Thursday, 11 December 2008

Trimble cabinet post would be on merit

A prophet is not without honour save in his own country. Despite his contribution to a peaceful, stable Northern Ireland, Lord Trimble is frequently evoked as ‘bĂȘte noire’ by both main communities here. The DUP continues to demonise anything in which the peer is involved, oblivious to the irony that it has now wholeheartedly embraced Trimble’s power-sharing project. Nationalist hostility is perhaps, on the surface, more surprising, but it is in large part based on deep seated suspicion of unionism which is articulate and forward thinking, and to a lesser extent on personal antipathies toward the man’s sometimes frosty demeanour.

Attacks from both sides have accompanied suggestions that Trimble might play a role in any Conservative government formed after the next election. Nicholas Watt predicts that he is likely to become attorney general, a post which has been mooted before and which a predecessor as Ulster Unionist leader, Edward Carson, held previously. Lord Trimble certainly has the formidable legal mind which would be required in such a position. Despite the personal animosity he attracts from erstwhile political opponents, he would constitute a perfect example of an Ulsterman bringing considerable talents to the cabinet table.

In Northern Ireland Trimble’s reputation might not yet be rehabilitated. But his presence in any British government would be purely on merit.


Anonymous said...

Keep pushing that line. The more Unionists hear it, the fewer votes the UUP-Tories will get.

David Trimble = Electoral Poison

Chekov said...

Trimble is a peer. He won't be standing for election.

Anonymous said...

Yes I know, but the "vote UUP so Lord Trimble can end up in a Tory cabinet" argument isn't going to be very popular with the voter who so clearly regurgatated Trimble and his party.

Chekov said...

Who is making that argument? Trimble is a Tory peer not a UUP peer. He is however Northern Irish and could make a fine addition to any cabinet. Nobody will try and sell his involvement as a great triumph for the UUP but it would be a good move for David Cameron.

Emmanuel Goldstein said...

I'm not sure how much of an electoral liability Trimble would be, after all the UUP did better in elections with him as leader than Empey.

There is not much of what may make Trimble an electoral liability that the UUP is not already associated with.

The Tory link has the potential to reach out to moderate voters and Trimble a famously moderate unionist being involved can only assist that.