Sunday, 26 April 2009

Built for Westminster. Built for Europe.

The Ulster Unionist Party used its Annual General Meeting on Saturday to launch Jim Nicholson MEP’s campaign to be re-elected to the European Parliament. Of course the poll’s importance is heightened, for the Conservatives as well as the UUP, because it is the first occasion on which the two parties’ political marriage will be tested against the electorate. The candidate and his party leader, Sir Reg Empey, addressed delegates from the platform, whilst David Cameron provided his contribution via video link.

Unionist Lite, Bobballs and the Young Unionist blog each have coverage of the various speeches. Cameron‘s concise exposition of principles which animate the new force is perhaps most deserving of further scrutiny.

Distilling the alliance to its essentials, the Conservative leader picks three compelling reasons why his party and Ulster Unionists are working together.

- A common commitment to the Union and belief in the strength which it imparts to its constituent parts.

- A shared imperative to offer direct democratic involvement in the United Kingdom's government to voters in Northern Ireland.

- Mutual respect which exists between the two parties.

The compatibility of the two parties’ agendas is particularly evident in the crucible of European politics. Few Conservatives or Ulster Unionists would prefer something other than the European Union characterised by cooperation, rather than an urge to integration, that Cameron favours.

It is a vision of Europe which appeals to a broad spectrum of voters in Northern Ireland, as it does in the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Ulster Conservatives and Unionists arrangement is built for Westminster and for Europe. It offers the Northern Irish electorate a meaningful role in choosing the United Kingdom’s government and in framing its position within the European Union.


Anonymous said...

It's just unfortunate that Nicholson can't bring himself to actually use any Conservative branding in his literature - so wedded is he to his puny little UUP. The Conservative Party has been organised in Northern Ireland for 20 years but Nicholson can't even bring himself to adopt any clear Conservative branding even though the Party is paying for his campaign. Pathetic.

Chekov said...

See that honking great picture at the top of the post? That is an ad for Nicholson's campaign which is COVERED with Conservative branding.

fair_deal said...

'honking' is maybe appropriate for that picture but perhaps slapdash is better. In the big scheme of things it is a minor bit of PR but it is not a good choice of photo. JN should have got himself in better order and the semiotics of the pic have Cameron as the dominant figure.

Anonymous said...

Nicko's belly looks enormous. Price you pay for all those MEP expense and jollies s'pose.

fair_deal said...

"is COVERED with Conservative branding."

Chekov could you exemplify that a bit more for me please on which elements are conservative branding?

Chekov said...

1) It says 'Conservatives' on it.

2) It has the 'Vote for Change' logo which is immediately recognisable from the 'Now for Change' Tory logo.

3) It has the stylised Union flag motif on either side.

4) It prominently features the leader of the Conservative party.

fair_deal said...

Thank you for that. I thought you were appropriating the national flag to a particular party just wanted to make sure.

Chekov said...

FD - if you're seeing the Union Flag in sharp focus, rather than the stylised version produced by the Conservatives' branding people, then I'd cut down on the lunch-time drinking. ;-)

fair_deal said...

No beer googles required. The national flag gone a bit blurry is still the national flag. Although sums up Cameron quite well, all a bit hazy ;).

Chekov said...

From the soft focus abstraction will crystallise a corpus of election winning policy. :-)

fair_deal said...

"election winning policy"

Brown is so poor lately he probably won't need policies