Friday, 9 April 2010

Connor a messy compromise, but a promising candidate.

O’Neill rehearses the arguments against Rodney Connor’s candidature over on ’A Pint of Unionist Lite’. I can’t say that I disagree with any of his points. It’s regrettable that the Fermanagh South Tyrone candidate will not officially stand under the Conservatives and Unionists banner.

The fact remains, however, that, should he win, the constituency will be represented by a Conservative and Unionist MP, with impressive cross-community credentials. For some time before Connor’s candidacy was mooted it was known that Tom Elliott would stand only with reluctance.

O’Neill has already intimated that the new candidate actually offers a better match for the type of politics which UCUNF is supposed to be about

The DUP will try to trumpet some pyrrhic victory on the basis of ‘unity’. Actually what we have is a Conservative candidate who, for appearance sake, and to take into account local circumstances, has agreed to label himself an independent.

It is telling that Irwin Armstrong, the only long-standing Conservative on the New Force candidate list, is happy to endorse Connor’s Tory credentials. In a press release Armstrong commented,
I welcome the decision of Rodney Connor to run as an independent in FST, anyone who knows him will be fully aware that he is completely non sectarian and will attract votes from and represent all sections of the community in FST.
I am delighted that his political views are closely in line with mine and that he will take the Conservative whip at Westminster reserving the right, as all MP’s tend to do to, to vote in his constituents local interests.
He will make an excellent MP and will be a great asset to the Conservative Party as a full time Westminster MP in partnership with the other successful Conservative and Unionist candidates.
Sinn Féin and the SDLP will attempt to claim a sectarian carve-up. But their previous enthusiasm for Connor's non-sectarian ethos is hard to reconcile with this new attitude.

This is a compromise. It’s an unpalatable compromise in some respects. And I wouldn’t argue that the ends justify the means. But, by fair means or foul, Fermanagh South Tyrone has ended up with a viable, Conservative, candidate after all.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Connor will make a good MP and he will not be taking the DUP whip.

So hardly a unity unionist candidate as the DUP claim.

JeffPeel said...

Owen, you know, deep down, that it's a compromise too far. It's a disgrace - and it doesn't matter a damn how good the candidate is. he is putting his name to nothing short of a sectarian head-count.

Timothy Belmont said...

Despite being 2,000 miles away I still keep an eye on things at home. I'm inclined to believe Arlene Foster when she states that he is a man of integrity; a plausible compromise candidate, assured of re-claiming Fermanagh and South Tyrone for Unionism, which is important to me.

Anonymous said...

Owen,
Perhaps this DUP leaflet of a few months ago sums it up nicely.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dupphotos/4036943991/sizes/o/in/set-72157619076297099/

Just admit a massive u-turn. It would be much easier and actually a lot more credible.

Your stalwart defense of all things and any things UCUNF is admirable, but not particularly sensible.

Do we know exactly what Mr Connor believes issues "affecting Northern Ireland" constitutes. It could be a fairly wide definition....

Perhaps a blog about the unhappy UCUNF candidates threatening resignations over Rodney Connor's candidacy would make a nice blog piece.

Chekov said...

Which candidates are those then?

Anonymous said...

Owen,
I thought you were the one with the huge insight into UCUNF...... They are there, go and speak to your sources.

Also, surely an insight into the current happenings in South Antrim would be useful.

Another candidate in the race?

Chekov said...

Owen, you know, deep down, that it's a compromise too far. It's a disgrace

I've indicated that I'm not exactly happy Jeff. I'm not entering into the type of hyperbole we've seen elsewhere. It's a messy situation. I don't think the ends justify the means. However, if I were a voter in FST, I might feel differently. Whatever you might say about the race, if FST gets rid of Gildernew they've got a substantially less sectarian candidate.

Chekov said...

Anon - you're talking unalloyed bollocks. I know for a fact that both the Conservative candidates are behind Connor. That means if your anonymous comments were to be treated seriously dissent must be coming from a UUP candidate. Who would that be then? Incidentally, please read the section on commenting. And please don't decide to be anonymous when it suits you