Thursday, 26 February 2009

Ulster Conservatives and Unionists. Actions speak louder than words.

It is said that discretion is the better part of valour. But ahead of tonight’s UUP executive meeting, the BBC has learned that ‘Ulster Conservatives and Unionists’ is likely to be the banner under which the new electoral force stands. I had understood that the two parties, and the joint committee they set up, wanted to maintain a tight ship until the name had been passed by the executive.

With the probable formulation now in the public realm, it is certainly now fair game for blogs such as 'Three Thousand Versts'. It had become apparent, over the past couple of weeks, that the UUP argument for retaining the word ‘Ulster’ in the name under which joint candidates would stand was likely to prevail.

Clearly I was susceptible to the Conservative notion that replacing ‘Ulster’ with ‘Northern Ireland’ might best reflect the inclusive ambitions of this political project. However I acknowledged earlier this week that there was little merit in becoming too precious about an ultimately trivial matter.

There is manifestly nothing offensive about the word in this context and it helps to placate UUP fears that the party’s identity would be lost in a larger entity, possibly to its electoral detriment.

‘Ulster Conservatives and Unionists’ affords clarity as far as the arrangement’s lineage is concerned. There will be less scope for confusion when voters take to the ballot booth. And as for the civic nature of the unionism which candidates will espouse, actions will undoubtedly speak louder than words.


Timothy Belmont said...

I have an admission: in the early eighties I was an active member of the UUP and briefly chairman of Victoria Unionist Association (I think Capt Henderson was, and may still be, president of Victoria.

It would be a bit unfair of me now to suggest that the UUP do throw in their lot with the Conservatives; merge with the local NI Conservatives and be done with it. NI Conservatives is logical enough, given the Scottish Conservative name.

However, it may not do, in this instance, to be too pedantic!

I'm paying homage to the Great Lady on BBC HD tonight, too.


Chekov said...

Is Mylene Klass on the telly again? ;-)

Timothy Belmont said...

Don't start me about her, for goodness' sake! :-)