Thursday, 20 May 2010

Cameron returns as government reiterates its ambitions for Northern Ireland in the UK political mainstream

David Cameron visited Northern Ireland today, for the first time since becoming Prime Minister.  Not quite within the week, as he promised, but pretty close.

Significantly the coalition government also set out its position on Northern Ireland in its 'Programme for Government' today.  It reiterates previous Conservative policy and hardly represents an abandonment of the principles behind UCUNF.
We will continue to promote peace, stability and economic prosperity in Northern Ireland, standing firmly behind the agreements negotiated and institutions they establish.  
We will work to bring Northern Ireland back into the mainstream of UK politics.
So the Liberal Democrats too, are now officially signed up to Northern Ireland at the heart of national politics.    Perhaps they should start advocating a similar approach for their sister party, Alliance.

After all, developments in the UUP could reward David Ford if he were to reposition his party as broadly supportive of the Union, rather than agnostic.

My reading of the Conservative - UUP link-up situation is that it will endure if the will exists locally to keep going.


O'Neill said...

"My reading of the Conservative - UUP link-up situation is that it will endure if the will exists locally to keep going."

I'm sure there is "a" will within the UUP to keep it going, but is it the opinion of the majority?

Chekov said...

I suppose we will find out in the months to come.

slug said...

It probably makes sense to fight the Assembly and Council elections as the UUP and to come back to the Euros with a re-developed link-up, that learns from the experience.

So, the decision does not really have to be taken in the months to come.

Dilettante said...

The Alliance was founded as the party of non-sectarian unionism. What went wrong?

rutherford said...

I have to admit I have my reservations about whether Dave really has the backbone to be as good a prime minister as he thinks he'll be but he hasn't put a foot wrong in his opening week.

Basically what I'm saying is I wish he was defacto political leader of liberal unionism in NI right now.

A Liberal Conservative coalition may be the perfect definition of UUP politics at large? discuss.

Chekov said...

Slug, it's really would be worse that a farce if the the 'forensic review' and the leadership contest didn't address the UUP's future direction vis a vis the Tories.

Anonymous said...

I suspect there is little will left in the Conservatives to continue with UUP as the OO has exerted its influence on the UUP on too many occasions and continues to do so.