votes as they would have done had CCHQ backed them from the start, or even had CCHQ backed them from the moment it became apparent the UUP leadership wasn’t playing ball.

    I am someone who likes to do something well, or not at all. Were it not for the staggering determination of the North Down Conservative Association and some other locals, I suspect I’d have given up on the whole thing long ago.

    Others have faith in CCHQ suddenly changing its mind, completely binning the UUP, and piling resources into the NI Conservatives post-Conference. Not wishing to sound like Richard Dawkins, I admire that faith, but I’ve yet to see the evidence! We’ll need some very soon after tonight.

  9. clarion says:

    With respect Ian, you supported the intervention of CCHQ in July if I am correct?
    That being said, I’m glad you are now expressing this view and I don’t believe it is too late to mount a good campaign and I intend to help you personally in North Down.

    • paul says:

      clarion i admire you but you must face up too the clear fact that the days of the ni tories here are over.the letter was a signal and if tom wins cchq will deal with tom and his uup coleagues not the ni tories

  10. paul says:

    Ian i admire your honesty and i just wish other ni tories would catch themselves on.Clarion and people like bob wilson and a few ni toris well there are not many of you need to face reality.If you dont put candidates up . next year as i am pretty certain you wont its another four years until the next elections bar the can you kid yourselves any longer you will see after tonight the games up

  11. paul says:

    ian do i get the sense you might walk away from politics

  12. paul says:

    i mean its obsurd the tories selecting ian two months ago then saying you cant campaign i mean that alone tells you all you need to know

  13. paul says:

    uup leadership update i know off topic just over a one thousand delegates turned up to meeting

  14. bob wilson says:

    If you keep saying things it wont them true!
    The idea that CCHQ will deal with the UUP is laughable!

    To be clear about the letter from CCHQ – it was an offer to continue the link up. The UUP spurned it.
    Why would they continue to have a relationship with an Elliott led UUP?
    What do they bring to the table? The possibility of UUP MPs in the future? No one believes Elliott can deliver that
    His supporters hope he can maintain their position in the Assembly others dream he might gain a few more MLAs
    Everyone knows the UUP cannot deliver MPs

    Owen Paterson made a mistake – he took bad advice. But it is not too late for him or the local Tories re the Assembly elections

    • paul says:

      what a load of clap tral you write bob wilson yours are the comments which are laughable.if you think the ni tories locally have any future you must be living on planet mars.and do prey tell me with 3000 votes right across ni what the sham of local tories bring to the uup its mainland money not local tory paying the bills you know.if its about money then thats where it comes from

  15. clarion says:

    Bob just to put the record straight the letter did more than make an offer to the UUP it rode roughshot over the local party and I thought that it arrogantly dismissed their views.
    I could understand the motives in trying to maintain the link but it was demeaning I’m sorry and Ian is right the party should have expressed its intentions as soon as both contenders said they would break the link.
    To date CCHQ still haven’t indicated their intentions incredibly. Maybe tonight might awaken them from their slumber!

  16. paul says:

    both candidates did not say that tom said no more ucunf he did say he would like to have some links.between the uup and conservatives

  17. clarion says:

    Well Paul we shall see what links he means, unless they are imaginative and fresh proposals I can gaurantee he can expect Conservative candidates standing against his next year. Be in no doubt it will be happening.
    His selection tonight at least places some urgency now on clear decisions that need to be made concerning next year. Can’t be fudged any longer

    • paul says:

      i think you will see some excelent candidates standing next year.tom has said UCUNF is dead hurray i am delighted thats clear what other links which can be explored will no doubt be discussed dont forget clarion the ulster unionist party will stand in next years assembly and local elections as a stand alone political party.What the ni tories do is up to them

  18. clarion says:

    By the way Paul I hope you will have a look at our new website which was launched on Monday. You can even join or donate online!
    Despite all your negative stuff about the party getting nowhere here and being irrelevent you can keep up to date with whats really happening like 3 new associations opening in the past few months and the increase in interest and membership.
    Watch this space mate!

    • paul says:

      i shall take a look its not negative stuff clarion i am a realist and i know i have being pretty brutal with my comments but i am afraid its true.I would welcome and support approved dual membership of the uup/conservatives.

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