PM’s decision to back UUP just looks stupid

Does anyone understand Tom Elliott’s latest?

“Sammy [Wilson]’s grasp of our relationship with the Conservatives is sadly as loose as his grasp of the economy, judging by the draft Budget. On this occasion, I will not add to the woes being heaped on his head from respected business leaders over the draft Budget – we will return to that – but regarding the Conservatives, let me repeat that on my watch, the UUP will stand alone, contest elections as Ulster Unionists, use our own logos and badges, our own brand and branding, and our own policies and messages.

So they’re independent then…

“Beyond that, we seek a working relationship with the major party of government. What is wrong with that? I make no apology for seeking a close political understanding with the first overtly pro-Union Prime Minister in a generation. That’s a reality. I leave the fantasy to Sammy.”

… except they’re not.

 The decision by the Conservatives to “seek an understanding” with a party which has no MPs, one of whose Ministers is in the trades unions’ pockets, and which spends half its time denying all linkage with him is already looking stupid, and that is before we consider that two of the 17 candidates who stood alongside him at the last General Election are now members of the Alliance Party and that it is the Alliance Party alone which shares the Secretary of State’s determination to deliver on issues such as integrated education and the costs of segregation.

 The Prime Minister could do worse than also deny such a linkage. Otherwise the underlying questions about his judgement will resurface – including within his own party.

As a final note, I am going to try desperately to avoid such posts in future because they are getting so predictable – so, readers, have your last rant on the subject now!


40 thoughts on “PM’s decision to back UUP just looks stupid

  1. Ed Simpson says:

    Which is the predictable part? The rant against the UUP or the praise of Alliance?

  2. The predictable part is the UUP being utterly inconsistent and devoid of any actual policies or principles (which is probably why those who have them are leaving in droves).

    I don’t see any praise of Alliance, only a factual note that the Secretary of State’s stated aims are more in line with the Alliance Party’s than with the UUP’s. Many would dispute that that constitutes “praise”! 🙂

    (I trust you enjoyed the epic entertainment that is a North Down Council Committee meeting the other evening, btw!)

  3. Ed Simpson says:

    Ah, spotted! Enjoy probably isn’t the right word! Just thought I should get along and see how it all works at the meetings.

  4. fair_deal says:

    The standard UUP approach of rather than a definitive position end up dividing the difference and end up standing in the middle of the road and get hit by traffic coming both ways

  5. Joanne Johnston says:

    Are observers allowed to comment during the meeting, here in NI? I always thought that was the best bit, brought the mavericks out! Seriously, I always thought that more voters should witness quite how the wheels of democracy turn.

  6. Paul says:

    Back to the thread topic.I am a UUP member and I have never supported the tory link and just cannot understand why tom is flogging this dead issue its got to be about money in my opoinion.I for one like many others are sick tired and sore of the uup/tory link and i have written to tom and the chairman as have many calling for it to cease.Its getting to the stage where a lot of us simply cannot go on the way we are i supported tom but hes taking us down the wrong route.And a lot of us are at breaking point with him and the chairman and party officers.Not just on the uup/tory link but on a whole range of issues and whats going on at the moment is simply not good enough.

    • NorthernIrishRanger says:

      You only have yourself to blame by voting for Tom and not Basil! I was in that hall that night and the hundreds of people in that hall who voted for Tom would have voted for a donkey with an “I’m not Basil badge”. One thing is for sure, we would have had some policy and a direction by now if Basil had of been leader. There may have been a mass exodus of older members to the DUP but most of them are craving a union with the DUP

      • Paul says:

        what a daft post i too was in that hall that night and i can tell you this if basil had won it would of destroyed the party 15 mlas at least would of walked up to 30 plus councillors if not more would of walked as members in there you re talking nonesense.Basil mccreas antics in the leadership contest before and during were a disgrace and not only is he unfit to lead any political party a lot of us would of like to of seen him expelled concerning his antics and you know full well what i am talking for the uup having cooperation with other like minded pro union parties such as the dup i am all for it.I take it you are from basils wing the very liberal wing that has caused our party so much trouble since the leadership contest.

      • I don’t think Basil was the solution either, in fairness, and I’ve already said that the moderate wing should really have produced someone better. However, Basil has a lot more support across the community than Tom and for that reason alone he would have been a more appealing leader.

