The Icelandic volcano did all in its power to prevent the Conservative leader campaigning in Northern Ireland. Then Cameron’s helicopter broke down. Finally he managed to get here by jet-plane, flying under the ash cloud, in order to address a gathering at La Mon hotel.
Cameron showed some tenacity when his travel plans went awry and, to be fair, the people who attended showed some determination too. His speech was delayed for some two hours.
When it eventually arrived it was typically upbeat and centred on the national themes which UCUNF want to bring to local politics. There were special mentions for PMS investors, whom Cameron pledged to help, and a backhanded reference to Peter Robinson.
Successful Conservative and Unionists candidates, he stressed, would never make a ’swish’ family of MPs.
It was a slick event, and no doubt it will cheer UCUNF’s activists, as they return to their respective constituencies. It also makes a welcome change that, in the heat of an election campaign, thirty six hours before polls open, a national party leader has chosen to appear 'on the stump' in Northern Ireland.
Cameron was asked when he would next return to Ulster. “If I’m elected Prime Minister Sir, I’ll be back in Belfast next week”, was the reply.
Hand of History has a nice personal take on the day. Ivor decided to make it into a bit of a family occasion!
The Conservatives and Unionists have issued a contract with people in Northern Ireland to accompany Cameron’s visit.