Saturday, 24 October 2009

The DUP should stand down in South Belfast and Fermanagh South Tyrone - Sir Reg Empey

I've just been chatting to the party leader, in the wake of a successful conference speech.

I took the opportunity to ask him about the 'unionist unity' question. He was fairly adamant that the Conservatives and Unionists would not be standing aside. It is clear that Arlene Foster's involvement in the DUP campaign for an electoral deal is particularly irksome to Ulster Unionists.

Sir Reg was scathing about her hypocrisy and motioned towards the Beaten Docket pub as an emblem of the DUP's chances in any election. When the Conservatives and Unionists select their candidates, Empey insisted, the DUP should simply support them.

Looking ahead to Assembly elections, likely to take place in 2011, the UUP party leader acknowledged that the Conservative and UUP connection would have to be considered. He agreed that it was difficult to envisage candidates from two connected parties fighting against each other, but highlighted legal difficulties in extending the Westminster arrangement.


fair_deal said...

Despite all it has been through in the last 15 years and the UUP's arrogance comes through unscathed.

Chekov said...

Well it's an effective answer to a bad idea. You want unity, you create it. Especially given that the DUP has never had one me these seats.

O'Neill said...

Mixed messages again:

fair_deal said...


Barefaced arrogance is an answer? Hmmmm.


So what is the true position what he says to Chekov or what he says to the Belfast Telegraph?

Michael Shilliday said...

What did he say to the Telegraph? The article doesn't say.

Fermanagh Young Unionist said...

When the Conservatives and Unionists select their candidates, Empey insisted, the DUP should simply support them

That’s a very, very poor line for Reg to take. He needs to realise he isn’t a playschool supervisor, he’s in politics and you can’t get away with saying that sort of crap in politics.

As FD has already stated it just stinks of arrogance. Would it kill him to say that he is open for discussions re the SB & FST seats? Even if he goes in knowing that the UCU’s will never stand aside for a DUP candidate, it is just good basic politics and a little bit of PR management.

Instead of pandering to a few over inflated characters in the UCU agreement, Reg should be listening to his Party membership.

Every time Reg comes out with foolish statements like this he is shooting the Unionist Party in the foot. Not only that but he is well and truly shafting the UUP constituency associations in these areas.

Chekov said...

A fair point Michael. As I intimate in the article above, I suspect the Tele filled in the blanks and the two positions are close enough, but reported differently.

O'Neill said...

“things are moving in the direction” of a possible UUP agreement to resume formal talks with the DUP — following two officer level meetings last year, prior to the UUP’s partnership with the Tories.

Admitedly the only direct quote is the beginning phrase, so exactly what "things" are moving? Why does the Tele (admitedly again with a "possible" caveat)
suggest that "formal talks", what else would be included in those formal talks if not pacts with the Dupes in SB and FST?

It's an issue which needs a simple "yes" or "no"; whatever the answer there's going to be fallout but at least it could be dealt with lomg before the General election takes place rather than storing up problems for the future.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that the CU's will fight all 18 seats so why have all the huffing and puffing.

It seems the legal difficulties are of a technical nature in Stormont rules and surround the definition of 'a party'.

Not difficult to resolve, so there is no real impediment to CU's fighting Stormont seats if that is what they choose.

fair_deal said...

"Not difficult to resolve, so there is no real impediment to CU's fighting Stormont seats if that is what they choose."

The approach to the link has been a drip drip one. Thus the impediment at the moment is not wanting to scare the 'Assembly' horses.

Kilsally said...

Erm the UUP got less votes than the DUP in both constituencies.....each party taking one each seems like a fair deal to me and two extra Unionist seats making 12 out of 18 seats rather than the current 10 out of 18.

I was in the Europa at the weekend and the UUP / UNCUF / Tory conference was on. i had been warming to some of their policies but my instinctive reaction on seeing it all was `big house unionist` and `fur coat brigade`.

Chekov said...

Really? Fur coat brigade? More like old people's home day out. If you think the folk who turn up to the UUP Conference these days are 'big house unionists' you honestly need help.