        The UUP’s problem is that it continues to think only internally. When you do that, you can at maximum only appeal to those who voted for you last time (thus your last score is your maximum vote), and if you do less than maximum of course you decline. You have to think beyond your own core vote if you want to advance – only Basil was remotely capable of that.

  7. Paul says:

    I am delighted to learn tonight that David MCclarty mla has announced he is to stand as an independent in the upcoming assembly elections.David is an excellent MLA and is well known not just in the east londonderry consisituency but right across ni.I like many will be fully supporting Davids campaign in which i have no doubt david will be returned as an MLA to the assembly comfortably.David has my 110 mpercent support and i pledge to canvass for him from now on.

  8. Clare says:

    Just out of curiousity Paul, how does that work when you belong to the party he is standing against?
    I’ve never belonged to a political party but wouldn’t that mean expulsion?

    • Paul says:

      I have no idea clare I have made kjnown what I will be doing I will be supporting david campaign as will others.If the party wishes to take action against me then so be it I feel very strongly as a lot of people what happened to david who was treated appallingly by the party well two or three local members to be precise everybody knows who they are and the way they treated david one wouldnt treat a dog like that.They will see me out and about if they wish to take action then as i say so be it.

  9. NorthernIrishRanger says:


    Democracy only counts then when people voting come to the same conclusion as yourself?

    15 MLA and 30 councillors? Getting rid of the deadwood would have allowed the party to sail on all the faster whether that was to recovery or to oblission we can only guess but that is better than the death by 1000 cuts that we are going through now.

    Elliott has lost Ringland, Bradshaw, Hamilton, McClarty, Savage(probably), Lund and two deputy mayors.

    McCrea would have energised the party and give it vision and prepared us for the battles to come. All Elliott has offered is hand-holding with the Conservatives despite telling us he was doing away with the link. The message to the Conservatives is clear – we’ll take your money but not your ideology.

    Again I am far from the liberal wing.

    • In fairness, they never had Lund! I really think that going around everywhere briefing against your own party is worse than campaigning for a de-selected independent – of course, the current MP for North Down managed both of those but I daresay I came to see pretty clearly why! 🙂

      • Paul says:

        lund was thrown out for good reasons the pathatic stunts like 2010 group briefings to journalists like eammon mallie his outburst on the nolan show i could go on.

    • Paul says:

      john lund went live on the nolan show and his suspension was well justified.I have done nothing wrong only to say i will be canvassing and supporting davids campaign.and my reasons for doing so there will be many members of the uup supporting davids campaign who feel the same way.

    • Paul says:

      basil lost by a country mile and desereved to do so he cant get on with people and is not leadership material that was evidant in the leadership contest his antics were appalling.

    • Paul says:

      so you are saying it would of being good if basil had got elected leader 15 mlas who you call dead wood would of resigned. and you think thats good.i think you are a troll it would of destroyed the party and everybody knows it.

  10. Richard says:

    O dear I see Harry Dunlop the deputy mayor of Ards has jumped ship now.
    On a positive note Paul I don’t think you will need to worry about the uup/Tory link for much longer. That’s as much as im saying!

    • Paul says:

      hello richard that a tease if you dont mind me saying.all my efforts now are getting david mcclarty re elected and i am very confident he will be richard.

  11. Richard says:

    Ok Paul I will give you a little more.
    Our campaign to overturn the decision is going very well. The support across the uk has been tremendous and people at cchq are sitting up and listening.
    The fact that the UUP is going down almost as fast as the titanic is helping too.
    Too late to field candidates probably but supporting independents will as tesco say ‘every little helps’!

    • Paul says:

      i still think theres no future for the ni tories richard.i welcome your comments regarding independents.i my self will be supporting david will quite a few others

    • Paul says:

      Removed – provide links if you must, but please not full articles.

      For reference, this blog is not to be used for what amounts to a mere clash of personalities in Coleraine. What are Messrs McClarty and Hillis going to do about child poverty? Or about the financial situation? Or about the health ministry? Those are the only questions of interest here.

      • Paul says:

        i utterly condmn mr hillis and two other local uup people whos names will soon be known.this will back fire in the most devasting way on mr hillis.and his two colleagues

      • Not that you’re not welcome, Paul, but you do post on here an awful lot. I don’t have THAT many readers you know!

