Friday, 27 February 2009
Initial reaction to this afternoon’s launch of Ulster Conservatives and Unionists as a new electoral force has begun to appear.
The BBC has chosen to emphasise Lady Sylvia Hermon’s conspicuous absence from joint events thus far. Clearly she has yet to be persuaded of the alliance’s merits.
There will be plenty of time to make up her mind though. I understand that there will be no pressure on the UUP’s MP to take the Conservative whip before the next parliament.
Lady Syliva’s dilemma is also the focus of a diabolically confused and practically illiterate piece on Labour Home. Although Sir Reg Empey and David Cameron announced their intention to forge an electoral compact last summer, the LabHome blogger feels the launch might be a reaction to Labour’s belated decision to organise in Northern Ireland!
The Guardian’s Henry McDonald picks up on Sir Reg Empey’s suggestion that a Conservative government might undertake to give Northern Ireland ‘enterprise zone’ status. This would enable tax incentives to be offered to businesses choosing to set up here. Similar zones have worked well and have transformed previously blighted areas, such as Liverpool and London’s Docklands.