Friday, 26 June 2009

Empey articulates Conservatives and Unionists vision of unionism

Sir Reg Empey has written an article for the Belfast Telegraph entitiled ‘A Vision for the Future’ in the wake of the European election. It perpetuates to an extent the endless game of political tennis between Ulster Unionists and the DUP, but some of the piece deals neatly with the politics which inspired the Conservative / UUP pact.

Sir Reg writes,

“The Ulster Unionist Party has an agenda and a vision for the future. We believe that the Union is a two-way process and that it is stronger when embraced and endorsed on both sides of the Irish Sea. We believe in a Union which spans the entire United Kingdom. And we believe in Northern Ireland being represented at the very heart of British government.”

“Northern Ireland is emerging into new political and economic realities. I believe that the creation of a new political and electoral dynamism will attract a surge of support and enthusiasm from people everywhere who want to leave the past behind in favour of a 21st Century Northern Ireland in which every citizen is an equal citizen in the politics of the United Kingdom.”

“I believe that our relationship with the Conservative Party is the beginning of a new and genuinely exciting development in both national and local politics. The DUP may be content with a 'little-Ulster' approach to unionism and a carve-up with Sinn Fein. But the UUP is not content with that vision or that agenda. We believe in a broader, wider, deeper Union. We believe in the people of Northern Ireland having their voices heard and heeded at a national, European and international level. We believe in a new approach to politics and policy creation here and the building of a socio-economic agenda which addresses our real needs.

That's the unionism that the UUP believes in: and with the Conservative Party beside us that's the unionism we will be jointly promoting.”


Timothy Belmont said...

That's a very good article by Sir Reg. At last the UUP is returning to its roots, as is the Conservative Party in a sense; since it was officially called the Conservative and Unionist Party till relatively recently.

I share Sir Reg's vision as the shrewdest and best way to tackle or rivals and antagonists. When the UUP was founded it was a "broad church"; there were many sections and branches within the Party, viz. the Unionist Labour Association, the Young Unionists, the Women's Branch etc.

Whilst committed socialists may well find it difficult to co-exist within the Party, it oughtn't be impossible; or is it? I imagine some members, like Lady Hermon or Chris McGimpsey might find the new dispensation challenging.

Chekov said...

Tim I was having a conversation about this last night. Even some representatives who are putatively onboard with the Conservative alignment take a distinctly unconservative approach to policy issues. Could anyone really argue that Michael McGimpsey takes a decentralising approach to health? Quite the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Actually the Conservatives full name is the Conservative and Unionist Party - check out the Electoral Commission website

Cameron had a good article in yesterday's Tele:

Re Socialists in UUP - as Cameron says we cant stay stuck, isolated forever. This who are left wing in UUP should join Labour and in due course stand for election for them