        The Hillis debacle is yet another symptom of the UUP’s imminent demise. The UUP doesn’t actually stand for anything (no position on water charges, no position on the AV referendum, no position on anything other than the “Union” and even there it can’t decide whether David Trimble secured it or not…) – which is why it is left to be just a soap opera of competing egos.

        The fact is neither Hillis nor McClarty have anything to offer on any of those things. They’ve had their time. It’s time for some new people at the Hill – they can’t be any worse!

  12. Paul says:

    ian just to refer to your comments on my position in the party at present i am staying put.but if the party think its a good idea to try to smear david then there will be a lot of resignations.

  13. Clare says:

    There’s going to be a lot more resignations anyway.
    I’m friendly with a UUP councillor and he said that at least 15+ more are expected in the next month and the DUP are actively approaching people and getting very good soundings. The DUP have drawn up a list of unhappy people and many of them are public representatives.
    I can’t see how the UUP can recover from this downward spiral. I’d love to believe it’s showing some signs that people here are moving away from sectarianism but people going to the DUP isn’t promising. There seems to be a major re-alignment in Unionism happening and I can see 1 major party emerging from all of this headed by Robinson.
    It’s good riddance to people like Campbell if that’s the case. I met him once, and my God no wonder he gets nicknamed the undertaker, I’ve never met anyone as dour, dull and charmless. With that at the top can anyone expect charisma to trickle down? Rumour has it that he is after a seat in the Lords.
    The electorate will show their verdict on such an un-inspiring lot in May, I just can’t see how the UUP can recover from this.

    • Paul says:

      i do not beleive what you are saying you say 15 councillors might resign in the next month.i am sorry clare i think you are telling porkies.did the councillor you allege to have talked to say he was resigning i bet he didnt.?utter nonesense

  14. Clare says:

    Did you read what I actually said?
    I didn’t say 15 Councillor’s.
    I said the councillor I know said he knew at least 15+ people who are expected to resign. This could comprise of councillors or mla’s, I don’t know.
    And yes this councillor is seriously considering his own position and he had been approached by the DUP already.
    Why do slate Paula Bradshaw off on this blog Paul and praise her on her own blog? Comments you made on 31st October(on her blog) when she resigned are totally against the spirit of what you say about her here.

    • Paul says:

      i praised paula on her blog because paula is very able but she acted in bad faith and throw her toys out of the pram i have commented on her own blog but she too removes comments which are fact and the truth.she like ian only publishes posts she agrees with and deletes posts which shows her up and expose her.

      • Firstly, there are plenty of comments on here in disagreement with me, or with the posts! Those who have consistently commented sensibly (Andrew G, Clare S and so on) have had theirs untouched.

        Secondly, of course, on any blog, there are always troublesome contributors who think you win elections by grandstanding behind a computer screen (rather than by getting out and leafleting as I may or may not have been this evening) or who think they know it all because they’ve got a politics degree. They remind me of the young man driving 80mph down the Sydenham Bypass in rush-hour traffic yesterday – he thinks he’s cool at 20 but he’ll look back and cringe at 30. I was that young man once myself (though I hope I was never *that* fast!), we’ve all been there, but it pays to realise that there are a lot of people with a lot more skills and experience out there. (It also pays to pick arguments sensibly – it’s a small country and there’s not really much point in arguing with a humble independent blogger on a site very few people read!)

        So, I try to be fair and it is simply nonsense to suggest I do not allow posts which disagree with me (there seem plenty on just today!). But to some extent, frankly, this is my house and if I tell you to take your shoes off at the door that’s what you’ve gotta do!

    • Paul says:

      i am sorry clare i got my facts wrong on the 15 apoligies

  15. Redbeard says:

    If i use a biological analogy… Whats more important, unionism or a Unionist Party, whatever that party is. Small-u unionism will be best served if the vehicle has no real or imagined historical baggage or any hint of sectarianism. Such a vehicle needs to be a party with well known centre-rightists in charge, with branding and rhetoric and image that attracts both the passive and active support and memvership of those sections of society that would never have joined such a party ie Catholics, young women, gays, ethnic minorities as well those who are/wereliberal minded
    unionists. Ian, people like you and Basil McCrea and others have a golden opportunity to create such a new movement, perhaps with the Alliance as its kernel. Ive always maintained that the centre will rise when it has youth and charisma at the helm. I feel Alliance and liberal unionism is at this juncture. The UUP is dying a slow dismal death.

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